So, a little while ago, I had a big networking problem with my computer. And then, the other day, my dad had the same thing happen. At first, I had no idea what the cause was, and how to fix it, and I couldn’t find anything on the net about it. So I’m going to solve that. Here’s the problem & here’s the solution.
Symptoms: Not able to connect to Internet/network, including using Wi-Fi, Ethernet cable and an external modem, or can only access HTTPS websites
May have already tried: Reinstalling drivers, calling your ISP to check for outages or correct settings, tried using a static IP to rule out dodgy router not assigning IPs
Have you installed, uninstalled, updated or just used avast recently? Then I think I know the cause of your problem.
Now, I’m not sure how I ended up solving this, either by trial and error, or maybe something I read on a forum, so props to the source and anyone else who found it. The cause of your problem is avast Antivirus has created phantom clones of your network modules, so that, I assume, it can channel all traffic through them and vet it before it goes anywhere. In theory, this idea is good, because it means that avast can protect you from any threats before they get to you, and spot any suspicious behaviour coming from any programs on your computer. The problem occurs when it breaks down. If you uninstall avast, it doesn’t seem to be able to remove the phantoms and so, it’s like all your traffic in & out is being sent to an unmanned cash register at the supermarket(and it’s not self-serve either!). They’re ready to go, but they’ve got no idea what they’re doing!
So, how do you find out if this is your problem? First you have to open Device Manager, which can be found in the Control Panel. Then expand the label “Network Adapters”. If you see two of any of the adaptors, then I think you’ve found your problem. If you have a closer look, you notice that one of the two have avast mentioned in its name. It’ll say something like “Atheros AR8152/8158 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20) – avast! Free Antivirus”. What you need to do is right-click on that one, and chooses uninstall. It’ll ask you if you’re sure, and you are! Just make sure you don’t delete the other one too. Only delete the ones that say avast. Even if you’re planning on reinstalling avast, you need to do this, because when it happened to me, I reinstalled avast and it didn’t reconnect with the clones, but instead said that there was something wrong with the network shield.
Like I said before, you don’t have to have uninstalled avast to get this problem. I know of people who have had this problem after updating it or installing it for the first time.
I have always thought avast was pretty great. It’s been much more reliable and fully featured than other antiviruses that we’ve paid for. But in the last little while, I have found it to have become increasingly invasive, painful to use, and monetised. It’s constantly trying to find ways of making money out of you, not just by upgrading your coverage. It’s starting to really annoy me, and problems like this only add to the bad taste it’s leaving me with.
UPDATE – If you find you have a clone of one of the adapters, but no original, you may want to read the comments, and follow the suggested steps down there, as a different fix has been suggested there (prescribed by Avast Support), although it is much longer and a bit more complicated.
If this article has helped you, leave a comment below, and tell me what you did for avast to stuff up on you. Alternatively, if this didn’t fix your problem let me know too. Or if you’ve got a topic you’d like me to cover, suggest it and I’ll do my very best to do so. Also, if you don’t want to comment here, you can always comment on my new-ish Facebook fan page.
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nice information, many thanks to the author.
Just wanted the leave you a huge thank you.
Late yesterday afternoon avast took down my backup server on my work network. I tried foor a couple of hours to get in back online, but with no luck.
After I went home for the night, I sat down and had a beer and did a little google search. Your page was the first link I clicked on, and the only thing I tried when I came back into work this morning.
So we are back online and working with the network again, so thank you very much for sharing.
No worry Michelle, I’m happy to have been able to help!
i have a same problem but the error is little different. When i uninstall avast and after restarting my laptop when i try to connect to my broadband connection it says “ERROR 720 a connection to the remoted destop could not be eastablished. you may might need to change the network setting”. I’ve tried everything to solve this error but nothing worked. May be your solution can help to solve this problem. so please suggest me.
Hey Victor, I haven’t heard of that before. What have you actually tried? As a last resort, totally removing and resetting up your internet connection should sort out any leftover issues you might be getting. Good luck, Nitemice.
My Avast updated earlier and after that my public wireless connection I was connected at stopped connecting.
I tried your method above but the driver automatically installs itself after a few minutes or after I reboot the laptop.
