Since the time of it's first post, Ad-Aware SE Update Problem - Simply Fixed x2 has been in the top three posts of my blog.
Seems like a lot of people were having problems getting the Ad-Aware SE updates to flow due to what was ultimately a DNS issue with the update servers.
Judging by the number of hits, there are a LOT of folks who still use and love this version over the newer 2007 version.
Now comes word that Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE Personal will no longer be receiving updates to its DAT signature files.
Cry, pout, throw a tantrum. Riot like Canadians after a hockey match gone sour or no beer in the taps.
Without current DAT files, there isn't much value in keeping Ad-Aware SE on your systems.
Claus Valca has a solution to keep it going a bit longer - read on!
Ad-Aware SE Personal- No More Updates
Donna's SecurityFlash snuck this little post in this week.
Definition files for Ad-Aware SE Personal will no longer be updated!
She goes on to state:
This means you need to REMOVE Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE from your computer because it is not useful anymore without the definitions update. You do not want to scan your system all the time with out-dated antispyware definitions.
That's quite true. A anti-malware or anti-virus tool is only as effective as its updates.
She points us to going ahead and adopting the new Ad-Aware 2007 product which also ships with a free personal version.
Only there is one problem...it doesn't seem to be able to run without a running service...which means that the 2007 version cannot be run in a portable mode.
Ad-Aware SE - Love it.
When I was first dipping my toes into the anti-malware system cleansing waters, there were two signature anti-malware products above all others (and there weren't many others either back then); LavaSoft Ad-Aware SE Personal and Spybot Search & Destroy. Sure there were other utilities to clean out auto-run locations and registry items (HiJack This) but for doing a full system-scan and removal of malware and cookies, these were the best.
What brought them added-value was the fact that I and others soon found that you could install them into your "Program Files" folder, then copy that installation to other media (USB/CD) and run them from there on an infected system to clean it...even when you couldn't download and install them directly.
Soon Ad-Aware SE was one of an elite number of Plugins for the Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD.
It does have it's limitations: It doesn't scan Firefox/Mozilla or Opera locations (that I am aware of) and sticks just to Internet Explorer cookies. Also, it only scans under the current user's profile, and not in the Internet Explorer cache/cookie files of other user profiles on the same machine.
But it remains fast. And although there are now a host of additional anti-malware scanners of great quality, I keep Ad-Aware SE around and still use it as on of several scanners I sweep a system with in-turn.
So hearing that DAT files for it will not be supported any longer is disappointing.
Ad-Aware 2007 - Like it, but...
I've spent some time with the new free Ad-Aware 2007 product and in May 2007 posted the following review:
- Ad-Aware 2007 Final Release info - Grand Stream Dreams
It supports Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera. The user interface is much more polished. The scan engine seems faster and more powerful. Overall, it seems like a really great product. And the final release version is compatible with Vista, XP, and Windows 2000.
Except as I mentioned, it requires a service to be running to function. Disable the service or not run it and the program won't work.
So much for portability...so I've just kept going with Ad-Aware SE.
Until it looked like the door was shuttered.
But is it True?
Since Donna's notice came out, I had been trying to run my updates for Ad-Aware SE and the last one I got was SE1R210. 27.12.2007.
The updater runs normally, attempts to fetch an update, but then gives the response that no new updates are available.
Unlike my previous problem, this isn't a DNS issue. They really appear to have turned off the spigot.
No more updates....
And I began this post with the intention of it being a funeral dirge.
But then I found (yet again) another simple solution
How to Keep Updating Ad-Aware SE Personal
See, when I was re-reading Donna's post I noticed something I had missed before
NOTE: Ad-Aware SE Plus/Professional/Enterprise is NOT affected.
Other versions of Ad-Aware SE are not affected.
That means it is likely that compatible DAT files are still being issued.
So, knowing that Lavasoft does publish DAT file packs for manual download I popped over and took a look:
Yep. There on the right is a nice big green button offering the current DAT files for Ad-Aware SE.
- Download the SE version file to your local system,
- UnZIP the DAT file and find the defs.ref file.
- Locate your Ad-Aware SE Personal program installation location.
- Delete the defs.ref.old file.
- Rename the existing defs.ref file to defs.ref.old
- Copy in the new defs.ref file you downloaded and unpacked, overwriting the current one.
- Restart Ad-Aware SE Personal.
You should see that your DAT file is now reported as the latest. When I did this post mine was now reporting in as SE1R11 02.01.2008
I ran a scan of my system with the new updated DAT file installed and it worked fine, no errors encountered.
Found a bunch of tracking cookies.
There you Have It
So it's up to you.
If you don't need a "portable" version of LavaSoft Ad-Aware SE Personal, then go ahead and dump it. Heck you have to download it from software file repository sites anyway, Lavasoft doesn't provide it to you. It really is starting to show its limitations in functionality.
Go download the LavaSoft Ad-Aware 2007 Free version which really is a much more robust and useful product for most home/personal users now.
If you DO however want to keep using it (for nostalgia or for BartPE style usage) just know that you really do have to handle the updating manually.
Or, consider one of the multitudes of other (freeware) anti-malware products now on the market: Anti-Malware Tool Roundup - #3. Lots to pick from.
I'm going to keep Ad-Aware SE Personal around a bit longer since DAT files are still available...but even I have to admit, there is going to come a day when no DAT files for ANY Ad-Aware SE versions will be published. Then we will really have to upgrade to Ad-Aware 2007.
Maybe by then someone will have figured out a workaround to make it "portable" as well.
I'll be the first to adopt it!