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What is a Heuristic Scan? / User Guide Says - "No Records Found"

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Good Day!

 

I hope All are enjoying a pleasant one.

 

I'm a fresh new user, and while in the process of learning, I fired up the User Guide and inquired/searched for information related to Heuristic Scans... but as the User Guide related" "No Results Found". Am I the first to search for "Help" regarding Heuristic Scans? I would suggest for the next version of Ad-Aware and/or it's User Guide, that some data be included regarding the nature of Heuristic Scans, what they are, and how/when to use them. Maybe a QC check on the User Guide might be in order to make sure all the features of Ad-Aware are explained there in.

 

Enjoy Everything!

 

John B.

 

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Hi John,

 

Heuristic scan is important in finding as much malware as possible, just as all other items you can select for a Custom Scan, but the scan will take longer time when it's selected. If, when, how often you should select to include heuristic scan in a Custom Scan depends on how you use your computer and how often you do other scans with Ad-Aware. I guess most users never run a custom scan, don't touch any settings, and are satisfied with running scans with default schedule.

 

An explanation of heuristic scan is available on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristic_%28computer_science%29#Virus_scanning

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Hi John,

 

Heuristic scan is important in finding as much malware as possible, just as all other items you can select for a Custom Scan, but the scan will take longer time when it's selected. If, when, how often you should select to include heuristic scan in a Custom Scan depends on how you use your computer and how often you do other scans with Ad-Aware. I guess most users never run a custom scan, don't touch any settings, and are satisfied with running scans with default schedule.

 

An explanation of heuristic scan is available on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristic_%28computer_science%29#Virus_scanning

 

Hi CeceliaB!

 

Thanks for your rapid, informative response. I believe you're right about most users. I also believe there are many who can't even spell "heuristic". But for myself, I'm looking at the various anti-virus applications available, trying them on for size, so to speak, and attempting to find one that suits my needs. Learning about the different features available, what they are, what they do, and what they consume of system resources, especially RAM, and how they effect other system resources and performance. I don't want an anti-virus application that is so rugged and heavy duty that, yes, it may protect my system fanatically, but may be a bit too intense on enforcement, and cause all of my other applications to feel restricted and perform sluggishly. I don't want a system that is lacking in performance such that, AV program not withstanding, even a virus wants nothing to do with.

 

You stated: "the scan will take longer time when it's selected". That's information I need to know. I would also like to know, how much memory the application is using, as per it's defaults, and whether or not the application "grows" when certain other features are enabled. I certainly want to know what All the features are and what they do, to determine whether or not I need or desire certain features to begin with.

 

In any event, it would be helpful to find information in the User Guide related to features contained within the application. I believe the User Guide should be as complete and efficient as the application itself. I also believe it would be a whole lot better, and simpler, and wonderful, if ALL software, applications, programs, utilities, whatever... stated clearly in the advertising and promotional material, exactly what happens to system resources, Memory, Hard Drive Space, etc... maybe even throw in a few average benchmarks or so... so that the buying/evaluating computer user public could more easily determine if a particular program is right for them.

 

For myself, and my little Acer Aspire One Netbook, with it's maxed out useable memory of 1.5 GB... and an Intel Atom CPU N270 1.60 GHz... I need to be efficient about what programs are running in memory, and how they affect system performance. I'm not going to be like other users that just throw tons of hardware at their applications and operating systems just to get them to run with necessary performance and efficiency. Rather, I'll keep my system running forever, if possible, while finding applications, that don't eat up my hardware, as they conduct their business.

 

But I believe you're absolutely correct about Most Users: "I guess most users never run a custom scan, don't touch any settings, and are satisfied with running scans with default schedule." ...and so too, I'll believe that software publishers are most likely to cater to "Most Users"

 

In short, you must agree, the more information provided about a piece of software the better, in the offering, and during the application of it. ALL the features should be advertised up front, and ALL the features should be documented within a well written User Guide.

