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Author Topic: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?  (Read 4342 times)

tranglos

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Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« on: September 21, 2011, 08:44:02 PM »
About two weeks ago my Win7 (32-bit) system developed a hugely annoying behavior. When the standard, new "Save as" or "Open" dialog box pops up and closes, the application which opened it freezes for 8-10 seconds, and the open or save operation that the dialog is used for is only completed after the app comes out of the freeze.

Strangely enough, the freeze happens even if the dialog box is canceled, so it seems to be related to the internals of the dialog itself, not to whatever the application does with it.

It doesn't always happen, but often enough to be a big nuisance. Maybe 30-50% of the time, but seemingly at random. Let's say I have 10 tabs opened in Firefox. I go from one tab to another and press Ctrl+S in each to save the HTML document. The freeze will happen for about half of the tabs, but sometimes for all of them. Each time the file gets saved only after Firefox unfreezes.

At first I thought it was a Firefox problem, but no, the freeze occurs in any app that uses the modern Save/Open dialogs in Win7. MS Office apps have their own dialogs, and they're immune. Some old apps stick to the Windows 95-style dialogs, and they're immune too. Only apps that use the latest incarnation of the dialogs get frozen.

I removed everything I have installed recently, removed my machine from the homegroup, tried Autoruns and friends, everything I could think of. I was this close to restoring the system image from a month ago.

Finally I tried disabling the real-time protection in MSSE, and it seems to have helped. I've been running a whole day without a single freeze, so I'm pretty convinced MSSE is responsible, though I can't see how it could be (what in MSSE could freeze the app after the dialog has been CANCELED and no files were accessed at all?).

It seems to have started under two weeks ago, but I can't pinpoint it any better. I did install SP1 more or less at that time, so there's another suspect, although that wouldn't account for why the problem goes away if I disable a part of MSSE, and I think I would have noticed if the freezes started occurring immediately after installing SP1. Has anyone else seen anything similar?  


« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 09:01:26 PM by tranglos »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials or recent ?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 09:00:56 PM »
Hm... Well if you mean has it been acting like a belligerent whiskey drunk redneck that wants to start fights with everyone, then yes. I have noted it behaving rather badly as of late (or rather its last update).

Seems like every time I turn around its got the chip pinned at 50% (its max usage cap) because it got pissed at some process that has been running on the machine for the last 5 freaking years. Start an .exe from a network share and holly crap does it ever go bat shit. I did however discover that you can actually whitelist network/UNC path locations if you type them in manually.

If it don't start behaving soon, its gonna get executed permanently.

tranglos

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2011, 09:04:14 PM »
If it don't start behaving soon, its gonna get executed permanently.

Ah, interesting. I'm not actually seeing any CPU spikes, during the freezes or otherwise. But I've burned through most AVs on the market, and they only go from bad to worse. Not much left to try anymore. MSSE used to be a pretty friendly neighbor before this.

IainB

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2011, 09:29:55 PM »
My version of MSSE is OK.

This was an interesting article in PCMag: The Best Free Antivirus Software
What do you reckon? The Ad-Aware thing looks like it tops both lists (virus and malware).

I am currently using:
    * MS Security Essentials
    * Malwarebytes (licenced version)


I got MWB (free version) after doing some some rapid research, to clear up the hard drive of a friend's laptop one day. I used it to remove scareware/malware that MSSE had not caught (and months after I had installed MSSE for him!).

I bought the licenced version of MWB the same day after realising that if MSSE was not up to the job 100% on his laptop, then I had better cover myself on my laptop - and MWB seemed to be very, very good at what it does.
MWB (licenced) is good for the paranoid. It does real-time scanning - so can catch nasty things (e.g., block any browsing to a site regarded as "dangerous") and can do "flash" scans to check currently operating proggies in memory. Doesn't seem to impose a humungous overhead either - on my HP ENVY (Intel i7, Win7 64-bit).

tomos

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 02:01:34 AM »

I had similar problems with the save/save-as dialogue in XP a few months back -
Avira anti-virus was the culprit.

Currently running win 7 SP1 (64bit pro) with MSSE without any problems...
Tom

tomos

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 02:46:52 AM »
what I have seen lately, but forgot to mention, was delays/short-freezes with FARR (typed letters not showing beyond the first one or two), with an associated CPU flurry which turned out to be MSSE - presumably checking out whatever was on the list. Not always, but often.
Tom

Stoic Joker

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 07:03:23 AM »
If it don't start behaving soon, its gonna get executed permanently.