Can you help me with this issue, too?
Hey Fahnera, I can try…
What else have you tried so far? Is it only blocking you at one place, connecting to a specific network, or is it any network? Does a wired connection work OK still, or is Avast wreaking that as well? As a last resort, you could totally remove and re-setup your internet connection, to totally dis-attach Avast from it. Or totally uninstalling and reinstalling Avast might work too.
Let me know how it goes…
Thank you, oh-so-very-much!
I came to visit my mother and she had an issue with her Avast! FREE Antivirus (AFAV).
Turns out someone “upgraded” it to Avast Internet Security (AIS).
Doing what I normally do, I downloaded the newest AFAV, unplugged the ethernet, uninstalled AIS and installed AFAV.
Upon restarting, (and plugging the ethernet back in), I had no network connection. Device Manager showed 9 network adapters…
…3 for wired ethernet, 3 for my old PCI wireless card and 3 for my old USB wireless adapter.
I unplugged my ethernet, uninstalled AFAV, made sure that in Device Manager there was only an entry for the wired ethernet, rebooted, installed AFAV, plugged in the network and VOILA!
HUGE THANK YOU!!!
No worries; Happy to help!
Many thanks. Avast recently disconnected my server from the entire universe, leaving me with no printer, scanner, or backup drive. Since it was an old machine I blamed the network card, pressed another persioned-off computer into service. That worked fine until I installed the latest Avast: same problem. Your post has enabled me to get my network back: as you said, lots of phantom network adapters, which I have killed. All working now – thanks again.
No worries, glad I could help!
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What had happened was a trial version of one of their advanced anti-virus progs expired. . . I had actually thought it might’ve been caused by avast! but was unsure of it until I looked up the specific driver issue with my backup laptop. I’m doing this right now. . . but I do have a slight issue. . . it seems that the WAN miniport is only the clone! What do I do here in this situation?
Hi Rachel, Sorry for taking a while to reply…
From what I know about WAN miniports (not a tonne), you should be pretty safe to delete it, because they’re not a real thing.
As a general rule on the latter versions of Windows (after XP), as long as you don’t tick “Delete the driver software for this device” when you delete it, you should be pretty okay deleting devices from Device Manager, because it can simply rescan for them, and pull in the old driver that’s still saved on your PC or it will search the net for one.
Just to be safe, what I’d suggest you do is delete all the other clones, and see if your internet starts working. If it does, you’re done! If it doesn’t, then remove the WAN miniport clone.
Let me know how it goes,
Ayyyyye. . . I tried, except now I have to reinstall my Windowws because my drivers are out of whack and I talked to several people who’ve said they have looked for years for that driver. . . including professionals like Geek Squad and programmers that work at the Fry’s Electronics
Well. . . at least it’s a good excuse to upgrade my Windows.
But thank you for your reply, I very much appreciate it~!
Woah! Sorry! I had no idea it could have such disastrous results. I’ve done a bit more research, and there seems to be a few ways that you should be able to fix it…
What version of Windows were you running? And what are you upgrading to? If you’re going to Win8, you might be interested in the two articles I wrote about it a few weeks ago.
Anyway, I hope things are better, one way or another. And again, sorry…
I’m considering 7 since my laptop is an older model. But might go 8 if it’s interesting enough. Also, although this was WAY too late, Avast! themselves sent a way that may also work- since it seems to be a larger problem. This->
1. Uninstall avast! – you should use our removal utility
( http://www.avast.com/uninstall-utility )
2. Restart and delete manually both avast folders. One in Program Files and one in Program Data.
Then check if in the adapter properties in control panels -> network adapter settings is not present “avast firewall NDIS filter miniport”. If yes, remove it manually please.
Then go to Windows\System32\DriverStore folder and search for aswndis*.* . If there will be anything with this delete it manually.
3. Turn off Windows firewall and use Microsoft clean up network driver utility:
http://vpn.hpintelco.net/ifcleanup.x86.exe – 32bit
http://vpn.hpintelco.net/ifcleanup.x64.exe – 64 bit
Use defaultly 32bit version.
