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Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?

gnu 28 Jul 13 - 05:19 AM
Leadfingers 28 Jul 13 - 06:43 AM
gnu 28 Jul 13 - 08:02 AM
JohnInKansas 28 Jul 13 - 12:00 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Jul 13 - 04:03 PM
Newport Boy 28 Jul 13 - 05:20 PM
Newport Boy 29 Jul 13 - 08:41 AM
JohnInKansas 29 Jul 13 - 09:52 AM
gnu 01 Oct 13 - 01:52 PM
gnu 02 Oct 13 - 05:00 PM
gnu 03 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Oct 13 - 08:15 AM
gnu 03 Oct 13 - 06:42 PM
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Subject: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: gnu
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:19 AM

I noticed Kaspersky is reporting large increases in the number of files scanned when I run a virus scan. A week ago, it was up to 2M. A scan completed last night shows 2,331,250 files scanned. 331k new files in a week?

Anyone able to answer my "Huh?"?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 06:43 AM

Have you done Disc Clean recently ? Could be a lot of temporary files


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: gnu
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 08:02 AM

I'll do that after I do another scan. Last scan was 13 hours ago. Thanks, T.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 12:00 PM

Some AV systems scan all applicable files for one class of infection, and then scan all applicable files for a different class. The "files scanned" report may include the same file in both scans, resulting in that file being reported more than once.

Signatures/classes of infection usually are merged eventually and most established threats run at a single pass on the file, so that the "double counting" is no longer reported, but a recent update of the AV may temporarily show a "bump" in the number of files that will go away later.

My AV runs a scheduled "full system scan" weekly, a "quick scan" daily, and scans all "changed files" as they appear. It checks to see if updates are available every time it starts a scan.

It DOES NOT REPORT number of files scanned, since that's not really a very meaningful thing you need to know, but gives a monthly status report showing all disconflugelties found in all scans during the month.

It's common for an AV to scan only "changed files" when you do a manual scan, on the assumption that once scanned the ones that don't get changed are still safe. The particular method used to determine when a change has occured can mean that a lot of files show as "changed" are just because parts of the file were moved for a defrag (which is an automatic background run in recent Windows and you won't know it happened), or they were accessed for a backup, or a bunchofotherreasons. The AV may use the "file date" to tell what files have changed and need to be rescanned, but recent Windows Explorer versions allow you to display any of fourteen different dates for a file, and your AV isn't likely to tell you which it uses, or may use an "if any" logic.

Your number of files scanned are a little puzzling, since a "DIR *.* /s" on my C:\ (System) drive shows only about 750,000 files (1TB drive, 750 GB used). A "DIR" doesn't show hidden/system files, and the 31,651 page list I get running ATTRIB to file is too big for Word to give me a paragraph count. The DIR file is 24,482 pages, so the difference in file count (paragraphs in list) isn't likely to be too large. (The DIR doc also fails paragraph count, but DIR reports number of files listed.)

I'd be a little surprised (but not very) if you have 2,331,250 files on your computer and suspect that your AV is counting lots of them more than once in the scan report. The change in number scanned can change from one scan to the next for lots of reasons, none of which are likely to be very important for you to worry about (IMO) if you trust your AV to do what it needs to do.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 04:03 PM

Ah, for the old days of CPM. THe entire operating system took up
2 K (yes K) and the only files on your machine were the ones you put there.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 05:20 PM

Ah, CP/M - I'm just about to pass on to the computer museum an Epson portable which runs CP/M+ off a 720K floppy - happy days!

I've been running WinXP for nearly 3 years now without reinstalling, and Avast! still reports no nasties found. Of course, I don't use it for web browsing.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 08:41 AM

A correction - the CP/M+ machine was an Amstrad CPC6128 with 3" floppies. The Epson ran MS-DOS 3.2

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Jul 13 - 09:52 AM

A "newsletter" (a.k.a. advertisement for new toys) received this morning had the astonishing technical advice:

"How to scan an external hard drive for viruses."

I had sort of "forgotten' that with some AV programs you have to set things up to do that, since my AV defaults to do it all on schedule.

My default setting is to include all network drives in the regular "full system scan" so that anything on my local network that my computer can access is scanned. My computer scans all drives connected to it, and everything on her computer that's shared for my computer to access. Her computer scans all drives connected to it, and everything on my computer that's shared for her computer to access. Both computers scan everything on the laptop - if it's turned on. Schedules are staggered. All full system scans are completely in background, so the only thing seen is a little flag that says the AV is "working in background" that sneaks up for about ten seconds when the computer in use starts a sheduled scan and then slides out of sight.

