Friday, 26 November 2010

Incompatibility Between Avast! Free Antivirus & Window XP SP3?

I recently tried a couple of free antivirus software solutions having paid for one for several years which has now got too clever (you can't get just the antivirus; it has to scan for malware, be a firewall, wash your underwear, the usual story) and clashes with most other protective software on my PC.

I found AVG free version to be good, but it's huge, takes up loads of space and tries to make itself the centre of your universe ... "Do you want to use AVG as your default search engine' etc.  It's also pretty slow loading and within one reboot repeatedly displays a banner telling me that mscvr80.dll can no longer be found so I did a bit of research on St Google and Avast! free version came up highly recommended.  It seems to be just an antivirus and does what it says on the can; well mostly.  After a couple of scans I noticed that my desktop was erratic loading from reboot or when the PC was first switched on: sometimes it loaded but most times it showed me desktop icons but no taskbar, quick launch bar or start icon, and in that state it remained locked until a reboot, when sometimes it sorted itself out ... until today.

Today I spent 7 hours searching for every solution I could that may account for the desktop not loading properly.  My PC almost lived in safe mode and I tried system restore (several times), various C; prompt command (from web articles), antivirus and antimalware scans, but no result.

In desperation, I tried what I should probably have done first, I uninstalled Avast! free antivirus, et voila, everything worked fine.

This incompatibility with Windows XP, especially SP3 is rarely mentioned but by chance I noticed that a couple of people had reported similar problems with their desktop not loading after installing Avast! antivirus. At least one article mentioned that it was the Avast! software itself that had become corrupted.

I don't know or understand the reasons, but I do know that if you're having problems with your desktop loading in Windows XP and have Avast! antivirus installed, it may be worth trying to uninstall the antivirus software first as you could save yourself 7 hours of frustration (and no work!)

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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Important Business Reviews

We often think of these as the bottom line, profit-and-loss, growth etc but these are symptoms of underlying causes, and those underlying causes are our relationships, conduct and integrity. 

Let me give an example:

I recently engaged a company to do some Internet advertising for me.  I agreed over the 'phone what was to be done and we agreed that I would receive written confirmation, VAT receipt etc through the post within the next 3 days or so.  A week later nothing had arrived: I rang the company.  We agreed to leave it another couple of days.  Nothing.  Since that time (another week) I have written 3 e-mails and spoken to people twice, receiving promises of a return call from their Accounts Team, but still nothing.

If this typifies their behaviour with other customers, the chances are that their bottom line will not be too healthy before very long: in fact I would anticipate them going out of business. 

But if the problem is considered to be the bottom line, it doesn't tell the story. 

The story (and the remedies to the problem) lie in their relationships, their integrity and customer focus (or in this case the severe lack of it).  They say but do not do!  Perhaps they're so focussed on getting new clients that their existing ones fall off the list.

This is too common today in business, which is why when new companies arise who really appreciate their clients and customers and treat them especially well, they succeed, and why many of our established names who rely on past reputation are disappearing from the market place.

And Academia, which strives ever more to be a business, is not free from this plague ... 

Recently, an external expert whom a University was relying on for input to a new course, visited the UK from Canada and came to a meeting at the University. One academic pretty much opened the conversation with, "Well, no-one asked you to come!"

We can talk about success as much as we like, but true success (personal fulfilment, financial and otherwise) will only come when we manage to get our business focus on relationships in order.

Financial measures of success are merely the symptoms of the true underlying reason for that success (or failure).

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