deucy14

When does frequency of scheduled and manual scans get harmful

25 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

I have done a search on this web site for any solid information or even opinions on when scanning becomes excessive to the point of becoming harmful.  I'm not too techy, but I would think after 20 years of trying to maintain good health to my computers I would have run into the subject at least once if there is a "too much" issue in scanning a computer. The question I have here is if there is a point in which frequency of scanning is too much ?  Below is some preliminary findings today on the subject, but I think of the big ratio of more sophisticated posters and responses from experts here at this site as an advantage over general blogs out there elsewhere.

The "too much scanning" was actually brought up tangential to what a different issue was for a poster to a forum on this web site I discovered a few weeks ago.  I believe he was referring to an expert or insider of Malwarebytes that scanning too much can be erosive to a computer.  Again this was just an aside remark to the principal subject at hand for the poster.  But particularly because the poster was arguably referring to an expert that scanning can become harmful or at least counterproductive has lingered on in my mind since then.  Why ? Because I would be a primary offender due to my ignorance about "excessive scanning."   My Windows Defender does occasional, quick scans maybe once every day or other day automatically, but I frequently will do an additional manual quick scan almost everyday.  Twice a month I will do an extensive scan with Defender.  All this is in addition to Malwarebytes' scheduled, daily scan and generally an additional manual scan daily with Malwarebytes.   I am very cautious where I go on the web and what may come floating in to the Inbox of my email.  But frankly, the buttons are there, the scans are done quickly, and none of this is bothersome to me. 

I did a web search this morning .... "Is frequent scanning hard on a computer ?"   The early batch of search findings were 9 to 12 years old with blogs being predominately negative about frequent scans. Also included in replies was the "washing utilities" like Ccleaner that is being accused of having a potential  for removing files that are OR will be needed for proper computer functioning, e.g. removal of files from "temporary folder."   I use Ccleaner at end of day every day.  The same accusation for the same reason applies to Ccleaner's registry cleaner which I use at end of day, too.  I was shocked.  I thought I was eliminating clutter.  But apparently this frequent cleaning syndrome is a hold over from the 1980's and early 1990's when hard drive space was much more limited. 

Back to scanning:  A makes-sense article from 4 years ago, April 2013, on the "howtogeek" site stated today's AV is so good with constant scanning always occurring in the background, that the theme is catching malware as it is trying to come through the door.  The manual scans have limited but necessary needs like when it is suspected that an infection does exist and the need to find and purge it.

https://forums.techguy.org/threads/can-too-much-anti-virus-scanning-damage-a-computer.845115/

I suppose I am guilty--inadvertently--of being an obsessive AV scanner to a fault, but I would like to hear from others if, indeed, this is damaging or counterproductive ?

That same link referred to the obstruction of two AV's working simultaneously.  I would never do manual scans simultaneously.  But the link stated that because AV's are always working (scanning, I think it means) in the background, the potential is there for conflict.  In the MB3 forum, this was addressed on one thread recently.  The in-house expert stated that using MB3 makes it unnecessary to also be using Windows Defender, but as long as they are de-conflicted in the Action Center of the Control Panel, go ahead and use both if that is a user's preference.  Being as obsessive-compulsive, I use both.  From all I have found with this quick research today, maybe it is net best to use only one ?

 

(And then there is this:  Is MB 3 a true AV ?)

 

Is using two AV's  "not good,"  and  is only for us feel-better types ?

Is there a point it becomes cumulatively excessive to be AV scanning too much ? ....damaging ?  .....counterproductive ?

Peripherally, is there a point it becomes too frequent to be using the Ccleaners and registry cleaners hold too much potential for harm ?

 

Even if the replies suggest "shades of gray," I think I will understand.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by deucy14
Needed to add important link.

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Malwarebytes is not a antivirus. And using two antivirus is not smart  >> https://blog.kaspersky.com/multiple-antivirus-programs-bad-idea/2670/

Is to much scanning damaging, i do not know, but since my (all) antivirus have realtime protection and is monitoring evrything that goes on in my computer when on, i only do a quick scan a month. I also run CCleaner when it tell me to (latest versions will tell you with a tray popup) and never had any problems with it

 

 

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Which explains Firefox's following...

pondus, do you mean the ONLY time you run CCleaner is when a new version comes out ?  You run it then, and not again, until the next version arrives ?

