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Malwarebytes not running...but I didn't uninstall it.

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I recently update to 3.5.1 (screenshot attached) and Malwarebytes  was running fine, but there is one thing kept happening as with the older versions..occasionally I would get a warning that Real-Time Protection is turned off. That is the last that I remember regarding this because I don't use this desktop all the time. When I get the warning, I immediately open the program and fix the settings.

Today I wanted to scan a couple of files and noticed it was not showing in the System Icon and attempts to start it failed. When I rebooted in safe-mode, it shows as running but Real-Time Protection is turned off.

Further analysis of the folder shows that mbam.exe is missing which I  compared the contents to a copy of the folder saved during Recovery/Backup. I used that to start Malwarebytes, run a scan and it shows no defects found.

I've attached the results of the Malwarebytes Support Tool scan



Edited by jttrader2019
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Chameleon isn't included with Malwarebytes 3 so that's nothing to worry about.

With regards to real-time protection, if you're running Windows 10 and have Fast Startup enabled then that's likely why.  There is a known issue with Malwarebytes and Fast Startup on Windows 10 that will cause real-time protection to sometimes fail to load.  This is because of the drivers and services that need to load during boot in a specific order in relation to other Windows system services and components, so if that order is altered as it often can be when Fast Startup is active then Malwarebytes protection will not load successfully.

Instructions on how to disable Fast Startup in Windows 10 may be found here.

Please let us know if that resolves the issue or not and if there's anything else we might assist you with.


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I have Windows 7, not 10.

My issue isn't necessarily that the Real-Time Protection gets disable (it is a concern), its the fact that the program isn't running all of a sudden and the mbam.exe file is missing from the folder. Is this a known issue with the recent release OR do I need to uninstall/re-install?

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Ah, I see.  There is a known issue with some of the past installers that, during upgrade, they sometimes fail to install the new version of Malwarebytes after removing the existing one, but I'm not certain if that's what's happening here since it's just mbam.exe that's missing.

If you haven't already, go ahead and reinstall the latest version of Malwarebytes from here then restart your system (even if it doesn't prompt you to do so) and let us know if the issue returns.

I don't know what happened to mbam.exe but you might check Kaspersky to make sure it didn't detect it as a false positive.

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For what it's worth, this doesn't look to be an installer based issue that removed mbam.exe as the setup logs show the installation went through successfully. It's hard to say what else may have removed that file however.

As for the real-time protection notification you're getting, this is a known issue. What's usually happening is that Malwarebytes is updating the databases, which will sometimes stop and start the protections, and it takes just a little longer than we expected so we report the protection as disabled. However by the time you open the UI, the protection is running again.

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11 hours ago, dcollins said:

For what it's worth, this doesn't look to be an installer based issue that removed mbam.exe as the setup logs show the installation went through successfully. It's hard to say what else may have removed that file however..

That's what I remember...its was running after the new version was installed. I did install Kaspersky after since my current license expired, so I wonder. I

Anyway, the consensus is still that its not caused by malware/virus?


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On 6/26/2018 at 3:38 PM, exile360 said:

Excellent, hopefully the issue is resolved but please let us know if you do encounter any problems.


It's back to working as normal. Thanks for your help. I'm still a little nervous since I don't know what caused it. Windows System Restore has folders dated 6/13  where it was present ...I think the install was on 6/7.  I installed Kaspersky on 6/14 or 15 but I think Malwarebytes was running fine as of 6/20.

Edited by jttrader2019
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It could have been a database update in Kaspersky that caused it.  Since Kaspersky updates frequently, what it will detect can change at any time.  You can check Kaspersky's history and quarantine to see, but even if nothing is found, I still don't believe it is due to malware because an infection wouldn't allow you to reinstall Malwarebytes and run a scan.  In fact, deleting mbam.exe doesn't even break the real-time protection in Malwarebytes 3 Premium, so it wasn't a security risk anyway.  All it would do is deny you access to the Malwarebytes UI.  Even scheduled scans run through MBAMService.exe, not mbam.exe, so it wouldn't even prevent those from running.

If you're concerned about it happening again in the future then you can make sure that Self-protection is enabled under Settings>Application in the Startup Options section (though if you had self-protection disabled due to any of the current known issues with that component, then I'd skip it if I were you and just keep an eye on things to make sure that Malwarebytes remains installed and functional; you can do this by ensuring the tray icon is always there and that it doesn't display any alerts about protection being disabled and you can even double-click on it every time you start your PC to make sure that mbam.exe is still present since it is the process used to display the main UI).

By the way, if self-protection was already active, then theoretically the only way it could have been removed would have been by Malwarebytes itself, either by its protection or by one of its installers (my initial theory, though supposedly all of the upgrade issues have now been fixed so it's less likely).  You can take a look in your Malwarebytes quarantine too to make sure mbam.exe isn't in there.  If there was a corrupt database or a problem with protection at some point, it could have occurred that Malwarebytes detected and deleted its own file.  I've seen it happen before, though admittedly it's been a really long time since the last time I saw it happen to anyone.  Still, it isn't impossible and if self-protection was active at the time this occurred, then it's definitely the most likely scenario because there isn't much that can bypass Malwarebytes' self-protection driver.

Edited by exile360
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