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Malwarebytes 3.6.1 Premium blocks Word/Excel 2013

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I discovered the following entries in your logs which may indicate an issue with your Office installation and that may be why this is happening:

Pending File Rename Operations
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64\Centennial.Detection.IsCentennialOfficeInstalled.scratch
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64\Centennial.Detection.IsCentennialOfficeInstalled.scratch
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\ClientX64\Centennial.Detection.IsCentennialOfficeInstalled.scratch

I would suggest trying to reinstall Office to see if that helps, then be sure to check for any available Microsoft Updates to get Office fully patched and up to date.

Once that is done, go ahead and try launching your MS Office programs again to make sure that Malwarebytes no longer interferes with them.

Please let us know how it goes and if the issue still persists.


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OK, good.  Please try disabling each individual protection component in Malwarebytes to test and see which one might be causing the issue.  I would suggest starting with Exploit Protection as that's the most likely culprit in this case.  You may disable each by right-clicking on the Malwarebytes tray icon and clicking on each one, one at a time, then testing to see if your Office apps will launch, and if they don't, then disable the next protection component until you've tested all 4 of them.

If it still doesn't work even with all 4 protection components disabled, then open Malwarebytes and navigate to Settings>Protection and toggle the Enable self-protection module to Off under the Startup Options section then test to see if they are able to launch.

Please let us know how it goes.


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OK, great, thanks for the information.  Now hopefully we can correct the problem so that you are able to use your MS Office applications with Exploit Protection enabled.  It is very likely that disabling shielding for these individual applications would correct it, however I'd feel better if we could do something that wouldn't potentially compromise your protection for those applications so we'll try some other things first to see if any of them help.

First, I noticed that you are also running Bitdefender.  It is possible that there is some kind of conflict going on causing this to occur on your system, so to eliminate that as a possibility, please try temporarily disabling Bitdefender and see if you are then able to launch your MS Office apps with Exploit Protection enabled in Malwarebytes.  If so, then creating exclusions for Bitdefender in Malwarebytes and for Malwarebytes in Bitdefender may solve the problem, so let me know if that helps and I'll provide some info to help you configure exclusions.

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OK, excellent, that means that (hopefully) fixing this issue shouldn't be too difficult, assuming exclusions do in fact correct it as I hope they will.

So first off, to exclude Bitdefender from Malwarebytes, open Malwarebytes and navigate to Settings>Exclusions and click the Add Exclusion button, leave the Exclude a File or Folder option selected and click Next, then click the Select Folder... button and browse to the location where the primary program folder for Bitdefender is located (most likely C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86)) and select the Bitdefender folder and click on OK, then do the same for its data folder (most likely C:\ProgramData\Bitdefender or something similar).

Once that's done, open Bitdefender and locate its option for excluding applications or processes from its Protection Shield/real-time protection and exclude as many of the items listed in this support article as you are able to (don't worry if you can't exclude some of the items such as the .sys/driver files, but do exclude them if you are able to).

As soon as those steps are completed, try running your Office apps to see if they now function correctly with all of your protections in both products fully enabled, and if not, try restarting your system as the products might just need to reload for the exclusions to take full effect.

Please let me know if that solved the problem or not.


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As long as the items are being excluded from its real-time protection/Protection Shield component then yes, it should be sufficient to just exclude the paths.  I'm just not sure if it works that way or not as many AVs only allow excluding individual files/applications from their protection components (unlike Malwarebytes) and only allow excluding folders from their scanning components.  But if it does work like Malwarebytes does for its exclusions, then yeah, that would be much easier/simpler.

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So in Malwarebytes I set exclusions for the following folders:

  C:\Program Files\Bitdefender
  C:\Program Files\Bitdefender Agent
  C:\Program Files\Bitdefender Antivirus Free

and in Bitdefender I set exclusions for the following folders:

  C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes

I restarted the system but Word/Excel will not run.

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OK, it sounds like perhaps Bitdefender isn't fully excluding it somehow.  It may be one of the drivers listed in that support article I linked to, in particular mbae64.sys which is the driver used for Exploit Protection in Malwarebytes.  It also may help to exclude C:\ProgramData\Malwarebytes from Bitdefender, so you might also try that.

Also, please make certain that the interface you're using to exclude items in Bitdefender does apply to the Protection Shield component because as I mentioned previously, many AVs separate exclusions for the on-demand scanning component and their real-time protection.

It also may help to exclude Bitdefender's data folder if it has one (most likely located under C:\ProgramData).

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Thanks for the further advice but the C:\ProgramData and C:\System32 folders do not show when trying to set exclusions in Bitdefender. The C:\System32 folder does not even appear in File Explorer (with hidden items view enabled) on this Windows 10 system.

I can't be sure about the scope of the exclusions in Bitdefender as the Free version I'm using does not have the same configuration granularity as the paid versions. I will see if I can find out.

In the meantime I am quite happy to disable the exploit protection in MBAM temporarily whenever I need to use Word/Excel.

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Oh, it's C:\Windows\System32, not C:\System32 (though I don't know if that helps any as Bitdefender still may not allow excluding that individual file, and you should absolutely not exclude that entire folder as it is a location frequently used by infections when they install on PCs so it does need to be monitored by your security software).

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By the way, one more thing you should verify is that you're running the latest version of Bitdefender as this may be an issue they've fixed in a recent release.  I'm not sure what the procedure is to check for new program versions in the product, but you should be able to see what the latest version is on their website and compare its version info to the one you have installed, and if yours is outdated, go ahead and download and install the newest version then restart your system and see if it helps.

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Of course it's C:\Windows\System32 (blush) . . . so I have added the following exclusions to Bitdefender:


Note that 


Does not appear on my system.

Still Word/Excel will not run.


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Just now, rborland said:

I'm pretty sure I'm running the latest Bitdefender, it updates itself every hour or so.

It might just be updating signatures/detection databases and may not be checking for/downloading full product/program version updates/upgrades (many AVs do it this way since usually the user has to interact with the installers for new versions manually and generally requires a system restart, so it's not something that can be accomplished silently/automatically in the background).  Again, I don't know for certain how Bitdefender does it, but I do know that most of the security products I've used throughout the years, including most of the AVs, have generally kept program updates/update checks separate from the regular/frequent database updates, and many of them don't check for new versions at all and may or may not offer a button or option to manually check for new program versions.

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  • 1 month later...

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