That there is nothing good coming out of running the cleaner except on that occasion ?  The computer doesn't have to stumble over unused files ?

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After glossing over the long post..

My .02 is kinda off topic. If you are using the paid version of MB and an AV both with real time protection in conjunction with safe surfing habits you should not "need" hourly /daily scanning.

Me personally have a weekly threat scan and a daily hyper scan. I let windows Defender do what ever it wants to do because there are not any controls to adjust.

I have NEVER felt it necessary to do a "Full" custom scan ever.

As for the wear/tear issues, Drives are so cheap now a days so I don't really take that into consideration.

What I concentrate on is doing a full image back up on a monthly basis with no exceptions or excuses. I do have about 300 gigs of data that are not only on my computer but is in my system images and on cloud storage in case of natural disaster like my house burning down again. :(

I also don't use "optimizing"software of any type.

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11 minutes ago, deucy14 said:

pondus, do you mean the ONLY time you run CCleaner is when a new version comes out ? 

No, CCleaner now have system monitoring so it will give you a popup at lower right like > "you can now save 785mb" click to run CCleaner

Info here  >>  https://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/ccleaner-settings/changing-monitoring-settings-ccleaner-free

 

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I agree with Pondus on this one, if your running real time protection why do you need to do scans? I do a manual scan maybe once a month and haven't been infected for years other than the occasional PUP.

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Pondus and Porthos and digmorcrusher....thank you. What I take from you and expect if I got a hundred replies is that there is a spectrum of how users address their scanning frequency and style of using: personal preferences.

Porthos.... I find it interesting you never used “optimizing” software (your reaction, I suppose, to my citing use of CCleaner). That is probably what I was referring to that I read some are concerned with inadvertent deletion of files that can be or may be in the future necessary for the computer. Your point is well taken about inexpensive hard drives. Some of us would not wish to fiddle with the replacing activity...he he.

I tried for the first time ever using on line storage in anticipation of upgrading OS 8.1 to 10. I tried Sky Drive on a probationary basis, and came away disappointed and didn't keep it. It did not have the most basic of my expectations and there was little to meet the user with explanations/descriptions of use of the site. I was in a rush and maybe I overlooked something. If so, it should have been user friendly and more intuitive. It made me think if all sky storage is like this. I just used my ol' plug-in external drive.

Again thank you for your contribution. Getting responses from you folks is a lot of bang for the buck in the context of experience and knowledge.

 

pondus.....Thanks for the link about simultaneous AV use and noting MB 3 is not AV.. .. Says it all. I'm not sure to what extent conflict can occur between Defender and MB 3. And if the computer is robust enough, using its resources should not be an issue. I just make sure I don't order a simultaneous, manual scan.

Good of you to point out the CCleaner feature. I must be a few versions behind. I'm gonna get on it.

Your rate of scanning is classic, one end of the spectrum. But with yours and Porthos replies, I am clearly over doing the number of scans. And now I can appreciate why considering what I found at some web sites.

Thank you again. I respect your time on this site and your current efforts and the benefit it has for me.

 

digmorcrusher: At the same very end of the spectrum as pondus...maybe more so ! This is what the link I posted stated: With effective protection in front, why do you need to scan for so frequently for intruders in every nick and cranny of the house ?

Thank you digmorcrusher. It is this piling on of respondents polarized in the same direction that brings more credibility and faith for me in the convictions of already credible persons.

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6 hours ago, deucy14 said:

Porthos.... I find it interesting you never used “optimizing” software (your reaction, I suppose, to my citing use of CCleaner).

Don't get me wrong...I use Ccleaner all the time I just don't use the registry cleaner. Personally all my computers have SSD's now and the windows Trim takes care of these. I also clean up with the built in disk cleanup in Win 10 after patch Tuesday and new build upgrades as well.

