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When a computer is toasted

Read: 22444 Comments: 12 Rating: 14

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

We often have to deal with situations when users install the anti-virus on computers that already have various issues. And these issues may remain unnoticed for a while. For example, while a user is busy editing a document or reading news, things appear to be more or less normal. But then the anti-virus’s activity becomes the last straw for the system.

After a while I started to experience problems with my computer. I assumed that malware was causing it and decided to scan the computer for viruses.

1. So I launched the scanner, but the full scan did not complete. When the scanner was halfway through, the computer powered off abruptly.

Information that the user gathered for us revealed the following:

Judging from the specification on the Internet, 72° C is the maximum operating temperature for your processor AMD ATHLON X2 4800+ 64. A temperature above 90 degrees is critical and may cause your system to shut down unexpectedly and reduce the CPU's lifespan. Contact a service center to fix your CPU cooling problems.

Naturally, the anti-virus scan increased CPU usage and "broke the camel's back".

Of course, we couldn't establish the cause of overheating remotely, but at least our engineers managed to identify the problem.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time that we ran into a situation that became possible because modern operating systems are somewhat reticent. Neither hard-drive failures, nor system overheating or other critical issues ever compel them to give the user a nudge. Even at the cost of toasted hardware or lost data!

But was the anti-virus solely responsible for heating up the CPU? Our support engineers discovered that it wasn't.

The files you have uploaded show that multiple third-party anti-viruses may be running in the system. This can cause compatibility issues and adversely impact overall system performance.

It is common practice to keep only one anti-virus in a system.

Go to Control Panel → Programs and Features and make sure that ByteFence and AVG have been removed.

And it doesn't matter how often one hears that installing two anti-viruses on a computer is a recipe for disaster. But there is even more. For example, this issue's author had never heard about ByteFence before. Have you? And this anti-virus is somewhat hard to delete.

It is called ByteFence, and I don't know anything about this program. I actually never installed it. It is present in the system, but I can't remove it. I tried everything. But it wouldn't uninstall.

Here our support engineers were able to help the user.

Look for the file named Uninstall in the directory C:\Program Files\ByteFence; then just run it and follow the on-screen instructions.

If that doesn't work, try to do the same in safe mode. To do this, start the computer in safe mode.

Please refer to this guideline on the Microsoft website for more information:

You can also use the alternative method to boot up Windows in safe mode:

  1. Press Win+R. In the Run dialogue, enter msconfig and press Enter.
  2. Open the Boot tab.
  3. Check the Safe boot box, click Apply and OK, and then restart the system.

It should boot up in safe mode.

Then delete the folder C:\Program Files\ByteFence.

Furthermore, ByteFence Anti-Malware installs a browser hijacker.

And, as always, there is an outright absence of system updates:

In addition, your system hasn't been getting updates for a while. Go to the Control Panel, select Windows Update and install all the critical updates as well as any other available updates. This may take some time, but without timely updates certain system features may not work properly and overall system security may become an issue.

#Windows #anti-virus #support

The Anti-virus Times recommends

Let's check your CPU's current temperature out of curiosity. There are many ways to do it. Here is just one of them:

  1. Open the Start menu and go to All Programs.
  2. Select Accessories.
  3. In the subsequent list, right-click on Command Prompt and in the dropdown menu, select Run as administrator.
  4. Once the Command Prompt window has appeared, enter the following string (you can simply copy and paste it into the Command Prompt):

    wmic /namespace:\\root\wmi PATH MSAcpi_ThermalZoneTemperature get CurrentTemperature

  5. Press Enter.

If you're running an anti-virus scan and want to see how it affects the CPU temperature, compare the current value and the value displayed before you have started the full scan.

The current CPU temperature will appear as a decimal in Kelvin (you can deduct 273 from that value to convert it to centigrade). It should work without a hitch.


Feels hot? Contact our support engineers. We'll see what we can do to help.


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