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MBAM freezes with post-July 12 definitions


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MBAM will consistently freeze and completely lock up my system (Windows XP SP3) between 2 to 3 minutes into a quick system scan, requiring a hard reboot (ctrl-alt-del does not work). I found this problem started with the July 14 definitions database. Reverting back to the July 12 definitions eliminates the hard lockup and allows completion of the quick system scan (usually just under 4 minutes). The July 15 definitions also consistently causes the same hard lockup. I've updated MBAM to 1.51.1.1800 during this time so it's definitely a definitions database issue as opposed to a program issue. Thanks for any feedback or advice. I will continue to use the July 12 definitions until this problem is hopefully resolved.

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Thanks for the quick reply, 1PW. I do not understand what you mean by "reciprocal exclusions". I did read the FAQ and specifically Section L but it did not provide any helpful insight into why this particular hard freeze ONLY happens with database definitions AFTER July 12. Ditto with the previously mentioned "reciprocal exclusions"... why would these need to be entered now as opposed to on July 12?

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Hello Eagle2a:

Only MBAM staffers are privy to the contents of the database updates and I do not know what the difference(s) would be.

However we do know that system freezes can occur when exclusions are not entered MBAM and many anti-virus applications with real-time capabilities.

What anti-virus application do you run on your system?

P.S. The MBAM database was updated no less than 19 times on that Tuesday...

Edited by 1PW
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Thanks again for your reply, 1PW. My antivirus application is Avira AntiVir 10.

I still do not fully understand the "reciprocal exclusions" issue but I have an idea what you mean. However, it still does not explain why the July 12 definitions database works perfectly without any problems then suddenly I started getting the hard system freezes/lockups starting with the July 14 definitions. It just occurred to me that perhaps the July 14 and subsequent definitions have been modified in some way for the new version 1.51.1.1800 of MBAM that was released on July 14, and that's the root cause of this problem.

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I just read your edit about the definitions database being modified 19 times on July 14. That adds more evidence to my increasing suspicion that the new definitions being modified to account for the new version of MBAM, with significant bugs and problems still being worked out. Hopefully this problem will eventually be resolved with a future definitions update.

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Hello Eagle2a:

I fear I failed to convey the correct meaning. That meant that the "fingerprint" data had been appended in the current database to keep up with the new malware samples that had been reported to Malwarebytes. These were not changes to the application program itself. All good anti-malware applications update their databases frequently to meet the new threats.

The reason I have asked you for your anti-virus application is to refer you to possible exclusion entries that frequently must be entered to forbid freezes. I hope you will want to know what those exclusions could be. Also I hope your system is running MBAM version 1.51.1.1800

I hope this explains things a bit better. :)

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  • Staff

If it was a database issue normally there would be thousands of complaints if not hundred of thousands.

This database may be scanning in a new area that Avira doesnt like particularly. Please enter the exclusions in the faq and let us know if there are any changes.

I just read your edit about the definitions database being modified 19 times on July 14. That adds more evidence to my increasing suspicion that the new definitions being modified to account for the new version of MBAM, with significant bugs and problems still being worked out. Hopefully this problem will eventually be resolved with a future definitions update.

This was not the case. Some days we update 5 times.. sometimes 20. Depends on the amount of critcal malware released from Malware authors and what changes we need to make to protect you.

Also if you noticed the release notes there were only bugfixes in the latest program release. None of these had to do with the database.

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Dear 1PW, again thank you for your reply but I also fear we're going around in circles. I fully understood the updating of the definitions database and not the main application program itself. And again, your referenced "exclusion entries" are not needed with the July 12 definitions database and should not been needed for any future definitions update. Finally, yes, as I've stated several times, I am running the latest version 1.51.1.1800 of MBAM. Hopefully these hard lockups/freezes will be resolved in a future bug-fixed definitions database update.

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  • Staff

Well again my suggestion is to add the exclusions in the FAQ. This is the most common cause of this issue. This is a first step in troubleshooting this.

Again, no particular file or folder is the root cause of the hard freeze/lockup.

With what you stated above gives more evidence to Avira and Mbam colliding in the scan. The exclusions will normally fix that.

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Hello Eagle2a:

Below are the specific instructions for reciprocal exclusions involving Avira and MBAM:

Set Exclusions for Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware in Avira on 32 bit Windows Versions:

  1. Open Avira and click on Local Protection on the left
  2. Click on Guard
  3. Click on Configuration on the upper right
  4. Click the checkbox next to Expert mode on the upper left so that it is checked
  5. Under Guard, click the + next to Scan to expand the list
  6. Click on Exceptions
  7. Under Processes to be omitted by the Guard click the ... button next to the blank white box
  8. In the browse window that opens, navigate to C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  9. Double-click on mbam.exe then click the Add button
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 for the following files:
    • C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\mbamgui.exe
    • C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\mbamservice.exe

[*]Click on Apply

[*]Close Avira's window

Set Exclusions for Avira in Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware:

  • Open Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and click on the Ignore List tab
  • Click the Add button on the lower left
  • In the small browse window that opens, navigate to C:\Program Files and click once on Avira and click OK
  • Close Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

If these have helped, please let us know.

Thank you. :)

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Thank you for all of the help and advice. The mutual exclusions settings in Avira and MBAM seem to have done the trick. Here are some interesting observations I've made during extensive testing of various configurations:

I was able to successfully complete a quick system scan after updating MBAM to the July 15 definitions and disabling Avira AntiVir Guard real-time system protection. Enabling AntiVir real-time protection caused the hard system lockup during MBAM quick scan.

However, updating MBAM to the latest July 18 definitions (database version 7193) caused the quick system scan to hard freeze and lock up even with AntiVir real-time protection disabled. Only the mutual exclusion settings seem to work for the latest definitions database.

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Hello Eagle2a:

I'm very happy that your trouble is gone. We may never know what changed in Avira and/or MBAM DTBS that caused the un-exclusionary freezes in your computer. We do know that Avira's AntiVir Personal is probably the finest of the anti-virus application choices. I use it on my systems and those of my close relatives.

Happily, your system is enjoying MBAM's highest possible protections now.

Please let us know if we can help you again. :)

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@1PW and shadowwar:

Thank you again for your excellent help and taking the time and effort to do so. It is puzzling why this problem suddenly started with the July 14 definitions database. I still can't help but think it's related to the new version 1.51.1.1800 of MBAM that was released at that time. But like you said, it is possible that it's also related to an Avira AntiVir definitions update(s).

Yes, I fully agree that AntiVir is an excellent antivirus software package. It's my first choice and I've installed it on numerous systems over the years. The only drawback I've noticed is it does tend to generate some false positives, more so than other antivirus software.

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