As long as Windows 10 starts with a CLEAN install I have encountered very few issues with it. Yes I am a Win 10 Advocate. :)

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ahhh......Porthos...TY for the clarification.  Good stuff.  This goes into my Computer Hygienics folder.   All of this adds to ideas for good practices.  I mean everyone has their personal style, but when in some corners of one's computer life it is baron, it is great to have these contributions for adoption consideration. At the very least it points to what is known to work.  

Much thanks, Porthos

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Much like the others here have stated, I don't scan too often either.  I only ever do Threat scans with Malwarebytes, and more often than not that's only for testing or to satisfy my own curiosity on how fast I can make my scans (it's a great metric for testing CPU overclock settings etc. as well as system performance following a driver/firmware update for any number of hardware components which affect data throughput, CPU performance, RAM performance and disk (SSD) performance).

As for drive wear and tear, I have a Samsung 850 PRO which is supposed to have quite a long lifespan thanks to technologies such as Trim (mentioned above by Porthos) and other tech built into modern SSDs that give them a much longer life than they had during their early stages of development.  In fact, according to the Samsung Magician drive management software, my 512GB SSD has had approximately 14.2TB written to it over the course of its life so far and its condition is still listed as "Good" and as far as I can tell it hasn't slowed in performance at all since the day it was first installed.

I too use CCleaner to clear temp/junk files occasionally (about once a week or so usually) and I also use Cleanmgr (Windows Disk Cleanup) to clear the files left behind from Windows Updates etc.  Occasionally I will run the registry cleaning portion of CCleaner but I never allow it to remove every "obsolete" or "orphaned" key it finds and check each entry to verify that it's a remnant from a piece of software no longer installed on my system and only check/remove those that are truly "obsolete" (tons of MS Silverlight and .NET entries get flagged by CCleaner but I won't remove them since, to my knowledge, they belong to software still installed on my system, but all those leftover AMD/ATI entries from my old graphics drivers are gone now that I upgraded my GPU to an NVIDIA GTX 970M).

As for actual virus scans with AVs, those are extremely rare for me.  If I get a wild hair to scan my system I may run an AV scan (along with a bunch of other scans/tools) if I suspect something's going on, but I've never actually found any threats so such occasions are quite rare indeed.  That's not because I'm concerned about wear on my drive (installing/uninstalling software all the time would have far more potential to wear out a drive) but because I just don't find it necessary given how strictly I manage my system (regularly using tools like Autoruns after any new software is installed to look for any changes to my startup entries/loading points).  I've got things pretty locked down on my system, with many attack vectors built into the OS/network stack crippled and, I believe, any others are covered by Malwarebytes, my firewall (a front-end for the built in Windows Firewall WFP tech with outbound connection filtering/blocking) and the browser(s) and plugins I use.  I believe that short of an actual flesh and blood hacker targeting my system, I'm pretty safe from infection (nothing beyond a PUP in over 10 years across multiple systems).

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exile360........ Another minimalist ! Your usage as relates to me is AV scanning due to suspect checks and Malwarebytes as a utility for system check--novel--along with its purpose for defense at the front gates.

CCleaner weekly you do for clean up and its registry cleaner with discrete removal/non-removal inspection of file....and conservative at that. This is consistent with other posts. I'm getting it !

I appreciate you addressing hard drive wear and tear and disc maintenance. Importantly, as it applies to my use, the former I have finally come to understand is not really an issue, and the latter is a job for dedicated utilities.

As I think expressed in my original post, I felt much of what comes as replies would reflect personal style. But there are some common themes through the posts and to my mind, de-bunking some myths.

Thank you exile 360 for that elegant post—comprehensive--and rounding things out !

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ID: 12   Posted (edited)

I've used Ccleaner for years, do a clean up daily and a registry scan maybe 2 or 3 times a week, not once have any issues occurred to my computer following this routine.

Edited by digmorcrusher

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Same here.

But I will be pacing myself down to doing less.  If I can reduce the potential alligators in the water--the ones that may bite you in spite of you being innocent--why not ?

