Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

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Windows Defender quit working

by lascimmia / January 2, 2007 10:09 PM PST

When I boot up, I now get an error message telling me that the application failed to initialize, and that a problem caused Defender to stop. It goes on to say I should restart my computer which doesn't help or go to Help and Support and find out how to start a service manually, which I can't find.

Should I reinstall Defender, or remove it and then reinstall it?

I might mention that while I recall getting Defender I have been unaware of having it because I haven't seen any evidence of its working. I do occasionally get a window giving me scan results but not saying anything about what program it is and perhaps is Defender. On the other hand, my SpySweeper comes on automatically when I boot up and then I also have it sweep every day.

I presume that Defender and SpySweeper do the same job but that it's a good idea to have both.

Any suggestions? Thanks, Jerome

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Windows defender Quit Working
by calacci / January 2, 2007 10:37 PM PST
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Re: Windows Defender quit working
by Carol~ Forum moderator / January 3, 2007 5:18 AM PST


You failed to mention, which operating system you're using. If it's Windows 2000, it's no longer available for your system.

If you're using another system and have taken "aamit81's" advice, you may no longer have the problem. In the future, if you need to find Defender's services click Start>Run. Type services.msc in the open box and click OK. Once you find Windows Defender service, double-click on it. Choose Automatic in "Startup Type". Then OK.

You said, 'I do occasionally get a window giving me scan results but not saying anything about what program it is and perhaps is Defender. This would lead me to believe you don't know where it is. (My apologies, if I've taken this for granted.) If you click on Start, then All Programs, you should be able to locate it, and open it from there. Once there, you can also right-click on the entry and send it to your desktop where it will create a shortcut, should you wish. This will allow you to see your settings (Tools|Options) and also allow you to run a scan, when needed.

Best of luck to you..

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Many thnanks to aamit81 and Carol
by lascimmia / January 4, 2007 12:25 AM PST

I have now installed the current Windows Defender and run its scan and calendered it to run daily.

Carol is right. Apparently I never even used the beta version even though it was on my computer. While I opted to have the Defender icon always on, well, whatever you call that area in the lower right of the screen that shows what programs are running, so that I can access Defender from there, I wasn't successful in trying to get a shortcut for Defender on my desktop and am wondering why. I went to Start>Programs>Windows Defender and right clicked on it, and then on the menu that opened I clicked Shortcut. That produced a second Defender entry there at Start>Programs but didn't produce a desktop shortcut. What did I do wrong?

One thing I wondered about is the Defender Opton called Software Explorer. If it lists a program that I want to remove, is it okay to remove it by using the Software Explorer remove option or should I go to Control Panel>Add/Remove to do that?

I didn't see the replies before this because I forgot to track this thead.

I guess this is an appropriate place to pose some questions I have about Defender:

I was first using my Firefox browser when I went to download Defender. I got a message that in order to use Firefox to download I needed a plugin which was provided. However, I decided then to switch to IE6 to download where I didn't need the plugin.

My question is, do I need that plugin in order for Defender to guard my Firefox usage or will it do that automatically without the plugin? I'm assuming that the plugin was only for the purpose of the download.

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Windows Defender Will Work Fine Without Firefox Plugin
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 4, 2007 12:45 AM PST

Windows Defender will still protect the computer's browsers. Firefox has the ability to use various plugins which allow it to perform online services which it doesn't do by default..(Java, Flash, Shockwave, etc.) One of the optional plugins is "ActiveX" which is actually a security hole.. Unless you actually need a particular plugin, it's generally safer to NOT install them.

Hope this helps.


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WD shortcut
by eddie11013 / January 4, 2007 1:03 AM PST

In answer to your question, you need to click on 'send to'/desktop-create a shortcut.
Good luck,

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You're welcome, Jerome. Software Explorer..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / January 4, 2007 4:31 AM PST


You asked if it was best to remove a program via Add/Remove, or Software Explorer. Best use Add/Remove. The below from Windows Defender Help file for Software Explorer, should give you a better idea of what it was designed to do.

What is Software Explorer

Software Explorer in Windows Defender allows you to view detailed information about software that is currently running on your computer and that can affect your privacy or the security of your computer. You can see, for example, which programs run automatically when you start Windows and information about how these programs interact with important Windows programs and services.

Software Explorer helps you monitor the following items:

-Startup programs, which are programs that run automatically when you start Windows, with or without your knowledge.
-Currently running programs, which are programs that are currently running on the screen or in the background.
-Network-connected programs, which are programs or processes that can connect to the Internet or to your home or office network.
-Winsock service providers, which are programs that perform low-level networking and communication services for Windows and programs that run on Windows. These programs often have access to important areas of the operating system.

Further good luck..

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Much obliged to Grif, eddie and Carol
by lascimmia / January 5, 2007 11:52 AM PST

Your information and advise has been noted. However, eddie, about that shortcut. When I go to Start>Programs>Windows Defender and right click, the resulting menu only shows "Shortcut"; it doesn't show "send to desktop'. And when I click "shorcut", it creates a second Windows Defender in Programs but doesn't create a desktop shortcut. So, how do I get that "'send to'/desktop-create a shortcut" button?

