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  • Microsoft Security Essentials warning about end-of-support for Vista

    Posted on January 10th, 2017 at 17:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Support for Vista will end on April 11 – three months from now. Apparently Microsoft Security Essentials is getting a little pushy about it. This from EB:

    This morning MSE ( greeted me with a popup warning on my fully updated Vista SP2 X64 system with a questionable warning about operating system end of support, fixed itself in “Potentially Unprotected” status and provided a link to a Kb article that thinks I’m running XP!

    Following is a screen shot of the MSE interface.


    And clicking the link takes me to a completely irrelevant https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/14223/windows-xp-end-of-support

    I also updated MSE to the latest version (in a virtual machine) and received the same results.

    Sometimes it seems to me that MS documentation is handled by poorly programmed bots and the accuracy of information is not checked before it is released to the public.

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    Home Forums Microsoft Security Essentials warning about end-of-support for Vista

    This topic contains 39 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 6 months ago.

    • Author
    • #13439 Reply

      Da Boss

      Support for Vista will end on April 11 – three months from now. Apparently Microsoft Security Essentials is getting a little pushy about it. This from
      [See the full post at: Microsoft Security Essentials warning about end-of-support for Vista]

    • #13440 Reply


      MSE sent me a 175MB definition update about 2 hours ago. I do not know why, MSE was up to date at noon today after I logged on.

      Definition updates are never that big.

    • #13441 Reply

    • #13442 Reply

      Da Boss


    • #13443 Reply


      Woody – what is the best way to upgrade a Vista system to Windows 7? Clean install of Windows 7 or is there still a way to directly upgrade?

    • #13444 Reply


      What exactly is the incentive for Ms – excluding serving their users, which is not one – to have anything other than bots? They make more money w bots and users accept it.

    • #13445 Reply

      Da Boss

      Clean install. Even if there were a way to upgrade in place, you would still want to clean install.

    • #13446 Reply


      Le Boule wrote “Indeed it does appear that MS is shutting down support for MSE on Vista a few months early!”

      This is speculation. MS’ pathetically inaccurate documentation merely warns about the impending end of life for Vista. IMHO, at this juncture the above comment just adds more fuel to the FUD fire.

    • #13447 Reply


      There is a way to do in place upgrade, because the 2 systems are very similar, especially if Vista is at SP2.
      But to avoid any issues, it is highly recommended to do a clean install.

    • #13448 Reply


      And DO NOT install Windows 7 32-bit if you do it clean.
      It is exactly the same licence key for 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

    • #13449 Reply


      At least it did not recieve a nagware update like Windows 7 RTM and Windows 8, promoting upgrade to Windows 10
      or it may come next month 😀

    • #13450 Reply


      I will say it again, Microsoft should have given the free 10 update to Vista users too since those poor beta testers early adopters have been unjustifiably burnt so much already by using Vista. The low market share of Vista made some companies like Adobe drop support of Reader earlier than XP, which is unacceptable since it was an officially supported OS by Microsoft. They should have at least given a free update to 7.

      A machine running Vista can certainly run Win 10, since not much has changed between the OSes in terms of real world requirements.

    • #13451 Reply

      Da Boss


    • #13452 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      You are going to have to be out of pocket for a replacement AV product.

      This is a controversial topic. I suggest you visit this web site to get a sense of which AV software does the best job, depending on what kind of user you are: http://www.av-comparatives.org/ This is a non-profit that has been around for a long time and I trust their results. Download and read the 2016 summary report. Their latest report: https://www.av-comparatives.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/avc_prot_2016b_en.pdf

      When you interpret these results, keep in mind the difference between a product that detects 95% and another 99% of infections, is actually 5 times more likely to allow an infection.

    • #13453 Reply


      I get warnings all the time. Just do the quick scan and it goes backs to green.

    • #13454 Reply



    • #13455 Reply


      Now that MSE has started to badger Vista users about impending end of support scanning no longer resets the icon in the notification area or the UI display. It is perpetually stuck in the amber “potentially unprotected” status.

      And to add insult to injury MSE also added an annoying warning window that appears above the notification area icon at every system startup.


    • #13456 Reply



    • #13457 Reply


      There is one major difference between the machine load on Windows 7 and Windows 10 which was discussed here and I provided details and a solution on one of the Microsoft sites about 1 year ago.
      Windows 10 does not park CPUs, while Windows 7 does if using the Balanced Power Plan, which is default.
      This can cause overheating on older machines upgraded to Windows 10, but they feel more responsive too.
      There is a Registry key which would change that behaviour, but while I used to implement it during my previous experience with Windows 10, now that I am running older laptops which were officially due to be replaced many years ago, I use the default configuration, while running the CPU and motherboard a little bit hotter. A cooler without the fan running but to keep the laptop further from the desk surface helps a lot.

