1 2 3 Previous Next 23 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2015 10:43 AM by notageek

    MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file


      I apologize now as I know this will be a long post!  I'm trying to provide all the information up front so that those with the knowledge will be able to assist me.  I am VERY frustrated with trying to receive technical support from McAfee.  It appears that McAfee has a real problem in that area.


      MSC automatically updated to new version on April 17, 2015 -  to McAfee SC 13.6 build 13.6.1599; AV/AS 17.6 build 17.6.569.


      I have a Dell Inspiron 580, Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 -64bit
      Windows Defender 6.1 real time protection is ON (WD was pre-installed on my PC at purchase)**
      McAfee Security Center, always on, current on database
      On May 8, I was playing a game I downloaded about 4 years ago, never had any problems with it.  The game suddenly closed and Windows Defender was open, warning that I had a virus and the threat was severe.  I've never received any Defender messages previously.  IN FACT, AS FAR AS I KNEW, WD HAD BEEN DISABLED WHEN I ORIGINALLY INSTALLED MSC.  (No one else has access to my computer so I can only speculate that MSC's new update somehow turned WD on?)  The WD alert listed about 4 or 5 instances of this same "virus."
      A link for more information at "go.microsoft.com" was shown, which I clicked, but that site reported that it had no further information.  I looked again at WD and to be perfectly honest, I cannot remember if I clicked the "clean computer" or the "remove" option (I think it was "clean").  When I did, the other instances that were listed disappeared and WD closed - it did not appear to take any action.  I was suspicious so went to the MS community and read a thread there about false virus alerts, reopened my WD to check the history and saw that there is no trace of any warning having been issued; it said that "No unwanted or harmful software detected."  I ran a scan with Malwarebytes (free version) and it returned nothing.  I do run a weekly thorough McAfee scan and scan every day with Malwarebytes.
      I was concerned as to whether WD actually removed the threat so checked Event Viewer which showed that there were warnings issued AFTER the "action" was taken. I noticed that about 500+MB of free space had disappeared and my PC slowed pretty dramatically.  I ran a thorough McAfee scan which found nothing.
      I opened WD and viewed the history and the quarantine areas, there was no evidence of the warning/detection ever occurring.  **FYI:  WD's firewall was (and is) OFF and McAfee's is ON.**
      The advice I received and took in the MS community was to re-run Defender (clean), to download free versions of:  Hitman Pro3, SuperAntiSpyware and run an ESET online scan.  I did these things.  Hitman Pro3 and SAS found a number of adware but there was nothing malicious; I removed all items found.  As I said earlier, I already had Malwarebytes (free version), ran that and it was clean.  The ESET online scan took five hours to run and found:

      C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell DataSafe Local Backup\hstart.exe a variant of Win32/HiddenStart.A potentially unsafe application deleted - quarantined

      C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell DataSafe Local Backup\Components\DSUpdate\hstart.exe a variant of Win32/HiddenStart.A potentially unsafe application deleted - quarantined

      At this point, I thought I was fine.  However, a poster at the MS site asked me the following:
           1. How long has McAfee Security Center been installed and when (exact date) does your current subscription expire?
           2. Did a McAfee Security Center free-trial (or prepaid one year subscription) also come "pre-loaded" on the Dell computer?
           3. Have you ever run the McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool?
           4. Is KB3038314, KB3042553, KB3046306, KB3046269, KB3045999, KB3045685, KB3046482, and/or KB3037574 (and possibly KB2990214) listed in Installed Updates (not Update History)? [1]
      My answers:
           1.  I first installed McAfee Security Center on 1/8/11 and the current subscription expires 7/8/15.
           2.  I am pretty sure that there was NO AV program installed at purchase.  Trend Micro TItanium was offered but I rejected that offer.
           3.  I don't believe I've ever run the McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool.
           4.  ALL of those updates, including KB2990214, were installed on 4/15/15.
           Also, McAfee updated the Security Center on 4/16/15.
      He suggested:
           1. Check with McAfee Support & ask if having the current version of McAfee Security Center installed is supposed to disable (turn off) Windows Defender by default?
           2. In the meantime, it'd be best for you to manually disable Defender & make sure Windows Firewall is already-disabled.
      As I said before, WD WAS disabled as far as I knew - for a four year period, I never saw it until this incident and yes, its firewall was and still is disabled but McAfee's is on.
      Finally, I was going to come here to ask his question #1 above but before I did, I ran the MVT which checked out fine EXCEPT FOR:


