AVG Link Scanner removal problem


I have at least two failings… that I know of! First is that I like trying new software on the Mac. Second is that I’m a little bit OCD about everything on the Mac working as it should. Actually those two shortcomings of mine probably don’t sit happily together because trying out software inevitably means you end up uninstalling stuff a lot of the time and that’s where problems can easily start under OS X.

Ok I don’t know what possessed me (and you can reprimand me in the comments below for being such a wuss) but I decided to try out AVG Link Scanner for the Mac, just to see if it was any good. Ok I know that viruses for the Mac are a rare item, but the threat from malicious web sites is a bit more real and I figured… well a little bit of extra protection couldn’t hurt surely? So I installed AVG Link Scanner thinking it would happily warn me if ever I accidentally clicked on a link that would take me to somewhere that would steal my Mac’s soul! After a few weeks trying it out, I decided that it wasn’t for me and set about removing it. At this point I would normally turn to my trusty CleanApp, but seeing as AVG Link Scanner comes with an uninstaller I decided to use that instead. I always prefer to use the developers own uninstall routine if there’s one available as I figure they will know all the ins and outs of what needs to be removed. So I ran it, gave it the password it asked for and it happily told me that it had uninstalled the product successfully. End of story… or so I thought.

Next time I had occasion o reboot my Mac (to get rid of a stubborn “Firefox is already open, please close Firefox” problem, when Firefox wasn’t even running), I spotted that the AVG Link Scanner cleanup hadn’t done it’s job. There sitting in my console messages were four lines that read:

18/11/2010 06:12:34    com.apple.launchctl.Background[275]    launchctl: Couldn’t stat(“/Library/LaunchAgents/com.avg.LinkScannerAgent.plist”): No such file or directory

18/11/2010 06:12:34    com.apple.launchctl.Background[275]    launchctl: Couldn’t stat(“/Library/LaunchAgents/com.avg.LoaderAgent.plist”): No such file or directory

18/11/2010 06:12:34    com.apple.launchctl.Aqua[276]    launchctl: Couldn’t stat(“/Library/LaunchAgents/com.avg.LinkScannerAgent.plist”): No such file or directory

18/11/2010 06:12:34    com.apple.launchctl.Aqua[276]    launchctl: Couldn’t stat(“/Library/LaunchAgents/com.avg.LoaderAgent.plist”): No such file or directory

Obviously on bootup my Mac was attempting to launch components of AVG Link Scanner that were no longer present, so why hadn’t the uninstall routine cleaned up properly and prevented this from happening? First thing was to launch Lingon and check that there were no launchd entries anywhere that might be triggering AVG. Kinda unrelated in a way, but I felt it best to check. Everything looked fine, there was nothing relating to AVG in the launchd entries anywhere. Next it was off to check my ~\Library\LaunchAgents folder just to check nothing was amiss – all looked just fine, there were no AVG plist files as I’d expected. Ok, so now I figure the problem is that launchctl has a list somewhere of the agents it thinks it needs to start on bootup, and that list hasn’t been updated to say that AVG has been uninstalled. But where to find that list, and when (if) I do – how to edit it to remove the duff entries for AVG Link Scanner?

Well typing the error messages above and/or various keywords into Google proved a bit fruitless. Most of the hits related to cases where the thing that launchctl was trying to load did actually exist, whereas in my case they don’t.

Now this is where I have to disappoint my readers (reader?) because as yet I haven’t found the solution. Perhaps I’ll give Apple a call today and see if they can shed some light on it but I suspect a question like “Where does launchctl find it’s list of what to load and how can I edit it?!” will be met with either a deathly silence or something along the lines of “Apple does not support this sort of action”. If that’s the case then I’ll probably email AVG and see if they can’t shed some light on it – in fact I’ll do that now anyway. Sure I know it’s not ‘hurting’ my Mac because it still boots just fine and the above messages are really just a warning that something’s out of line, but I’d like to get to the bottom of it all the same and when I do I shall add the results below.

What it does go to show though is that uninstalling software from your Mac isn’t always as straight forward as it seems, even if the app comes with it’s own uninstaller!

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2 Responses

  1. Well its July 16, 2011 and here is another curious fellow who fell in the trap of not leaving good enough alone. AVG starts a process that consumes 97% of the CPU, then it launches another and another until my MacBook Pro locks up. I have been trying to uninstall the AVG junk for two days now. Never, never will I use their products again. They know about this problem and still advertise and push their malware on unsuspecting Mac users.

  2. Wow, it’s now April 2016 and I am having the same problem (LinkScanner Agent cannot be opened because of a problem)…. seriously Apple or AVG have not resolved this in nearly 5 years?? What do I do now… I’m not tech savvy….

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