Here’s another post that I hope may help someone else to solve a problem that took me a couple of hours to get to the bottom of.
My kids share a very basic laptop, on which I installed Avast! free version as the anti-virus solution (with which I am generally very pleased). However, whilst playing with the gadgets, one of the kids managed to get the machine into the SafeZone, and there it seemed stuck: both “Switch back” and “Turn off SafeZone” briefly exit but immediately return to the SafeZone.
I found that others have had this problem, but the suggestions I found did not help in my case. I really didn’t want to un-install and re-install Avast, and so I hunted around a bit for an alternative fix. Here’s what I found.
The problem may be at least partly due to the SafeZone Browser not being part of the free version.
My solution requires being able to successfully enter Windows Safe Mode (e.g. F8 during boot), and so might not help everyone. Therefore you might also like to take a look at the other articles I found on the Avast forum and on TechArena.
Some of the suggestions did not help in my case as the laptop in question is very basic, and does not appear to have a virtualisation setting in the BIOS (e.g. F2 during boot).
For me, the problem appeared to be due to the Avast Gadget installed in the Windows SideBar on a Windows 7 machine.
Boot into Windows SafeMode (perhaps with Networking, if you wish to use your Web Browser).
Open Windows Explorer (e.g. <Windows>+E).
Navigate to the directory / folder
noting that AppData will be hidden by default.
Open the file
in Notepad. (Also, make a copy of this file, just in case.)
Search for a
with a mention of
Note the number, and delete the entire section.
Now look in the
section, and delete just the line
If <K> is not the last value, the other entries may need to be renumbered to keep the sequence contiguous (but I don’t know).
Now you should be able to restart the machine, and it should be ‘cured’.
Here’s are example extracts from my file:
[Root] Section0="2" Section1="4" Section2="5" Section3="6" Section4="7" [Hashes] ; ... [Section 2] ; ... [Section 4] ; ... [Section 5] ; ... [Section 6] ; ... [Section 7] PrivateSetting_GadgetName="C:%5CProgram%20Files%5CWindows%20Sidebar%5CShared%20Gadgets%5CaswSidebar.gadget" PrivateSetting_GadgetOpacity="95" PrivateSetting_GadgetSize="large" executed="True" PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationX="1206" PrivateSetting_GadgetDropLocationY="374"
The lines in red were the ones I deleted. (I also deleted a line from the [Hashes] section, but that reappeared.)