Ah, interesting. I'm not actually seeing any CPU spikes, during the freezes or otherwise. But I've burned through most AVs on the market, and they only go from bad to worse. Not much left to try anymore. MSSE used to be a pretty friendly neighbor before this.

I hear ya man, I coined the (derisive) phrase "Baby Sitter Suite" during my quest to find an AV that wasn't more of a hassel than most viruses. MSE really hasn't been that bad overall ... Its just picked some really bad times here lately to act up. I've got it running on close to 100 machines at various (SMB) locations, and there haven't been any major (mass) complaints, or really any minor ones I can attribute to MSE. But it has earned itself some negative attention as of late from me due to the pissing contest usage spikes lagging the machine.

Just out of curiosity, do you have any open/save dialog addons that it could be having a problem with? Its shenanigans are always purposful-ly directed at something specific ... From what I've seen.

tranglos

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 07:20:55 AM »
Just out of curiosity, do you have any open/save dialog addons that it could be having a problem with? Its shenanigans are always purposful-ly directed at something specific ... From what I've seen.

I've been wrecking my brains trying to recall something I may have installed or find what specific thing could be prodding it. I don't run anything that modifies the dialogs, nothing at all.

I dropped out of the homegroup, because my wife's computer is off more than it is on, so I thought maybe Windows was looking for it, but that didn't help, and in any case the delay should then be at opening the dialog, not at closing it.

I checked Actual Window Manager, which is great but does unspeakable things to all windows. It doesn't touch the open/save dialogs, but it sure detects them and thinks about them when they pop up before it decides what to do. In the end, shutting AWM down didn't change a thing.


daddydave

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 10:41:05 AM »
You wouldn't happen to have any old network mappings in My Computer that are offline, would you? I've not had the occasion to see this in Win7, but I've seen in Windows XP where the file dialogs take forever to come up for that reason.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

tranglos

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 11:23:05 AM »
You wouldn't happen to have any old network mappings in My Computer that are offline, would you? I've not had the occasion to see this in Win7, but I've seen in Windows XP where the file dialogs take forever to come up for that reason.

No, no stale mappings that I can find.

I do have a mapped network drive and another external drive on FireWire, and often it takes a few seconds before the system can access them, but that's not it. I've also replaced my old ADSL modem + router with a single combo device (Fritz!Box, unlikely name, but the thing is genuinely made in Germany, runs Linux and it rocks!), but the freezing started occurring well after that change.

It's true though that when I changed the routers, Windows created a new LAN and appended '2' to the name. But the old network name isn't shown anywhere I could delete it from. Still, any issues should only slow down the opening, not the closing of the dialogs. I never get a freeze on opening them.



Stoic Joker

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 11:35:29 AM »
I did some quick Googling and found several places that mentioned the recently opened file history to be a frequent cause of this behavior. *Shrug* That would certainly explain why the 9x style open/save dialogs weren't affected.

Fix was to clear the recently opened file history.

J-Mac

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2011, 11:36:13 AM »
Check your most recent Microsoft Update patches. Whenever I get weird unexpected behavior like this - especially with a Microsoft app - they seem to have figured into the problem.

Jim

cranioscopical

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2011, 01:14:32 PM »
what I have seen lately, but forgot to mention, was delays/short-freezes with FARR (typed letters not showing beyond the first one or two), with an associated CPU flurry which turned out to be MSSE - presumably checking out whatever was on the list. Not always, but often.
That occurs here. I've nothing useful to contribute to understanding it.

doctorfrog

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2011, 07:21:55 PM »
what I have seen lately, but forgot to mention, was delays/short-freezes with FARR (typed letters not showing beyond the first one or two), with an associated CPU flurry which turned out to be MSSE - presumably checking out whatever was on the list. Not always, but often.

Holy heck, I've been seeing this very thing for a long time and never even thought of this. Just whitelisted it now and it's cruisin'.

JavaJones

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 04:19:14 PM »
I haven't really noticed any problems with MSE myself, but I'm always curious to try new things. Though I'm not a big fan of PCMag, their recent freeware antivirus comparison brought Lavasoft's freeware solution to my attention. I'm currently testing it on my laptop, so far memory use seems a bit higher than MSE, but otherwise fine. Let's see how it does in long-term use...

- Oshyan

tranglos

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2011, 04:39:13 PM »
Conclusion (or so I hope): for a few days I was switching real-time protection in MSSE on and off. When on, the freezing problem returned; when off, it went away. Now it seems to have gone away for good, as if an update to MSSE fixed it. Until next time ;)

Stoic Joker

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Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently?
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2011, 04:46:24 PM »
Mine too has quit its surly behavior, so it must have just been a hiccup.