Antivirus Discontinued

Buffalo technology Buffalo linkstation 2...
June 4, 2010 at 00:58:02
Specs: Win98se, PIII 500 - 512
Avast discontinued support for Win98se on June 1, 2010. Are there any antivirus utilities out there that still work and offer real-time protection?

I have already tried Blue Atom Antivirus Neo-Hybrid 2.1.03 and Solo, both of which are claimed to be compatible with Win98se and both of which did not work. Neo gave a runtime error, and solo bogged down the system to the point that it was impractical to use.

Any suggestions? Thread searches here failed to produce any usable results as this is such a new issue.

Thanks for any help.

See More: Antivirus Discontinued

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June 4, 2010 at 05:17:43

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June 4, 2010 at 13:18:27
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, clam, which I DID install, works, but does not offer real-time scanning as Avast had done. It will only scan folders on demand, and does not run in the background to prevent infections.

Oh well, perhaps something will turn up. Thanks again, though!

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June 4, 2010 at 13:47:45
"perhaps something will turn up"

I doubt it. Win98's days have come & gone. There's no point in any of the software manufacturer's supporting it anymore. It's time to move on to a more modern OS. At least Win2K or WinXP. You obviously don't have the specs for anything newer. Possibly one of the Linux distros?

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Related Solutions

June 4, 2010 at 16:22:33
Were you using Avast 4.8?

I updated my Avast 4.8 OK recently on W98SE and it came down fine - maybe it was just before the first of June - not sure. I've visitors staying at present but I'll see if I get a chance to wind-up my ole W98SE and give Avast updates a try - presumably I'll come unstuck too. I'll shout back...

Are they still allowing you to use Avast without new updates? If so, maybe that's not so bad because nobody is "deliberately" hacking W98 these days. Thats not to say that there could still be the odd virus or trojan that just happens to mess up W98 too. A firewall and Opera Browser could keep you fairly safe if you take care when online.

I don't think you'll find a "real-time" AV for W98 - I've searched in anticipation over the last few months and, like you, I came unstuck.

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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June 5, 2010 at 04:32:54
Derek, thanks for taking an interest in this. People wonder about our persistence in using Win98se. On an older, PIII machine, what are the alternatives? Linux? And learn an entirely new OS? Sure, I have WinXP machines at home, but why scrap a perfectly good PIII unit that does just about everything I need it to do? Do these things really need to hit the landfill when they offer reasonable functionality?

Therein lies my interest. It looks like Avast will still run, just with the old definitions in place.


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June 5, 2010 at 08:48:44
It is possible to get by without a full-time AV, particularly if one uses HIPS, behavior blocking, etc.

I.E. Starting with a known clean system, use products such as:

System Safety Monitor Free Edition

SSM is discontinued, but the site (and W98/ME download) are available via at:

Tiny Watcher:


Tiny Personal Firewall
(Among other things, TPF2 checks MD5 signatures.)


If something should slip through, there are now a number of on-demand and/or linux-based products (live CDs), offered by many Anti-Virus companies:

Dr. Web Cureit!:
(On-demand. Windows 95 and above. No installation required.)

Dr. Web Live-CD:

Avira Antivir Live CD:

F-Secure Rescue CD:

BitDefender Rescue CD:

Hope this helps. Good luck.

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June 5, 2010 at 08:56:16
A P3 with 512MB will have no problem running Win2K or WinXP. If you want to cling to Win98SE for some reason, that's your business, but you have to realize that software support is only going to get worse.

And you'd be surprised at how easy Linux is to learn. I didn't know sh!t about it a couple of years ago but once I tested the Vista beta, I knew I had to find an alternative. I experiemented with several different distros until I found something I'm comfortable with. I'm not using Linux on my primary system but I do have a dedicated Linux box.

There are several Linux distros that are very windows-like, Mint 9 & Mepis 8.5 are two you should have a look at. You don't even have to install them...all you have to do is download it, create a CD, boot off it & run the OS directly from the disc. If you don't like it, no harm done. If you do like it, you can wipe the HDD & install it.

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June 5, 2010 at 09:27:52
Got my Avast 4.8 updates fine this morning on W98SE. Maybe they are the last ones, so I'll have a go again in a day or two to see if I'm then left high and dry - I'll post back.

Without doubt Avast 5.0 will not run on W98SE. Stanz, can you confirm that it was Avast 4.8 that you had on board?

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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June 5, 2010 at 18:49:36
"but why scrap a perfectly good PIII unit that does just about everything I need it to do?"
thats what linux does, keep machines off the scape pile.


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June 6, 2010 at 02:15:19

I'm still getting Avast 4.8 updates on W98SE (rechecked again today) so I'm not sure why you were having problems.

