Some of your facts and perceptions are inaccurate. First, the little stuff - if you look in the link you provided, MSRT runs on the second Tuesday of each month. But "Patch Tuesday", which is not an official Microsoft term by the way, frequently occurs on more than one Tuesday in a month.
More importantly, MSRT is NOT like other scanners that look for thousands of different threats AND "patterns" AND "behaviors" that may
indicate some new unknown threat or malicious activity. That is where the majority of FPs come from. MSRT does NOT do that. It looks for a very small, finite number of known
threats, then applies specific fixes for them, if it finds any. So the risk of false positives is very remote. And as you yourself noted, MSRT hasn't found any on your systems.
My problem with MSRT is that I don't like programs working in the background that silently delete whatever they detect.
While in general, I feel the same way, but I think you are being overly critical of this
tool and you are perhaps, tainted by ancient history and incidents of other
tools. Again, MSRT looks for specific malware, thus is not likely to make a mistake. I would never say never, but it is very remote. It has never happened on any of the systems I am responsible for either.
You say you don't like programs running in the background so you run it manually, then complain it wastes your time. That's not really fair. If you just let it run with its defaults, little of your time will "wasted". And frankly, "wasted" is hardly accurate either, IMO. Just because a security program does not find anything, that does not mean the time is wasted - any more than heath insurance for healthy people is wasted money.
And BTW, even on my slowest system using a HD, it only takes about 4 minutes for the quick scan. I just ran it on this SSD based system and it took 1 min and 1 second - when run from the site. But even with large HDs, is 6 minutes out the 43,200 minutes each month really a that big a wastes of your time to know your system is clean?
And your comment that it can take hours for the full scan is hardly fair either. Have you run MBAM's full scan?
TBH, I don't like scanners to automatically delete things they find either. So like you, my real time scanners are set to alert me if they find something. But again, that is because those real time scanners are also looking for unknowns and "suspicious behaviors". Plus, my 3rd party scanners rely on what they think a Microsoft file should look like - based on their signature/definition files at the time of the scan. MSFT is always current and MS knows what their files look like.
I don't even let WU automatically install updates on MY
I do recommend "normal" users keep WU in its default settings - which is to automatically download and install. Note if that were a problem today with W7/8/10 systems, there would be 10s of millions of broken computers every "Update Tuesday" - but that is not happening. Remember, W7/8/10 are NOT XP! Yes, occasionally someone has a problem with an update, but those are rare exceptions and exceptions don't make the rule.
Yeah, MSFT prompts to make Bing your default search engine and home page - you cannot single out Microsoft for doing that. All programs do that these days - even products you pay for! And MS provides a very easy opt-out option. And in any case, if you miss those opt-out options, it does NOT suddenly install
unwanted toolbars, downloaders, or other junk on your system. Any changes can readily be undone.
Now for my biggest concern about your comments and that is this MAJOR misconception:
I have to question the assertion that infected computers can appear to run normally even when infected
If you truly believe that an infected computer MUST exhibit symptoms of infection, then you, sadly, don't understand the security threats malware presents. The fact of the matter is, it is a primary goal
of the creators of much of the malware created today to remain undetected while it does it dirty deeds, or while it remains dormant until activated at a later date. And these malicious code writers are very good at doing just that!
And understand some of those dirty deeds are NOT to disrupt your computing tasks, or steal your bank accounts and passwords, but to draft your computer into the badguy's bot army then use your computer (and IP address) to participate in distributing spam or in a DDoS attack on others. All without you, the user, ever knowing anything is going on.
Some may consider me a computer expert. And in fact, I've had a very long career supporting "secure" communications networks, so I feel confident I know how to "practice safe computing" to keep from getting infected. But I will not pretend for a second I am smarter than the badguys (or the Microsoft experts) and I will continue to run MSRT every month.
I used to run MSRT religiously every month, but no more.
IMO, that is a big mistake. Just because you eat healthy, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, don't abuse drugs or alcohol, that does not mean you cannot be hit by a car driven by an uninsured motorist. Six minutes every 30 days is well worth it.