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Malwarebytes 4 Win10 Hangs on startup

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I'm having trouble with Malwarebytes 4. I'm a long-standing Malwarebytes premium license holder, having stayed with the software through all versions.


I'm upgrading from Malwarebytes 3, and have found that following the upgrade, I get periodic pauses in windows operation. these pauses affect the windows explorer shell which provides the desktop, effectively halting all interactions between me and the system.

This problem also manifests as a complete lockup on system startup, occurring intermittantly but with heavily weighted likelihood of happening following a cold boot. During these lockups, the computer is apparently still working, as I see the hard drive light flickering, but all keyboard input is ignored, and although I see a moving mouse pointer, it fails to trigger any icon or desktop related function. CTRL-ALT-DEL also fails, with no response.

Once my system entered this unusable state, I had no option but to hard-reset, with a long-press on the power button to force power-down, and then reboot from cold. Once I see the windows desktop, that's when the system hang happens.

The only way around this was to keep forcing power down until Windows itself launched the recovery console on start, from which I was able to get into safe mode with networking. Here, I uninstalled Malwarebytes 4, and also ran the removal tool for 3, which found old remnants of Malwarebytes 3 that apparently hadn't been removed. Once I was certain Malwarebytes was no longer present on the system, I did a normal boot, and the system worked fine.

To verify my conclusions, I reinstalled Malwarebytes 4, this time from the direct download on the Malwarebytes website. Once the installer had run and completed installation, the momentary pauses during this current windows session returned, and I then rebooted and hit the same wall : As soon as the "preparing windows" lock screen clears and launches the desktop, the system hangs in the same manner as described above. Another few forced power-downs, and I was able to launch recovery console, get back into safe mode, uninstall Malwarebytes 4 and restart without a problem.

I then reinstalled Malwarebytes 3 from an older version (3.3.1) that I had on file. This installed seamlessly, had no negative impact, and upon restart the system performed as expected without any problems at all.

Unfortunately, the Malwarebytes website only provides access to Malwarebytes 4 from the download page, meaning that users in my position have no choice but to be lucky enough to have an older version on hand, or simply stop using the software.

I'd like to work with your dev teams to analyse and resolve this problem on my system, as mine can't be the only one affected. I'm a huge fan of Malwarebytes' technology and evangelise it to all my colleagues and clients, but this problem, especially given there's no option to revert to version 3 which is now known to be stable, makes it impossible for me to continue to do so. I've actually issued a warning to them all to say don't upgrade if given the option, just in case.

Does anyone else have this issue?

I'm running Windows 10 v1803 (OS Build 17134.1069).

Happy to share system specs and support logs via private message.


Marc Foreman

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***This is an automated reply***


Thanks for posting in the Malwarebytes for Windows 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 on the left column

  7. Click the Gather Logs button

  8. A progress bar will appear and the program will proceed with getting logs from your computer

  9. Upon completion, a file named mbst-grab-results.zip will be found on your Desktop. Click OK

  10. Please attach the file in your next reply. Before submitting your reply, be sure to enable "Notify me of replies" like so:

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


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


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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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1 hour ago, Marc_Foreman said:

I'd like to work with your dev teams to analyse and resolve this problem on my system, as mine can't be the only one affected.

Please follow the directions from the following article and post back the requested logs and we'll review to assist you.


Thank you

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I googled the issue and found an old forum post which provided a link to your legacy support tool at https://downloads.malwarebytes.com/file/mb3_check

I ran this and in a few moments it created the log. I'm not sure it contains all that you need from my own windows event log, but I am attaching the zipfile it created to this post.





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Hello Marc.

Please try uninstalling and reinstalling Malwarebytes for Windows using the Malwarebytes Support tool. 

Uninstall and reinstall using the Malwarebytes Support Tool

Let me know if that clears up the issue or not.

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p.s.   Please put away the "older version (3.3.1) "

That is a obsolete version.

Let us know the result of the clean uninstall / re-install I listed above.


One other point for later,  this pc needs to get a more current Build of Windows 10    ( running Windows 10 v1803   which is past its prime )

Edited by Maurice Naggar
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Just as a sincere tip, the May 2019 Windows build 1903  ( or later) would insure a more secure OS.   The 1903  is in wide use.   You should remove any Windows Update delay.