      Expected File not Present                             

                                    File: C:\Program Files\mcafee\virusscan\instld.inf



      SO, I'm unsure of what I need to do to obtain the missing file, whether it requires a removal of MSC altogether and reinstalling or ... what?


      I so appreciate anyone who slogs through this entire post!  Thank you!





      PS - I'd also like to know how to prevent my whole name from showing publicly!  Good grief.

        • 1. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file

          Re PS you only see your whole name that is the way Jive 7.0 does that everyone else sees your user name. You can check this by logging out and going to this post.


          As far as I remember WD is off but can be on in win7 but must be off for win 8 and above as it has its own scanner active.


          Re above best you contact support and ask them and if possible tell them the session ID for the MVT run.


          Services and Support for Home and Office

          Note the Job number you get and if they cannot help ask for an escalation and post back here. I will ping the resident tech to have a look over the post above. You were sure it was WD that popped up?

          • 2. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file

            Hi, Peacekeeper!  Thank you for the reply.


            Regarding the username - given what you said about Jive 7.0, why is your username not your whole name?  I am unfamiliar (clearly!) with McAfee's community but did spend untold hours here reading before I ever posted; I thought I had to use Jive 7.0 in order to post.  I don't see others using their whole name ... however, that's not the real issue, is it?


            Everything I've seen both here and at Windows support says there is no problem running Windows Defender on WITH WINDOWS 7 with an AV program - which is what I have - as long as the firewall is OFF and the AV firewall is ON.  That's the way I have it.  Yes, I am absolutely certain it was WD that gave the warning!  Interestingly, McAfee did NOT give me any warning.


            Before I posted, I DID try to contact support via chat - and the chat window would not open.  Something "failed to load".  I tried it 3x.


            I'm finding it ridiculous that I've spent probably 7 hours or so on this one tiny issue and McAfee is making it extremely difficult to get any support for a paid service.  That is certainly NOT a good way to do business.  It's a very good thing that there are good people out there who are willing to help - like yourself - otherwise, there are many people who would not buy the product again.


            I guess I'll try to contact support - again.


            Thank you for your help!

            • 3. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file

              I did save the MVT report(s) but nowhere on them do I see the session ID number.  Where can I find them?  Thanks in advance!

              • 4. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file

                OK - I tried to run a new MVT report and now MVT will download but when I click "run MVT" that dialog box disappears but won't run.  I thought it might be because I was using MSIE 10 which is NOT my default browser, so I set MSIE 10 as my default browser and tried again with the same result.  I did this several times.  I requested help via the chat function and was given a "McAfee Service Request" number - but again, the Citrix application "cannot be executed."  I tried that several times, too.  It appears that the only way I'll be able to receive help is via telephone!


                BTW, I finally figured out that you were saying that ONLY I can see my whole name in this forum - duh, me!


                My question now is:  considering that I can't seem to contact help via chat, in your suggestion above you state that "if they can't help you, ask for an escalation" - how am I to contact anyone to ask for an escalation if I cannot seem to contact anyone in the first place?!  I apologize if I'm missing something obvious here ...

                • 5. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file
                  Peter M

                  a)  Your whole name only appears to you, nobody else.   That's the way this board works.

                  b) The Virtual Technician (MVT) session ID pops up after it finishes running and should also appear on any report that you've kept.

                  c)  When you download MVT is it a new copy from http://mvt.mcafee.com/ ?

                  d) Try going to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall McAfee Virtual Technician AND (if you see it there) McAfee Security Scan Plus

                  e) Go to the link in c) and try your download of MVT again and this time see if it can repair whatever is wrong.


