I wish I got a paycheck from AVG, then I wouldn't be struggling to pay off student loans. But I am just the owner of a small IT consulting business. My mom barely knows how to use a computer. My only connection to AVG is I volunteer my time to help people who post on their page.
Perhaps when you hear something from a number of experts that know vastly more about the subject than you do, you should listen instead of ignoring their advice? I'm not "grabbing at straws" nor am I trying to come up with some obscure answer. I already stated that I know exactly what crashed your computer. It was a bad software update. That's what crashed everyone else's computer who posted here, and it's what crashed your computer as well. I never suggested it was your hardware, that wouldn't make any sense at all.
The reason I say it's your computer's fault though, is simple troubleshooting logic. Try to follow me here. You say the software itself crashed your computer, but I have personally installed the software on hundreds of computers, use it on my own, assisted thousands of people who use the software, and never once has installing the software just arbitrarily crashed the computer for any of the thousands of people I have helped either over the Facebook page or in person, I can safely say there is not a bug in the software that will crash every computer that the software is installed on. Otherwise, as many people who use the software as I interact with on a daily basis, I would know about it.
If simply installing the software crashes 2 computers out of 110 million, do you think it sounds more like the software crashes computers, or those two computers had a pre-existing problem that kept AVG from working correctly? Let me spell it out for you, the correct answer is option B if you want to keep your job as an IT consultant and not lose your clients because you're incompetent.
But like I said, I don't even think it was that in this case. This was simply not caused by the software itself. You installed the upgrade for AVG 2011, and what you don't realize is that it will install the latest update immediately after being installed. It wasn't the software, you got hit with the same bad update as everyone else did right after you installed your software. To you it may seem like it was the software's fault, but to someone who knows more than you do about how the software works it's obvious that you got hit with the bad update right after installing.(this is where that listening to experts instead of dismissing their knowledge as bs comes in again, same reason I wouldn't try to give you advice about what you do, because I'm not an expert at that, and that I would listen to you if you gave me advice, because you probably are...) You see, the definition sets are different for AVG 9 and AVG 2011. That's why the other machines didn't get it, they didn't get the bad update because it was only sent to the latest version of the software.
Also, I'm not a "hardware guy." I'm not some incompetent guy who is only qualified to install or troubleshoot hardware. I have 5 years of formal education in the IT field, another 6 years of experience. I can administrate Windows and Linux servers, large networks, write programs, troubleshoot computers, web design, and design complex technology solutions for businesses. I've done everything from running cable for a network to being flown to the other side of the world and being kept in a 4 star hotel to meet with senior executives. You don't get that when you don't know what you're doing.
I'm not saying you shouldn't be upset, I'm not saying the issue didn't cause your business some grief and lost hours, and I'm not even saying you should stick with AVG. You use whatever software you like, it's your business. I'm just trying to explain to you the true nature of the issue, so you understand what happened to your computers. I understand that from a "my computer is crashed and I need it" standpoint, the other 110 million computers that this doesn't happen to are irrelevant. But from a troubleshooting the issue to get to the bottom of the problem standpoint, my prospective, they're very important. If the software itself doesn't crash the other 110 million computers, and a definitions update does crash thousands of computers, right around the same time your computer crashes using the same software, which answer makes more sense? Mine, based of knowledge of how the software worked, that you installed the update whether you knew it or not (all definitions updates require no interaction from you anyway, you get 3-5 a day and never notice them) and it did the same thing that the update did to everyone else? Or yours, that using the same installation file and same software as everyone else who has ever installed AVG 2011 used, it arbitrarily crashed your computer for no good reason, even though it did not do this to any of the other 110 million computers that installed the same software?
Who do you think knows more about the issue? The guy who was selected to beta test the software before it was released, has installed it or helped someone install it and troubleshoot it thousands of times, and volunteered hours of his time helping people get their computers back in working order after the bad update, and helped fix the same issue you're describing hundreds of times? Or you and your most tech savvy engineer, who was apparently not tech savvy enough to try a simple system restore, which would work fine because it would repair the damage done to your OS, and since the bad update was pulled immediately, once it was working again it would not happen again.
And It is indeed just your machines which need to boot to run system restore. You can run it from the recovery console for Windows XP (http://www.icompute.info/System_restore_from_xp_cd.htm), which you don't have to be able to boot the OS to use, and from the installation disk for Vista or Windows 7 (http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-windows-vista-system-restore/). Go ahead and check out the links if you don't think I know what I'm talking about.
My my what special computers you have. Software that works on 110 million other PCs crash yours, and they also can't use system restore without being able to boot. Think about what type of tool system restore is, would it really even be worth including in the software if it couldn't be used without booting the OS? Half the problems System Restore will fix are problems that are preventing you from booting into the OS. -_- If that's not proof enough for you that I know more about what we're talking about than you or your engineers do, then I don't know what is.
Perhaps you "trusted him" (your engineer) a little too much in matters he didn't understand? You could have saved yourself those hours of work, frustration, and lost production if he had just known that System Restore could be used without booting the computer. I mean, I'm not even exaggerating at all, I helped people fix this on hundreds of computers. Five minutes hands on time to boot into recovery console from an XP, Vista, or 7 CD and run system restore. Maybe another 15 minutes for system restore to complete and your computer to restart and boot into Windows. Problem solved. It honest to God really was as simple as that.