 

For me, my system security needs, are simple. My system is simple. I wish to keep it that way and I wish to try as hard as possible to prevent applications and operating systems from gobbling up my meager hardware resources and turning my little Netbook's usefulness into such the same as any old, vintage, 4 banger calculator. The fact of the matter too, is that, for at least 5 years, I haven't run Any AV software whatsoever, nor have I even used a Firewall... with no unhappy incidents. Honestly, I believe that's been an irresponsible oversight on my part. And with a project in hand to network the notebook of my sweetheart with mine... I believe it's time to get responsible... I don't mind playing risky computer business with my own stuff... but I don't want to risk the wrath of my girlfriend, when I can simply just add a nice, all pleasant and secure, AV application to ward off any potential unpleasantries and breakups.

 

Okay, enough of this coffee break essay writing exercise. Onward, to adventures in Anti-Virus/Malware, Spyware, PIA-Ware, and WhatEverWare protection. Ad-Aware seems like an excellent candidate. While, unlike "most users"... researching Spyware Immunization, I was tipped off to Ad-Aware at this address:

 

http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/forum/general/chit-chat/174729-spyware-immunization-is-it-safe

 

 

 

I'm going to give Ad-Aware the once over, then load up Avast, and then MSE, and see about things afterwards. If I had the time, I'd tell you about the rejects that I've found. Many "System Utilities" have failed the Resource Hog Tests as well. There seems to be too many applications out there in need of vegetarian diets, or supplements of the green coffee bean variety.

 

...oops... whaddayaknow! ...Ad-Aware just notified me of a quarantine on a particular file it didn't like (keylogger.dll)... as I launched Task Manager. Ad-Aware apparently thinks my "Keylogger" program is some sort of virus or malware. I'll have to inform A-A that it doesn't have to worry about that particular App.

 

A-A is, at the moment, using about, 15,000K, minimized. That's Very Good... for the amount of work it does. A-A grows to about 19,000K when maximized... which, I believe, comparatively, is still very gentle on memory. I believe my other candidates are going to have a hard time beating that. I have an issue with the maximized window, on my little acer 1024x600 netbook screen, by the way, but I'll work on it, and maybe address it in another forum post.

 

I hope we can chat again sometime, Cecelia (classic, not-heard-often-enough, pretty name imo...)

 

Stay Safe (system and otherwise)... and Enjoy Everything!

 

JohnB

 

PS. maybe something like this can be added to the User Guide.

 

"Heuristic" - as it relates to Virus scanning (from Wikipedia):

 

"Many real-time anti-virus scanners use heuristic signatures for detecting viruses and other forms of malware. Heuristic Scanning follows the behavioral pattern of a virus and has different set of rules for different viruses. If any file is observed to be following that set of particular activities then it infers that the particular file is infected. The most advanced part of Heuristic Scanning is that it can work against highly randomized polymorphic viruses too. Heuristic scanning technique has the potential to detect any future virus with ease."

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Hi John,

 

You are welcome :)

 

That must have been a long coffee break ;)

 

I have entered a link to your post in the topic with suggestions for future versions of Ad-Aware, since that topic is monitored by Lavasoft staff: http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?/topic/32154-suggestions-ideas-what-features-would-you-like-to-see-in-ad-aware-10/page-7

 

I can say that it's very complicated to specify amount of used memory, since that depends on Windows version, installed amount of memory and memory requirements of all other running processes. If a computer has a lot of free memory, Windows will give the programs more memory to use, than if the amount of free memory is small. Right now I have four Ad-Aware processes running, AdAware, adawarebp, AdAwareService and SBAMSvc. AdAware is the largest and use 28 MB working set memory but some of it (9 MB) is shared with other processes, and it also uses virtual memory. If I would start one more large program or close the large running program, those figures would change. Note that Task Manager can't display all memory that is used by an antivirus program, since it only displays memory consumption of processes and not drivers. Drivers are included in Kernel Memory on the Performance tab.

