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Weird Antivirus Issue With Windows 7 [UPDATED]

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I’ve been running the Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (RTM=Release To Manufacturing – The version of Windows 7 that will ship in October) for some time now (And before you ask, I did not get this from a torrent site. I am a member of the Microsoft Developers Network which allows me access to this software) and I tripped over a rather interesting problem that I’ll share on the off chance that this might help anyone else who has this issue.

After setting up a fresh install of Windows 7 and installing AVG 8.5, I encountered an issue in which Windows 7 displays a message indicating that there is “no Internet Access,” accompanied by a yellow exclamation point warning sign, despite the fact that Internet access works properly in all applications. Weird I thought. So since AVG was the last thing installed before the problem occurred, I removed it. Presto! The problem went away. Here’s where things get weird. I installed the release candidate of Kaspersky for Windows 7 and got the same issue. I uninstalled it and again everything worked. Next I tried AntiVir and got the same result. So I knew that this wasn’t specific to any one antivirus product. So I installed AVG again and started to disable one function at a time. I was finally able to isolate the problem to AVG’s Search Shield which is part of the Link Scanner that the product comes with. Once I disabled that, everything works. I’ve since replicated this behavior on another computer running another RTM version of Windows 7 (Home Premium in this case).

So if you run into a similar problem, here’s how you fix it if you have AVG:

I’m not sure what the deal is with the Link Scanner and Windows 7, but I can only assume that it must interface in some way with the networking software within Windows 7 that causes some sort of issue. I can also only assume that a similar fix can be applied to Kaspersky and AntiVir.

Hopefully this gets sorted out by the time Windows 7 ships in October. While this isn’t a major issue (as you can still surf the Internet and the antivirus application still works), less technical users might see this as a reason not to run an antivirus application and that would be a dangerous thing to do.

UPDATE: If you look at the comments, I’ve been contacted by Karel Obluk of AVG and I have responded to him via e-mail. Also, I did some Googling today and came across this post on WindowsFixUp.com which describes the same issue and the same fix. I wish I had seen this the other night as it would have saved me a lot of trial and error.

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