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Most will say that cleaning the registry is not needed, however, a couple of years ago I tried Trusteer Rapport, after a while I uninstalled, deleted all folders and cleaned the registry of all TR entries I could find. Some time later I was trying to install another program, can't remember which one, but I couldn't do it as it said I had TR installed and it was incompatible. So I had to dig deeper in the registry to try to find the entry that was left, I found it and installed the other program. So occasionally there will be registry entries that may cause issues, few and far between I know. Now when I uninstall a program I clean the registry of all leftover entries, both manually and with RegScanner and SystemLook. obsessive ,probably, but haven't borked anything yet. Not that I recommend this for everyone but it works for me.

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ID: 15   Posted (edited)

Digmorcrusher, a note: (questions) at the end of this post (that others are invited to reply, also).

.Well “obsessive “ is why I started this topic. I knew I was spending a lot of time cleaning and being very defensive—for years ! -- but I had no point of reference to know what “normal” should be. I am grateful to everyone who has kindly posted on what probably was considered a simpleton subject. But it has allowed me to learn that by comparison, I have indeed been way over-doing it with scans and registry cleaning.

I got my first computer Nov 1997. I had no one teach/mentor me from the start up, made mistakes on the learning curve, got infected more than I should have. Getting infected in those early days was like a beginner swimmer thrown into the deep end and anxiously trying to find the side of the pool. The legacy to that was to use whatever tools I had to become more defensive—and use them often !

Now that I know better, I probably can't remove all the excess completely ! At the end of February a new, post-malwarebytes removal tool that cleans its remnants was introduced. I would request the mwb cadre make one for users' removal of obsessiveness.

But I have already started rehabilitation since reading all these good posts, and my reform is underway. You, digmorcrusher are the most defensive compared to others who have posted and closer to my reformed ways but still evolving to reduce down to your frequencies.

QUESTION (anyone else can chime in): I don't recall anyone stating daily scans are hurtful or counter-productive, but that this is unnecessary with today's excellent protection available. I find it easy to push a button once per day and let the scan begin while I go on to do other things. (It's part of my reform; I used to do two scans per day with AV and one or two with malwarebytes.) Now I do one scan each per day with AV and mwb. You do one AV per week (closer to other posters who even do less frequently). You do registry scan/clean daily which is what some say makes a user more vulnerable to problems from potential, unfortunate removals. (You however do a manual look to assure that does not occur before deleting.) My question is why do you do daily registry scans ?

Question ( bundled) (also anyone else can respond): Why your selection of those specific registry scanners, RegScanner and SystemLook ? The issuers of registry scanners appear to be over-selling them, maybe because they are such a commodity these days with so many competitors. Does a user choose one based on some specific feature that is important to a user ? What is an informed user looking for ? What are the most important features should a user be looking for from a registry scanner/cleaner, or is it a matter of individual preference ? What reviewers can you trust that are not being paid by to write what they do ? I have been using CCleaner for many years that I think was a referral.

Question (anyone can respond): What is one supposed to be looking for after the completion of a scan ?

 

That's a lot. Thank you in advance !

Edited by deucy14
punctuations needed for easier readability

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If you prefer to do daily scan I see no problem with that, I choose not to because I think its not necessary for me, there is no right answer here, if you download torrents or visit questionable sights then most certainly a daily scan is probably best. 

I clean my registry frequently because I like to keep my computer tidy and efficient. Is this needed, probably not, again its my choice, for most others it may not be a good practice.

I use RegScanner and System Look because they work and are reliable. I do not use cleaners that come bundled with other optimizing programs, to me these can do more harm then good, with the tools I use you can specifically look for certain registry entries,  they are not an all in one tool that tries to clean every "bad" entry in your registry.

After a scan I would look at every entry scheduled for deletion, most times I am just looking for entries related to a specific software, if I;m not sure what the entry is then I would not delete it.

If anyone is not comfortable dabbling in their registry or unsure about what entries to delete then I would not attempt cleaning your registry.

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Yep, I too use RegScanner and/or SystemLook on occasion for the same purpose (like after uninstalling something and wanting to eliminate any leftovers in the registry).

One more thing I'll add which I didn't mention previously is the rare use of a registry compression/defragmentation utility such as the one mentioned (by me ;) ) in this thread but I only do that maybe once a year; six months at the most (it's not something required frequently but can definitely help after many, and I mean MANY program installs/uninstalls/registry changes etc., especially for boot times and application load times).

