Free antivirus download – AVG 9.0

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A few weeks ago I posted my list of recommended software. Two of the ones that you need to have as a priority are an antivirus program and an antispyware program.

AVG 9.0 is a free antivirus download. I have been using and recommending AVG for years, and it continues to perform well without using a lot of system resources and slowing down the computer. Earlier this month, version 9.0 was released. It is still free for personal use, and the company is claiming some more advantages with this new version:

– 50% faster speed
– improved performance
– easier to use

I did not conduct any formal speed testing, but it seems to be at least as fast as it ever was. One big improvement is that you can choose what files AVG scans. For example, if you have a folder full of pictures and the contents of that folder never changes, why should AVG scan it every day for a virus? This feature will greatly reduce the time it takes to scan your computer for viruses.

I know many of you are already using the AVG free antivirus download. Here are the steps to follow in order to upgrade to the new version 9.0 (you can click on any image to see it full size):

1. Go to and click the “Get it now” button on the free side:

2. You will see a 3-column chart comparing the free version with the 2 paid versions. Click “Download” under the free version column:

3. Look for the “Download Now” button as shown below, and click that:

4. This takes you to the CNet download page, where you will click the Download Now button:

If you are using Firefox, you will be prompted to save the free antivirus download file. Click Save, and the installation file will be saved to your desktop. Then you can double-click to run it. If you are using Explorer, just click to Run the installation file.

5. Now you are about to run the AVG setup program. When you see the screen below, choose your language if it’s other than English, and click Next.

6. Be sure to check the button that says “I want to install Free Basic protection” and click Next.

7. The installation files will begin to download. This will take a minute or two, maybe longer depending how fast your internet connection is.

8. The License agreement will display, and you have to check the box that says “I have read the license agreement”, then click Accept:

9. Now you get to choose to do the Standard installation or Custom installation. Choose Standard and click Next.

10. This window is where you activate your free antivirus download license. You can type your name in, or not, it doesn’t matter. Just click Next.

11. This next one is a little tricky. I have to say I am a little disappointed with AVG in the way they set this up. Apparently they have made a deal with Yahoo, and Yahoo will pay them a few bucks for every user that installs AVG and makes Yahoo their default search engine. So they set up the checkboxes to trick you into doing that.

There are two checkboxes in this window. One is to install the AVG toolbar, and the other is to make Yahoo your default search engine. You want both of these UNchecked, but if you uncheck the top one first, the bottom one is ghosted and cannot be unchecked. So uncheck the bottom one first, then the other one:

12. The next window will list the programs that you currently have running that need to be closed in order for the installation to continue. You can go and close these one by one yourself if you want, or you can just click Next and AVG will close them for you. Of course, be sure you have saved any open files before doing that.

13. Now AVG will continue the installation process. Not much for you to do during this time.

14. When that installation is complete, you will see the window below. You will have the option of checking the box to provide anonymous information to AVG to help them gather information about potential viruses. This takes up virtually no resources on your computer and it helps them, so I usually check this box (after all, they are providing you with a free antivirus download). Click Finish.

15. Clicking “Yes” will restart your computer. Might as well do it now and get it over with, since that is what will complete the installation.

16. In this window, click the top button (Optimize scanning). This is what will cause your scans to take less time.

17. This next step is optional, but I definitely set mine up this way. If you don’t do this step, AVG will check every incoming email and put a note at the bottom of each one that states that AVG certifies that that email is free of any virus. If you do this step, AVG will still check every email, but it just won’t tag every one of them with that note on the bottom. Since I don’t care to see that certification, I do the following to remove it.

Click Tools – Advanced Settings.

In the “Email Scanner” category, UNcheck the box that says “Certify email” under the “incoming” side. I also uncheck the box to check or certify outgoing email, but that’s up to you if you want to do that.

So there you have it – your AVG is now updated to the latest version of their free antivirus download.

Remember – just having an antivirus program is not enough. You need antispyware software as well. They are equally important in order to avoid headaches down the road.

In this week’s video, a Food Makeup Artist shows us how a hamburger is made to look so juicy and delicious for an advertisement – even though they never turn out that beautiful in real life:

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ONG Eng Ju
November 10th, 2009

Dear Scott,

I installed AVG Free version 9·0 by following the instructions on your blog, and I thought you might like to know that there has been a lot of CPU activity hard disk activity on my computer ever since.

I checked in Windows Task Manager, and the culprit was this one process called "avgchsvx.exe". A search on the internet showed several forum postings complaining about this problem, but no official solution could be found since there was nothing in the user interface of AVG Free version 9·0 that could modify the behaviour of that process. Some people suggested waiting out the CPU and hard disk activity, but other people reported no improvement even after leaving their computer on overnight.

One forum posting suggested a stop-gap solution, which I have implemented. By going into Safe Mode and then renaming the file "avgchsvx.exe" to something else, say "avgchsvx.bak", and then restarting the computer in Normal mode, the offending process will not start because the file for it cannot be found.

Using this file-renaming trick is not an elegant solution, of course, but I see no other way of getting around this problem, short of Grisoft releasing a new update of AVG Free that has the needed modifications to the user interface to get the program to behave in the way that we want it to.

With regards
ONG Eng Ju

December 6th, 2009

ONG Eng Ju I think what you say might be right – I installed AVG9.0 yesterday morning and I am still having to put up with the caching – it's absurd. All-in-all it's been going now for over 14hrs. I have about 500GB of data spread across 3 different drives.

Incidently, I told the program not to index until the first scan (at step 16 above) but AVG doesn't seem to pay any attention to your input – I haven't done the first scan and I am still a victim of this insanity!

(3.2MHz quad-core with 4 GB of RAM)