Ah, the death knell of a software provider.
Some time back I stopped using, installing, and recommending AVG for virus protection due to a toolbar problem that impacted two of my clients. Today AVG has produced a phenomenal blunder on a par with the oh-so-hackable XP bug from several years back.
In short AVG issued an update that, when applied, put Windows 7 64 bit machines into a reboot loop from which there was no simple recovery using standard Windows tools. Even Safe Mode was fucked. So all over the globe folks have been waking up today to find their machines were borked beyond use, continually rebooting ad nauseum.
My friend Eric was one such sucker user. He called me this morning to explain that his computer was useless. Fixing the matter was easy enough. I walked over with an Ubuntu 10.04 Live CD, booted into Ubuntu (no installation required), and mounted his computer’s hard drive from within Ubuntu.
(For those interested in Ubuntu, I recommend 14.04 as it is the latest long-term support release—five years.)
I had found an article (modified now and lacking this important information) which pointed me to delete two AVG files from the Program Folders. I made a snapshot of that now lost information for your convenience:
The two files in question are not necessarily located where they say. Since the machines effected are 64 bit machines they could be in Program Files (as listed in the image above) but they could also be in the Program Files x86 folder. All I’m getting at here is that you may have to poke around a bit before you find the files in question. I just amended their names with .hideme so that the operating system would not be able to find them and thus run them when I rebooted the machine. (From the command line that would be mv avgrsa.exe avgrsa.exe.hideme from the containing folder.)
Worked like magic. After moving those files and rebooting the machine we were once again able to log into Eric’s account. Now to remove AVG.
Normally I use Revo Uninstaller to pluck out naughty applications, utterly. However, for whatever reason Revo was not able to see AVG so I just used the standard Windows uninstaller package through the Control Panel.
This is not likely to bode well for AVG, but since it only effected a small group of users (Windows 7 64 bit, updated AVG in the last day, and rebooted last night) it may not lay them under.
We shall see.