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Scanning Windows 8.1 from USB


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#1 jayzang

jayzang

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 03:35 PM

I recently purchased a low-end Toshiba laptop with Windows 8.1. Before I connected to wifi and before I started using it in general, I wanted to find, download and install security software that could be run from a 16GB Kanguru USB that has a physical write-protection switch. The idea is that I will use this laptop for a very limited number of purposes and should be able to control pretty tightly what is going on.  I want to be able to keep it as secure as possible and wiil do updates to the security software on the USB only from this laptop. Then I will write protect the drive with the physical switch and use it to scan other computers.

 

To do the initial setup on the USB, I have been connecting directly to the cable modem and am able to download and install on the C drive products such as the free editions of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Superantispyware. These I can get updates for without issues. I have also installed products such as ClamWin Portable, Superantispyware Portable, and Spybot - Search & Destroy Portable on the USB (E drive). The problem is when I try to download updates for a product, I am unable to connect to any of the update sites when the product is run from the USB. I can bring up the interfaces normally from the USB and everything looks like it is configured for E:. However, updates fail for varying reasons, depending on the product. For example, for ClamWin I get

 

nonblock_connect: connect timing out (30 secs)
Can't connect to port 80 of host database.clamav.net (IP: 200.236.31.1)
Trying host database.clamav.net (209.198.147.20)...
nonblock_connect: connect timing out (30 secs)
Can't connect to port 80 of host database.clamav.net (IP: 209.198.147.20)
Trying host database.clamav.net (65.19.179.67)...
nonblock_connect: connect timing out (30 secs)
Can't connect to port 80 of host database.clamav.net (IP: 65.19.179.67)

 

Note that for now I am using Windows Firewall and I have fully opened up both private and public connections (i.e., inbound and outbound) for the products installed on E:. I'm also using Windows Defender for now

 

For Superantispyware Portable the update dialog shows “Authenticating Connection” completes but “Checking for Definition Updates” fails.  I haven’t found a log for that yet so this is all the info I have.

For Spybot I get:

 

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:52:08] [+] Background Updating Service got started...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:52:08] 0.0.0.0 Successfully started listening on port 21321.

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [+] Updating Service is active.

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates1.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 1 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates2.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 1 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates3.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 1 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates1.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 2 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates3.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 2 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates2.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 2 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates2.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 3 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates3.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 3 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates1.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Did not retrieved update info file (attempt 3 of 3).

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [.] Info file part done.

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:00] [-] Was unable to download update info file!

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:18] [+] Updating Service is active.

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-23 22:53:18] [.] Trying to retrieve update info file from http://updates3.safer-networking.org/spybotsd2.uid...

SDUpdate.exe [2014-09-2

 

Note that in the Spybot settings screen under the Internet Protection tab it says "Windows 8 prevents Metro applications from accessing a local proxy server; a global proxy setup would break the Internet connection. You can set up the Spybot proxy manually in other browser – use host 127.0.0.1 and port 21320.”  I’m not sure what to make of this, since I am not trying to update from a browser in the first place and trying to apply these suggestions in the Spybot settings screen does not improve the results.

 

I might also add I have installed the same three portable apps on a different USB from a Windows 7 laptop and been able to update all three successfully on the USB.  I’m using AVG free edition for AV and Zonealarm free edition for my firewall there.  I have attempted to install Avira and Zonealarm on Windows 8.1 but had issues with them that may be more connected to these products still working out their own kinks with that OS.  Performing these installations is secondary for now to what I am trying to do with the portable apps, though if there is no way to get things to work with Windows firewall and defender I may return to their installations.

 

I would appreciate any help someone can give on:

  1. Getting one or more of these updates to work with Windows 8.1.
  2. Any other products I can run from the USB to scan for viruses and malware – note that I have added several others such as HijackThis, Eraser, and TDSSKiller from portableapps.com, but the three I have described above are the ones of most interest.
  3. Any suggestions of other approaches to accomplish what I am trying – namely, to be able to scan my computers with the highest assurance possible that the tools themselves have not been compromised.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

 



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