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Unable to upgrade or uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)


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#1 paulderdash

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:46 AM

I am troubleshooting a recent increase in unresponsiveness and intermittent temporary freezes on my Windows 7 laptop.

Microsoft Security Scanner, HitmanPro amd MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) do not report any real threats.

I run MSE, along with Webroot SecureAnywhere (WSA), and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro/Premium. The latter two claim to work with other anti-malware programs and indeed, I have been running them together without incident for some time (at least while MBAM was still at version 1).
However because of my recent problems, I started investigating if there was some contention here (though I seem to still experience problems after uninstallation of both WSA and MBAM, so they may not be AV-related after all).

However, I am unable to uninstall MSE. I first noticed there was an MSE issue when the Windows Update update for MSE to 4.5.216 (KB2949787) from my existing version 4.4.304 failed. A manual download of version 4.5.216 and update does not work either. I have subsequently tried to uninstall MSE and tried the following, and more:

It would appear to me that the problem seems to be the MsMpSvc.exe service (Started, Automatic) as the two Fixits and other methods report they can't stop this. After an attempted upgrade, or using Control Panel/Programs/Uninstall, the service shows as 'Stopping ...'. Neither can I stop it manually - in services.msc->Microsoft AntiMalware Service/Properties, the Start/Stop/Pause/Resume/Restart options are all greyed out. And unchecking the service in msconfig also does not stop the service after a restart. I have also tried the uninstall after uninstalling both WSA and MBAM. No difference. I do not appear be infected (see above). Is this an ownership/control/permissions issue and how do I resolve this?  

I have not been able to google a similar problem so I hope you can help. I want to at least uninstall MSE to determine if this plays a role in my problem, and if necessary dispense with it, else at best upgrade it.

If anti-malware program contention is not the source of my response problems, I can investigate further (or post elsewhere on BleepingComputer - maybe the event log, the interpretation of which is beyond me, may show something). I want to avoid the clean install route as I have a lot of apps and customisations.
 


Edited by paulderdash, 11 April 2014 - 08:58 AM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:54 AM

Hello, and Welcome

 

Have you tried the uninstall tool in safe mode?



#3 Jacklalanne

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:09 AM

Thank you for this forum. I have two machines with XP and plan on running them till the wheels fall off. I was having some problems completely removing Microsoft Security Essentials from one of them. I came across your site and by utilizing the tool "Uninstalling Microsoft Security Essentials by Stephen Boot, MVP" that quietman recommended, I was able to successfully remove all vestiges of the program from my computer. Thank you for all you do!

Kind Regards, Russ 

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/wiki/mse-protect_start/uninstalling-microsoft-security-essentials/316493c2-8885-46b0-afba-28ebd45c0838


Edited by Jacklalanne, 11 April 2014 - 09:11 AM.


#4 paulderdash

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:33 AM

Hello, and Welcome

 

Have you tried the uninstall tool in safe mode?

I hadn't but have now. Same message in safe mode: "Service 'Microsoft Antimalware Service' (MsMpSvc) could not be stopped. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to stop system services".

I should add that in normal mode also I do my user account has administrator privileges - should that not be sufficient?



#5 paulderdash

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:41 AM

Thank you for this forum. I have two machines with XP and plan on running them till the wheels fall off. I was having some problems completely removing Microsoft Security Essentials from one of them. I came across your site and by utilizing the tool "Uninstalling Microsoft Security Essentials by Stephen Boot, MVP" that quietman recommended, I was able to successfully remove all vestiges of the program from my computer. Thank you for all you do!

Kind Regards, Russ 

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/wiki/mse-protect_start/uninstalling-microsoft-security-essentials/316493c2-8885-46b0-afba-28ebd45c0838

Russ - I had tried all methods proposed in that link, including creating and running the .bat file (see second link in my original post) but without success.


Edited by paulderdash, 11 April 2014 - 09:43 AM.