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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June 6, 2010 at 07:03:20
According to an avast! team member in the avast! support forums, as of Feb 2010, only 0.3% of avast! users are running Win9x/ME.

"Simply said, if v4 virus definitions wouldn't have to be maintained, avast! 5 would have better detection today, detect more malware and provide more protection - because the virus lab could focus on that, instead of spending their time on duplicating parts of their work.

So again, the question stands: do we want to provide better protection for 99.7% of our users, or for the other - 0.3% - part?"

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June 6, 2010 at 14:35:55
Re #11.

Whatever the politics of all this, the fact remains that I dug out my ole W98SE and Avast 4.8 is still updating fine. There must therefore be some reason why the poster cannot get these updates at this particular point in time. It might still be possible to get "Avast 4.8 Free" somewhere on the net at some old versions website.

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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June 7, 2010 at 12:21:02
My Avast installation updated fine today - and like other posters I will probally just keep it even after it updates as it is unlikely hackers are going to start again on windows 98 when most of the home market has upgraded to XP/Vista/7.
I am running 98SE on a PII, 366mhz, 192mb Ram, 6GB HDD with a dual-boot with puppy linux. Puppy linux is ok, but if you CAN run it ubuntu/xubuntu is a much more complete distro.

If you dont want to "commit" to a linux distro, download and boot from a live CD, that will save you making any pernamant changes to your machine while allowing you to try out new stuff!

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June 7, 2010 at 19:02:48
They all still support 98 to a certain extent.The thing to do is when you need to run a scan slave the drive to a working computer with a newer OS and maybe infections can be cleaned that way not always though. But I am not being smart but why still use 98? I hated to give it up but finally had to. Do any browsers support 98 now? Does firefox still support it?

Just because the OP does not come back in 3 or 4 days to reply, does not mean he will not come back and reply.

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June 7, 2010 at 19:08:30
"It might still be possible to get "Avast 4.8 Free" somewhere on the net at some old versions website."

It certainly is. The "Home" edition is free, for non-commercial use only.

Here you go:

Download Avast! Home Edition 4.8.1368 -

It seems 4.8.1368 was the last official standalone installer; from there you should still be able to receive updates from within the program.

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June 7, 2010 at 19:52:40
BTW Is this your primary computer? I hope not. I used 98SE until about 2008 and it became unstable on the internet. I was an IE freak. I always use IE. Now I use Firefox all the time. I still use IE mainly to download. Good luck with your 98 machine. I still have 2 PIII'S and a PIII motherboard. One of the PIII'S is 1.0 Ghz. Someone mentioned Windows 2000 on the PIII. I believe MS stopped support on 2000? Now I bet software companies will stop support if they haven't already.

Just because the OP does not come back in 3 or 4 days to reply, does not mean he will not come back and reply.

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June 7, 2010 at 21:57:55
I have a friend with 2 teenage girls who use a 98Se machine and as Derek said

"A firewall and Opera Browser could keep you fairly safe if you take care when online."

I set that machine up with the old Kerio 2.1.5 and the new Opera; it stays pretty clean considering who uses it.


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June 8, 2010 at 06:00:00
Re #17
My ole W98SE also uses Kerio 2.1.5. Although the machine is no longer in daily use, Kerio helped keep me safe for many years.

The machine can still do most things that I now do on more modern systems and it was always very reliable. It would do even more if software was available, which is why it is semi-retired.

I see a lot of "Anti" about the old operating systems. This is particularly inappropriate when posted on forums dedicated to them, where folk obviously want to try to keep them up and running. It's well to remember that the earth is pretty darned old yet we are still using it.

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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June 10, 2010 at 14:01:33
Can't you just download the def files manually?

How come no one has suggested this?

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI

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June 10, 2010 at 14:46:27
Re #19

You can but why am I still getting them normally on W98SE? I admit I've not tried since 6th June but they were fine then, which was the second attempt after this post was raised.

I wondered if the poster was using Version 5 (for XP and above) but we've not heard anything from stanz lately.

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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July 12, 2010 at 11:09:40
I use SE98 because of it's Ms-Dos capability. Have two data bases with over 30,000 entries each, that can't be converted apparently. (At least the originator says they can't) For going on line, I use Linux.


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July 13, 2010 at 05:11:15
Still getting Avast 4 updates on my W98SE. Right now it is only Avast 5 that is unsuitable.

Google is NOT the only Search Engine!

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October 18, 2010 at 11:18:11

Please bear in mind that the last we heard from stanz (the original poster) was 5th June. Likely stanz is now sorted or has moved on.

Poster was looking for an Anti-Virus not a firewall. They are two quite different things. Also the poster is using Win98 and your link was for a Mac. If you intend helping around here you should read the original post.

Ms Hulot's boat

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