Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Why does this error happen in one XP user account and not another?

I currently have Windows XP and my husband and I have two login
accounts set up. We are using Microsoft Outlook for e-mail. I have no issues
launching Outlook with my login but when Outlook is launched on my husbands
login we get an error message. It seems to be looking for some sort of Add-in
in C:Program Files\\Avast Anti-virus\\ashoutxt.dll. We are currently using
Avast as our anti-virus. Outlook says that it may be able to fix this problem
by doing by doing a system update/repair. We tried this but the same error
message comes up.

That’s a toughie, because it’s really related to Avast and how Avast was set
up.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

What’s probably happened is that when Avast was installed, you installed it
while logged in to your account. Avast may have asked if you wanted it to be
available for all accounts, or just the current one. It probably defaulted to
just the current one, so if you didn’t know what to answer, or were just
zipping through the setup, that might have been selected. Or it may not have
asked at all. Or it could be a bug in Avast.

When programs are set up, they have the option of making themselves
available to all users on the machine, or just the user that’s installing the
software. There are several aspects of the install that can be affected by this
decision, including the location of files, the location of information in the
registry, initial settings, and even permissions.

Since everything works in one user account, but has such a clear and
definite problem in another, this “smells” like that kind of problem.

I’m tempted to say try installing it again using your husbands account, but
I don’t know that that will resolve the problem, or perhaps just move it. When
you to try to reinstall, do pay particular attention to whether or not it asks
to install for all users or only the current user. Select all users, of
course.

And if that doesn’t work, I’d check with Avast’s technical support and see
if they have suggestions for this issue.

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Tech problem solving & safety tips & a weekly confidence boost in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow

Slow Computer?

Speed up with my special report: 10 Reasons Your Computer is Slow, now updated for Windows 10.

NOW: name your own price! You decide how much to pay -- and yes, that means you can get this report completely free if you so choose. Get your copy now!

7 comments on “Why does this error happen in one XP user account and not another?”

  1. Yeah that might be true but in my case-that is impossible. I have one user:myself(the administrator). I just started having this annoying error when i got home from school and i have been using the program error free for almost 60 days.

    Reply
  2. I just went thru the same problem with my computer.
    Here is what I found and did to solve it on my end:
    1.Have your husband logon to his windows account
    2. Go to C:\Documents and Setting\His-username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    3. Make sure you set the hidden files and folder as unhidden (Tools/Folder Options/Views Tab..Show hidden files)
    4. Look for a hidden file called “extend.dat”
    Delete that file and restart outlook. It should fix the problem./.it did for me anyways.

    My issue was that I re-installed windows and I backed up all my PST files from the Outlook folder..and I pasted them on the new installation..including the extend.dat file created by outlook and avast.
    The error was showing as F:\Program Files\Avast…etc……well the letter “F:” belonged to my older installation…..the correct path is supposed to be C:\Program Files\Avast..etc

    Hope this helps

    Reply
  3. Well… removing the extent.dat file helps but is not a proper solution. I have to delete this file every day… There must be a better solution.

    Reply
  4. After deleting the extend.dat go to the “add and remove programs”, choose the avast to repair it.
    The Avast add-in can be disabled in menu Tools/options/other/advanced options.

    Reply
  5. I must thank Magnus for the feedback! I was having an impossible time trying to get this same error message to go away. It was when I was opening Outlook… “program files\alwil software\avast4\ashoutxt.dll” and something about an add-in. I took your advice and went to Outlook and clicked: Tools/options/other/advanced options and removed the add-on. It was definitely an Avast bug and I don’t like it when programs leave traces on my computer after I remove all the .dlls (even used Revo Unistaller). The ironic thing about this is that I was considering asking Leo myself! I was taken to this link after Googling. Thanks Leo for all the help that you provide!

    Reply
  6. I’ve heard of User’s Profiles getting corrupted and that creating a new profile and deleting the old can clean many little problems up, but I’ve never tried, and wonder if this really can be true.
    Anyone heard of / know of this technique?
    I’ve often wondered, when facing a program acting up, if simply starting a new user profile could breath new life into the system (beats formatting and re-installing a system).

    Reply
  7. I have had a similar issue with XP. the issue was with a US Cellular air card it was working fine one day then every time you would try to open the launcher it would give you a message that said it had en-counted a problem and has to shut down. This message was only on one profile, but the software works fine on the other profiles on the computer. I had gone to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\US Cellular\Quick link Mobile and deleted all of the files. After that it launched and work as intended. I had gone through the registry, uninstalled it and re-installed it a number of time with no change. My thoughts here were the profile was corrupted some how. I am assuming that a full uninstall does not remove these files.

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.