4. Then clear your computer with cc cleaner.
Download CCleaner from this webpage: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download/standard
Run the system “Cleaner” and then the “Registry” clean up.
Delete everything what it will offer to delete. It is not deleting any important things, only temporary and unused files/folders which is stored at your computer.
It’s no worry, I have backup- which needs a new charger, but I have a backup laptop for that too~! But like I said, a good excuse to upgrade my Wind-blows~!!! XD
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Hi! I just saw this thing and I had this problem. I have done that procedure. But when i click uninstall nothing happened. Is that the way it is? Thankcyou!
Hey Myleen, are you running Device Manager as Administrator? That’s the only cause of your problem I can think of.
If you are, and uninstall still does nothing just try a reboot or two first.
If that still doesn’t work for you, you could try the other method laid out in a earlier comment.
Let me know how it goes …
Well yah. Im running my device manager as admin. Still nothing happens. Urgh. Ive seen the comment with those cccleaners etc but how can i work with it i dnt have my internet connection
Have you triéd rebooting? How about running Device Manager in safe mode?
Avast can blow me. I’ve had this happen several times and it also disabled System Restore making a fix more difficult.
Yeah, in the scheme of things, Avast isn’t that great. And there are tonnes of pretty good alternatives these days.
Good luck fixing it up again, Steve! I don’t even know how it would’ve managed to disable System Restore. If you can’t fix it, I suggest you contact Avast Support directly.
You may even have to do some sort of Windows System Repair process to fix it.
After uninstalling Avast from my senior mothers computer (as it is not user friendly for our seniors) I received that dreaded message
NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller is experiencing driver or hardware related issues.After looking in the device manager the only thing listed under Network adapters is NVIDIA nFORCE Networking Controller….Help 😦 I am not computer savvy at all.
Okay, firstly is there actually a problem? If you just got that message, but everything is still working fine, don’t worry about it.
Secondly, what version of Windows are you running? If it’s Win7 or newer, you could try resetting the driver by removing it and reinstalling it. See: https://nitemice.com/2012/07/01/no-network-access-avast-to-blame/#comment-7117
Thirdly, did you use the official Avast uninstaller tool to uninstall Avast? You might want to have a look at the steps described in this comment: https://nitemice.com/2012/07/01/no-network-access-avast-to-blame/#comment-7300
I hope there’s a solution in there for you somewhere Sndrea. Good luck!
wifi problem ‘cant connect to tip network’ or sometimes it says limited connection…i’m using college wifi.Facing this problem since i installed avast…wifi officials told me to uninstall avast free antivirus..i did and even now the problem persists.
Did you try the steps I set out above? Did you have any extra adapters in Device Manager?
Other than that, you’ll need to give me more details if I’m to help you.
Anyway, Good Luck!
thank you for ur useful post.
Thank you for your page with info. I have had the same problem on numerous computers, all Windows 7. Whenever I try to uninstall Avast.. mainly because it either had it’s trial expire, or users I assist got tired of the pop-ups, or whatever… anyway… try to uninstall and it locks up and freezes rather quickly once the Uninstall starts up. It gets to something that looks like “uninstall \firewall.exe” or something along the lines of uninstalling the Avast firewall, anyway it freezes up, and unfortunately I’ve met a PC that is on it’s last legs, I believe the hard drive has bad sectors due to a lot of blue screens etc.. anyway, I’m now stuck with no internet for one user.
I’ve resolved this issue in the past by re-installing Avast, thankfully I saved the Installation File on a Flash drive, otherwise you are just out of luck because the Avast install file from the site (as of 3/29/17)… will just try and download the installation and obviously that won’t work.
Avast is a nightmare, the only thing I’ve been able to do to remedy this issue is Reinstall Avast, same or Newer version (it will always deny you if you try install an older version)… once it’s reinstalled, you’ve got to try and Uninstall it again and just cross your fingers.
It’s a shame they block the internet the way they do, it’s just a poorly developed Uninstallation file.process. I advise people to stay away from Avast, unless you REALLY like it that much.
Have you tried uninstalling it using the UNinstall utility? (https://www.avast.com/uninstall-utility) According to Avast Support, it’s what they recommend.
