Computers & Electronics

Malwarebytes is malware. Well, not quite but...

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  • May 10th, 2021 1:20 pm
[OP]
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Mar 23, 2009
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Malwarebytes is malware. Well, not quite but...

While Malwarebytes isn't really malware, it can still mess up your computer. I've had other anti-virus software before (Sophos, AVG) and none of those did anything bad to this computer.

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It began with a security warning email from Rogers, which turned out to be this Rogers modem issue...

rogers-internet-security-message-2385144/6/#p34381657

Because of that email, I thought I might have malware on my machine, so I installed Malwarebytes, as some here and elsewhere have recommended it. It turns out I had zero malware, and it was actually a Rogers modem firmware issue. Yes, Rogers' modem had a security issue, so another department at Rogers sent me a warning message saying I was violating their terms of service because I had a security issue. :facepalm: A new modem with an updated firmware fixed the issue.

Anyway, since I had no malware, as per Malwarebytes' recommendation, I used the Windows 10 uninstall function to uninstall the application.

However, then my Windows Defender stopped working properly, saying I didn't have permission to access part of it and my Nvidia control panel wouldn't launch from the taskbar icon menu. I also got some errors about Cortana and Skype as well. I then ran Malwarebytes support tool to remove all traces of the application. I also uninstalled Skype because I don't use it anyway. The Cortana error and Skype error went away but I still had the Windows Defender and Nvidia control panel issues. I don't know about the Nvidia issue, but the Windows Defender is a known problem with Malwarebytes. Somehow the Malwarebytes uninstall process does not restore Windows Defender properly on some machines, and Malwarebytes doesn't have any tool to fix it. You have to manually delete entries in the registry, etc.

Fsck that. I took the nuclear option and reset Windows 10. Everything is working fine now.
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Nov 15, 2020
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do yourself a favor and image your OS partition, right after a fresh install of windows 10, without any antivirus and malware programs installed. It'll save you tens of hours over the years. An image like that could be as small as 9 gigabytes, roughly two 720p movies.
[OP]
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Mar 23, 2009
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evilYoda wrote: do yourself a favor and image your OS partition, right after a fresh install of windows 10, without any antivirus and malware programs installed. It'll save you tens of hours over the years. An image like that could be as small as 9 gigabytes, roughly two 720p movies.
Thanks. I used to do that but the problem was that sometimes the OS version was so old that when I did such a restore, I'd be several update generations behind, and the update process to the current version would take a very long time, at least on older machines. Since my Windows machines generally don't have a ton of software on them, it's sometimes just as fast to do a reset and reinstall the software (Office, various other small programs). OTOH, I do what you recommend with my old Macs, because the Mac OS X update process is much quicker, and because one image can be used on different machines. On Windows I have to create a separate image for every single machine, and sometimes I still may run into issues if I've swapped parts.

I think my major mistake here was not creating a restore point right before I installed Malwarebytes.
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Sep 16, 2013
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evilYoda wrote: do yourself a favor and image your OS partition, right after a fresh install of windows 10, without any antivirus and malware programs installed. It'll save you tens of hours over the years. An image like that could be as small as 9 gigabytes, roughly two 720p movies.
I don't see much sense in imaging the OS right after fresh install because one can do a fresh install or reset with the same result.
[OP]
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Mar 23, 2009
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alpovs wrote: I don't see much sense in imaging the OS right after fresh install because one can do a fresh install or reset with the same result.
I understand where he's coming from. I do this with my Macs. But what I do is a fresh install with a fresh install of the main software.

A Windows reset will delete all the software as you know, so you have the added step of having to reinstall all the software and settings for that software. However, on the Mac it's easier because of the way the OSes and hardware are released. On Macs, Apple supports certain hardware up to a specific OS version, and then stops supporting them (aside from browser and security updates). So after a certain point, you can't go any further with the OS updates. For example, 10.13.6 is fixed forever (more or less), but the advantage is that install can work across different machines, from a MacBook to an iMac to a Mac Pro, etc. So, because of that scenario I create one 10.13.6 install with my main software, and keep it in my cupboard. If I ever come across an old machine that needs that install, I can use it, regardless of what machine it is. Furthermore, I can boot off of it even over USB or whatever. (Things are harder with current versions of macOS, but for older versions it's not a problem.)

On Windows it's different. With Windows 10, it's a constantly changing environment which is good for keeping old hardware fresh, but it also means that if you created an install image from 2 years ago, it's totally out of date 2 years later so you have to install 2 years worth of updates to get it up to speed. But the real issue for me is if I've updated the hardware I may run into problems, and I also can't use that image on any other machine. The image is machine specific. Plus you can't boot off USB. So I find it too much of a hassle, as you suggest.
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I patch the shit out of windows 10, but forgo the installation of antivirus, and realtek sound drivers some I've found some game stopping bugs in some of the antivirus software last year. I install the most common apps that I use which i know are safe then i just image the OS partition.

My download directory I either copy off to a different partition before i reimage the partition or it is on a different partition to begin with.

The time savings is enormous with reimaging the OS partition when done this way. Contrast this with reinstalling the OS from scratch leading to multiple reboots and the need to babysit it until you create the OS account.
[OP]
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Mar 23, 2009
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evilYoda wrote: I patch the shit out of windows 10, but forgo the installation of antivirus, and realtek sound drivers some I've found some game stopping bugs in some of the antivirus software last year. I install the most common apps that I use which i know are safe then i just image the OS partition.

My download directory I either copy off to a different partition before i reimage the partition or it is on a different partition to begin with.

The time savings is enormous with reimaging the OS partition when done this way. Contrast this with reinstalling the OS from scratch leading to multiple reboots and the need to babysit it until you create the OS account.
To be clear, I did not do a complete fresh install. I did a reset.

Have you tried doing a reset before? It's much faster than a fresh install and it doesn't require much babysitting.
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a reset i have tried. But I find it still a chore to do. Depending on which reset preference you choose, you may lose data.
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Feb 24, 2018
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We're not a huge company, we're bigger than small though.

I've given up on Malwarebytes and related anti-malware anti-virus software. Windows 10 Professional protections are proving robust enough, adequate enough, that it's simply not worth our effort to replace it with something else of questionable value.

If you're a true mid-size or larger organization, you'll want IT policy control and proprietary antivirus anti-malware software that facilitates that level of control. That simple isn't required for us here.
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Jr. Member
Nov 22, 2018
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Brampton, On
If you have apps that you don't want to have to reinstall, you can fake an upgrade by doing what's known as an "in-place upgrade" - basically refresh Windows while keeping everything. This is the same process as when a new version of Windows comes out. You just need an ISO or download using the Media Creation tool. Just google Windows 10 in-place upgrade for the how-to.

I've done this a few times to fix some OS corruption or windows updates that had stopped working/failing.

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