Windows Defender won't run

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Offline dodgeramit

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Windows Defender won't run
« on: September 20, 2014, 10:09:04 PM »
Running windows 7 on an HP pavilion dv7. I can't get Win Defender or windows firewall to run. Currently running Microsoft security essentials. I had some problems in the past but now seem to have that under control but I now can't get windows defender or windows firewall running again. Not sure if whatever had attacked my laptop was able to shut those down and alter the program files so that I couldn't run them again. Not sure I trust the Microsoft security essentials as my only form of protection.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2014, 07:29:00 AM »
Windows defender and Microsoft Security Essentials will not run at the same time. Microsoft Security Essentials essentially is Windows Defender with extras added in.

The firewall is something different. Do you have, or have you had in the past another firewall installed?

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Offline Digerati

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2014, 09:56:10 AM »
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Windows defender and Microsoft Security Essentials will not run at the same time.
Right! The "old" Windows Defender is just an anti-spyware scanner. MSE is an anti-malware program - that is, it scans for viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malware, AS WELL AS spyware. So when you install MSE, it will automatically disable WD.

In W8, all is different (but the same). For W8, Microsoft decided in their traditional silly way to rename name MSE to Windows Defender. So the "new" Windows Defender that comes with W8.x, is really MSE - tweaked to support W8's added features.

So that explains why you cannot get WD in W7 to work, but not why Windows Firewall will not run.

In addition Hoov's questions, I might suggest you scan with a supplemental scanner, such as Malwarebytes's Anti-Malware (MBAM) to ensure you are not currently infected.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline dodgeramit

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 10:08:14 AM »
Hoov and Digerati,

Okay, these are the steps I have just taken. In this exact order.

1. System restore back as far as I could go.
2. Ran Norton removal tool.
3. Rebooted
4. Ran McAfee removal tool.
5. Rebooted
6. Ran AVG uninstall from AVG site (couldn't find a removal tool but this seemed sufficient)
7. Rebooted
8. Downloaded and ran Malwarebytes (used the trial premium edition and scanned all memory objects, startup and registry setting, archives and for rootkits.)
9. Quarantined everything it found. Not sure if that was the best action as I am not sure what every item was, but I figured to error on the side to quarantine too much than not enough.
10. Rebooted

Windows firewall seems to be operating now, however I just can't get it back into my icons notification area so that I can keep an eye on it. It used to be there before all this.

I did a programs/file search and I still got a reply for Norton, McAfee and AVG so not sure why the removal tools didn't wipe it clean but I guess as long as they remain dormant I can live with it.

Will the free version of malwarebytes be enough or do I need to go with the premium for a home use only laptop.

Thanks for the help with getting firewall back. Computer seems faster as well.

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Offline Digerati

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 10:49:13 AM »
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Windows firewall seems to be operating now, however I just can't get it back into my icons notification area so that I can keep an eye on it.
That's normal - now. In previous versions, you could put WF in your notification area, but no longer. You can, however, create a shortcut on your desktop, taskbar, of if using Quicklaunch, there too.

Did you have Norton, McAfee, and AVG installed and running at the same time? Not needed, or a good idea. Having one in real-time and a second for supplemental is fine. But when you have two or more real-time scanners, conflicts can occur. I liken it to two dogs guarding the same bone, each wondering what the other is up too.

If nothing else, it is wasting resources.

MBAM Pro/Premium is really the only scanner that I know of that consistently plays well with other real time scanners. The free version of MBAM is good enough, but I would not discourage you from buying MBAM Premium to be extra certain all is safe.
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Computer seems faster as well.
If you had all those resource hogging scanners running, no surprise the computer runs better now.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline Hoov

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 10:56:22 AM »
In all honesty, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is one of the few pieces of software I recommend people buy. 2 reasons, first it helps ensure that the company stays profitable and keeps developing Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and it does not get sold to some other company that will gut it. Second is that the paid for version runs in the background like an antivirus and protects you that way. I would much rather stop malware of all strips from being installed, that have to dig it out with a spoon.

All of the AV scanners that get installed ALWAYS leave something behind, even after their removal tools. The difference is after the removal tool, the rest can be just deleted thru windows. Before the removal tool, if you delete the files and folders you may still cause something to break.

