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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Unable to remove/upgrade MSE

    Fred Langa, in his recent Windows Secrets Newsletter, calls MSE 'a fine, free security tool'. Indeed, I use it on several computers. But I now have a frustrating problem with this program, which raises a question if it is 'fine.'

    The problem arose when I recently tried to update MSE on a Win7 Home Premium system from v4.1.522.0 to v4.2.223.0. This resulted in failure, with the message:

    "Cannot complete the Security Essentials installation.
    An error has prevented the Security Essentials setup wizard from completing successfully. Please restart your compute and try again.
    Get help on this issue.
    Error code:0x80070645"

    This left MSE in an unstable condition. The only solution was a System Restore, which happily proceeded with no problems. I can still update the virus database, and the virus scans run normally.

    I therefore planned to uninstall MSE, but it did not appear in the installed program list, either Windows or Revo. I finally contacted MS Support.

    Over several weeks, MS Support offered several complicated solutions, none of which was successful, all of which ended with an unstable MSE, which required a System Restore. Some steps in the proposed solutions treated me as a stupid newbie, while others were incomplete/incorrect. They NEVER included starting with creating a Restore Point (despite me complaining about this every time!). I provided detailed responses, detailing the messages I received at each step in the processes, but despite requests, the technician never commented on these, and refused to provide any feedback on the meaning of these messages, many of which were opaque.

    Finally I was informed that:

    "I would like to notify you that, If we encounter an error 0x80070648, 0x80070643 or 0x80070645, it indicates that there is a corruption of Windows OS, whatever steps we try for resolution, will result in failure , Hence I suggest you to perform a Repair/ In-place upgrade of the Windows OS."

    I have often experienced difficulties removing other AV products from friends'/colleagues' computers, but I have always managed to find a solution on the vendors web site. This is the first time I have had a situation where I have had to effectively reinstall the OS to remove any program. I'm frankly appalled that Microsoft is unable to find a way to uninstall their own program from an up-to-date OS. I cannot recall any incident that might have caused the 'corruption of Windows OS'.

    As you may expect, I will be very cautious of using MSE after reinstalling the OS, or of recommending MSE to friends or colleagues in the future. This may be a lesson for us all? Browsing the web, it does appear that I am by no means alone in experiencing this problem.

    Chris

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    MSE is actually quite easy to remove on most systems in comparison to other AV products. You're the odd man out here.

    Disable the active service from task manager, then locate the uninstaller from within the program's root directory.
    After uninstalling MSE utilize a mild registry cleaner such as CCleaner to remove any potential leftovers. Restart the computer.

    There is a better than likely chance that your operating system's environment is/was unstable prior to the uninstall attempt.
    Windows XP requires a clean install every few years, especially after heavy usage, and irrigardless of typical maintenance.
    Windows 7 & Vista less so.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2013-04-05 at 03:09.
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  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    ...Disable the active service from task manager, then locate the uninstaller from within the program's root directory.
    Thanks, Clint.

    Interesting. Neither in the computer with the problem, nor in my notebook that does not have a problem, can I find any file that looks like an uninstaller. I'm looking in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\ - is that the program's root directory you mean?

    However, that's probably moot, since I think the process that I have been put through by MS Service does all you suggest and more, but without success.

    Given that MS seem to be aware of the problem as indicated by the error codes, and that there seem to be a not insignificant number of people reporting similar problems on a variety of help sites, I suspect I'm not quite the 'odd man out' - there seem to be several others at least as 'odd' as me

    Chris

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger Not Brightest Bulb's Avatar
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    I had some MSE updating glitches but had no problem with uninstalls but dumped MSE and went forward with Avast. (good luck)

  5. #5
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    Having a similar problem with the wife's Vista computer. Haven't spent much time on it yet but it looks like a permission problem. Can't stop the service (grayed out), can't uninstall, can't upgrade. Even poking around the files gives permission error.

  6. #6
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    MSE is well known to be only fair in what it is suppose to do and the OP is correct in that if something happens to its update progress, things can go quite awry. I have not seen an uninstaller for it back when I used it and disabling the Service is not that simple once things have gone west. Editing the Registry is the only effective way to rid your self of this not all that rare issue, but can be quite confusing as there are entries which do not seem logical to remove... MSE has been unremarkable for years. I do admit that I have seen cases where it has been the only successful method on the street to remove one or two infections over the past couple of years but I would never think of installing it on any machines., ever. Restores and complete reinstalls that many people seem to be using to clean many of the problems noted here in these forums are not the answer as much time is wasted and are not necessary if sufficient knowledge were brought to bear on the issues and additionally, other data losses occur doing these actions.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I have changed from MSE to AVG AV 2013 Pro. The free version worked fine, but does have nag screens. I have more selections of when/how often to update definitions with the Pro. New Egg software often has sales on AVG if you are interested.
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  8. #8
    2 Star Lounger
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    I checked my system for what its worth. MSE shows in both my Windows installed programs and Revo Pro.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    List of antimalware uninstallers and manual methods here, also links to other pages of lists: http://www.carrona.org/avuninst.html

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    I'm about to uninstall MSE, wish me luck.

    Once or twice a week MSE stops running. I mean the real-time part of MSE. Sometimes there's a problem during an update, other times the program just stops. Windows 7 immediately informs me I really must start real-time monitoring again, thank you very much. If I'm around I do as asked. It's just that I don't trust an AV-program that stops working a couple of times each week.

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