#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:41 AM

That should have been enough but you can try doing this in the super administrator account. You can activate it by doing the following:

 

type cmd in the search box and right click, run as administrator. Then type:

 

net user administrator /active:yes

 

Log out and you will see a administrator account: Login to that and try the steps you did before.

 

After you are finished logout and disable the account by typing

 

net user administrator /active:no

 

in your normal account.



#7 paulderdash

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 10:30 AM

As above, logged into the Administrator account and retried the MSE removal tool - but I still get the same message.

Do I (or Administrator) additionally need to take ownership / full control of MsMpSvc.exe or the whole Program Files/MSE folder? Not sure how to do that ...

 

Not sure how this situation has come about - I have reinstalled MSE before ...



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 12:20 PM

So you tried running the batch file in the administrator account and it failed?

#9 paulderdash

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 01:40 PM

No I just ran this MS Fixit 50535 removal tool: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/microsoft-security-essentials-removal-tool/

 

Stiil got the following message: "Service 'Microsoft Antimalware Service' (MsMpSvc) could not be stopped. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to stop system services".

 

I suspect the same would then happen with the msremoval.bat file mentioned at the end of this link: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/protect/wiki/mse-protect_start/uninstalling-microsoft-security-essentials/316493c2-8885-46b0-afba-28ebd45c0838 ?

 

I am reluctant to go in through the Administrator account again - I am not sure how, but after that my Firefox was completely messed up, even after restoring a profile backup.  I actually restored a disk image to fix it!


Edited by paulderdash, 11 April 2014 - 01:48 PM.


#10 quietman7

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 03:20 PM

Did you try this: Fix problems that programs cannot be installed or uninstalled
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#11 paulderdash

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:55 AM

Hi Bleepin' Janitor

 

Yes - I did run that Fixit (I should have listed it in my original post but I have tried so many solutions, I had forgotten this).

 

After selecting 'Uninstall' as my problem, it gave a list of programs. I selected Microsoft Security Client (the only MSE-related option). If I recall correctly, it did then remove the client (and I think MSE was no longer listed under Programs in Control Panel), but the MsMPSvc service remained active.

I have subsequently done an image restore so MSE is back as it was.


Edited by paulderdash, 12 April 2014 - 05:17 AM.


#12 quietman7

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:44 AM

Sometimes that is the best solution.
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#13 paulderdash

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 07:35 AM

The image restore was just from the previous day - so I am back to where I was ... I still can't uninstall MSE, nor upgrade it. How can I get rid of it without doing a Windows clean install?

Or at least stop MsMPSvc service or set it to manual - this I think will allow me to do the uninstall ...


Edited by paulderdash, 12 April 2014 - 08:29 AM.


#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:46 PM

I cannot understand how the Administrator account would cause a problem like you described. Did you have a system image for a complete disk restore or were you talking only about a system restore of the registry?

 

If you have not run the batch file, I would do so. It could not hurt.

 

If that does not work, there is another option but there may be a possibility that it could break something.

 

Download the Microsoft Uninstaller Cleanup Utility. This was pulled by Microsoft because it was breaking Office installs but it can still be downloaded. Run it in an admin account and look for Microsoft Security Essentials. If it does not show up in the scan, just exit. If it does, hightlight it and only it. Then press the remove button. Then try the uninstall. I would reccomend this only if you have a complete system image that can be restored.

 

Windows-Installer-CleanUp-Utility_1.png



#15 paulderdash

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:05 AM

Hi JohnC_21 ... I have rerun the batch file. I saw a number of 'Access is denied' messages flash past for the taskkill commands, and files being 'used by another process' ... at the end the MSE Client was gone, but the Anti-Malware service MsMPSvc was still running with the options greyed out.

 

I reran the batch file in safe mode and now the service seems to be gone also. Not sure how clean the removal has been, but it MSE appears to be gone now.

 

(Btw - the Firefox problem did not reoccur so it must have been unrelated. I did have a whole system image).

 

Thanks everyone for helping.


Edited by paulderdash, 14 April 2014 - 06:21 AM.





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