I was really rooting for AVG! I LOVE it when a company is so confident in their product that they will offer a FREE version, knowing that after you use it, you'll come off of the hip and pay a little extra for the bells and whistles. I think that shows confidence in your product, as well as your customers.
I custom build my own machines and load the software I want to use sparingly, one program at the time. (Read NO BLOATWARE) So if (when) I have a problem I have a pretty good idea WHERE to start looking.
I have used AVG Free, the McAfee Suite AND the Norton Suite, at different times. McAfee was pretty big at 200 MB (if I remember right?) and a little slow, but it worked fine.
When I uninstall software I use the uninstall program that comes with it, then I check it with "Absolute Uninstaller" to make sure it's gone... then I use Glarysoft's Registry Repair, then reboot. I have performed this sequence of operations many, MANY times on several different machines with 100% success.
I decided to try out AVG Free this past year. It worked very well, I never had any viruses or Malware slip through. It DID alert me a few times, when I received infected attachments in my email, and a few times when I followed links to malware sites. I have to say, the product worked as it should. And it "learned" as it worked. It can tell what has been added since the last scan, therefore each successive scan gets faster, to a point. (About 80K files in less than 4 mins)
Back around August 16, 2010 I began having BSOD on boot-up. I opened my machine up, checked all of the hardware and connections, vacuumed and cleaned out a small accumulation of dust and ran diagnostics on everything I could get support for. (I was sweating one of those $80 WD HDD's failing!) I read they have about a 10% failure rate, but these things don't even have 2000 hours on them yet.
Then I had a couple of programs go MIA. They just stopped working. (Heidi's Eraser and another one I can't remember right now.) I had to completely re-install the programs to regain their use. I kept having these intermittent BSOD on boot-up and I could NOT figure out why. I did a manual Windows update etc. It was driving me NUTS.
Then one day a week or two back, after DOZENS of BSOD over a six week period, my AVG Free DID NOT START on boot up. I went to the menu and tried to run in manually, no dice. So I un-installed it completely. Since I'd gone that far, I decided to re-install the Norton Suite provided by my ISP ... guess what ? The BSOD WENT AWAY COMPLETELY. I found the culprit by accident.
I did not install or remove any other hardware OR software during the time I was having these Blue Screen of Death issues. The last day I had a BSOD, was the day BEFORE I un-installed AVG Free.
To anyone out there that says, "I've never heard of BSOD being caused by anti-virus software." ... You have now. This ain't no B.S. I took the time and trouble to create a profile here at CNET tonight, and to type this small novel to let folks out there know.
I have an A.A.S. in Computer Engineering. I don't know everything about how all of the bits and bytes do their magic, but I do have formal training on hardware and software. I have a very controlled environment set up to use and test my hardware and software. I proved to myself beyond a shadow of a doubt, with six weeks of debugging and sending error reports to Microsoft, vacuuming dust, checking for loose connections, sweating and cussing and watching that BSOD every morning, by simply stumbling over the problem and un-installing AVG Free, it was the source of my BSOD problem.
I still liked the way AVG Free worked ... when it worked. Security software isn't an area I choose to cut corners on. If it works "most of the time" ... that isn't going to cut it for me. If it causes me BSOD .. I'll avoid it like the PLAGUE and I thought others might like to know too.
All of my hardware was assembled new
and is about one year old. READ - NO HARDWARE PROBLEMS
Vista Home Premium SP2 (32-bit) (Updated monthly at least)
BuildLabEx = 6002.vistasp2_gdr.100608-0458
CurrentBuild = 6002
WEI = 5.6
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66 GHz
4 GB DDR2 RAM
Gigabyte EP45-UD3P MB
Two Western Digital 250 GB drives in RAID 1
Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
Silverstone 650 watt modular PS
Two 21" flat screen LCDs
Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, IE Ver 8 ...