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MSSE not updating?

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I have an odd problem with Microsoft Security Essentials; the Microsoft forums didn't look helpful (not surprised), so I thought i'd come here since MBAM is awesome. :)

This afternoon, the little flag for Windows things in the toolbar popped up with a red X over it, saying 'solve PC issues - 2 important messages', both of which say 'Update Microsoft Security Essentials (important)'. So, I went to do so, MSSE having the big yellow bar saying 'your PC may not be protected' - ok, maybe the GoBack I did yesterday (not a problem on my end, as it turned out) confused it. So I click 'Update'.

It skips quickly past 'downloading', and then goes to 'installing' - and the install bar then restarts, still saying 'installing'. Gets to about 1/3, changes to 'downloading', gets past 2/3 and changes to 'installing', then the bar restarts still saying 'installing', gets to about 1/3 and then I get the message: "Virus and spyware definitions: Connection failed. Security Essentials couldn't complete the virus and spyware definitions update on <date> because

of an Internet or network connectivity problem". It says the most recent definitions are, updated March 18 at 10:37 AM.

And it does this every time I try to update it, even after rebooting, undoing the GoBack, disabling real-time protection and reenabling; nada. My connection is fine (for now); I've run TDSSkiller and it came up clean; I ran MalwareBytes AntiMalware, and it came up clean (and has no problem updating).

Looking through the Windows Update history, no update has been successful since KB2310138 (Definition on 3/19/2013. I have been having serious DSL issues with dropping over the last week; indeed, the 20th - the first time there was a failed update - it was dropping like crazy. Would having lost my connection in the middle of it updating have borked it like this? Should I attempt a GoBack to before that time? Or should I try uninstalling and reinstalling MSSE?

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  • Root Admin

If you're still having an issue and would like assistance we'd need to first start off with getting some logs to see what's going on.

Please run the following scanner and send back the logs.

Download DDS from one of the locations below and save to your Desktop



Temporarily disable any script blocker if your Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware has it.

How To Temporarily Disable Your Anti-virus, Firewall And Anti-malware Programs

Once downloaded you can disconnect from the Internet and disable your Ant-Virus temporarily if needed.

Then double click dds.scr or dds.com to run the tool, on Vista or Win 7 right click and select Run as administrator

Click the Run button if prompted with an Open File - Security Warning dialog box.

A black DOS console should open and run for a moment.

    When done, DDS will open two (2) logs:
  1. DDS.txt
  2. Attach.txt

  • Save both reports to your desktop
  • Please include the following logs in your next reply: DDS.txt and Attach.txt
    You can ignore the note about zipping the Attach.txt file in most cases.


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Thanks, but it turns out we won't be needing logs - after pondering it through the evening, I decided to try something, and once I was done for the night I did a System Restore to before the 20th when our DSL went beserk (we live in the country and sometimes it will drop-drop-drop every 30 seconds for hours). After that, I told MSSE to update - and it updated just fine.

I guess what happened was that the connection had cut out in the middle of MSSE attempting to update on the 20th, and that confused it so that it somehow thought there were 'Internet or network connectivity problem(s)' permamently after that. So restoring to before that made it work.

Thanks for the note though, and I'll be sure to check in if I have any problems in the future. :)

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