I am refering to the question on antivirus software that doesn't run in the background.

I had a bounty of 50rep open on this question (which is not mine) because I felt it did not recieve enough attention. I rely mostly on browser plugins (like noscript) and the fact that I do not install anything from questionable sources, instead of any antivirus solution running permanently in the background. Whatever, I don't want to discuss my intentions here.

In my text on the bounty I further clarified what I personally was looking for "AV without any background service (maybe portable), not online, main purpose single file scan." (or similar)

What can be done (what can I do) to have the question reopened again? Should I edit the question or would it be better to write my own question? Somehow the later seems a bit stupid, because some answers given seemed very promising and I would have tried them out over the weekend.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

OP: Every AV I tried runs in the background even if I stop "protection", quit, ...


Moab & music2myear: most av programs you can disable "active" or "real-time protection", ...

harrymc: I have several antivirus products installed ... that I have arranged not to run unless invoked.

Shiki & tiki: Online scanners?

Truong (deleted answer): Any virus scanner should meet your expectation.

Note how there are various solutions around and that the OP actually hasn't really tried much. The question should have been how to do it instead of where can I find it, simply because the former will result in one answer that explains how it is done while the latter generates a long list of approaches that recommend one where it can be done. The latter type of behavior is typically known as the XY problem.

OP wants to disable background running (X), but asks instead for which antivirus (Y)...

X is welcome here, Y is not as per Q&A is Hard, Let's Go Shopping. Yeah, it's hard to ask X, let's do Y...

As I detailed in an earlier comment:

In order for a question to generate knowledge one can learn from, research has to be done in advance, that's what we have the "Not A Real Question" and "Not Constructive" close reasons for. It's all covered in the FAQ under "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" and "is not about a shopping or buying recommendation" and "avoid asking subjective questions where every answer is equally valid".

Given that most virus scanners can do this, I would suggest reforming the question or asking a new one where it is asked how to disable the real-time behavior. We perhaps could even collect a community FAQ here that lists how to do it for each well-known virus scanner, that's what I call constructive...

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In my text on the bounty I further clarified what I personally was looking for "AV without any background service (maybe portable), not online, main purpose single file scan." (or similar). All antivirus suites I have tried were very nasty when it came to disabling the background/startup services. So would it be feasible to re-ask the question with my specific need or should I rather open a question for every scanner I'm going to try? –  Baarn Apr 20 '12 at 11:15
    
@WalterMaier-Murdnelch: Such information should be in your question, bounties aren't tracked and aren't meant to keep questions open. Note that we already have a question on this which suggests Microsoft Security Essentials and Malwarebytes, both with a right-click, so you should try both (then ask about both, if it's not possible, exclude both from your new question). I'm just saying, the question in its current form is way too generic and equivalent us searching on Google instead of you; feel free to try again... :) –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 11:22
    
Small addendum: Bounties are tracked (I can see you have drawn attention, Random removed that bounty), but I can not see what extra information you gave in your bounty. If you want the information to retain, please edit it into your question too the next time... :) –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 11:29
    
I did not want to edit the question to change the scope (as I wasn't the person asking it), thus I added the bounty. I have not seen the other question before, thanks for the link. I will try some of the solutions and if I am not happy I will come back and ask my own question. –  Baarn Apr 20 '12 at 11:30
    
@WalterMaier-Murdnelch: Oh wow, didn't pay note to that detail, thought you were the OP. Bounties that change the scope around can be tricky, thanks for clarifying the bounty part because I wouldn't have known. Yeah, by closing we want to prevent more answers (and sometimes delete the question in the long end) but these types of questions usually generate enough solutions anyway for one to go and try... Good luck! –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 11:31
    
All that doesn't change the fact that the post was closed without giving the poster the chance to slightly change the wording, which would have made the post legit. Without his clarification, your link may possibly not pertain. The problem I see here is in that the post was closed too fast, not the post itself. We are here to help, not to judge. –  harrymc Apr 20 '12 at 14:47
    
Exactly, but note that we can still help while the question is closed and then be reopened; we simply don't want "waiting for the user to edit the post" be a reason to delay any form of closing. I don't really see a point in reopening the current form (and given the answers this one doesn't even seem salvageable, it's a broken window that needs to be replaced)... –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 14:51
    
The request was hanging around for 5 days before being bumped with a bounty that only a mod can force remove. In all that time, the OP did not bother to clarify a thing. @har –  random Apr 20 '12 at 22:56

This is both a shopping question and asking for recommendations on anti-virus with a certain feature. Which means it's the same thing really.

