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Nov 28 2011

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Antivirus, Boot times, and more…

Antivirus software. A requirement in the computing world. I don’t care what anyone says, ALL SYSTEMS are vulnerable to SOME form of malware. Anything can be exploited, given enough time, energy, and knowledge. I don’t care if it is MacOS, Linux, or of course, Windows: it CAN be exploited.

So, given this circumstance, one would be stupid to go without antivirus software, right? Of course! Now, anyone who knows me knows that I always use Windows machines as my primary systems. Of course, that means I have a million and one digital diseases wanting to get their way into my precious systems, so naturally, I keep a reliable antivirus product in use, 24/7, on all my machines.

Now, I am not one to want to spend much money on a product, so naturally, in the early days, when I actually didn’t have any spare money, I searched high and low for a free antivirus solution that was actually, well, good.

Until today, this product was the amazing Aviria Antivir software suite, and for over 6 years, it did well for me. I never had any issues with malware creeping onto my systems, and I recommended it to all of my friends! I adored it, sang its praises everywhere I went… that involved discussions of antivirus software, etc. That is, until I got curious as to why all of my systems always booted so slowly!

Yes, this whole post actually has to do with boot times for my machines. Those around me will note that, for some reason, I always have the slowest booting machines of anyone. We could never figure out why: I always keep things up to date, run the systems clean, keep plenty of HDD space… all the little things that together give a user a wonderful system!  Why then, would it be running so slowly?

Checking up random videos on youtube, I discovered a software called  Soluto, which analyzes your systems boot process, and determines what is taking the most time in your boot process, and gives you ways to get rid of it.

Well, I checked my main system, Lilith, and discovered something… amazing.

Avira was taking 80 seconds to load.

My jaw nearly hit the floor. 80 seconds… for my antivirus to load up? That was insane. A close second was Steam, with 17 seconds. That, I could live without being on initial boot.. but my Antivirus solution? You CANNOT live online without such. What was I supposed to do? Let the system boot, THEN start the AV solution? Was I supposed to just remove it completely, and end up with an infected system?

Then… I remembered that there were pretty good reviews for Microsoft Security Essentials. That it actually works better than most commercial products.

So, I downloaded it, installed, and updated. Now, I have yet to reboot the system after having removed Avira, so I do not know how MSE will affect the overall boot process VS what Avira did, but I am pretty sure that the system will boot faster. In my current tests, MSE seems to have less of a system drain than Avira did, as web pages, programs.. everything seems to run just a little quicker. More like what Windows is SUPPOSED to be.

We will see how all this goes. Again, I absolutely LOVE Avira, and think it is a wonderful product, but when it causes my Windows 7 machine to take nearly 5 minutes total to boot… it just isn’t worth it, even at free.

I will post more as I clean up my other 2 systems. Looks like I have a long afternoon ahead of me… ^_^

Permanent link to this article: http://www.xadara.com/antivirus-boot-times-and-more/

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