You reported that there were some issues in running the Malwarebytes Support tool, which is very unfortunate  & hampers analysis.

Let's do this for now  & just get another report, using FRST  which is widely used and safe.


FRST will help provide me with a list of installed programs and other information about your computer that will help me see if there are any other problems that are not being detected. Please follow the steps below to run FRST.

1: Please download FRST64 from the link below and save it to your  Downloads folder    ( or else, the Desktop ):

"Download link for 64-Bit Version Windows"

Please wait and look toward the top or bottom of your browser for the option to Run or Save.
Click Save to save the file to your system.


Then use Windows File Explorer and go to the downloads folder.

Run report with FRST64

Right-click on FRST icon and select Run as Administrator to start the tool , and reply YES to allow it to proceed and run.


_Windows 8 or 10 users will be prompted about Windows *SmartScreen protection* - click line More info information on that screen and click button Run anyway on next screen._

Click YES when prompted by Windows U A C prompt to allow it to run.
Note: If you are prompted by Windows SmartScreen, click More info & followup & choose Run anyway.

Approve the Windows UAC prompt on Windows Vista and newer operating systems by clicking on Continue or Yes. 

Click Yes when the* disclaimer* appears in FRST.
The tool may want to update itself - in that case you'll be prompted when the update is completed and ready to use.

Make sure that Addition options is *checked* - the configuration should look exactly like on the screen below (do not mark additional things unless asked).
Press Scan button and wait.

The tool will produce 2  logfiles on your desktop: FRST.txt , Addition.txt 
Click OK button when it shows up. Close the Notepad windows when they show on screen. The tool saves the files.

Please attach these 2 files to your next reply.

Thank you.


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Hi Maurice, and thank you for the advice on all fronts.

Please find attached the two logfiles you've asked for. Bear in mind these logs were generated when running the old deprecated version of Malwarebytes 3 mentioned in my previous post. I will not be able to run this tool with Malwarebytes 4, as installing version 4 typically denies me access to my desktop on a normal boot.

Addition.txt FRST.txt

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Hi Marc,

I just needed a fresh set of FRST reports.  Thanks for sending them.

I would suggest patience as we go along.   This case will likely take several iterations  / rounds.

[   1   ]

This first part is a small cleanup.  There is one trace of a previous antivirus.

This custom script is for  Marc_Foreman   only.

Close and save any open work files before starting this procedure.  I am sending a  custom fix script to do some cleanups.  


Please Close and save any open work files before you start this next step.  It may involve a Windows Restart at the end of it.

I am sending a   custom Fix script which is going to be used by the FRST64 tool. They will both work together as a pair.

Please RIGHT-click the (attached file named) FIXLIST and select SAVE AS and save it directly ( as is) to the Downloads  folder

The tool named FRST64.exe   tool    is already on the Downloads folder.

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

Double click FRST64

  to run the tool. If the tool warns you the version is outdated, please download and run the updated version.

IF Windows prompts you about running this, select YES to allow it to proceed.


IF you get a block message from Windows about this tool......

click line More info information on that screen

and click button Run anyway on next screen.


on the FRST window:
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. This run here should be fairly quick.
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 with your next reply later, at your next opportunity

[   2    ]

I would like you to run the Windows System File Checker tool.

This procedure will use the Windows System File Checker tool  ( SFC ).


·  Please download sfc_scannow.bat using the link below.
→  this link

·  Open your Downloads folder.

·  Double-click  sfc_scannow.bat.

·  Note: If you are prompted by Windows SmartScreen, click More info followed by Run anyway.

·  A blue Command Prompt window will appear.

·  Upon completion, a file named  mb-cbs-log.zip will be created on your Desktop.

·  Please attach the file in your next reply.

Thank you.