The AVG removal tool is available from this page. Make sure to get the version for your computer and version of AVG you had installed.

About the system tray, is the system tray missing? Or is it just the Icons? Or just the firewall Icon (doesn't exist anymore)? If the Icons are gone, are all your programs still running?

And this is what happens when two people are typing the response at the same time.

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Offline Digerati

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2014, 11:10:21 AM »
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And this is what happens when two people are typing the response at the same time.
  ;d At least we are not contradicting each other!
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline dodgeramit

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2014, 05:40:27 AM »
Thanks again. It's all good. A lot easier to figure out when those that are trying to help are suggesting the same thing.

As far as my missing icon goes, I didn't explain it very well. Before I had these problems WF had an icon in
the task bar (on the far bottom right, next to the time and date) that showed its' status along with MSE, battery, volume and so on. I just can't get WF icon back on the task bar to keep track of its' status. Everything else is still there. Right now I will just continue to check WF status through its' control panel until I can get that status icon back in the task bar.

I think I might have an idea. Should WF show as a program. What I mean is when I press the start icon (bottom left) and scroll over "all programs" so that all the programs show in a list. If so, it is missing. I right clicked on at least 50% of the programs in that list and there was an option to pin each program to the task bar.

If I can get it back in the programs then I will be able to pin it to the task bar. Back to tinkering.

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Offline Digerati

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2014, 07:13:55 AM »
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Before I had these problems WF had an icon in the task bar (on the far bottom right, next to the time and date) that showed its' status along with MSE, battery, volume and so on. I just can't get WF icon back on the task bar to keep track of its' status.
You were correct before when you said, "Notification Area".

In a default setup, the whole strip at the bottom of the screen is the "taskbar". The taskbar includes the Start Orb on the left, the date and time on the right, and next to the date and time is the "Notification Area". It used to be called, and is still often referred to as, the "System Tray". In between the Notification Area and Start Orb is your main Toolbar, and may include the Address Bar, and Quicklaunch, if you added them.

You can customize the Notification Area to have individual icons appear all the time, none of the time, or only when there are notifications for that application. HOWEVER, a program will only have a Notification Area icon IF the program includes an associated Notification Area "applet". Programs don't have to.

As I noted before, Windows Firewall used to have a Notification Area/System Tray applet but no longer. Why? Who knows? It could be part of Microsoft's initiative to have a clean and tidy desktop. Or it could be because too many folks were tweaking Windows Firewall to the point it was causing problems - when for the vast majority of users, leaving it alone is the best option.

That said, you may already have what you want, but not realize it. Instead of a WF System Tray icon, MS includes an "Action Center" icon, a white flag. If you open Action Center, you will see your WF status under the Security section. You can set (customize) the Notification Area for Action Center to "Show icon and notifications". This will put the white flag icon in your Notification Area full time. Then, if something happens to WF or MSE, the icon for Action Center will alert you. No need for a separate WF icon.

And again, if you want ready access to Windows Firewall (and I don't really understand why you would need it - W7 is NOT XP) you can create (or send) a shortcut to WF to your desktop, then drag and pin that to your Taskbar.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline Hoov

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2014, 07:51:09 AM »
What he said.  :P :LOL

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Offline dodgeramit

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2014, 01:54:16 PM »
All is as it should be then. I do have the icon for MSE as well as the white flag. Notifications have been set to display in the notification area. I will probably go with the premium version of MBAM since my kids (my number 1 suspects for computer problems) use this laptop as well.

Thanks again for the help.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2014, 03:24:45 PM »
If you have any more questions or problems with or about your computer, come on back. But you definitely do not want us watching kids. We get them noisy and messy toys and then send them back to the parents. Sorry.  :JK

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Offline Digerati

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Re: Windows Defender won't run
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2014, 08:49:04 AM »
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since my kids (my number 1 suspects for computer problems
The precise reason kids, grandkids, and guests should have separate computers, and not have access to your primary computer you use for your banking, your work/school projects, and your personal correspondences. Plus, the kids should never have admin accounts.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
Freedom is NOT Free!
MS MVP, 2007 - 2018