    • #13458 Reply


      The MSE definition updates that I downloaded manually for 32bit MSE is 120Mb and for 64bit MSE is 121Mb – I just downloaded them on Jan. 11 around 1pm Pacific time from Microsoft Support KB article 971606. Not sure why the MSE definition update you got on Jan. 10 was 175Mb.

    • #13459 Reply


      I got this update automatically. It looks to me as though it was the entire MSE database and not the definition update that was specified in the download (.80). If 170MB is larger that the MSE database that you found manually, then it is even more confusing.

      I do not understand why they would need to auto send the entire database at anytime unless they found some form of corruption and could not apply the latest definition update. If that is what happened I should have received an error message in the event log and some warning from the program itself in real time.

    • #13460 Reply


      I almost always recommend a clean install over an upgrade. But there is one instance where I would recommend an upgrade rather than a clean install — if you have software that you can’t reinstall, because you lost the install key, the install disk, etc. By doing an upgrade rather than a clean install, you will likely still have that software installed and ready to use.

      A clean install erases all of the Windows problems and debris that have built up over time. It also erases all of the programs you have installed. So if you aren’t able to reinstall a must-have program, then you will have to do an in-place upgrade.

    • #13461 Reply


      Why would he not want to install W7 32-bit? His computer might not have enough memory, etc., to run well with 64-bit.

      If his computer will support 64-bit, then that is definitely the way to go.

    • #13462 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Another reason to do it this way is when you can not find the Product key.

    • #13463 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      A couple years ago, I had two brand new computers on my desk. They were identical in every way except that one had a 64 bit install and the other 32. I was able to do some measurements. The difference was about 15%

    • #13464 Reply


      Maybe it is the wrong assumption, but installing 64-bit version allows for effectively using extra memory added in the future without a need for reinstalling the OS. RAM is not so expensive and even second hand RAM can be used for those old machines.

    • #13465 Reply


      I suppose the 32-bit was faster, but my advice is based on practical considerations, see the other reply.

    • #13466 Reply


      +1 🙂

    • #13467 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Sorry, I did not state it more explicitly. the 64 bit machine was FASTER than the 32 bit one by 15%

      My practice is to install 32 bit only in the case where the system is not capable of supporting 64. I would always try to increase memory to 4G.

    • #13468 Reply


      I have another problem, ever since the 10th my mse has been updating with every defenition, normally I would manually update once and it would be done but now every 2 hours it updates. I’m running win7 and I would like to know if anyone else is suffering from this

    • #13469 Reply

      The Surfing Pensioner

      Yep. Up to six times a day. Can’t say it’s causing me any problems, but it’s weird.

    • #13470 Reply


      I am running Vista and have a copy of 10 complete. Should i do a clean install. I am not a computer geek and will need help backing up my files and other programs.

    • #13471 Reply

      Da Boss

      Yes. You actually don’t have a choice – there’s no way to upgrade in place from Vista to Win10.

      There are lots of good guides for doing a clean install. I have a whole chapter of “Win10 All-In-One For Dummies” devoted to the topic.

    • #13472 Reply


      Thank you

    • #107766 Reply


      MSE disabled on April 11 🙁

    • #108352 Reply


      I guess I should uninstall MSE from Vista now since it says it’s no longer protecting my computer (that’s what it says, icon in bright red with an X through it). But is it still doing anything? just not getting any updates… I installed Avast the day it went red. I think I’ll leave MSE installed it doesn’t seem to be doing any harm ?

      • #108370 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        According to the Microsoft support article Windows Vista Support Has Ended (last revised 11-Apr-2017) “Microsoft has also stopped providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows Vista. If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you’ll continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time.

        That sounds to me like Vista SP2 users will no longer receive version updates for the main MSE scan engine but that they should continue to receive daily virus definition updates in the short term (whatever “limited time” means in Microsoft-speak).

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  lmacri.
        • #108528 Reply


          I uninstalled MSE on April 11. After Vista booted up I saw that red alert. I opened MSE and realtime protection is off and the tabs grayed out. Maybe they had a change of heart?

          • #109681 Reply


            Nope MSE is really dead on Vista. I reinstalled it and updated using mpam-fe and it still has Real-time guard off and tabs grayed out. Sad. 🙁

    • #108378 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      … I installed Avast the day it went red. I think I’ll leave MSE installed it doesn’t seem to be doing any harm ?

      …and I would advise against having more than one antivirus program installed at the same time.  The Best Practices FAQ <here> by BleepingComputer moderator quietman7 states in part that “Even if one of them is disabled for use as a stand-alone on demand scanner, it can still affect the other and cause conflicts. Anti-virus software components insert themselves deep into the operating systems core where they install kernel mode drivers that load at boot-up regardless of whether real-time protection is enabled or not.”

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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