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36 minutes ago, Marc_Foreman said:

but I can't download the fixlist.txt

Does my attachment work for you? If not copy the following to notepad and save as fixlist.txt

ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers: [00asw] -> {472083B0-C522-11CF-8763-00608CC02F24} =>  -> No File
ContextMenuHandlers1: [Glary Utilities] -> {B3C418F8-922B-4faf-915E-59BC14448CF7} =>  -> No File
ContextMenuHandlers2: [Glary Utilities] -> {B3C418F8-922B-4faf-915E-59BC14448CF7} =>  -> No File
ContextMenuHandlers6: [Glary Utilities] -> {B3C418F8-922B-4faf-915E-59BC14448CF7} =>  -> No File
GroupPolicy: Restriction ? <==== ATTENTION
GroupPolicy\User: Restriction ? <==== ATTENTION
GroupPolicyScripts: Restriction <==== ATTENTION
GroupPolicyScripts\User: Restriction <==== ATTENTION
CHR HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google: Restriction <==== ATTENTION
Task: {14A29508-EB81-4232-B693-877EE0CEB54B} - \Microsoft\Windows\UNP\RunCampaignManager -> No File <==== ATTENTION


Edited by Porthos
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I'm running MB v4. My problem is very similar and only resolves if I turn off Ransomware Protect. With Ransom Protect running, the desktop takes forever to load, screen eventually appears then blacks out and reappears. Mouse movement is extremely jerky and periodically locks. The problem first showed up under MB v 3 and I recall numerous threads on the forum about this. The problem happened before and since updating to Win 10 1903, and also on a second boot to Win 10 1903 clean installation. I have laptops and another desktop all of which run without any issue (go figure). In the past, I undertook a clean boot and laboriously enabled each of the non-windows services (under msconfig) in an unsuccessful effort to identify any service causing the problem.

Have you tried disabling Ransomware protect to see if the issue resolves? I've given up trying to fix it otherwise.

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Thanks for the heads up RonnHarr. I didn't try disabling ransomware protection, as it's a critical feature I need for this PC (it's a work system), but it's interesting you're seeing something similar. Since you're running Windows 10 1903 it also cements my thinking about holding off on a major Windows version update until resolved, as it'll just be complicating the situation at the moment, so thank you! 

I'm fortunate in having both Porthos and Maurice debugging the issue - maybe the resolution will also help your issue.

Much appreciate your input!

Many thanks,


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OK Marc

For what it's worth, in my previous battle with this one of the knowledgeable respondents indicated that Ransomware Protect was not proactive protection. Now I'm not sure if this is still the case but you might try to switch it off while you are offline. That way you can rule it in/out as the problem.


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Here's the message I got in the past:

Ah, I see, so it's also impacting system performance while the system is running, not just during startup/shutdown.  Yes, in that case the only mitigation (aside from installing a previous build) would be to keep the Ransomware Protection component disabled, at least until this issue is addressed, hopefully in the next release.  Honestly I generally keep it turned off anyway since it is by far the least proactive protection component in Malwarebytes since it only monitors process behavior for ransomware activity, meaning you'd actually have to already be infected for it to detect a threat/attack on your system, and I know that the other more proactive modules are very unlikely to allow that to happen (especially the Exploit Protection component, since the vast majority of ransomware attacks start with an exploit that attempts to execute some malicious script and/or downloader to download and launch the actual ransomware executable on the system, meaning the ransomware itself should never even reach your system in the first place as long as Exploit Protection is active, not to mention all the other layers/modules that it would have to bypass to get that far to the stage of execution into memory and attempting to encrypt your files/data) and it does slow things down a bit, even when not having any bugs/issues like the one you're experiencing just by its very nature.

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Ron, thanks so much for that. I appreciate the rundown about ransomware protection. To be honest, I use it as a last line of defence, as when I exclude locations I know to be non-critical I still ensure that ransomware protection is active on those locations (I don't like excluding them from everything, especially in the wake of wannacry).

I'll run the test as soon as I can.

Best regards,


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Hi Mark.

Thanks for the reports that you posted above.   The System File Checker run is fine.


Malwarebytes Support Tool (MBST) Clean Reinstall

I need for you to download AND   SAVE  the download to the Downloads folder

Download Malwarebytes Support Tool

  • Open your Downloads folder.
  • Double click    mb-support-     to run the tool.
  • When prompted by Windows, reply YES to allow the tool to go forward.
  • You will be presented with a page stating, "Welcome to the Malwarebytes Support Tool!".
  • Click the Advanced Options link. This is important. Please ensure Advanced Options is clicked.
  • 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 install Malwarebytes for Windows. Click Yes.
  • Installation of Malwarebytes for Windows will commence shortly after.
  • Upon completion, Malwarebytes for Windows will automatically open.
  • Note: If installation of Malwarebytes for Windows does not commence, please let me know.


Then, when all is done, please lets do one final Windows Restart.


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

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