Updating Security Essentials (virus) definitions


W

W. eWatson

Unlike other virus detection s/w, it looks like Essentials requires the
user to update definitions. My old McAfee seemed to do this regularly.
Did I miss something it the install?
 
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D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

W. eWatson said:
Unlike other virus detection s/w, it looks like Essentials requires
the user to update definitions. My old McAfee seemed to do this
regularly. Did I miss something it the install?
The MSE definition updates are treated like any other updates. If you
want them to be updated automatically, you have to set your update
options to update automatically. Open "Windows Update" and click on
"Change settings" in the left hand column of the page. Use the drop down
menus and check boxes to set the update options.
 
W

...winston

"W. eWatson" wrote in message news:[email protected]
Unlike other virus detection s/w, it looks like Essentials requires the
user to update definitions. My old McAfee seemed to do this regularly.
Did I miss something it the install?
Microsoft Security Essentials uses Microsoft Update component of Windows
Update to check for and download definition updates every 24 hours.

To configure your system to receive updates ensure Microsoft Update is
selected in the Windows Update settings:
- Control Panel/System and Security/Windows Update/<Turn Updating on or
off>
Check -> Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional
Microsoft software when I update Windows

Note: MSE updates follow the same process used by your current Windows
Update deployment settings
- Automatic
- Download but choose to install
- Notify (choose whether to download and install)

MSE is also preconfigured to perform a scan on 'schedule' and to check for
updates prior to running a scheduled scan per its settings (found on the
MSE/Settings tab). This update 'before scan' will run independently of
Windows Update
 
S

SC Tom

...winston said:
Unlike other virus detection s/w, it looks like Essentials requires the
user to update definitions. My old McAfee seemed to do this regularly.
Did I miss something it the install?

Microsoft Security Essentials uses Microsoft Update component of Windows Update to check for and download definition
updates every 24 hours.

To configure your system to receive updates ensure Microsoft Update is selected in the Windows Update settings:
- Control Panel/System and Security/Windows Update/<Turn Updating on or off>
Check -> Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new optional Microsoft software when I update Windows

Note: MSE updates follow the same process used by your current Windows Update deployment settings
- Automatic
- Download but choose to install
- Notify (choose whether to download and install)

MSE is also preconfigured to perform a scan on 'schedule' and to check for updates prior to running a scheduled scan
per its settings (found on the MSE/Settings tab). This update 'before scan' will run independently of Windows Update
That's not entirely correct. I have WU set to download and notify me of updates, but my MSE automatically downloads and
installs the new definitions with no intervention from me. It will also do that before a scan, as you stated.
 
V

VanguardLH

Dave said:
The MSE definition updates are treated like any other updates. If you
want them to be updated automatically, you have to set your update
options to update automatically. Open "Windows Update" and click on
"Change settings" in the left hand column of the page. Use the drop down
menus and check boxes to set the update options.
From past discussions, some including MVPs who said they had internal MS
contacts, you need to leave the AU service enabled and set to Automatic
startup but you do NOT need to leave WU setup to do automatic updates.
MSE uses the AU service to get its updates. It doesn't rely on the WU
settings. So you can configure WU to only alert you of Windows updates
(but not download or install them) to prevent Microsoft from changing
the state of your host until you decide to permit it but MSE can still
use the AU service to get its automatic updates. That is, you don't get
stuck with having your Windows automatically updated if you don't want
that but you can still have MSE get its updates as long as the AU
service is enabled and running (Automatic startup).

MSE uses the AU service to check for its own updates. MSE does not use
the schedule for the WU updates. MSE uses its own schedule (once every
24 hours but may lag if the computer was powered off) which is not user
configurable but it does it updates through the AU service. The closest
that I've seen to let the user schedule when MSE gets its updates
(through the AU service) is to add an event in Task Scheduler that runs
"MpCmdRun.exe -SignatureUpdate" (I no longer have MSE so I can't verify
this command-line switch will work). Another way was to configure the
scheduled scan to check for updates before scanning and then schedule a
[quick] scan every day. That was back a couple years (2009) when MSE
had problems initiating its update so this was a workaround to make it
to an update whenever you scheduled a scan.