If the problem is that this product doesn't exist, or could exist, and to point toward it, it's not constructive. If it's to look for a certain product with a particular setting, then it's still not constructive along with being off topic as a shopping quest.

The constructive form of this question is to already be using an anti-virus program, to name it in the question body, and wanting to know how to switch off the background process that runs.

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Isn't a shopping-rec more than something like "what antivirus can I get for $40?". There is the tag [software-rec] and there are a lot of, recent and old, questions asking very vague for a software that can fulfill a specific need. just a random pick from a search for software-rec as an example: superuser.com/questions/19662/… –  Baarn Apr 19 '12 at 21:20
    
Good point. Which makes them non constructive as they only ever devolved into a directory listing of product descriptions and nothing more. Shopping doesn't have to involve money. –  random Apr 19 '12 at 21:28
    
I am of course somewhat biased, because I need that software myself right now, but there seems a big interest in the community to be able to ask those questions. Could or should the question be reopened or re-asked as community wiki in this case? I think the line between shopping-rec and software-rec is very thin, and I would have probably worded the question in another way. –  Baarn Apr 19 '12 at 21:38
    
Community wiki is not for polling and is for when one author feels like they want the post to be a more collaborative reference effort –  random Apr 19 '12 at 21:51
    
-1. Asking about the existence of a product is not polling and is certainly constructive (even if only for the poster). This is what SU is about, after all : searching for software/hardware solutions to problems or requirements. –  harrymc Apr 20 '12 at 7:15
    
@harrymc: You're kind of wrong about that, I count six answers which are definitely the result of polling and are really non constructive (what makes one better than another? we don't want comment debates on that), in the end the Stack Exchange network is all about learning through solving problems. I don't see where you got the requirements part from, and Super User is certainly not about all types of "software/hardware" recommendations. Read the software-rec tag wiki for more information... –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 9:22
    
@TomWijsman: If we started closing posts with useless answers, we might as well close SU. Most posts involve recommending software, and by definition there is only one accepted answer. –  harrymc Apr 21 '12 at 8:30
    
@harrymc: Read the software-rec tag wiki for more information... –  Tom Wijsman Apr 21 '12 at 8:32
    
@random: I think the real issue here is the role of the moderator. SU is run by the community and there is a Close button on each post. I postulate that as a matter of netiquete, in cases where public voting is available, the moderator should act as a member of the community and thru common means, without using his special powers. –  harrymc Apr 21 '12 at 11:43
    
@harrymc: Moderators can only use their binding vote (so, no voting). I'd rather have them close obvious questions so that we don't have to waste our votes, we can always discuss and reopen if they were wrong. It's not like that they are very loose in their votes, certainly not. –  Tom Wijsman Apr 22 '12 at 14:15
    
@TomWijsman: For obvious ones I of course agree (spam, inappropriate or incomprehensible language etc). But for borderline cases, maybe mods should also have a non-binding vote button to verify against the opinion of the community. –  harrymc Apr 26 '12 at 18:47

In my opinion the antivirus question should not have been closed in such an arbitrary manner.

I myself have understood it to mean "How do do I prevent my antivirus from running in the background", and it was with this understanding that I have answered it in a generic manner.

The poster should have been given the option to modify his question, so as to clarify that he was not shopping for a product. His answer should not have been closed, especially as it was important enough for him to put a bounty on it.

But even if his question was "Which antivirus doesn't run in the background", it would have still been a legitimate question about software that is well within the charter of superuser.com. Superuser is full of questions of the type "Where do I find a product that does X", so disallowing it all of a sudden would require the closing of hundreds of existing posts.

