Knowledgebase: Eset Upgrade Issues
Troubleshooting for "Virus signature database update failed" message
Posted by Samuel Turi on 28 April 2011 01:55 PM

Troubleshooting for "Virus signature database update failed" message

If you are receiving "Virus signature database update failed" messages, first try reentering your username and password. Instructions are available here. If the error message still appears, follow the check-list below:

  1. Verify that your license has not expired


    We recommend checking the update status of your ESET security product after each step. To do this, open the main program window by clicking the ESET icon next to the system clock or by clicking Start/All Programs/ESET/ESET Smart Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus and click Update/Update virus signature database. If the update works, you do not need to proceed with further steps. If the update fails, proceed to the next step to resolve the issue.


  2. A previous update may have been corrupted which can cause new updates to not download, clear the update cache then delete the contents of the Updfiles folder and the Charon folder.
  3. If you had a previous antivirus installed on your computer (such as AVG, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton, or others), please ensure that they are fully removed and that there are no remnants interfering with your updates. To ensure that a previous antivirus is removed refer to our common antivirus software removal tools article.
  4. If you are using a third party firewall (such as Norton Personal Firewall, ZoneAlarm, Outpost, Kerio, or others), please ensure that these are allowing your ESET security product to connect to the Internet to receive updates. If you are using the built-in ESET Smart Security firewall, disregard this step.
  5. Configure your Proxy settings. From the main program window, press F5 to display the Advanced Setup window. From the Advanced Setup tree, click Update and then click the Advanced Update Setup... button.

    Fig. 1-1

  7. Click the HTTP Proxy tab. If you are not using a proxy (using a proxy server is not common) select the Do not use proxy server option. Click OK to confirm settings.

    Fig. 1-2

  9. From the main program window, press F5 to display the Advanced Setup window. From the Advanced Setup tree, click Update. Make sure the Update Server drop-down menu is set to Choose Automatically.
  10. Test communications with our update server by following steps a through e.
    • From your desktop, click Start/Run. The Run window appears.
    • Type cmd in the text field and click OK.
    • Enter the following text at the prompt: "ping".
    • Press ENTER.

    • Fig. 1-3

    • If you are able to connect to the update server, you will see Reply from... message followed by the IP address of the server you are trying to reach.

  11. If you still do not receive replies, it is likely that a firewall elsewhere is preventing communication with ESET's servers, or your Internet connection is not active. Open your browser and check your connectivity. If you are able to browse websites, there is either software on your computer blocking the virus signature updates, or your service provider is using a firewall on the connection, which could also block the update process.


    If the ESET update servers are experiencing a downtime or high traffic, please give your computer some time to establish a connection with the update server.


  12. If the steps above do not resolve the “Virus signature database update failed” message, please Uninstall and reinstall your ESET security product.
  13. Malware can cause updates to fail or not download. Please contact ESET Customer Care to have your update issue looked at.
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