Since Friday, December 9, a significant number of Windows users have encountered a troubling issue with their operating systems freezing shortly after booting up. The reason behind this problem has been traced back to a faulty update in Avira’s security software, leaving many users frustrated and seeking solutions.
“A recent update from Avira is resulting in Windows 10 and Windows 11 processes not starting. The issue is caused by the Avira internal Firewall under a rare condition,” Avira told BleepingComputer.
“The issue was first reported on Friday, December 9, and should be fixed automatically by an update that was deployed on Monday, Dec 11. In the unlikely case that the computer did not receive the update, users can reach out to the Avira support team who is happy to help.”
Avira Antivirus and Its Impact on Windows Computers
Freezing Upon Boot-up
Users reported that their computers, running on Windows 11 and Windows 10, experienced freezing issues immediately after the boot-up process. While some machines managed to start normally, a substantial portion failed to load the Windows desktop, causing widespread disruption in users’ daily routines.
Negative User Experiences
The affected users voiced their concerns on various platforms, including Reddit and Avira’s customer forums. One user mentioned that their PC, which had been functioning perfectly just two days prior, suddenly froze upon startup. Another user shared a similar experience, stating that their computer’s Start menu became unresponsive and failed to load any applications.
Potential for Data Loss
The severity of the issue is underscored by the fact that affected users found the only solution to be uninstalling Avira’s software while booting into safe mode. This, however, presented challenges for some users who encountered difficulties removing Avira completely, potentially putting their data at risk.
Potential Causes of the Issue
Incompatibility with Windows 10/11
One possible cause of the problem is the incompatibility between Avira’s recent update and the Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. The freezing issue appears to manifest approximately 20 seconds after Avira launches, rendering the entire operating system unresponsive.
Avira acknowledged the issue, attributing it to a recent update causing Windows processes not to start. The problem is specifically linked to the Avira internal Firewall under rare conditions. According to Avira, an automatic update deployed on Monday, December 11, should resolve the issue for most users.
The nature of the freezing problem suggests a potential conflict with other software running on Windows machines. Some users speculated that the issue might be related to a bad update from Avira, possibly affecting the execution of new processes and hindering the overall functionality of the operating system.
Steps to Fix the Freezing Issue
Uninstalling Avira Antivirus
For those experiencing the freezing problem, the immediate remedy involves uninstalling Avira’s antivirus software while booting into safe mode. This action has proven effective for some users in resolving the issue. However, the uninstallation process may require prompt action within the brief window before the system becomes unresponsive.
Checking for Avira Antivirus
To ensure comprehensive system stability, users are advised to check for and install the latest Windows updates. Keeping the operating system up to date can mitigate potential compatibility issues and address vulnerabilities that might contribute to freezing problems.
Running a Malware Scan
In addition to uninstalling Avira, users should conduct a thorough malware scan using reputable security software. This step is crucial in identifying and eliminating any potential threats that may have exploited vulnerabilities in the system, contributing to the freezing issue.
Contacting Avira support for assistance
For users still grappling with the problem after attempting the aforementioned solutions, reaching out to Avira’s support team is recommended. Avira has acknowledged the issue and deployed an update on Monday, Dec 11 fixing the issue. Users who did not receive the automatic update can contact Avira support for further assistance.