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Thread: Spybot 2.8 - Why is it so hard to switch off the Windows Security Centre integration?

  1. #1
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    Default Spybot 2.8 - Why is it so hard to switch off the Windows Security Centre integration?

    I've just installed Spybot 2.8.67.0 free version. The installer forces you to install the Security Centre Service because there is no option to leave this out. But this means that you can't run Windows Security scans from the Windows Explorer context menu or from the command line.

    If you try to stop or disable the service from Spybot's settings or from the Windows Services app, that's denied, e.g.



    So I had to edit the registry to set the service to start manually, which has solved the problem.

    Malwarebytes makes it easy to remove Malwarebytes from the Windows Security Centre.

    Given that its security centre "integration" stops other useful security functions, why doesn't Spybot do the same?

  2. #2
    Spybot Advisor Team Zenobia's Avatar
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    I hadn't realized there was a new Spybot available, so I'm glad you posted.
    I had the same problem with the Security Centre Service, except in my case it wouldn't start as well at first, because of the security certificate. Trying to Start or Uninstall gave the same access denied message you had. I edited the registry and put it as disabled in my case for now since it could not start. Thanks for posting that.

    The only way I could get the access denied message to stop was to back up, then delete the LaunchProtected d-word key in the registry that was there with the service, then reboot, unless that was just a coincidence. After that, I was then able to Start, Stop and also Uninstall the service. But I imagine that would be compromising security quite a lot, so I'm not suggesting anybody reading this does that, of course. I'm thinking this might be a bug of some sort, but of course that is just a guess on my part.

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    Good to hear that you were able to reproduce the problem.

    1. The Security Centre Service doesn't start immediately after installing v2.8.67.0, but it does start if you restart your PC. At least that was the case for me.

    2. I'm assuming that it is the LaunchProtected key that is the problem. I can see that that should be set for the update and scan services, but hopefully it has been set by mistake for the Security Centre Service.

    I will report this as a bug and see if that will get it fixed. I'm not hopeful though, as mostly when I report problems to Spybot, I get told that it's all user error.

  4. #4
    Spybot Advisor Team Zenobia's Avatar
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    Oh, good, I'm glad you reported it. It'll be interesting to see what happens with it.

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    Thanks for the info! I'm one of the odd ones that uses Spybot for the spyware protection but Windows Defender for antivirus. I found out about the new 2.8 version via KC Software's SUMo app.
    When installing (upgrading from 2.7), I couldn't get the Windows Security Centre Integration service to start, no matter if I answered Yes, No or Ignore to the 'Install Live Protection' prompt during setup. How I eventually got it working on my Windows 10 machine:

    Be sure to run setup with Administrator rights
    After setup is complete, go in to the registry editor -> HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SDWSCService and change the LaunchProtected value to zero (0).
    Reboot.
    After logging back in to Windows, the installer asked me (a second time) if I wanted to install Live Protection. I answered No.

    Now, the Spybot Security Centre Integration Service is running, but I am allowed to stop it from both the Services applet and within Spybot Settings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perturbance View Post
    Thanks for the info! I'm one of the odd ones that uses Spybot for the spyware protection but Windows Defender for antivirus. I found out about the new 2.8 version via KC Software's SUMo app.
    When installing (upgrading from 2.7), I couldn't get the Windows Security Centre Integration service to start, no matter if I answered Yes, No or Ignore to the 'Install Live Protection' prompt during setup. How I eventually got it working on my Windows 10 machine:

    Be sure to run setup with Administrator rights
    After setup is complete, go in to the registry editor -> HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SDWSCService and change the LaunchProtected value to zero (0).
    Reboot.
    After logging back in to Windows, the installer asked me (a second time) if I wanted to install Live Protection. I answered No.

    Now, the Spybot Security Centre Integration Service is running, but I am allowed to stop it from both the Services applet and within Spybot Settings.
    Thank you for this! I was pretty irate to find that the free edition of Spybot S&D v2.8 had silently taken control of my Windows Security Center without providing live protection (WTF? I expected better than this) but your registry hack was exactly what I needed to fix it.

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    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by Tkael View Post
    Thank you for this! I was pretty irate to find that the free edition of Spybot S&D v2.8 had silently taken control of my Windows Security Center without providing live protection (WTF? I expected better than this) but your registry hack was exactly what I needed to fix it.
    And after updating to a newer release, my anti-virus is disabled again. Spybot team, please fix the installer so that the free edition doesn't try to start live protection! Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tkael View Post
    And after updating to a newer release, my anti-virus is disabled again. Spybot team, please fix the installer so that the free edition doesn't try to start live protection! Thanks!
    Please report this as a bug - https://www.safer-networking.org/support/#contactform

    I have already reported it, but Spybot didn't seem to get the message, and came back asking me if I needed help!

    Maybe if some more people report it, they will get the message.

  9. #9
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    Some initial clarification: the LaunchProtected key is, as is the installation as it is, tied to a requirement from Microsoft. Plus the service is tied to the Early Launch AntiMalware (ELAM) driver, which again is a requirement.

    We're not "taking control" of Security Center, we're doing what is expected from us by Microsoft, which is adding Spybot there. For Anti-Malware only in the Free Edition, for AM and AV in the paid editions.

    So one very important thing to this discussion: please mention if you're referring to the Free Edition or a paid one.
    Just remember, love is life, and hate is living death.
    Treat your life for what it's worth, and live for every breath
    (Black Sabbath: A National Acrobat)

  10. #10
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    As I said in my previous post, there are requirements by Microsoft (I'm not sure how the mentioned MalwareBytes handles them). Lets head back a few steps though to look at the actual problems instead of talking about one possible solution.

    1. Useful functions are stopped. What can we do about this? What else can you maybe do about this (e.g. is it possible to change the primary AV to Windows Defender to get them back)?

    2. What else?
    Just remember, love is life, and hate is living death.
    Treat your life for what it's worth, and live for every breath
    (Black Sabbath: A National Acrobat)

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