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Standard User cheshire_man
(knowledge is power) Fri 15-Jun-12 16:25:35
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
One thought. Have you tried uninstalling and re-installing MSE? Not only would that (hopefully) sort out any possible corruption of MSE files but also cause it to fully update iteself to the latest state. I recall on my XP desktop occasionally MSE would play silly whats-its and the only way I could sort it was to remove and reinstate.

Might be worth a go.

Tony
Standard User Deadbeat
(knowledge is power) Fri 15-Jun-12 17:24:02
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
My reply re Sophos was not aimed at you!! Also, my suggestion re Kaspersky and Superantispyware are not alternatives - They are non installable offline scanners which are used to check if you are infected or not, thus answering your original question.
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 15-Jun-12 18:08:17
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
You're going about your problem solving the wrong way though, there is no point in speculating because you don't know, otherwise you would have fixed it and wouldn't be asking here. I suggested you check the Windows event log, have you? It might tell you why the services are starting disabled. Have you posted a hijack this log?

Unfortunately we can't give you an accurate answer as to whether it's a virus from your description, there simply isn't enough information available.

Does following my advice really hurt? Nope, probably would take about half an hour (excluding running a scan with AVG), and it's worth a go because you have run out of options!

I don't think your ISP has anything to do with the issues.

Zen 8000 Pro


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Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 15-Jun-12 18:27:05
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by meditator:
Is that particular error message an indication of a virus infection?
Of course not! It is far too general. It could mean that there is something wrong with the WU server, as it states, but that is unlikely when the rest of us don't get it. I'd suspect corruption of your own PC way before a virus.

I'd completely uninstall and reinstall MSSE if I were you.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 19 Meg WBC
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 18-Jun-12 14:57:41
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
MSE underwent an upgrade to version 4 (check number as going from memory) and this resulted in various bits not working, and updates not patching. Turned out that MSE had failed to upgrade itself, and a uninstall and manual install downloading the new version from the MS website cured things.

Things like the firewall switching off, seems to be what happens when the MSE suite is updating various components, and you see the service status's altering.

Andrew Ferguson, [email protected]
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 20-Jun-12 15:41:18
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Many thanks for all your inputs to this issue. Sorry I've not responded for some time, as I've been busy with many other, non-computing jobs, as well as spending a lot of time going through many backups of mine to look for clues.

MrSaffron, thanks for what looks like a vital piece of information about MSSE. What you've stated does fit with what I'm currently experiencing in a backup of my system dated 19th April. That's to say, MSSE starts properly in the enabled state when the program's opened. For that date, MSSE comprised Security Essentials v.2.1.1116.0 and Antimalware v.3.0.8402. Do you happen to know the date on which the failure to upgrade occurred?

Given that Microsoft has presumably been aware of this issue, one would have thought that they could simply have cured the problem in a subsequent download. Hmm, looks like my best bet will be to eliminate MSSE and then download the new version from the Microsoft website.

There was the other problem as well, though - the anomoly with Windows Update. I normally perform updates to WinXP manually, going through the Start/Windows Update route. (There are many reasons for choosing to update Windows by this method, rather too numerous to go into here). At the WU website, the scanning of my PC is performed and the page then lists all available relevant downloads. I then look at the details of each individual update before adding it to the list for download. By 'details' I don't just mean the summary details on that page, I mean the details you're taken to (usually an MS Technet page) when you click on the specific Details link given there. The details will describe any potential malfunctions due to hardware/software incompatibilities, Registry mods required, etc.

What's not happening is that the Details pages are not appearing. WU gives the link, but when I click on the link I get the error message I described earlier, namely:

Server Error
404 - File or Directory Not Found.
The resource you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.


I've restored successive backups going back to mid-March and have exercised the WU website in this way for each one and, oddly, what I've been finding is that even with the oldest backups, the Details webpages will not appear. However, the Details pages of some much earlier updates which I'd previously declined to download will appear. So, it's not consistent. Also, I'm sure that during that three-month period I never experienced this problem; it was only when I went to do this month's updates that I encountered it.

In fact, I'm wondering whether, for some strange reason, Microsoft has now decided not to present any Details webpages anymore. Of course, it's difficult to be certain about this, as I'm looking back several months and it might be that Microsoft made a policy change on this just last month, say.

I would ask you all to try this for yourself, but with many if not all of you using Automatic Update and therefore not being aware that detailed information about each individual download is provided in a link at the WU website, I don't suppose you'd want to mess too much with WU, and possibly you'd find no updates for downloading manually anyway.