It's possible some anti-virus/malware disabled the Automatic Updates
service or the user thought it was an unneccessary and disabled it which
means MSE won't be able to get its updates. The AU service should be
set to Automatic for startup on Windows startup and should currently be
running. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/959894, method 3. In the
past, MS has used the AU service to push covert updates even if WU
settings were to notify only. As a consequence, many users that got
burned with BSOD bricks upon return to their host decided to disable the
AU service. When they wanted to do a WU update (after saving a backup
image of their OS partition), they would enable the AU service and
perform a manual WU update, install the updates, and then disable the AU
service. For such users, that also meant MSE wouldn't get its separate
updates. See article http://preview.tinyurl.com/27k5l9o to see how MS
decided you will have WU set to automatic which you have to set back.
Other users found updates getting applied when WU was set to disable and
managed to avoid the covert updates by disabling the AU service.
 
V

VanguardLH

W. eWatson said:
Unlike other virus detection s/w, it looks like Essentials requires the
user to update definitions. My old McAfee seemed to do this regularly.
Did I miss something it the install?
What other effective virus detection software does not require
definition updates? Or did you mean to ask why your instance of MSE is
not performing *automatic* updates? In the latter case, just how long
have you waited to get an automated update? You never mentioned how
long you waited to see if MSE updated itself.

MSE does a check every 24 hours but the time is randomized to eliminate
the entire community of MSE users from slamming the update server at the
same time. The update interval is not user configurable also to
eliminate a huge load on the update server since users are known to
schedule events at common times, like on the hour or at 10- or
15-minutes of the hour rather than at, say, 12, 18, 38, or 53 minutes of
the scheduled hour.

If you want to ensure that MSE gets an update, if available, by a
certain time of day then look at my reply to Dummy (hey, he chose that
moniker for himself). You could schedule a daily [quick] scan with the
option enabled to check for updates before running the scan. You could
try using a scheduled event in Task Scheduler using the command-line
switch that I mentioned but I never tried that when I used to have MSE.
 
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W

W. eWatson

That's not entirely correct. I have WU set to download and notify me of
updates, but my MSE automatically downloads and installs the new
definitions with no intervention from me. It will also do that before a
scan, as you stated.
Don't see a System Security under the CP. Just System. Nothing about
security.

WU? AU (auto updates?)
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, W.

MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) has its own control panel, including
several options on the Settings tab. Among others, I have checked the box
to "Check for the latest virus and spyware definitions before running a
scheduled scan", and I've set it to run a Quick scan once a week.
Definition updates arrive at least once a day, but I can manually check
during the day, too.

WU = Windows Update - checks for updates to the Windows operating system.
MU = Microsoft Update - checks for updates to Windows PLUS Word and other
Microsoft applications you might have installed.
AU = Automatic Update - as you guessed.

All these settings are available from Start | Windows Update. On the main
WU screen, click "Change settings". On the next page, check the box under
"Microsoft Update". And also choose whether and when to check for, download
and install updates.

I've been using MSE since it first became available a couple of years ago.
I like it! ;<)

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP (2002-2010)
Windows Live Mail 2011 (Build 15.4.3538.0513) in Win7 Ultimate x64 SP1


"W. eWatson" wrote in message
That's not entirely correct. I have WU set to download and notify me of
updates, but my MSE automatically downloads and installs the new
definitions with no intervention from me. It will also do that before a
scan, as you stated.
Don't see a System Security under the CP. Just System. Nothing about
security.

WU? AU (auto updates?)
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Unlike other virus detection s/w, it looks like Essentials requires the
user to update definitions. My old McAfee seemed to do this regularly.
Did I miss something it the install?
My experience differs from several of the others' in this thread, so
here goes:

1. I have Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) set to update
automatically.

2. I have Windows Update (WU) configured to inform me of available
updates and to let me update manually.

3. From time to time (it does seem to be once a day), MSE updates itself
automatically.

4. From time to time, roughly every week, WU informs me it has updates
to download and install.

5. Frequently, the WU list includes the next update for MSE. That
happens when the list is generated before MS has updated itself.

