Active Virus Shield - Update Failed: Incorrect Signature AOL’s decision to dump Kaspersky for McAfee was not accepted very well by the tech community. There was no official Vista-compatible version of Active Virus Shield (AVS) released before the switch had been made, but I had assumed that they would continue to provide support for at least the next few months for the XP version.

That turned out to not be the case as several readers have reported to me that as of last week they were receiving an "Update failed: Incorrect signature" error (the corresponding error codes were 0x8000005C and 0x8000005A). Netster007x was the first to notify me of the issue, and after looking around I began to think that the issue lied in the update server.

I managed to find a Google Group that had several other people complaining about the same error message in Active Virus Shield. One eagle-eyed commenter noticed that you could bypass the problem by removing the two AOL entries from the list of update servers. Here’s the quick how-to on doing that:

  1. Right-click on the Active Virus Shield System Tray icon and close the program. Alternatively you could boot your computer into Safe Mode.
  2. Open this file:
    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\AOL\AVP6\Data\aol-updcfg.xml
  3. Remove the top two lines from the file:
    <site2 url="" diff_url="diffs" weight="10000001" region="*" />
    <site2 url="" diff_url="diffs" weight="10000000" region="*" />
  4. Save the changes and restart Active Virus Shield (or restart your computer).

Now your Active Virus Shield should be back to normal, and updating regularly. Of course support for this application is extremely limited now that AOL isn’t using it anymore, but the last version is still available for download on sites like Softpedia, MajorGeeks, and CNet.

So it looks like there is a workaround for the time being, and for some of you it will be worth it since Kaspersky (which powers Active Virus Shield) is ranked as one of the best antivirus solutions. Although I prefer to just use the always free Avast! or AVG.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!