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MBAM file system level access denied

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I have encountered an issue, that seems to be occurring when M$ makes an update to the NTFS file system (Such as the June 12, 2018—KB4284826 (Monthly Rollup) ) where the malwarebytes directory, )and even my ESET Smart security Premium directory) and their associated directories get set to where even an ADMIN user can not gain access to the files, or executables in the directory. Malwarebytes, in this condition will only partially function. the system tray is the only part that partially works. when the context menu for MBAM is brought up, bringing the cursor over the open MBAM option causes the context menu to close, and MBAM does not open. additionally, the MBAM shortcuts on the desktop, and with in the start menu show a generic program file icon, and when you attempt to open the program, windows gives an access denied message. attempting to change permissions on the directories and files used by MBAM fails with an access denied error.) uninstalling MBAM is not possible because access to the MBAM directory. additionally the directory where the MBAM logs are stored (C:\programdata\MALWAREBYTES\MBAMservice\) is locked as well.  the only recourse I have found is to drop to the recovery shell and manually delete the folders and then reinstall the programs (MBAM and Eset Smart Security Premium).

there have been a couple of updates from M$ since then, and the issue has not re-occurred. but it DOES reoccur when M$ makes an update to the filesystem. so this has happened a couple of times in total, with the last time being when I installed the update previously mentioned. I have monitored my system for any other irregularities, but none have happened. IS there any other way around this issue that I am missing for when it happens again?

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If this occurs again, try disabling Self-Protection in Malwarebytes if you are able (or perhaps keep it disabled to see if it makes any difference the next time the problem occurs, assuming it still happens to ESET providing evidence that it would have happened to Malwarebytes as well).  I don't know if it will resolve it completely, but it may at least make it easier to deal with because the self-protection driver prevents other programs from altering the files, folders and processes that belong to Malwarebytes so it could actually be getting in your way when you are attempting to correct permissions or uninstall it.

You can also try running the Malwarebytes Support Tool mentioned in the above automated reply and try using the Clean option to see if that allows you to remove/reinstall it when this occurs:

  1. Download and run the Malwarebytes Support Tool
  2. Accept the EULA and click Advanced Options on the main page (not Get Started)
  3. Click the Clean button, and allow it to restart your system and then reinstall Malwarebytes, either by allowing the tool to do so when it offers to on restart, or by downloading and installing the latest version from here

With all of that said, I've never heard of this issue before and haven't seen it on any of my own systems so there might be something anomalous with your system which causes these MS updates to create these problems with permissions.  It might be worthwhile to contact Microsoft Support and see if they have any ideas as they may have encountered it before and may have a fix for it.

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ok, thanks. I did not think the self protection would still block stuff even if the program was not running. when this problem occurred, I could not even bring up the full MBAM program, and was instead greeted by the access denied dialog when I tried to open it. I don't think the support tool was out yet when I had the issue, but I will definitely give it a try when it next happens. as for contacting support, M$ seems to be trying it darnedest  to obliterate any support features and articles for previous versions of their operating system from their support site. unfortunately, this now includes windows 7. I will be going back to windows 10 eventually, so I will see if the problem re-occurs there as well.


I don't know why they are trying so hard to get rid of the old support stuff. I have an old WinMe system and an old MS-DOS system I maintain (for old games) that I frequently used the old support articles for. Now looking at those seems to be impossible. maybe I was the only one that frequently looked at support KB's for MS-DOS 6.22/Win 3.1 and WinME?

Edited by cybot

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Microsoft is trying really hard to force everyone onto Windows 10 in every way they can which is why, for the first time since I started using Windows, MS has been removing articles from their support site and technical documentation.  It's just one of the many ways they're trying to not so subtly let everyone know that they are only interested in supporting Windows 10.

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