Antivirus Update Bricks Windows 7 Machines

Dennis Faas's picture

Users of Windows 7 64-bit that use AVG Antivirus received a rather unpleasant surprise earlier this week. A recent AVG security update reportedly bricked these systems, presenting users with the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSoD), thus making their PCs virtually unusable.

The update was automatically distributed to AVG Antivirus users on Wednesday night. Those who downloaded the update found their systems caught in a repetitive reboot loop. Users of both free and paid versions of the software have been affected.

AVG Apologizes for Poisoned Antivirus Update

Since the problem was first reported, AVG has stopped distributing the update (number 3292) and has released an advisory apologizing to users of its security software and offering them a way to get their computers back up and running.

In a recent blog post, company representatives had this to say: "It appears that the problems are most prevalent in Windows 7 64-bit systems. This is because a wrong update file is being served into the product. We removed the update immediately after the problem was identified and will release a program to ensure that the fix is completed automatically as soon as possible." (Source:

The advisory's solution revolves around rebooting a system in safe mode, but critics complain that this is a pretty weak tip in helping restore functionality. AVG's online forum has been lit up by angry users who aren't likely to renew their security subscriptions. (Source:

Subpar Testing to Blame

AVG has remained quiet about what might have caused the problem. However, insiders speculate that the update has somehow identified a critical Windows component as a threat, shutting it down. This is by no means a new problem for security vendors, as the same thing happened to Mcafee and also BitDefender earlier this year.

The argument remains, however: the update should have been more thoroughly tested before its wider release. Given that it affects Windows 7 64-bit users, who comprise a substantial part of the PC population, such an oversight appears nothing less than staggering.

For those affected by the problem, AVG has released this video on its blog to help overcome the issue.

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