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AVG Asks Users to Delete User32.dll

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 5 comments
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Earlier this week, users of AVG’s virus scanner accidentally got asked to ‘remove’ user32.dll, a core system file for the Windows operating system – by mistake of course.

AVG mistakenly thought that user32.dll contained one of two Trojan horses – PSW.Banker4.APSA or Generic9TBN. Users were instructed to delete the file. The action of deleting this file caused systems to go into an endless boot loop, leaving users unable to boot into Windows fully.

The solution to the issue was to boot from your retail or OEM supplied operating system disc and either run a repair, or use the recovery console (for the more tech savy). Some users were not so lucky if they didn’t receive an operating system disk, rather they had the emergency restore feature – which in most cases causes the users to lose everything stored on their system after a re-imaging of the hard drive.

AVG anti-virus is one of the most popular protection software suites as there is a free version for home use, and it has been around for a very long time with a rather good reputation. However, this is not the first time AVG has had issues with ‘user32.dll’. Around a year ago, AVG was alerting its users that ‘user32.dll’ (among other core system files) has ‘changed’. Nothing serious by all means, but it definitely alerted some users. Some users even removed it out of fear of infection.

False positives in the anti-virus world are not uncommon, and they happen from time to time with every protection suite available, free or not. Some packages will flag certain files or processes as potentially dangerous, while others will not see anything out of the ordinary.

AVG claims it has fixed the current user32.dll problem and have apologized for the mishap on the AVG User Forums.

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  • 0 Hide
    Syranetic , 12 November 2008 04:57
    I've never liked AVG, this article may "claim" they have a good reputation but they certainly don't with me. I've had so many false positives over my use of AVG for several years, ranging from game excutables (as much as I don't like DRM, it's not a virus) to system files.

    I've had much better results with Sophos and have yet to have a false positive with the software.
  • 0 Hide
    mi1ez , 12 November 2008 14:20
    I'm perfectly happy sticking with my Eset NOD32
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 12 November 2008 14:36
    Hmm, I have to agree with the previous comment. AVG certainly don't have a good reputation amongst many people I know. Maybe it's getting TOO popular now?
    Avast has never failed me over the 5/6 years ive been using it after I booted out bloody Norton!
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    mactronix , 12 November 2008 21:18
    I used AVG with out problems for many years but when it updated to 8.0 i think it was with the extra scanning features etc i jumped ship to Kasperski, It can be a pain when installing stuff as it sorts and catagorises every thing which slows things down a good deal. it does however do its job and is constantly updated without me having to worry about it and it is in my opinion head and shoulders above AVG and worth its money.
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    Anonymous , 16 November 2008 20:55
    Hmm.. It seems that AVG did a mistake and uncovered the real virus in the system - Windows! A mistake because Microsoft does not want users to know that Windows is a virus! Users that want a secure and virus-free systems should remove Windows and use Linux instead! :p