• Freeware Spotlight — Antivirus Removal Tool

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    BEST UTILITIES By Deanna McElveen One of the lesser-known causes of poor PC performance is the detritus left behind by uninstalled anti-malware progra
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    • #2281892

      To Deanna or PK:  With respect to the “Windows Repair Tool”, do you think it would help with a problem I have had for months on an up-to-date Windows Pro (ver. 1909) system.

      About half the time when booting up in the morning, this happens:

      1. System initializing.
      2.  Screen with two messages in lower LH corner: “Press (tab) to display BIOS post message.”  “Press (Del) to run Setup.”
      3.     “XYX” (username) screen.
      4.  Screen goes black.
      5.  On reboot, Windows 10 goes into GUI with no problem.
      • #2281896

        Wild guess:
        How old is your system. If several years, have you replaced the CMOS battery on the motherboard?

        • #2281897

          System is 4 years old. Mobo is Supermicro MBD-X10DRI Extended ATX Server mobo dual LGA 2011 R3. Do you think battery could be low? Any way to test that?

          • #2282525

            From AKB4000003: Changing your PC’s battery – CR 2032

            There is a small shiny coin cell battery in your computer.  It is almost always the standard 2032 .  This battery is Non-Rechargeable and has a life of about 5 to 8 years.  This battery keeps constant power to the memory that contains today’s date & time as well as a lot of the features in your system.  When it starts to fail, it commonly will start asking you to re-enter the date each time you startup.

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    • #2281898

      This Anti Removal Tool sounds good but when I downloaded it and ran it thru VirusTotal it came up with 6 things wrong with the tool. They could be false positives but that it quite a few.

    • #2281901

      Not sure if I can post it here but just google VirusTotal and it will come up.

      • #2281908

        You should be able to post a URL.



        Worm.Pahooka!1.BC8B (CLASSIC)





        Ask yourself: “Would I use any of these ‘solutions’?”
        I hope not because they all smell like false positives to me. No, I wouldn’t.

        Bundled Files
        File type
        / 71
        Win32 EXE
        / 70
        Win32 EXE
        / 70
        Win32 EXE
        / 70
        Win32 EXE
        / 72
        Win32 EXE
        / 71
        Win32 EXE
        / 72
        Win32 EXE
        / 68
        Win32 EXE
        / 65
        Win32 EXE
        / 70
        Win32 EXE
        / 72
        Win32 EXE
        / 72
        Win32 EXE

        Looking at the historic detail, at least 9 of the older flags were of uninstallers created by the AV makers themselves = false positives.

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    • #2281921

      I know what you mean Satrow. All of the ones listed look like off the wall checkers and I don’t normally hold much stock in them. I too normally look for the major A/V’s and there were none of those. I’m sure the file is ok but was just surprised there were that many that popped up.

      • #2281957

        I downloaded the tool using Chrome (which checks for malware too) running Kaspersky A/V.
        The file came clean.

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    • #2282034

      When I looked at the latest AWP Newsletter this morning and saw the heads-up about “Antivirus Removal Tool”, I thought “Oh goody!  Something I can actually use to get rid of any detritus!”

      All went well until I was looking at the main tools window.

      Then I clicked on “AVRemoval” and “BOOM!”  BitDefender put the kibosh on that, automatically blocked https://antivirus-removal-tool.com/ as dangerous, and stopped me cold!

      I decided I didn’t need yet another headache, especially from something that putatively should have been helpful, so rather than wasting more time in an attempt to debug that mystery, I just jettisoned the zip and extracted files and chalked this, yet one more cul-de-sac excursion, up to experience.

      NR – Win 7 refusenik

      Whoever was first to say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be on to something…

      • #2282055

        Rick, any AV that allows itself to be uninstalled by a 3rd party tool isn’t worth using. Self Protection FTW.

        The basic idea when you’re scanning with a 3rd party tool is that you disable any running AV/Antimalware first – though some may require more work (likely the very ones that’ll leave most junk behind after running their own uninstallers).

        Odd that 2x Bitdefender versions on VT (https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/freeware-spotlight-antivirus-removal-tool/#post-2281908) didn’t detect anything, maybe you could check whether using the real BD uninstaller would trigger it self protection too?: unzip it – Antivirus_Removal_Tool\Tools\BitDefender

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    • #2282049

      Is this tool safe? An explanation as to why anti-virus software flags it as problematic would be appreciated.