But what makes this odd is that although the Details webpages won't appear, the individual update itself downloads okay. I've tried it and checked afterward. Thus, at a pinch, I could continue by not seeing the details each month, but it would mean that I couldn't discriminate between a 'no known issues' download and a more risky one.

If instead this problem with WU has been caused by a corruption of the updating process - and there's been plenty of scope for that in the last few months, with a power blackout, two instances of ISP server catastrophically failing, and my router starting to malfunction (now replaced by a new and better one) - I could restore my system to an early-March position, say, in the hope of getting to a good state again, but the rub would be that there'd be lots of subsequent work in reinstalling all my other software.

If there really is a genuine problem with this feature in WU, then it'd help if Microsoft could let us all know. But I guess that, with the majority of people using Automatic Updates instead, the chances of anyone flagging up the problem, if indeed real, is small. This is why my initial question was asking if anyone had come across this, or whether any recent viruses are known to disable this aspect of WU.

Addendum: Perhaps an important factor in this is that I'm using IE7, not IE8. I tried IE8 quite some time ago but found its user interface less good than IE7's. With my eyesight not being great these days, IE8's changes to the sizes and appearances of text were, for me, detrimental, so I changed back to IE7. It's conceivable that Microsoft have recently started making changes and imposing limitations on Windows updates that use IE7, on the basis that IE7 is considered by most to be obsolete now.

MrSaffron, returning to the matter of MSSE, do you happen to know whether uninstalling it is a clean affair, or is it the usual case of having to mop up the remnants that are left, including perhaps some Windows Registry entries?

Edited by meditator (Wed 20-Jun-12 19:32:16)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 26-Jun-12 09:31:18
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
On the MSSE I resolved it by using returning to a previous restore point, i.e. one just before the upgrade happened. Then uninstalled MSSE, and installed the new version.

All done remotely over the internet amazingly.

Andrew Ferguson, [email protected]
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 26-Jun-12 11:43:04
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, MrSaffron.

Yes, although it's taken you a little time to catch up on this issue, I'm pleased to say that I've in the meantime managed to solve both of the problems. Your earlier mention of the faulty program update to MSSE was certainly key in sorting out that particular bug.

Just to remind you, the two problems were: (i) At system boot-up, MSSE being disabled; (ii) a batch of updates to WinXP at the WU website no longer displaying their Details via the hyperlinks there.

Like you, MrSaffron, I found a backup of my system where the MSSE was still enabled at boot-up. However, that merely left MSSE as v2, and I could see that the KB2691905 program update for MSSE - which apparently has been the cause of various recent problems with MSSE - was, for my machine, pending at the WU website. So I took your advice and, with careful preparation, uninstalled my v2 MSSE (using Add/Remove Programs). This went without a hitch. Having already downloaded the newer v4 of the program (mseinstall.exe), I was then able to reinstall it. I then fetched the latest definitions, configured it and ran a quick scan. All appears to now work, but I suppose time will tell.

The second problem, concerning access at the WU website to the detailed information about each individual Windows update, turned out to be caused by Microsoft having moved the locations of a whole batch of details. I perform my Windows updates manually and whilst I'd found that the details of newer updates offered to me at the WU website were accessible by their respective links, all those associated with earlier updates (going back just a few months) simply weren't displayable any more and instead I kept getting the 404 error message whenever I tried. Using each KB no. and Google Search, however, I finally found the current locations and so was able to read the information and decide whether to download and install or not. I suppose it's conceivable that with me using IE7 and that particular batch of Windows updates being up to three months old, some overzealous person at Microsoft had decided to in effect archive the details, but then not give any clue as to where to subsequently find them.
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 26-Jun-12 16:52:34
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
So my initial suggestion to uninstall and reinstall security essentials (effectively) which you dismissed turned out to fix it.

And the 2nd problem would probably have been fixed by letting Automatic updates remediate the inconsistencies, as suggested.

Interesting.

Zen 8000 Pro
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 28-Jun-12 10:14:17
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Re: Is this due to a virus?


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
MrSaffron et al,

It looks like the reinstall of MSSE doesn't cure the non-start of it. Having reinstalled MSSE, mine started okay for several days following, but just this morning it was back to its old way again. A reboot and it was okay again.

So it appears that uninstalling the old version and installing the latest v4 does not fully sort this problem out. The non-starting of MSSE seems to be a random affair.

With specifically this MSSE issue, I'm not getting any error messages, BTW. And I'm able to say that the old version uninstalled cleanly via Add/Remove Programs; I checked for the requisite Keys in the Registry after uninstalling it.
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