Antivirus software

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Anti-Virus Definition Updates

All anti-virus software programs rely on "definition updates" to maintain their list of the latest viruses. A virus definition (also known as a virus signature) is a unique string of bits, or binary pattern, of the machine code of a virus. The term "virus definitions" typically refers to the database of all current virus signature files used by a particular anti-virus software for virus detection. Virus definitions are the primary method of detection for most anti-virus software programs.

How Virus Definitions Work

During a virus scan, anti-virus software compares the content on a computer (including the hard disk, boot sectors, RAM, and removable drives) against its virus defintion database. In the virus defintition database, each defintion, or pattern of binary code, is unique to each variant of a virus. This enables anti-virus software to effectively detect viruses upon the discovery of any of the code included in the virus defintion database. On occasion, however, the database may include a binary code that is not in fact part of a virus. This is often referred to as a "false positive".

On rare occasions in the past, we have seen these definition updates cause GEAR Software to temporarily stop functioning. In the unlikely event that it does happen, we want our customers to be aware of what to look for and what to do to correct the issue.


  1. GEAR Software works fine one day, but suddenly does not start up later in the day or the next day
  2. You get a message from your anti-virus software that it has been updated, and afterwards GEAR Software will not launch
  3. You click to start GEAR, the hour glass appears indicating that the software is attempting to launch, and then after a couple of seconds, nothing happens and GEAR Software does not launch


  1. Obtain new virus definition update from the anti-virus software company

Unfortunately, GEAR Software cannot offer technical support for issues caused by other software installed on your system, but we can offer links to the major anti-virus software vendors where you can report to them the potential issues caused by a particular virus definitions update:









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