                  BTW it isn't uncommon for Windows Defender to quarantine certain things that regular antivirus does not.  In Windows 7 and below it is only an anti-malware tool, not an anti-virus.   Activate WD and go into its Quarantine folder and restore whatever it was if you think it's a wrong detection.  Any disputes over that should be between you and Microsoft of course.


                  Also it is normal for any antivirus installer to disable WD.  In Windows 7 and below it can safely be reactivated.  In Windows 8 and above that is NOT advisable (to anyone else reading this).

                  • 6. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file

                    Thank you, Ex-Brit, for resolving my MVT problem.  I downloaded and ran from your link fine - obtained a new report and it is the same as previously (missing program file).


                    I called McAfee support (I did NOT speak to "MasterTech") and described all that this thread contains.  "Earl" told me that my problem is not McAfee but Windows Defender.  He stated that Windows Defender deleted the file because even though it is OFF, it's "not off."  He stated that when I originally received the Windows Defender alert and asked WD to "clean" the computer, it deleted the file as it conflicted with WD.  EVERYTHING that I have read both here and at the MS community says that WD 6.1 does NOT conflict with McAfee AV, as long as the firewall is not enabled (and mine is not).  He could not explain why WD became active when I did NOT enable it at any time after my original McAfee installation in 2011 disabled it during the install process.  He also said that MVT is reporting the missing file because it is in fact missing but that it would be reinstalled at the next McAfee update.  I received McAfee updates this morning but guess what?  The "missing file" is STILL missing.

                    He suggested that I contact MS regarding WD's threat warning when it was turned OFF ... Earl apparently believes that the alert I received was a fake and maybe it was - it makes no sense to me why, if there WERE an alert and cleaning from WD, there is NO RECORD of it in the WD history.  When I turn it on, it states that everything is just fine.

                    I turned WD "off" - it will not "open" when I try to navigate to it via Control Panel, it opens a dialog box and says I must turn it "on" to look at it, I don't know how much more OFF it can be!  It's my understanding from the MS community that WD is a part of the OS and cannot be uninstalled separately from the OS - even if I wanted to, and I don't want to uninstall it even though I am not currently using it.

                    Please advise as to what action I should take at this point.  My brain hurts! 


                    Reminder:  ESET online was run after the WD severe threat warning and was the only program that found anything considered a "severe threat" - it removed Win32/HiddenFile, 2 instances (see original post above) - in case this makes a difference.

                    • 7. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file
                      Peter M

                      OK that means WD is well and truly off.  All I was saying was that it's OK to turn it on if you wish.


                      What I usually do if MVT continues to cause a nuisance....uninstall, reboot, cleanup, reboot, go to account page and reinstall from there.   For me that is the easiest cure for most "ills".


                      As per:  How To Uninstall/Reinstall McAfee Consumer Products EXCEPT Anti-Theft

                      • 8. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file
                        Peter M

                        I meant to add, if your software comes from your ISP or your PC maker (as distinct from McAfee direct) it is just possible that MVT is in error as often they modify the software.

                        • 9. Re: MVT reports McAfee Security Center missing file

                          @terri McIntyre,

                                                     If you find it difficult to reach Technical Support via 'Online Chat', I would try via Phone.  .As Colleagues Peacekeeper/Ex_Brit stated. Windows Defender is appropriate/compatible as long as your OS is Windows 7 Sp1.


                                                      Having said this, I personally have Windows Defender (Disabled) and Rely on McAfee Anti-Virus / Anti-Spyware to protect my personal machine. Especially since the (New) McAfee Web Advisor is onboard. In addition to my McAfee Protection, I keep Malwarebytes (Free) as a 'On Demand Scanner' for a second opinion.


                                                      Just thought I would add my 2 Cents.


                          All the very Best,


                          McAfee Community Moderator

                          Consumer Products

                          1 2 3 Previous Next