A Problem with Microsoft Security Essentials

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  #1  
Old 02-25-14, 08:00 AM
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A Problem with Microsoft Security Essentials

‚ÄčIn July of 2013, I bought a used notebook PC for my brother. It is a Dell Latitude D610. It has Windows XP. I understand it was manufactured around 2006 or 2007. I don't recall what kind of anti-virus software it came with. Now it has Microsoft Security Essentials. Today, something strange is happening with Microsoft Security Essentials. In the window for that app, it says "PC status: At risk." It also says "Your PC isn't being monitored because the app's service stopped. You should restart it now." It also says "Real Time Protection: Off", and "Virus and spyware definitions: Out of date". There is a large red button labeled "Start Now". When my brother clicks the button, nothing happens. What is happening here, and what can be done about it? How can one get security essentials working again on that PC?
 
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Old 02-25-14, 10:54 AM
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I've seen messages like that where the part where it said MS Security Essentials was bogus. I'd run malwarbytes and see what it returns.
 
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Old 02-25-14, 11:47 AM
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Actually I remember this as a legitimate message however it wouldn't hurt to check with Super Anti Spyware you can get it here SUPERAntiSpyware | Remove Malware | Remove Spyware - AntiMalware, AntiSpyware, AntiAdware!. All I ever use is the free version and I have found that it finds things other anti-virus can't find and more than just your average virus too. I have had problems with Microsoft Security Essentials too on an old Dell Desktop not sure why but it just quit working even after a re-install. In my case though the hard drive was going bad so it might have been the part that houses Microsoft Security Essentials that went bad.
 
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Old 02-25-14, 08:35 PM
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I don't recall ever seeing an MS product that had a big red start button. Which gives me to believe that when your brother pressed that red button, he gave something unsavory the keys to the store.

To make certain MSE is enabled, in either the "Run" window or from command line, enter "services.msc". In the right-hand pane of the Services applet, look for Microsoft Antimalware Service. Right-click on that line, then click "Properties."

Make sure "Startup type" is set to "Automatic." Click the Start button (which, you will note, is white) and see if anything catches fire. If the Start button is grayed out, click the Stop button, and then click the Start button.

If the service starts, reboot, then reopen the Services applet to see if it survived the reboot. If it won't start, or if it won't stay started, if the old antivirus is still installed, maybe it doesn't play nice with MSE. Or maybe whatever that red start button started is still in charge.


The most certain way to fix it, the "rip the bandaid off all at once" method, is to do a factory restore. Presuming this still has the OE HDD, all Dell laptops sold that recently have a hidden partition that contains the software needed to perform a complete factory restore (the hidden partition costs you disk space, but it saved the factory the expense of including a restore DVD). It will restore the OS and all apps exactly as they were when it left the factory. But this is a destructive process, meaning it will delete all user files and custom settings. So if you decide to do this, back up everything of any consequence (get it off that laptop) before you run the restore. IIRC, to initiate the restore process on a Dell, start tapping <Ctrl> and <F11> the instant you power it on. The restore has to be begun before the OS starts loading, and the time window is extremely narrow. If the OS loads anyway, you've missed the window. Switch it off and try again.
 
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Old 03-01-14, 07:31 PM
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MSE does have a red button that attempts to restart the services when things go awry.. However it usually doesn't work because when this happens it's because the registry has been corrupted.

First, download this and use it to make a bootable CD of Windows Defender. It will automatically download the most current virus definition files when you run it. You need to do this on a different computer, NOT the one with issues.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=234123

It is the same engine that MSE runs on, but it boots its own "live CD" version of Windows so there are no issues with locked files or "safe mode viruses". It automatically starts a Quick Scan, so you will want to stop it immediately and change it to a Complete Scan.

Let it do its thing and clean if necessary. Make sure if anything is detected you click the "See Details" button so see what you caught.


When that's done, unzip the attached file and run all of the files that DON'T have "legacy" in them (accept any warnings that come up about adding things to the registry). This will restore the corrupted registry keys. Reboot and you should be back to normal.
 
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