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There are minimal requirements for those type of questions, see software-rec tag wiki. If a question generates this amount of answers in a short amount of time, surely there is not really a problem going on (oh hey, 6 people solved it pretty quick) but rather a lack of research or it was asked in the wrong way. Furthermore, just because you post one answer of how you thought the question would have been doesn't change the other answers which are based on the question as-is... –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 9:25
    
@TomWijsman "If a question generates this amount of answers in a short amount of time, surely there is not really a problem going on (oh hey, 6 people solved it pretty quick) but rather a lack of research or it was asked in the wrong way." What kind of logic is that? you're on a Q&A site, it's made for people to ask questions and get answers, no matter if the question seems trivial to you or if you could answer it with a simple research. –  Gnoupi Apr 20 '12 at 10:00
    
Besides, agreeing with harrymc. All the poster did was to ask if such thing exists. He didn't ask "what is the best", he had a specific need. –  Gnoupi Apr 20 '12 at 10:02
    
@Gnoupi: You've been absent for quite a while, things have changed since. In order for a question to generate knowledge one can learn from, research has to be done in advance (new page), that's what we have the "Not A Real Question" and "Not Constructive" (new close reason) close reasons for. It's all covered under "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face" and "is not about a shopping or buying recommendation" and "avoid asking subjective questions where every answer is equally valid". That kind of logic we do here. –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 10:42
    
@TomWijsman - "things have changed since". I don't see how this is relevant. You can have done your homework, and still have to ask the question. Just because you can find the answer easily doesn't mean he could. So what he did? He came to ask a question on a Q&A site. How was it received? Well, we see, the guy is getting the boot. These SE sites are meant to be what you find with a google search on the topic. Search "antivirus that doesn't run in background" now, SU's link is the first link. And what do we get for that? A closed door. –  Gnoupi Apr 20 '12 at 12:46
    
@Gnoupi: However, it's clear that not much homework has been done. "getting the boot" is not relevant, because that just depends on how you handle it; if you think closing means giving a boot, you might want to reconsider what closing a question is used for and how the user should be guided. This is what I see as the first result and has answers, and quite funny you have to use the exact wording to get here. Again not relevant. –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 12:50
    
@TomWijsman - "do your homework" is in my opinion a stupid thing to put on a Q&A site which has for objective to "improve the internet". If you can bring an answer which is actually helpful to people, than our job is done. I don't care if it's trivial. I don't care if you could have solved that with a "quick google search". Keep that kind of attitude and you'll end up with a Q&A site which doesn't want questions. And nobody goes to those. –  Gnoupi Apr 20 '12 at 12:51
    
@Gnoupi: Stack Exchange is all about learning as has been enumerated by multiple blog posts. We're not here to do peoples' jobs, we're here to learn them by helping to solve their actual practical problems. We are not a Google Results Copy Service, but we are a Q&A site. Your last sentence makes no sense because we're only dealing with "recommendation questions" here, there are many other types which are welcome. If you want to waste your time on a website with non-constructive content, go ahead and and make an attempt, but that's not what Super User is. We're done here as you are ignorant. –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 12:56
    
You know what, nevermind. Thanks for the memory trip. I'm done. –  Gnoupi Apr 20 '12 at 13:02
    
"Where do I find a product that does X" is a shopping type question. Closing them would mean closing shopping questions as off topic. The OP is never going to clarify what products they even tried because they're hit and run. That you took the question to read one way but not help form it in a more constructive fashion leaves other answerers posting from all sides as well. –  random Apr 20 '12 at 22:38
    
@random: You should in that case go ahead and close all posts of the the "Best product X", of which there are heaps. The google query allintitle:best site:superuser.com gives 1,110 results. So now you need to close quite a few of them. And I'm sure I can find you more of this kind. –  harrymc Apr 21 '12 at 8:24
    
@harrymc: You forgot filtering the already closed ones, 707. :) –  Tom Wijsman Apr 21 '12 at 8:36
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Good call there. Closing now. –  random Apr 26 '12 at 1:14

In my opinion it was not a shopping or "list of products" question.

Antivirus software that doesn't run in the background

Is there such a thing? Every AV I tried runs in the background even if I stop "protection", quit, or whatever there still are drivers/services of the AV that run :(

The question is "is there such a thing". And it calls for explanation or information. Because the general idea is that an antivirus program runs all the time in background. As such, it is interesting to know if such thing exists, or why it would be inefficient.

Voting to reopen.

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Where exactly is he calling for explanation? Antivirus programs are configurable, so I would rather call it "by default" than a "general idea". Most virus scanners allow me to scan manually, so this certainly is not a problem but rather a lack of effort (see my previous comment on harrymc's answer). "Why it would be inefficient" is pretty much subjective, because how does one define "inefficient"? –  Tom Wijsman Apr 20 '12 at 10:48
    
What products did this cookie user try? None. Everyone ends up guessing. Nobody adds an answer as to how it is done because they want the users to do a product search for them. This is the definition of a shopping question. –  random Apr 20 '12 at 22:35

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