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Malwarebytes Keeps Breaking Itself

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I've been having a problem with Malwarebytes for the past few months.  No such problem has been reported before.

Before I state my problem I need to clarify a few things:

-  I'm 100% sure my computer is not affected by any malware, trojans, viruses, worms, rootkits, or any other infection.  RKill, Hitman Pro, and a few other top-rated anti-malware programs I use have said I'm 100% infection-free.
-  There are no traces of old Malwarebytes insallations left on my computer.
-  I have all the latest drivers, latest Windows Updates, all the VC Redistributables installed, and all the necessary pre-requesties installed.
-  I have no other programs that could possibly interfere with Malwarebytes.

Now, the problem.  Malwarebytes seems to repeatedly break itself for no apparent reason.  I have the paid version, but this problem prevents me from using it at all.

About a day or two after I try and install the program, it stops opening.  I click on it and nothing happens.  No error messages, nothing.  I then went to "services" and found that the Malwarebytes service got disabled.  Attempting to start the service brings up an error that says something about dependencies.  So I uninstall the program completely and re-install.  About a day later, the same exact thing happens.  Malwarebyres won't open, the service refuses to start, and I'm back at square one again.

I scanned my computer with RKill, Hitman Pro, and several other anti-malware programs.  They all say my computer is NOT infected in any way, shape, or form.  I'm clean.  Today, I tried again, and now whenever I try to run the program it says "Windows cannot find mbam.exe", even though I'm looking at the EXE file and double clicking on it, NOT the shortcut.  The shortcut also gives the error, by the way.

I've searched for answers for about 3 weeks now and no one seems to have this problem.  I'm pissed off that I paid for defective software.  I really am.  I've even asked around on various other forums, and either I got no responses or I got the response "I've never seen a problem like that, so I have no idea".  Any help?  I'm willing to provide any logs, text, information, or anything.

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  • Staff

***This is an automated reply***


Thanks for posting in the Malwarebytes 3 Help forum.


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


If you haven’t already done so, please run the Malwarebytes Support Tool 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.

  1. Download Malwarebytes Support Tool
  2. Once the file is downloaded, open your Downloads folder/location of the downloaded file
  3. Double-click mb-support-X.X.X.XXXX.exe to run the program
    • You may be prompted by User Account Control (UAC) to allow changes to be made to your computer. Click Yes to consent.
  4. Place a checkmark next to Accept License Agreement and click Next
  5. You will be presented with a page stating, "Get Started!"
  6. Click the Advanced tab
    Repair menu_arrows.png
  7. Click the Gather Logs button
  8. A progress bar will appear and the program will proceed with getting logs from your computer
    Advanced Gather Logs_arrows.png
  9. Upon completion, click a file named mbst-grab-results.zip will be saved to your Desktop. Click OK
    Advanced Gather Logs completed_arrows.png
  10. Please attach the file in your next reply. Before submitting your reply, be sure to enable "Notify me of replies" like so:
     notify me.jpeg  

Click "Reveal Hidden Contents" below for details on how to attach a file:


To save attachments, please click the link as shown below. You can click and drag the files to this bar or you can click the choose files, then browse to where your files are located, select them and click the Open button.


One of our experts will be able to assist you shortly.


If you are having licensing issues, please do the following: 


For any of these issues:

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  • Transaction Receipt

Please contact our support team at https://support.malwarebytes.com/community/consumer/pages/contact-us to get help

If you need help looking up your license details, please head here: https://support.malwarebytes.com/docs/DOC-1264 


Thanks in advance for your patience.

-The Malwarebytes Forum Team

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Hello SlyCooper.    :welcome:

It would be a great help if you would get , save, and run the Support tool.   Then attach the report-file.   That way we would have the info to help you with the issue.

The auto-reply was / is suggesting to run the Support tool   ( not the program itself).


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Hello SlyCooper,

Thanks for running the support tool.   The installation run of the 16th did not succeed.   Let's do what follows.

1 -  First, let's do a cleanup.

?name=inline-824188309.png Malwarebytes Support Tool (MBST) Clean Uninstall

  • Open your Downloads folder.
  • Double-click ?name=inline-123689756.png mb-support-
  • When prompted by Windows UAC, reply Yes to allow to start.
  • Click the Advanced menu on the left.     <<<    !!!                   Please do not click Start Repair.
  • Click the Clean button followed by Yes to proceed.
  • Upon completion, click OK to reboot your computer.
  • After the reboot, please wait for the program to reopen.
  • You will be presented with the option to reinstall Malwarebytes for Windows. Click No.
  • Important: It is important the No button is clicked. If not, installation of Malwarebytes for Windows will commence – this may cause additional issues.


2 - Just as a precaution, lets now do a Windows Restart.


3-  The Malwarebytes setup-install utility is on the system   on the Desktop. mb3-setup-consumer-

RIGHT-click on mb3-setup-consumer-    & select   Run As Administrator   &  reply YES to allow the start of the Malwarebytes for Windows setup.

Follow the installation instructions to complete setup.

Watch all of the process. Have lots of patience.
Let me know how it goes


Please respond to this email to confirm the instructions above have been carried out.

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That's odd, I am quite sure your logs showed it to be there.

You can do a manual download of the setup utility from one of these links.


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Okay, the problem persists.


I followed the provided steps, but attempting to launch the program still brings up the "Windows cannot find mbam.exe" error.  I checked - mbam.exe is in the correct location and isn't broken or corrupted.  By the way, I did pay for a yearly subscription for 3 computers.  This issue is cutting into that time.