 

I think you might be interested in the test results from AV-Test, since they include a performance test: http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/windows-7/mayjun-2013/

and the performance test by AV-Comparatives: http://www.av-comparatives.org/performance-tests/

 

We have an old netbook with a very small hard disk and small amount of memory, but it is running a light Linux distribution. No need for an antivirus program on it ;)

 

2006, that's a long time ago and a lot has happened since those days. :)

 

Keyloggers are and should be detected by Ad-Aware, but if it's a file you want to keep, please add it to the ignore list in Ad-Aware. Report false positives in the forum http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?/forum/93-report-a-false-positive/ by following the guide http://www.lavasoftsupport.com/index.php?showtopic=18033 to give Lavasoft all the information they need to be able to investigate it.

 

The window size of Ad-Aware 11, currently in beta test, is smaller that Ad-Aware 10's.

 

Be sure to follow How to uninstall Ad-Aware 10.x when uninstalling Ad-Aware, and when you uninstall Avast and many other antivirus programs you need to run special removal tools to remove everything.

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Great Stuff Cecilia!

 

...yep... I'm sort of on an extended and ever extending coffee break...

 

I'm aware that Task Manager isn't giving full detail or exact numbers about what impact a program is having on system memory and resources, but I believe it does provide a good enough indication. I'll bet if you were able to calculate all the data, a good percentage of it would coincide your decisions about the results TM is providing. TM seems to be what most are using, from pro article writers to amateur computer geeks, to judge a programs memory appetites. In any event, it's what I got to work with, and it works for me. I'm sure the software writer people have the capabilities and much better performance testing apps to do the job thoroughly and provide all sorts of performance stats if they wanted to. Just like the tests shown in the links you provided.

 

Those are AWESOME links. Jeeze! Just what I was looking for! Very Intelligent Stuff! Saves a lot of time. Bravo! ...but I didn't see AA on those tests anywhere... maybe AA is in a class above such underlings...

 

I have some Uninstall utilities that claim to do a thorough job of cleaning things up. IOBit's Uninstaller has a deep clean option. Geek Uninstaller is another... and Auslogics Absolute Uninstaller is another. The first two actually show you what leftovers they found, and allow you to nuke em or not. Auslogics just says that it does the job and doesn't provide any details... but it seems like they're all apt to leave a folder behind or two. I'm not going to trust them, or ignore your advice when I uninstall AA.

 

I meant 2008, but in computer land, that's still a lot of data under the bridge...

 

My poor innocent Keylogger program is always getting harassed and brought in for questioning. Did you ever write something up, like a long email, or forum post (ahem...), just to have it disappear because of some glitch that occurs? ...I'm sure you have, at least once... doesn't it knock the wind out of you? ...well I installed this freebee Home Keylogger program that records all my keystrokes so if an accident should occur, I can get back all the hard work I typed up. It's tiny and totally innocent... but it never fails to get kicked out or quarantined... poor thing must be on millions of ignore lists all over the world by now...

 

...enough of this nonsense for now... it's a gorgeous day outside... i'm going to go play with my '64 Mercury Comet, and get it ready for a car show this coming Sunday at our own Hickories Park, Owego, NY... If you're in the neighborhood, stop by... or WiFi... either would be nice!

 

enjoy!

 

john b.

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You are welcome, John :)

 

Calculating memory usage from Task Manager is enough for normal programs, but for programs with drivers it doesn't give the correct figures. Some antivirus programs have almost 10 drivers and have placed a lot of the functionality on that level meaning that in Task Manager they will appear very small, while others have one driver with limit functionality and almost all functionality in processes why they appear to consume much more memory in Task Manager.

 

If you select Windows 8 on the AV-Test page, you will find a test with Ad-Aware Pro Security. It's possible that Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ has better performance due to less features. But best is to test in the real computer and not only rely on the test machines, which are much faster than your computer.

 

I also think that the keylogger program would have been very nice to have, since I too have lost posts etc. now and then.

 

Sorry, I'm very far away since I live in Sweden, in the northern part of Europe. Have a fun weekend! :)

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Hi C! ...i'm back... the car show, my first ever with my '64 Mercury Comet 404 was a Blast! ...sorry you couldn't make it...