I have with no success. The only thing that has ever helped me, which it did yesterday for my issue, is to re-install Avast Internet Security from a full Install File I have on my flash drive. It’s about 215mb, it always has bailed me out. Once your internet is down their 6mb install files aren’t going to do it, and even if you find another version of Avast, it may not be new enough and you’ll get the “Avast installed is already newer..” prompt.
It’s best to get into safe-mode, disable all Avast stuff (if not already) through Msconfig, delete the Startup Entries with something like CCleaner, as well as the registry entries, even if you have to manually delete the Avast registry entries by going into “regedit”.
While in safe mode, delete all the Avast files you can off the hard drive, delete the C:\program files\avast(whatevers in here). You may get errors like “currently in use.. cannot delete”, but in safe mode you should be okay, you may have to reboot after your 1st attempts, but as long as you delete the registry entries.. either manually, which I suggest, as well as through CCleaner running the Registry fixer. You will probably have to rebooted 1, 2, 3x… but stay in safe mode. I wish I had a link to the file I have that works for me, but I am guessing at this point any Avast file (full install file, not a dinky 6mb web downloader/installer)…. should reinstall Avast, fix the internet, and then you can usually Uninstall Avast successfully if you try again, I generally try and do it through CCleaner’s Uninstall part, and while I am still in safe mode…
For whatever reason when the Avast Uninstaller fails the 1st time around, your internet gets blocked due to either Windows Firewall, or Avast locking up your Network Adapter, I tried the netsh tricks, they didn’t work, you have to follow the steps above, get into safe mode, delete all the Avast stuff you can find, but unfortunately you’ll have to reinstall to get the internet back, I don’t get it, but that’s the way it has worked for me for SEVERAL computers, all Windows 7… it’s a pain, but it gets the job done… we can blame Avast for shotty Uninstall Software.
I just did what you said and my entire wifi section is gone! All the networks are gone and won’t work, I can’t even add a network such as my phone hotspot. I think it disabled the part that connects me to other sources of wifi. HELP!!!
Sounds like you’ve taken out more adaptors than you should have!
Did you only delete ones with Avast in the name? Did they match to other adaptors that you didn’t delete?
If you have deleted too many, you’re going to have to restore them. There’s a few ways to do this. Probably the easiest would be to do a system restore, which will revert nay system changes since the last restore point date. You can find instructions on how to do that here: http://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-System-Restore
I have never had Avast effect anything besides the PC it was on. Although it seems 99% of the PC’s I’ve had to fix because of Avast locking the internet down were desktop PC’s connected via lan cables/network cards. I wouldn’t want to imagine having it effect my WiFi, I am grateful that it did NOT effect any other computers, because I had to download the Avast Internet Security Full installer from the web and toss it on a USB flash drive.
I tried uninstalling the primary Network Adapter, rebooting, and having it re-install, that isn’t going to work for any Network Adapter, whatever “secret” files or settings or config Avast HiJacks after a botched Uninstall is still beyond my knowledge, I can only suggest what I wrote in my post above. If every computer on your system is down then that is odd, I just don’t see how 1 computer/laptop/system could effect all the others unless they are tethered or connected somehow… I hope you resolve your issue.. try the steps above, and like always, in safe-mode!
I am using avast pro. On my device manager listed more than one miniport. Should i uninstall all of them?
If you’re still using Avast, and not having any issues, I would say let sleeping dogs lie.
If you are having an issue, and you’ve stopped using Avast, then remove the devices that indicate they were put there by Avast only, otherwise you many find yourself in a worse position than you started in.
Good advice. I performed the uninstall, rather tried, on a system or 2 that had no issues besides “pop ups” annoying users, the time it spent fixing after scaring them with no internet wasn’t worth it in the long run. Avast’s uninstall programming is terrible, it glitches out on it’s own /firewall uninstall part, which is the 1st part. If someone is going to uninstall Avast, make sure you have the 200mb’sh Install file on a flash drive saved because you will need to to reinstall to fix the internet, the uninstall on 2nd attempts, usually in safe mode always help.
I disabled avast for 10 min and then i can connect to my own wifi. I will try uninstall avast for a moment and watching wheter any change on my driver configuration.
It’s quite good one for us.