IFF you use a simpler (less integrated) AV, you might have to manually run scans of "externals and connected" storage, or you may need to do some setup to make sure that the AV checks everything you want it to.

Many AV programs allow a variety of kinds of scans. A "full scan" may take quite a while, and may or may not be able to run as a background process so that you can continue what you're doing while it runs. Most AV programs also can run a "quick scan" that checks only "most vulnerable" folders and file types.

When you run a manual scan, depending on your AV setup you probably can choose more than one kind of scan and scan one or several drives. Clicking a different button could give you a big difference in how many things get scanned.

Once we get an AV installed, most of us probably don't pay enough attention to it to even make a good guess about how many buttons it's got - until it screams at us. If they work like they should, they can be really boring; but taking a look inside occasionally is a good idea, since sometimes the buttons get moved (especially if you get auto updates).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: gnu
Date: 01 Oct 13 - 01:52 PM

3,816,391 from 2,331,250 = 1,485,141 in 64 days but the drives show pretty much the same used space. Gotta be what JiK said.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: gnu
Date: 02 Oct 13 - 05:00 PM

Malwarebytes has scanned 1.2M objects in 8:02:30. Over 24h to do a malware scan?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: gnu
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:13 AM

Nope. 1,875,552 objects in 10:51:13. My computer, while internUtting, very often slows down, locks up for oddly long periods ("oddly long" = cooking over an open fire versus microwave). My geek is busy and it's unpaid work. Any suggestions are welcome.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 08:15 AM

In all probability, the number of "objects" your AV scans are the number of malware items for which it has signatures or other methods of detection, and has almost nothing to do with how many files it looks at. It may look at many files for each "object," and look at the same files for the next "object," if that's how it's reporting.

I'd consider 24 hours for a full system scan quicker'n a goose goin' at a junebug, but my full system scan goes through about 8 TB of hard drives (depending on what's connected at the time) and usually runs closer to 40 hours. I seldom see that, though, since the AV does it "in background" with no interference with what I'm doing when it does a scheduled run (weekly). You may be able to set up your AV to "run in background" and schedule when it should start a full system scan so you won't have to look at it until it gets done.

"Hangs" while browsing are sometimes due to a shortage of RAM and/or Temp space. Recent computers that have been most popular don't permit as much RAM as I'd like, but you might be able to add some. I've found web orders (in my case, most recently from Crucial) about half the price of local outlets, but there are several sources with equally good reputations. If you give them your computer brand and model number, they'll tell you what you can do.

A problem with adding RAM is that the SYSTEM will just use more of the RAM and do less swapping to HD Temp space, but "more is still better" if you can boost the RAM reasonably.

Browsing, and other, "hangs" may also be due to a shortage of Temp space. The default for most recent Windows systems is that Temp space cannot exceed 10% of hard drive free space, and failure to defrag could cause the Temp space to get tiny, especially in older versions that could only use 10% of the largest contiguous free space. Newer Win versions can write the Temp files across multiple free spaces, and defrag should be automatic in background so changes in Temp space shouldn't be a problem, although a small/medium sized drive that gets filled up can still cramp the drive.

While you can reset the percentage of free drive space allowed for Temp files in most Win versions, this IS NOT RECOMMENDED for most users. Adding another hard drive and moving some stuff off to it is usually a better solution. Another internal HD is nice, but external USB drives are also pretty good. (I wouldn't buy anything with less than 1TB now, although I do still use a couple of 500GB externals for "special archiving.")

The "other" - maybe the biggest - cause for hangs is the proliferation of "linked in" advertising that fails to load promptly. There's not a whole lot you can do about that, except to avoid sites that seem most annoying.

The main thing I'd suggest is that you quit worrying about how many "things" get scanned and only look at how many pieces of crap get removed/quarantined - and what those are. If you trust your AV you should almost never have to fret about what it's doing. If you don't trust it, get something else.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Increase in number of files scanned?
From: gnu
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 06:42 PM

Thanks. Just seems odd to me about the tremendous increase in numbers and times to scan. Both run in the background. I have removed a downloader as I suspect that may have been what was slowing things down. We'll see.

Thanks again, JiK. Yer a trooper.


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