      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
      offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
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    • #2282069

      Could not remove Panda or Kapersky – and even the ones it said it removed were still there after a reboot.

    • #2282145

      Dear Team,

      After uninstalling an app, I have for years used an app. called “Revo uninstaller pro”. It gets rid of all the left overs and does a terrific job.

      Moderator Note: Edit to remove reference to questionable software.

    • #2282479

      The Antivirus Removal Tool perhaps is best used for identifying leftover stuff from previously uninstalled AV programs. The user could then manually run (as Administrator) the appropriate removal tools which are in the Tools folder of this program.

    • #2282500

      I like the idea though a couple of things from the originator/developer site that makes me twitchy about using it.
      extract from: https://antivirus-removal-tool.com/

      Antivirus Removal Tool is divided in 4 sections:
      1 – Identify the currently installed antivirus programs.
      2 – Search for leftovers of past installations of antivirus programs.
      3 – Uninstall using Windows built-in functionality.
      4 – Run the specialized uninstaller provided by the manufacturer.

      Number 3 to me seems pointless AND potentially dangerous as an option!. Windows in-built AV functionality on Win8/10 is not only protecting windows, it also acts as a failsafe should the 3rd party antivirus fail for whatever reason.

      Number 4 has the possible danger that this uninstall utility sits on a usb stick out of date whilst the manufacturers have updated their own uninstall utility.

      from their current changelog:

      # Changelog
      -All notable changes to the current version are documented in this file.

      ## 2020.07 (v.5) – 2020-07-17

      ### Changed:
      – Updated the following uninstallers: Norton.

      Most 3rd party AV vendors supply their own uninstall tool, especially the mainstream popular ones on their websites which is my preference and has been for years.

      No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
      • #2282502

        #3 isn’t about Windows AV, but about Windows “Add / Remove Programs”…?

        Provides 1-click access to Windows “Add / Remove Programs”. From there you can uninstall the antivirus using the regular uninstaller. Whenever is available, the regular uninstaller should always be used in the first place.

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

        • #2282503

          yup you’re right, misread it, my bad 🙂

          No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
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        • #2282510

          I does offer to remove the MS Defender, on W7 at least. Possibly why there have been times when MS’s AV as used on VirusTotal sometimes flags it up. The MS component was one of those that timed out on me when I forced a rescan yesterday.

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      • #2282504

        Number 4 has the possible danger that this uninstall utility sits on a usb stick out of date whilst the manufacturers have updated their own uninstall utility.

        From Antivirus Removal Tool website:

        as a rule of thumb this program will be updated once every month, but it can also be updated more frequently whenever is necessary. It will automatically check for the existence of an updated version when it starts.

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

    • #2282529

      Deanna McElveen’s article mentions Windows Repair Toolbox (WRT) which already includes the Antivirus Removal Tool – so for me, it’s “in there” and not needed as a separate utility.

      WRT includes a number of tools I don’t use but it’s definitely an efficient front end for many I do use – particularly when installed on a USB stick for use with multiple computers.

      And I like that it only takes a single button click to update all the included tools on the thumb drive!

      Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 22H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

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    • #2282758

      I downloaded the anti-virus removal tool and when I tried to run it, Webroot (my AV) labeled it a virus itself and deleted the .exe file.  As I looked over what it left, it only had the McAfee removal tool (my problem is with parts of McAfee left around).  I’ve used that several times, yet still find stuff left on my computer.  I have been slowly poking around and finding the left over stuff and deleting by hand, but it is slow going.


    • #2282777

      There is something not quite right about the download (from the oldergeeks site).  In Firefox, I use an add-on called “WX Download Status Bar”.  When a download is in progress, it normally shows a green bar which includes (among other things) how much data has been downloaded so far, and the total size of the download, in the format “Progress: xx.xxMB / yy.yyMB”.  When I start to download this zip file, it does not show how big the download is.  A download just now, which I have paused, shows “Progress: 25.35MB / Unknown”, which appears in a grey bar, not green.  This may be OK, but it is unusual, and I have no idea of how much longer the download would run, or how much it would download, if allowed to continue – so I can it every time.

      Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 20H2

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Bundaburra.
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