Also, I should note that it works perfectly on my laptop which runs Windows 7.  I've been having so many Windows 10 problems that I'm positive this is also one.

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I regret to hear that news.

Lets get a fresh report, using the support tool, already on this pc.

  • open your Downloads folder or the location of the downloaded file.
  • Double-click YbWgqUx.png mb-support-   to run the program.
  • If prompted, place a checkmark next to Accept License Agreement and click Next.
  • Click the Advanced menu on the left.      <<   !!     Please do not click Start Repair.
  • Click Gather Logs.
  • Upon completion, click OK.
  • A file named HSPwQfy.png mbst-grab-results.zip will be saved to your Desktop.
  • Please attach the file in your next  reply.

If you encounter any issues during the running of the tool, please let me know.

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Okay, I added the logs.


Just to note, this "Windows cannot find mbam.exe" problem isn't the problem I originally had.  It started after a fresh install.  I did a fresh install to try and rule out a possible cause for my original problem.  My original problem can't be reported instantly like this one because it takes a few days before it actually breaks itself.  Once this problem is solved, my original problem will keep happening.  I'm pretty sure it's a problem with the program code and not my computer.


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There is an app here that has subverted all the Malwarebytes and that is why you cant run Malwarebytes.

The goal here is to get that cleared up.   This here is just the first step.


Please first close all open work files. Close programs you opened that you do not have to have open.  Close and save any open work documents, files.


We will use the FRST that is already on the Downloads folder, at C:\Users\Administrator\Downloads

I have attached a custom script fix   FIXLIST.txt   that needs to be saved as is to that Downloads folder.

Start the Windows Explorer and then, open the Downloads folder.

Double click FRSTENGLISH to run the tool. If the tool warns you the version is outdated, please download and run the updated version.
Click the Fix button just once, and wait.


PLEASE have lots and lots of patience when this starts. You will see a green progress bar start. Lots of patience. Some machines take longer than others.
If you receive a message that a reboot is required, please make sure you allow it to restart normally.
The tool will complete its run after restart.
When finished, the tool will make a log ( Fixlog.txt) in the same location from where it was run. Please attach the Fixlog.txt in your next  reply.


Next, after the above is done, let's do what follows.

Please read all of these lines first so that it is all clear to you about our plan. I need a one time run of MBAR like listed here, please.
The goal is to squash that one line in the registry ( the very stubborn one).

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit (MBAR) from here this link
and save it to your desktop.

Doubleclick on the MBAR file and allow it to run.

•Click OK on the next screen, to allow the package to extract the contents of the file to its own folder named mbar.

•mbar.exe will launch automatically. On some systems, this may take a few extra seconds. Please be patient and wait for the program to open.

•After reading the Introduction, click 'Next' if you agree.

•On the Update Database screen, click on the 'Update' button.

•Once you see 'Success: Database was successfully updated' click on 'Next', then click the Scan button.

With some infections, you may see two messages boxes:

1.'Could not load protection driver'. Click 'OK'.
2.'Could not load DDA driver'. Click 'Yes' to this message, to allow the driver to load after a restart. Allow the computer to restart. Continue with the rest of these instructions.

•If malware is found, press the Cleanup button when the scan completes. .

Please attach the log it produces, you'll find the log in that mbar folder as MBAR-log-<date and time>***.txt . Please attach that to your next reply.

Thank you



Edited by Maurice Naggar
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Thanks for running the 2 runs.   The Fix run took care of removing what was totally blocking all Malwarebytes executables.

The MBAR run was a precaution and also a verification run.   It found nothing because the preceding Fix run removed the blocks that look like were put by Advance System Care.

At this point, there ought to be no interference.   So my suggestion is to now re-run a new install for Malwarebytes.

download of the setup utility from this link.

Save the file.   Then double-click to begin the new install. 


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Although the program is now working, the original problem that made me make my original post most likely is still happening.

My original problem is that the program randomly breaks itself, refuses to open, and the service refuses to start.  It's not doing that now, but I'm 100% certain that if you close this thread, after a few days it will start having that problem again.

Can we please keep this thread open just in case the original problem happens again?

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Bravo on this success.

Please do not run Advanced system care on this box.  That is what broke the program all along.

I would suggest to do a save Restore point operation on Windows, so you save this current configuration.

Take real care when adding on third party tweakers, fixers, etc.   On Windows 10, you really do not need them.

To re-emphasize, do not use ASC on this box.   Here are the lines that had caused all the trouble here on this box.

IFEO\AERTSr64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\assistant.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\DTSAudioService64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\EP64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\FMAPP.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe

IFEO\malwarebytes_assistant.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\mbam.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\MbamPt.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\MBAMService.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\mbamtray.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\mbamwow.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\MBAMWsc.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe


IFEO\RAVBg64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\RAVCpl64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\RtkAudioService64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\RtkNGUI64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\RtlUpd64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\setup.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe
IFEO\vncutil64.exe: [Debugger] C:\Program Files (x86)\IObit\Advanced SystemCare\AutoReactivator.exe


Debug set points divert those programs to other purposes & lead to this type of havoc.


Yes, we can keep the ticket open.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Due to the lack of feedback, this topic is closed to prevent others from posting here.

If you need this topic reopened, please send a Private Message to any one of the moderating team members. Please include a link to this topic with your request.

This applies only to the originator of this topic. Other members who need assistance please start your own topic in a new thread.



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