6. On those occasions, if I check MSE in the WU list, WU updates it.

7. OTOH, If I don't check MWE in the WU list, MSE updates itself before
long.

I have seen the above behavior many times, and it remains consistent.
However, I find it annoying :) (I want WU to ignore MSE.)

HTH,
Gino
 
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D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Gene said:
My experience differs from several of the others' in this thread, so
here goes:

1. I have Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) set to update
automatically.
How do you set MSE to update automatically?
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

How do you set MSE to update automatically?
Actually, it looks like you don't.

Open MSE and click on the updates tab. The second line of the panel is
"Security Essentials updates your virus and spyware definitions
automatically to help protect your computer."

The last line of the panel is "These definitions are updated
automatically. You can also click Update to update definitions on
demand."

I knew it was set to update automatically, I just forgot that it wasn't
me who set it that way :)

I can't find any settings to change that behavior, and I have no idea
whether there are any Registry entries to change it. BTW, I have no
desire to change it :)

Thanks for noticing that.

And all of you MSE fans out there, does anyone know of a way to change
the update setting?

In registry key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Antimalware\Signature
Updates

There is the value:

SignatureUpdateInterval

It's a REG_DWORD, currently set to 0x18, i.e., one day. If you want to
turn updates off, you could (if allowed) set it to a value like 0x18000,
or 4096 days. That's not off, but it's also not often :)

Or maybe decimal -1 (0xFFFFFFFF) would turn it off.
 
W

...winston

"SC Tom" wrote in message

...winston said:
Unlike other virus detection s/w, it looks like Essentials requires the
user to update definitions. My old McAfee seemed to do this regularly.
Did I miss something it the install?

Microsoft Security Essentials uses Microsoft Update component of Windows
Update to check for and download definition updates every 24 hours.

To configure your system to receive updates ensure Microsoft Update is
selected in the Windows Update settings:
- Control Panel/System and Security/Windows Update/<Turn Updating on or
off>
Check -> Give me updates for Microsoft products and check for new
optional Microsoft software when I update Windows

Note: MSE updates follow the same process used by your current Windows
Update deployment settings
- Automatic
- Download but choose to install
- Notify (choose whether to download and install)

MSE is also preconfigured to perform a scan on 'schedule' and to check
for updates prior to running a scheduled scan per its settings (found on
the MSE/Settings tab). This update 'before scan' will run independently
of Windows Update
That's not entirely correct. I have WU set to download and notify me of
updates, but my MSE automatically downloads and
installs the new definitions with no intervention from me. It will also do
that before a scan, as you stated.[/QUOTE]

Correct but not all encompassing.

MSE updates automatically on a non configurable random schedule to prevent
overload on the server. Rather than introduce a random variable (and an
often repeated chronic discussion that has lived elsewhere for a few years)
it seemed appropriate to first recommend that WU/MU was functioning and
configured as noted. The MSE random update iirc as explained by MSFT
during the early ongoing beta uses BITS but not WU/MU - but that would
introduce another variable <g>.

Many folks don't like the auto-update via WU/MU or the random update (loss
of control perception) - pros/cons of each and a lot of fence-sitting in
between.
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Gene said:
Actually, it looks like you don't.
<snipped>

It is confusing because both MSE and WU check for definition updates,
but at different times. I have WU set to check and notify for updates,
but not install. If WU checks before MSE does, and there is an update
available, it shows up in WU as an available optional update. If I don't
install it manually, MSE will install it when it checks later.
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

<snipped>

It is confusing because both MSE and WU check for definition updates,
but at different times. I have WU set to check and notify for updates,
but not install. If WU checks before MSE does, and there is an update
available, it shows up in WU as an available optional update. If I don't
install it manually, MSE will install it when it checks later.
Exactly what I said in my post, but it was so wordy compared to yours, I
can't blame you for not reading it :)
 
D

Dave \Crash\ Dummy

Gene said:
Exactly what I said in my post, but it was so wordy compared to yours, I
can't blame you for not reading it :)
I'm easily confused. :)
 
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C

chet

put this in a cmd file and schedule it to run it task scheduler.

c:
cd\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\Antimalware
mpcmdrun -signatureupdate
 

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