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You're welcome, Jerome. Desktop Icon
by Carol~ Forum moderator / January 5, 2007 12:37 PM PST


I should have been clearer, when I wrote ' you can also right-click on the entry and send it to your desktop where it will create a shortcut' . When you right click on WD, the content menu will show "send to". Hover over "send to", then follow it to where you see "Desktop (create shortcut)". When you click on Desktop, it should create the icon. I think will help clear things up. If not, post back.


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Thanks Carol about the shortcut
by lascimmia / January 6, 2007 8:16 AM PST

Mission accomplished.

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(NT) Good news :) You're quite welcome, Jerome
by Carol~ Forum moderator / January 6, 2007 8:24 AM PST
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defender quit
by cutdeep46 / October 15, 2007 11:17 AM PDT

defender quit me also.. I have vista Home premium every time I start up i get the error sign about the program not working how can i unload & reinstall it? anyone know? ty

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Tried Changing The Service Settings?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 16, 2007 3:15 AM PDT
In reply to: defender quit

I'm not on a Vista machine at the moment, but you should be able to "make" Windows restart Defender when it quits. Open the "Run" line, then type: services.msc, then click on OK. When the "Services" window loads, scroll to the "Windows Defender" listing and double click on it. When the Windows Defender Service properties window loads, make sure the "Startup Type" is "Automatic". In addition, if the "Status" line says: "Stopped", then click on the button to "Start" it.. Then click on the "Recovery" tab at the top. In the "First Failure" line, make sure it says: "Restart Service".. Do the same in the "Second Failure" line.. IN the "Subsequent Failure" line, I normally leave it as "Take no action" because you don't want the service to continue attempting a restart if there's something wrong.. But it is possible to select "Restart Service" in this section as well..

Hope this helps.


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in ref to windows defender
by cutdeep46 / October 16, 2007 5:54 AM PDT

run line? anything I open with to do with defender I get the error message . ty for your quick response Windows sent an email too I will see what that is about thanks Dale

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To Access A 'Run' Line On Vista
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 16, 2007 7:07 AM PDT

The "run" line is no longer in the start menu as it was in XP but it can still be accessed easily.

Press the "Windows Key" (the one between the Ctrl and the Alt keys) + "R" at the same time.


Click on Start, then in the little "Search" window, type "Run", click OK, and the "Run line" will show up..

To make it permanent:

1. Right click on Vista Orb Start button.
2. Select ?Properties? on the right click menu.
3. Ensure that you?re at ?Start Menu? tab.
4. There are 2 radio button available - Start menu and Classic Start menu. Click on the ?Customize?? button at the back of the whichever radio button is been selected.
5. For Start menu, scroll down to the list to almost bottom, and select (tick) ?Run command?. For Classic Start menu, select (tick) ?Display Run? option.
6. Click OK when done.

You should now see Run command line on the Vista Start menu.

Hope this helps.


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RE run line
by cutdeep46 / October 16, 2007 9:19 AM PDT

Hey thanks !! I appreciate it ! trying to get this machine all working at the same time I'm going to shut down & see if it fires on startup ty again

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defender program
by cutdeep46 / October 16, 2007 9:36 AM PDT

Hey Grif it's working!! thank you very much! it was shut off thanks a million! microsoft should speak so clear & concise!! thanks gby Dale

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Glad We Could Help! I Hope It Stays That Way...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 16, 2007 10:15 AM PDT
In reply to: defender program

We've seen our share of Defender shut down issues here..

Good job!


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shut down problem
by cutdeep46 / October 17, 2007 5:59 AM PDT

Hi Hey Grif another question for you if you don't mind..?
I have a acer aspire 5100 it will not shut off correctly? I can log off open the other user then shut down sometimes that works sometimes not I started in safe mode then shut down it shut down fast I then logged on & at log in point I went to the little red button lower right corner & shut it down there it worked . I did that a couple times thinking maybe it would correct itself like good "ole?" XP it hasen't fixed itself yet . the last time I tried shutting it down I tapped the F5 key while it said shutting down & it shut down evidently the browser? is hanging? I dunno ? got ADHD , I ain't dumb just gets confusing. I appreciate the help thanks ! Dale

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For XP Shutdown Issues, I Do This...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 17, 2007 2:23 PM PDT
In reply to: shut down problem

Follow the instructions in the link below to eliminate all spyware and shut down all unnecessary startup programs and services.. The clean it up a little more.. It should help the machine startup quicker and shutdown faster.

Cleanup Steps

Hope this helps.


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thanks Grif !
by cutdeep46 / October 17, 2007 2:29 PM PDT

I got it running "Cam" suggested downloading "tune-up" I did & it fixed the reg problem boy thats a pretty good program lots of tools in it again ty for your help! gb Dale

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For Vista Shutdown Problems, I Do This...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / October 17, 2007 2:29 PM PDT
In reply to: shut down problem

Much the same but a slightly different group of tools.

I use this antispyware tool:

AVG Antispyware

And then:

Disabling Unnecessary Programs

See the link below and follow the steps to preventing unneeded Services from running in the background. It should help substantially.:


Afterwards, run Disk Defragmenter.

Hope this helps.


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