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Microsoft Malicious software removal tool

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#1 bulrush



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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:48 AM

In a recent download from Windows Update I got the MS Malicious Software Removal tool. Which never installed any Start menu items. After reading about it here (also KB890830):

the webpage confirmed that getting MSRT via Windows Update does not install any menu items. MSRT "runs in the background". So I downloaded the UI version and ran what I thought was the install file.

The install file did not show a typical installation window. Instead it showed a scanning window with options for a Quick Scan, Full Scan, and Customized Scan (for a specific folder). I did a Quick Scan and it found nothing. This file appears to be a self-extracting file that doesn't install into any directory or onto the Start menu.

This also creates a log in %WINDIR%\Debug\mrt.log.

MS says the definitions for this program are updated the second Tuesday of every month, but the program does not have a menu bar or any way to get new definitions. I assume one has to download the new program from MS Update every time. So, date your exe files when you download them.

And it does not look for the TDSS rootkit, which is what I had recently on my home PC.

EDIT: Here we go. MS says you must download a new version of the tool after they updated it.

Edited by bulrush, 22 June 2011 - 06:53 AM.

#2 snemelk



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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:03 AM

I see no problem - if you have automatic updates turned on, one has just to install the updates - the MSRT tool will run...

And it's not true it doesn't detect the TDSS rootkit, they just call that infection: Win32/Alureon... However, criminals release a new variant of this infection quite often; probably no tool is able to detect and remove all the variants...
Also, this tool is not a replacement for an antivirus program, it's not designed to detect everything...

You may also take a look here: May MSRT by the numbers

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#3 bulrush



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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:44 AM

I have had so many problems with automatic updates in the past that I have not used it for many years. All too often the update that is installed causes some bug in my system. And it's not just Microsoft updates either, other major software makers have caused me problems.

I do updates by manually doing Start, Windowsupdate.

I did add 137 updates to my home computer recently (Win XP) and did not have new bugs introduced, so maybe MS has improved their testing. But then again, I did not run any games since the updates.

Edited by bulrush, 23 June 2011 - 05:46 AM.

#4 cnm


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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:22 PM

You can always use System Restore if an update turns out badly.

Autoupdate for Windows is important.
For other updates the free FileHippo Update Checker is convenient.
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