windows xp - Why does Microsoft Security Centre show Virus Protection Disabled? Is it Important?

  • Xavierjazz

    Microsoft security Essentials says my realtime virus protection is working, but the Microsoft security alerts says my virus protection is off.

    Which is correct and why do they contradict each other?

    This has started happening intermittently about 2 weeks ago, on boot(s).

    EDIT: I also have Malwarebytes and Superantispyware installed, but they are not real time. I have had them for a number of months previous to this happening.

    EDIT: I am aware of the time lag problem and addressed that some time ago. However, now it does not disappear, and that's why I've asked this question

    OS is Windows XP SP3.

  • Answers
  • Joel Coehoorn

    They key phrase there is "on boot(s)".

    It just takes a minute for the antivirus software and Microsoft's security center to talk to each other when the computer first starts up, and during that time you may see an alert telling you that you aren't protected. If the alert goes away within the first two minutes or so after startup — and isn't just hidden away in the system tray — this is nothing to worry about.

    Anyway, much more important than virus protection is making sure you're keeping up with Windows Updates and other security patches (ie: acrobat, java, office, firefox ...). That does a lot more for keeping your system secure and healthy these days than anti-virus software does.

  • Renan

    I had the same problem. Try restarting the service "Microsoft Antimalware Service";after the restart the red balloon goes away immediately.

  • Joe

    Thanks Renan. I had the same problem with MSE stating real time protection was on but the security alert said the antivirus was OFF. I restarted the Microsoft Antimalware Service and fixed the problem. For novices like me go to START, RUN and type "services.msc" and enter. Find and right click on "Microsoft Antimalware Service" then click restart.

  • Related Question

    windows - Would Microsoft Security Essentials be adequate protection?
  • Xavierjazz
    1. Is Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) adequate protection for my computer?

    2. What is the experience with this product?

    I found out about a comparison of AV Suites. MSE did VERY well.

    One that I found interesting was "Raven", who mentioned that AV software has to hook deeply into the OS, and who better to design this than the designer of the OS.

    My personal experience is that I like it, but I also use Malwarebytes and SUPERAntiSpyware. Each of them sometimes come up with one the others missed or ignored.

  • Related Answers
  • Jared Harley

    I've been using Microsoft Security Essentials for a while now, both in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors, and it works extremely well. I've previously used Avast!, and would choose Microsoft over Avast.

    It detected a threat the other day when I was getting the address to block the Antivirus 2009 website, so I know it's working. Otherwise, it's quiet, does it's job, and doesn't slow my computer down in the least bit.

    My favorite bit is the amount of information Microsoft provides when it detects a threat. When it picked up the Antivirus 2009 (aka Trojan:Win32/FakeXPA), it provided this huge page filled with information, including screenshots!

    Personally, I highly recommend it.

  • bobince

    It's as effective as any other anti-virus product. Which is to say, not very. On the plus side, it's not in your face all the time like some of the others.

    No packaged product is ‘adequate’ protection for a PC, really; today's anti-malware products will not protect you from the mass of ever-evolving malware out there today. It's much more about ensuring your net-facing software is up-to-date, reducing attack surface by removing net-facing software (like plugins) that you don't need, and not falling for social engineering attacks (like the fake codecs and scanners).

  • William Hilsum

    Only time will tell - but from my first impressions and testing recently, I LOVE IT!

    I installed Microsoft Security Essentials Beta and it worked brilliantly a while ago, very low memory footprint, small size e.t.c.... I have become less impressed with Nod32 recently (they are going down the Symantec trap - money in advertising and not product development), Anyway, I thought it was fast and did the job.

    However, I upgraded my pc a few months ago and I have not been using any AV (I have Windows 7, UAC on maxmium, and I never install programs that I do not know / used in the past), and generally been very happy. However, If you must have an AV solution, I would seriously consider this if you do not need central management / enterprise AV.

  • raven

    Anti-virus/malware software has to have a pretty intimate relationship with the operating system in order to function effectively. Who better to create that relationship than the creators of the OS? And, it's free to boot. I would think that, if you're going to use AV software, this is the one to go with.

  • Nick Josevski

    I like to take advice from security experts, one such security expert is Steve Gibson who's proven to be a reliable source of security information through a long standing security based podcast Security Now and his career as a software developer for his own company GRC.

    Being a listener of the podcast Steve has often recommended Microsoft Security Essential as a good anti-virus solution and uses it himself.

    A quick bing search of the Security Now podcast transcripts lists several episodes of Steve discussing Microsoft Security Essentials and recommending its use.

  • admintech

    Since I tested the pre-beta build, it is quite difficult to draw the final verdict. But one thing that held out is it’s ease-of-use and small memory footprint. The overall size of the software installer is only 4.8MB and takes around 6.6MB + 36MB(runs two different processes) when running on my system. Which is quite impressive if you look at the fact that it detected and removed a Trojan downloader that NOD32 even failed to detect in the first place.

  • Chris Thompson

    It's meant to be a successor to OneCare, which surprisingly provided pretty adequate protection. I'm running it now on Windows 7 and although I cannot attest to it's security, I've been very happy with the UI and the footprint. It's incredibly unobtrusive (adds nothing to the desktop other than a taskbar icon) and actually has a large number of options to configure. I'm exceptionally happy with it.

  • Peter Stuer

    AV-Comparatives gives it an Advanced+ score, which is their highest rating. Security Essentials uses the same AV engine as Microsoft's Forefront business AV offering. I went with MSE for all my home machines.

  • hotei

    I switched from Norton (5 licenses) to MSE for a couple of reasons.

    First, Norton was slowing down the system and consuming huge amounts of memory. Not so much a problem on Win7 but on my older XP systems with limited CPU and RAM it's a killer.

    Second, Norton charged my credit card for a subscription update without me initiating the transaction. They called it "enhanced customer service", I called it "you just lost a customer". Used to be when a subscription ran out they nagged repeatedly and pushed you to their website where you had to acknowledge that you wanted to buy another year's sub. Now the default is "we charge you automatically". You can opt out - if you know about it.

    These days I use Ubuntu about 90% of the time but for the 10% that's spent on Windows 7 MSE seems to be working (no hits yet so hard to verify that) and the resource use is much less intrusive (so far). I still have Norton on one system (the one I paid for automatically) but when that runs out - I'd done with Norton.

    I've used some other AVs, best left un-named, but their sig update process was so unstable I had to ditch them.

  • pelms

    Yes I agree with all these comments. Its doing pretty fine on my system as well. The best part is it does not consume resources on your system. Go with it. Moreover its a product of MS so it could not be underestimated. I am still testing it I hope it would come 100 % true on my expectation. Thanks

  • Andrew Coleson

    I've been using it, but I'm not convinced that it's as good as some other free solutions. Previously, AntiVir would pop up warnings about things like the password dumper in OphCrack, Backtrack, Metasploit, and a few other security tools I have, whereas MSE doesn't seem to care. Granted, I consider them a "false positive", but I think it should still be detecting these sorts of things..

  • Romil N

    It is very wonderful antivirus software i have used since many years. Its is fast, protective against not only virus but also against spyware, trojan etc.

  • Synetech

    Is Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) adequate protection for my computer?

    It doesn’t always remove viruses; MSE gives you the option of quarantining a suspected file or removing it based on high, medium and low security threats. It’s up to you.