 

I loaded Avast, and was able to do a minimal installation, and tweak it down so it wouldn't be a resource slob. I have a new/old HP from 2009. It is sort of NOS with the original Vista install & HP Setup from 2009. It had a lot of Windows Updating to do. The Update Failed, and gave an error regarding mismatched system files and such. Windows Vista would begin to start, then logoff, and shutdown... then loop like that forever. After spending a lot of time doing research, using a different computer of course, it turned out that Avast was possibly causing my problems. I was eventually able to boot the system using a boot recovery disk I made on the other computer. I uninstalled Avast, and Wallah! Windows Vista began updating again. It had a lot of updating to do since it was behind updates since 2009. Anyway, thought I'd let you and/or others reading this know what the skinny was on Avast and Vista. The Microsoft forum was beneficial to solving the problem. I believe the Avast people are in denial about it since A) the program is still causing conflicts, and B) they provided no up front warnings or advice about how to solve it if it occurred.

 

...to sum things up regarding Avast... for me... I can't bring myself to use a program that's going to cause me to experience fear and trepidation everytime I restart Windows Vista.

 

Oh, and I understand what you say about the drivers. I'm doing the best I can do with the articles I find, the Task Manager, a couple of other utilities, and then finally, the usability and "feel" of the program. Avast is a good example. I felt like it could be light on resource usage... and it was tweakable to not be annoying... but what good is that if it makes the usability of my computer come to a screeching halt.

 

My Keylogger is still getting abused. Windows Defender didn't like it either... boy! did it ever get angry.

 

Enjoy!

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Hi J,

 

Nice that you had such a wonderful time at the car show :)

 

Of course, you can't use Avast when it behaves like that. I hope that you soon finds another program that is better in your computer.

 

Enjoy!

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Hi C.

 

I just thought that maybe I didn't mention I was looking into this for 2 systems, one with XP, and one with Vista... thought I'd let you know in case that makes a difference... but anyway... Ad-Aware, according to My Own standards, policies, procedures, etc., and so forth... leads the pack by quite a bit. I just finished playing with MSE... it, along with Windows Defender, hogs a lot of memory, according to what I see in Task Manager, and figuring in there's a probably more junk in the form of drivers and whatever, hogging even more... I didn't care for it's "feel" either. I haven't tried Ad-Aware on my New HP Notebook with Vista, but I expect it to be as good as it was on XP...

 

Vista is pretty nice! It has a Nice Feel to it! ...It seems to me it's somewhat like a dressed up 64 Bit XP... it may sound funny but I kinda find it "luxurious" compared to XP... I still like XP... but then again, I still like DOS... I saw some "stuff" about Vista saying it was slow, and had a slow startup, and talk like that, but I'm having a speedy ol' time with it. My HP Notebook is Brand New but has been in a closet since 2009. I chucked the wireless "g" card, and slapped a new wireless card (Atheros AR5009 802.11a/g/n WiFi Adapter) in it and boy is she smokin'! I keep a lean system and have a very good Uninstall program to get rid of all the junk-ware that comes with these new computers. I also have a great Defrag application, and generally I keep things well tuned... I don't play games, literally, or do anything extravagant... lots of photo stuff, but not much in the way of video... my systems are in no way struggling to perform. I am online a lot... and I really should have a decent Anti-Virus/Malware application going on. So my Vote is for Ad-Aware.

 

Thanks Again for all your Knowledge, Experience, and Very Valuable Assistance... along with your even more Valuable... Kindness...

 

see ya round' da boards...

 

john b. / owego, ny

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Hi J,

 

I'm glad that you like Ad-Aware :)

 

I had Vista on my previous computer, and I liked it. I think Vista got its reputation due to the fact that, when it was new, the computers were too slow and with too little memory to handle Aero and other visual improvements in a proper way, and that too few hardware manufacturers wrote Vista drivers for their printers and other equipment.

 

You are welcome :)

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