About the misuse of the term "bricking." I didn't mean to imply you are an idiot or "lesser lifeform." It was quite clear to me you didn't understand the term you were using. I just wanted to let you know because I think that anytime we include a word in our vocabulary, we should understand what it means. Kinda like those people who say things are ironic that are not, because they don't really understand the meaning of irony. It makes you look less intelligent when you don't understand the meaning of the words you use, even if you are intelligent. If I did it I would want someone to tell me so I didn't keep doing it...
As a man who makes a living off the need for a business having 100% uptime, I understand quite well the necessity to keep those machines running. Now, I'm about to tell you something which may "enrage" you once again, but I hope once you calm down, you'll come back, read it again, and take it to heart, because I'm about to give you some free advice that will keep this from ever happening to your business again.
First of all, I don't think AVG is to blame for your terrible experience here, I think a lot of the fault lies in your own business processes. I'm not trying to insult you or transfer blame, just hear me out. You talked about how AVG "didn't have any plan" to deal with this. What you didn't realize, is that you didn't either. Let's look at a few facts here.
This incident cost you:
-10 hours production time
-An estimated $1400.00
-A couple of hours on the phone with tech support you'll never get back
-Great frustration and the need to purchase a new AV software on top of all those expenses.
Would you say I'm correct here so far? That's a lot of loss for any small business at one time. Well, if you had a few simple, easy to prepare resources at hand, it would have cost you any of that.
1) A disaster recovery plan. You need to have a plan for what your business will do in the event you lose a couple of production machines. It could be having an image of a working production machine imaged to the hard drive of a spare computer in a closet that you put online in order to keep up with production demands. That's what I would recommend. That way you're not losing money while you're fixing the problem with the downed computer.
2) When installing any new software, or updating them, try it out on a test (non-production) machine first. It could be your spare PC that you imaged from one of your production machines. Make sure the latest version, or update doesn't cause problems for you. Honestly, in any production environment I would expect software to be tested before being installed on a production machine. That alone would have prevented this entire problem for you.
3) Maintain backups. If you had properly maintained backups and images of the hard drives of your production machines you could have simply installed the latest backup or re-imaged the hard drive in order to get the computer booting just as it was before right away, without having to fool with troubleshooting or system restore. I would suggest keeping drive images, since it's basically an exact copy of the hard drive at the moment you take the image, and you can copy it back (called imaging the disk) and the computer will be in the exact condition it was in when you made the image. That would be ideal when it comes to a production environment, rather than wasting time and money troubleshooting software issues.
4) Have a knowledgeable IT consultant on call. Your first action was to go to AVG support. I can't vouch for how competent or incompetent they are, because I've only ever dealt with them once, and that was to change details on a license, which anyone who works there should be able to do, they did a fine job helping me with that. I don't need to call support because I know to take measures to ensure the business is not harmed by issues like this, and if it is, I can get things working again for them much faster than someone can over the phone. Even as knowledgeable as I am I hate to troubleshoot over the phone, because it can be hard to identify the issue and try steps to fix it, because you're relying not only on your own knowledge and expertise, but the ability of the person you're speaking with to understand what you're saying and be able to perform the steps. I know it can be tempting for a small business to rely on free vendor tech support and a guy who doesn't really do IT, but kinda knows computers and can figure it out eventually. Seems like it saves you money over having a consultant come out and fix it. But you see where that got you this time. Your guy didn't even know he could run system restore from the Windows installation CD, that lack of very basic knowledge in and of itself was the difference between 5-20 minutes of lost production time, and 10 hours and $1400.00. See what I mean? I recommend you find a competent IT consultant in your area who can support your business. And I also recommend you ask him to help you to implement the processes I recommended here, so this doesn't happen to you again. Also, if you had a competent consultant, they could have explained what the real issue was to you, so you would have understood there was no reason to switch software, that the problem was fixed, and that with your new business processes in place, it couldn't happen again, even if AVG made another mistake. So you wouldn't have had to switch vendors and spend even more money on top of all your losses.
So, you wanted something free for your trouble, right? Well, I would usually charge a couple thousands dollars to come out and give that advice and help implement it. So, there you go, that's worth more than the licenses you wanted. Best of luck with Avast! I help out on their Facebook page as well, they seem to have decent software. But just a friendly warning, someday, without fail, they will crash your computer. So take that advice I gave you seriously, it will save you a lot of headaches and money in the future.
I'm sorry you had a bad experience with AVG, but as I pointed out, when it comes to a production environment, there are certain resources and procedures you should have in place to deal with issues like this. The fact that your business lacks them is no one's fault but your own. You wanted to get out of the "just deal with it" mentality, right? If you have the right processes in place, you won't have to "just deal with it," you'll be prepared for it, and you won't have to rely on anyone else to keep your production going, you can rely on yourself.
I don't know where you're located, but let me know if you're interested and I could help you implement these strategies and processes for your business. It may get kinda pricey if you're far away from me though, so you wouldn't want to have to fly me out every time there's a problem, that would get too costly, I would recommend you have an area consultant for day to day issues, but if you want someone who knows what they're doing to help you get those suggestions in place, I'd be happy to help you. Just let me know.