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Alk2

ANSWERED Desktop not loading correctly

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Hello,

Windows 10 x64 version 1709 (10.0.16299.309) running Malwarebytes Premium 3.4.4.2398. In the last few days, Windows updates did update to the latest build and I have also upgraded and uninstalled/reinstalled Microsoft Office.

Additionally, Malwarebytes upgraded to 3.4.4 on the 15th. The next day, I experienced problems with Windows not loading the desktop correctly. I would type in my user account password and then it would take a while before loading my desktop with no icons present. The "working in background" mouse icon would appear and the system would not load any further. No startup programs would be loaded in the notification area and I could not click on the Start button. If I pressed ctrl+alt+del I would get an access denied error. On the occasions that I could get so far as ctrl+alt+del and click to load task manager, I would get an access denied error.

I would press the reset button on my PC and it would be a repeat of the above. Finally, on at least the 3rd reset, my desktop would load correctly.


My analysis of the System event log (attached) makes me suspicious that it is the upgrade to Malwarebytes 3.4.4 that is causing the problem because the last entry immediately prior to errors about services not loading (due to access denied) is:

"File System Filter 'MBAMFarflt' (6.3, ‎2018‎-‎02‎-‎08T17:51:34.000000000Z) has successfully loaded and registered with Filter Manager."

...and this is the case on all of the occasions that I have been unable to load my desktop properly.
If you examine my event log, you will see the pattern that I am seeing (sort by: Date and Time Ascending).

MB-Check and system event log attached.

I thought of submitting a ticket to support but as there are a number of users experiencing issues upon Windows startup, I thought that I would post here.

I was intending to confirm if Malwarebytes is the issue by uninstalling/reinstalling and/or going back to the previous version, however, I will hold off in case further troubleshooting is required.


Thank you for any assistance.

mb-check-results.zip

startup issues.zip

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***This is an automated reply***

Hi,

Thanks for posting in the Malwarebytes 3 Help forum.

 

If you are having technical issues with our Windows product, please do the following: 

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If you haven't done so already, please run these two tools and then attach the logs in your next reply:

NOTE: The tools and the information obtained is safe and not harmful to your privacy or your computer, please allow the programs to run if blocked by your system.

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    1. Download FRST and save it to your desktop
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      • Leave the log files in the current location, they will be automatically collected by mb-check once you complete the next set of instructions
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    1. Download MB-Check and save to your desktop
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Greetings,

Please open Malwarebytes and go to Settings>Protection and scroll down to the Startup Options section and turn on the Delay Real-Time Protection when Malwarebytes starts option and set the Delay protection for: setting to 60 seconds and see if that resolves it.

If it does not, then temporarily you can set Malwarebytes not to start with Windows and wait for your desktop etc. to load, then launch Malwarebytes manually via the START menu shortcut or desktop shortcut.

You might also experiment by disabling each protection option individually by right-clicking the tray icon and unchecking each of the protection options one at a time and leaving it disabled when you restart your system (it will remain disabled until you re-enable it even after a restart) and seeing if any one module is the cause of the issues (I suspect it may be Ransomware Protection but I'm not certain).

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21 hours ago, exile360 said:

(I suspect it may be Ransomware Protection but I'm not certain).

I can confirm that this is the cause of my issues.

Having already suspected a Malwarebytes module as the cause of my problems, I jumped straight to disabling the Ransomware Protection module (for clarity; I didn't do anything else that you suggested). I've restarted 3 times without any problems whatsoever.

I have checked the event logs, and "File System Filter 'MBAMFarflt'" is not listed at all, so it is no longer loading. This is what I believed was causing my issues. Therefore, I can only conclude that this is/part of the Ransomware Protection module.

I'll continue to keep an eye on the situation for another 2 days, but after that I will be looking for a permanent solution. I could start with uninstalling and reinstalling Malwarebytes. I could also go back to the previous version, but I was previously badgered incessantly to upgrade to 3.4.4 and I don't want that. My family member's PC has not been prompted to upgrade yet, has Malwarebytes stopped the upgrade rollout? meaning, if I go back to the previous version, will I no longer be badgered to upgrade to 3.4.4?

Thank you for your help.

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Yes, MBAMFarflt is indeed the driver used for Ransomware Protection.

While you could downgrade, the previous release did have its own share of issues and there were a decent number of protection and detection enhancements added in 3.4.4 so even with Ransomware Protection disabled it likely offers superior protection when compared to version 3.3.1.  Were it my own system, that's what I would do. I would stick with version 3.4.4 and simply keep Ransomware Protection disabled and just dismiss the occasional "Protection Disabled" notification that shows up from the tray on boot and then install the new version as soon as it becomes available (projected for late this month, though obviously that could change) and test to see if the issue is fixed in that next version.

They haven't stopped the rollout, however they always do it in stages so not everyone gets it all at once.  You could configure it not to check for/notify you of new program versions if you wish and just keep an eye on the forums here or the Malwarebytes website to know when the next version is released, hopefully with this issue fixed.

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Thank you for your advice. How are we going to notify the Malwarebytes Developers of this issue with Ransomware Protection? Am I to submit a support ticket?

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They're already aware of the current issues with Ransomware Protection.  They have been working on a new version that is supposed to include several fixes for performance issues and hangs related to that component and I believe that if they have indeed fixed those issues, that your issue will clear up as well.

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By the way, a member of our QA team wanted to see if the delayed protection startup setting worked to resolve this or not (he's one of the guys that does the testing for our products before release and has been troubleshooting the issues with Ransomware Protection).  Would you mind giving it a try as I instructed earlier and letting us know what happens please?

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On 3/20/2018 at 1:24 PM, exile360 said:

By the way, a member of our QA team wanted to see if the delayed protection startup setting worked to resolve this or not (he's one of the guys that does the testing for our products before release and has been troubleshooting the issues with Ransomware Protection).  Would you mind giving it a try as I instructed earlier and letting us know what happens please?

I have set a delay of 60 seconds and restarted a number of times. No issues following this.

Thank you for your help.

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Greetings, @Alk2 -

We officially released 3.4.5.2467 today.

https://forums.malwarebytes.com/topic/225664-malwarebytes-345-patch-release/

This includes a fix which should also address this issue. 

You can download it here https://downloads.malwarebytes.com/file/mb3/

An install over the top should be fine, but I'll leave that decision in your hands.

Let us know your results.

Thanks!

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Hello,

Thank you. This version is working without issues (with the delayed startup protection turned off). 

I installed over the top. However, I got an error stating that the installer was unable to read/write to the Malwarebytes start menu folder. The permissions of the Malwarebytes start menu folder were non-existent. Please see attached.

Checking after a PC restart and the Malwarebytes start menu folder is no longer there. A good thing really, because a) I don't have to battle with this issue (I'm not bothered about the lack of a start menu entry) and b) it should be reinstated with the next program update.

I'm just alerting you to this issue.

Thank you very much.

2018-04-02_15h51_59.png

2018-04-02_15h52_18.png

Edited by Alk2

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Hi @Alk2 - thanks for your report and additional feedback. I don't recall seeing this start menu issue being reported, but we'll keep an eye out for it. It looks like something else on the system may have been preventing write access to the directory? It may be that a clean install would resolve that, but as you're happy without the start menu items, there's likely no need to pursue it.

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