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ID: 18   Posted (edited)

Once again, thank you exile360.  More goodies to add to my inventory. 

Yikes, your link is exactly 6 years and 5 days old.....bordering on ancient !  he he.  I'm sure all good though.  When I saw XP and WIN 7, I had to check date of post ! 

Tweaking dot com.  Nice little arranger - tidy up application. 

Someone earlier on this thread -- may have been you--said to be careful about using the Registry Cleaner, but the basic Cleaner in CCleaner is ok.   Are you of an opinion that for many of us computer challenged with minimal knowledge it is best just not to use the Registry Cleaner ?

 

Edited by deucy14
abridge last paragraph for more accuracy

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Yeah, generally if you aren't comfortable around the registry I suggest shying away from using registry cleaners.  While they may be rare, I have seen cases where even the "safer" ones (like the one built into CCleaner) have accidentally removed a key for a piece of software that needed it, thus breaking the software (usually fixed by reinstalling whatever software got broken, but if it happens with a critical system component or driver, it could theoretically render the system unbootable; not a likely scenario, but it could happen) which is why I recommend checking on the entries to make sure they belong to software no longer installed on your system before removing them, even with CCleaner.  The app I link to in that post compresses the registry files/hives themselves which simply removes empty space in the file (registry hives are basically just large databases/lists) so no actual keys/values/data gets removed which is why it should be safe even if you aren't comfortable digging into the registry.  In fact, Microsoft themselves have a KB article explaining how to perform the same registry compression/optimization task manually; that tool from Tweaking.com just makes it easier.

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ID: 20   Posted (edited)

Thanks, exile360 for being graphic about the novice in the registry issue.   And as for CCleaner cleaning, I think I am permanently "off" for using it.  I dunno how vulnerable I would be for its unfortunate removing of breaking something vital, but how big is the reward for using vs the risk?  My brother works IT for state of Calif, and he asked me in one of those rare conversations, "Why use it ?"

Your first time description about the utility tweaking.com was already good, but thank you for expanding on it.  Manual,too, huh ?  I can see me doing that !  But for others who read your post, it's possibly kool to know that.  I'll go with your handy tweaking.com.

Edited by deucy14
grammar

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You're welcome.  Yes, it's important to know the risks with these things.  A lot of users believe that these registry cleaners are perfectly safe, and honestly most of the time that's true, but all it takes is one bad detection/deletion on the part of a registry cleaner to break something (I can't tell you how many times I've seen users show up on help forums with broken software because a registry cleaner removed something it shouldn't have).  I agree completely that the potential gains really don't outweigh the risks.  Don't get me wrong, there are rare occasions where a leftover registry entry from a piece of software that's been removed can actually cause issues (usually a "file missing/cannot find file" type dialog/error on system startup), but those situations are pretty rare these days and can usually be fixed by hand with the assistance of an experienced helper (and we're always here to help if something like that does come up, so there's no need to rely on a registry cleaner to try and "automatically" fix such things).

Yep, it's a useful tool, especially for systems that have been running for years.  I've seen compressing the registry make a real difference in system startup performance on older systems where Windows has been running for a really long time without being formatted/reinstalled.  In fact, this very conversation reminded me that I hadn't done it in a really long time on my current system so I went ahead and used the Tweaking.com tool yesterday and I can definitely see the difference.  My boot time is just a little bit snappier now, which is always a plus :) .

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exile360 !   When you post, it is as your last words, it.....

"is always a plus :)."

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Hehe, well thank you.  I'm glad to help and to provide info when I can :) 

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ID: 24   Posted (edited)

Hard drives have Mechanical Parts, and so LOTS of virus scans could potentially over time wear out the hard drive head which goes back and forth. SSD's, on the other hand, have a write limit but no read limit. so LOTS of virus scans on an SSD's is harmless as the drive is mostly reading the files and not writing to the drive.

Someone also said, why do a virus scan if you have an on-demand scanner? Antiviruses rely heavily on virus definition files, so it's feasible that an AV lets in a virus due to the lack of a proper virus definition file. But once infect it may get a definition file which allows it to detect the virus on a quickscan.

Edited by warwagon

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ID: 25   Posted

Thanks warwagon.  All good info and points.

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