The workaround that has worked for me is to go into Control Panel-Programs and Features (on XP it was called Add/Remove Programs, same thing).
I tried out AVG but felt it was a bit too top-heavy.
I was glad to find later that Avira was back on track, and I was, and still am, using the same computers when I returned to it (Win XP Pro SP3).
Hey there, Tom, I tried your 'workaround' suggestion. Then I clicked on "Next" again to see about having Avira re-do its setup procedure.
As I type this, Avira's component startup portion of the setup process stalled. So I guess I'll do the cntrl-alt-delete song-and-dance, although its been my experience that windows prevents the closing of security applications. l'd sooner seek out a different freeware app, open-source perhaps.
This brings up a dialogue where you select Modify and then click on "Next".
Once the dialogue disappears, I wait a few seconds, then I right-click on the Avira tray icon and select Update Antivirus. Then next time I want to update, I have to go through the whole procedure again.
I guess you figured that out...sorry it didn't work out for you.
It's worked for me every day for the past 6 days, but it is infuriating that Avira hasn't come up with a universal fix.
Avira Free has not updated correctly for me since March 10. I have seen responses from Avira suggesting they think it's a proxy issue and/or only a Win XP issue -- that's bull.
I don't use a proxy and I'm on Win 7 Pro -- so are some other people who have reported this issue.
You will need to declare a proxy in Avira in order for the update to work.