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  1. #1
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Malwarebytes Free Edition Update and Scan Automation

    Malwarebytes' Anti-malware Free Edition has the "Scanner and Update Scheduler" disabled. Those are only available in the paid version. Task Scheduler can handle these functions in much the same way as it works to automate Windows Defender.

    A shortcut to Task Scheduler can be found in Control Panel > Administrative Tools. Or, on the Start Screen, type tasks, click on Settings, then Schedule tasks to open Task Scheduler, which runs on the Desktop.

    Task Scheduler must be "Run as administrator" in order to schedule this task successfully (right-click and select Run as administrator).

    In the left pane of Task Scheduler, click on Task Scheduler Library. In the center pane is a listing of all the tasks scheduled by default by Microsoft and some installed programs. (A couple of these are Microsoft's Optimize Start Menu Cache Files for each user on the machine, which are run when the PC is left idle, is part of the default scheduled defrag process, and is interrupted if the idle state is interrupted.) Leave the existing scheduled tasks as they are, and in the right pane, click on Create Task.

    This will open a dialog box with tabs for General, Triggers, Actions, Conditions, and History. In the General tab, give your task a name in the Name box. Mine is "Malwarebytes Definitions Update". Note that Location: is already filled in as a backslash, and is greyed out; that is as it should be. A Description can be added, but isn't necessary.

    Under Security options, click on the button Change User or Group... In the Select User of Group dialog that pops up, type system in the box for Enter the object name to select, then click the button Check Names. This will reformat system into the Windows way of names, and will be changed to SYSTEM. Click OK on that box, and SYSTEM is transformed once more to NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM.

    Next, put a check by Run with highest privileges, and using the dropbox by Configure for: select Windows 8, then click on the Triggers tab.

    At the bottom of the Triggers tab, click the New... button. In the New Trigger dialog box that pops up, put a tick in the radio button for Daily. The Start: box will be pre-filled the current date and time. Change the Start time to whatever you like. Bear in mind that if you hibernate or sleep your PC rather than turn it off, this can be any time. If you turn your PC off, this should be a time when the machine will be running. Enabled will have a check by it, and everything else on the New Trigger tab can be left as is.

    Click the Actions tab and the New... button at the bottom. In the New Action dialog box, Start a program will be pre-filled beside Action; leave that as is. By the Program/script textbox, click the Browse button and navigate to Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\, highlight mbam.exe and click the Open button (if your Windows is 32-bit, you won't see (x86), just Program Files). In the Add arguments (optional): textbox type /update then click OK.

    On the Condititons tab, leave the box unchecked by Start the task only if the computer is idle for: because this is a background task that happens quickly. If you hibernate/sleep your PC rather than turning it off, put a check by Wake the computer to run this task. Under Network, put a check in the box, and leave Any connection as the available connection.

    In the Settings tab be sure there's a check by Allow task to be run on demand, and Run task as soon as possible after a scheduled start is missed. The rest can be left as is.

    Click OK, and you're finished. Malwarebytes definitions will be updated every day at the time you selected.

    The task will run to completion, but it runs as it would if it were run manually. When run manually, after the update has completed, a dialog box will pop up with words to the effect that the definitions have been updated, and an OK button to click to dismiss the process. Since this process is now being run in the background via Task Scheduler, the button is not visible, and the process can't be dismissed. This will leave mbam.exe taking up a bit of memory, but otherwise doing nothing (Task Scheduler > Task Schedule Library will show the status as "running", but it's just resident in memory).

    I use a short CMD script to run TASKKILL and free up that little bit of memory. I've placed the script in Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\. I named mine UpdateOK.cmd. Use whatever suits you for a name. The script is a single line, TASKKILL /F /IM mbam.exe. The /F switch is to Force the kill (it won't work otherwise), and the /IM is to identify the item to be killed.

    This will have a side effect (quite harmless) in the Last Run Result column of Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler Library. It will show Incorrect function. 0X80070001, due to the TASKKILL termination of the task. But the definitions update has indeed completed successfully.

    If you would also like to schedule this Malwarebytes TASKKILL, follow the instructions in this post with two exceptions. Again, the Start: box will be pre-filled the current date and time. I've used a time that is 45 minutes later than my task for definitions update. The other exception, by the Program/script textbox, click the Browse button and navigate to "H:\Program Files (x86)\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\UpdateOK.cmd". Of course, in the place of UpdateOK use the name you chose for the CMD script. There is no argument.

    To schedule a Malwarebytes scan, follow the instructions in this post with the exception of the arguments to add to the program in the Actions tab.

    For arguments, use /fullscanterminate for a full scan. For a Quick Scan, use /quickscanterminate. On the Condititons tab, you probably want to check the box by Start the task only if the computer is idle for: and select a time frame, since a scan will take considerably longer than a definitions update.

    I have mine set for a daily quick scan and weekly full scan (a daily full scan is a bit of overkill for me). Note that for a weekly full scan, in the New Trigger dialog box you'll want to use Weekly, and select a day and time.

    To view the log files for these scans, open Malwarebytes manually and click on the Logs tab.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-12-29 at 10:28.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to bbearren For This Useful Post:

    CLiNT (2013-12-29)

  3. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    bbearren,

    Nice post on the use of Task Scheduler.

    The other option is to go Pro $25 for a LIFETIME license! I guess it depends on how you value your time. I know as a Retired Geek I like to save a buck as much as the next guy but at that price (BTW: I got it for half that price by watching for specials) I purchased 4 licenses for our 4 machines and didn't have to do all that work setting up tasks and since MB plays nice with others I also have Windows Defender running for dual level protection. And let's not forget the guys who wrote this fine program deserve some recompense for their efforts. I'm just sayin'... YMMV
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  4. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    RG,

    I don't disagree with a thing you've said, but there are a few folks on fixed and limited income for whom $25 is a lot of groceries (or other necessities).

    I also use Windows Defender, and don't personally feel the need for a second AM running live. Occasionally I'll get a little popup in the upper right corner in Windows 8 on my desktop with words to the effect that Windows Defender is cleaning my computer - saw one just yesterday, in fact.

    Couple that with regular drive imaging, and I'm comfortable. And, as always, YMMV.
    Last edited by bbearren; 2013-12-29 at 10:59.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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