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Change MBAM update mechanism?


PostHEX
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Whenever there's a MBAM version update (not referring to database update, to be clear), it's annoying that in this day and age you still have to manually update it through a wizard.

For me manually updating is an annoyance, but for my parents it's an actual problem (which eventually falls back onto me, because I have to assist them). When a wizard pops up of a piece of software they're not familiar with, they don't know whether to assume it's some malicious program or not, let alone knowing what to do with it if they do were to trust it (yes, even wizards are not user friendly enough for a huge portion of the elderly; have seen it happen many times that they and other people of their generation just press whatever they can in wizards of any software, because they want to get it over with as quickly as possible of something they can't make sense of). So they pause until I, their sysadmin, is available to check. This costs them and me valuable time in more ways than one.

 

Could the devs fully automate the update process for future MBAM iterations? Possibly by making it a Windows store app, so that MS' network can handle the updates? If updating via the Windows store isn't an option, than I'd genuinely appreciate it if the devs can figure out a way to make MBAM fully update itself, eliminating the need of any user interaction. The idealist in me says that any piece of maintenance/security/assistance (i.e. background) software should be installed once, configured once, and be forgotten about, all the while it does what it is supposed to, as well keep itself maintained.

 

Thank you.

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  • 11 months later...

I second this request for automatic version updates.  I waste hours updating multiple computers. 

Moreover, as far as I can tell, version updates cannot be initiated from within MBAM (Premium) itself? Clicking on 'updates' does not check for version updates.

In fact, MBAM does not even notify the user that an update exists! One has to first learn that an update exists by searching the website.  (At least this is the case going from 3.2 to 3.3)

And then download via a browser. And then manually install.

Thank you,

- Mike

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5 hours ago, mikeclarkusa said:

In fact, MBAM does not even notify the user that an update exists! One has to first learn that an update exists by searching the website.  (At least this is the case going from 3.2 to 3.3)

Program updates are "metered" eventually out over time. You would have been notified eventually. We meter our in-app upgrades, so it's quite possible when you try to manually Install Application Updates from the Settings > Application tab, none were available at the time of the check.

The time to wait for updates is not static. We provide updates at a rate of X computers per hour usually where X can be any number. So it's hard to say exactly how long you'll have to wait for a program update to come through.

We stage program updates for a variety of reasons, but one of the key reasons is to make sure the update process goes smoothly for users. It's much easier to turn off updates in case something goes wrong than try to help a mass amount of users roll back.

Edited by Porthos
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  • Staff

As of version 3.2 whenever you use the Install Application Updates button located under Settings>Application in the Application Updates section it will pull down the newest available version update/upgrade so the metering now only applies to scheduled update checks and database update checks through the link in the Dashboard.

As for installing updates/upgrades automatically/silently via the scheduler etc., we do currently do this for patches where only some of our component files are replaced, however for major version upgrades where the primary executables/services/drivers are replaced, an installer is still needed and we still have those versions install interactively.  While it could be possible to handle even these upgrades silently via command line switches, we generally don't in case there are major new features we want users to be aware of (including some which may need to be configured during installation) and we also aren't comfortable pushing out such version upgrades in a silent manner.  This is actually industry standard practice.  I don't know of any AV/AM software that will download and install a new major version upgrade automatically/silently without user interaction.  That's not to say that we won't consider implementing such a feature, or at least an option to allow this behavior, but for now at least we are doing things the way that other vendors do with regards to new version releases.

Anyway, I hope this helps to clear things up a bit.  Please let us know if any of you have any additional feedback and/or suggestions for us.

Thanks

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Doesn't Windows Defender do all of its stuff silently? And isn't your Android app completely silent as well (though your Android app obviously isn't as large and privileged)? I'm not being snarky, but genuinely asking for a points of reference.

 

If a complete silent install is long ways away, then you could implement a semi-silent install instead. You could let users just push an accept or decline button for an upgrade, and that's it. I really don't see why we have to go through a wizard, as we're literally repeating steps that we've already gone through (language, install directory, etc) during initial installation, steps that haven't got any influence on the outcome of the upgrade.

Edited by PostHEX
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2 hours ago, PostHEX said:

Doesn't Windows Defender do all of its stuff silently? And isn't your Android app completely silent as well (though your Android app obviously isn't as large and privileged)? I'm not being snarky, but genuinely asking for a points of reference.

 

If a complete silent install is long ways away, then you could implement a semi-silent install instead. You could let users just push an accept or decline button for an upgrade, and that's it. I really don't see why we have to go through a wizard, as we're literally repeating steps that we've already gone through (language, install directory, etc) during initial installation, steps that haven't got any influence on the outcome of the upgrade.

Yes, but Windows Defender is a component of the OS that updates through Windows Update, not a third party piece of software.  As for our Android app, things are way different on mobile platforms than Windows.  When we've got drivers, services and the registry to deal with an installation of a new version requires a lot more.  I'm not saying it's not possible, just that silent installs for major versions isn't how things are typically done.

As for a semi-silent install, I suppose we could but such a thing would require serious modifications to our installer (assuming InnoSetup, the package type we use, allows that sort of thing) or a second executable to launch the installer with the appropriate switches to make it silent, both of which would take major work on the part of the Devs for something that we're not even certain all users would want and doesn't do anything to improve our proficiency at our primary task which is stopping malware.

Again, I'm not saying it's impossible or even that it's a bad idea.  I think you guys make some valid points and silent updates/upgrades is something I've wanted to do for a very long time (years, actually) because I do believe it makes sense.  At the same time, at least now we have the ability to upgrade individual components of the software without requiring a full installer and user interaction, something we didn't have in the past and something most vendors lack so we're only having users go through an install when it's required due to a major version release where our primary files are updated.  Besides, I've seen our new installation wizard and it's way simpler than it used to be.  It only takes like 2 or 3 clicks and you're done.  It's not like the installers we had in the past where it was like 5 steps and a bunch of choices/selections that had to be made just to get the software installed (and most importantly we now have an "Agree and Install" button instead of a set of radio buttons forcing the user to choose "I Agree" then clicking "Next" through a bunch of install wizard dialogs).  Now it just pops up, has a button to "Agree and Install", the unavoidable UAC prompt since admin privileges are required and a "Finish" button once it's done.  There is an option to modify the default installation parameters of course, but assuming you don't want to alter the install location or change whether the desktop shortcut gets created you don't need to bother with it.  So really, while it isn't totally silent/automatic, it does provide an experience quite similar to the one you describe where users push an accept/decline button, except they get a notification that the update has been downloaded, click the "Install Now" button in the notification to launch the installer, click "Agree and Install" in the installation wizard then click "Finish" once it's done so like maybe 2 additional clicks (again, not counting the UAC prompt from Windows) which I really don't think is that bad.  My point is, now that we have this new installation wizard which is a lot simpler and more user friendly, the need to automate/silence product upgrades is reduced greatly, at least in my opinion.

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