Is the MS Malicious Software Removal Tool Useful?

By bobcat · 15 replies
Dec 4, 2008
  1. The MS Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (KB890830) is updated together with Windows and is intended to remove specific malware on its list, but is not a substitute for an AV on guard.

    So my question is this:
    For someone who has a proper AV tool, such as Kaspersky or AntiVir PE, constantly on guard and also does periodic scanning, does the MS tool offer anything additional? In other words, can it do something that the resident AV can’t do or is it superfluous and unnecessary?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523
    Not required if you're a normal user with Antivirus, and scan occasionally with Antimalware tool
    It checks for "specific software" for Malware software
    Lets face it, it's useless if you have Antivirus and scan with a good Anti-Malware program like Malwarebytes
  3. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    Thanks for a straight and clear answer. I won't bother with that tool any longer, it never found anything anyway.
  4. hrlow2

    hrlow2 TS Rookie Posts: 136

    It will still keep popping up in Updates though. I have countless told Updates Not show this again, but the next time I go there, guess what? It's there waiting for me.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I have the same issue
    I have never looked deep enough into this, as per why you just can't disable it for good.
    But every time I try to manually update, oh yeah that useless thing again, here it comes! :mad:
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    At least it updates without requiring a reboot :D
  7. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    I find your complaining rather strange guys…

    As you certainly must know, there is a simple way not to get all the updates automatically but to be able to select only the ones you want:
    Control Panel > Automatic Updates: tick (3rd) option: Notify me but don’t automatically download and install them.

    I had already selected this option for 2 reasons which have now become 3:
    1 I can dodge the WGA notifications. Though my Windows are legit, I don’t want it checking on me and I have even heard it can malfunction and give false nagging.
    2 I can watch the updates being actually installed, or possibly failing.
    3 I can now avoid the Malicious Software Removal Tool.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

    heck, I'm more paranoid; all updates are manual/selective installs :)
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    Yep, I knew about that, and that is what I have selected as well. But every few days there is a new update, and I get the "New updates available!" balloon. And of course I check to make sure there is not some critical system update that just came out, and 95% of the time its just a Defender update. It is a minor annoyance to me.
  10. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    You are right, it’s a similar problem here.

    There is a way of getting rid of: Malware Removal Tool, its updates and notifications about it. However, I stress that what follows should only be read by those with a sense of humour, as I don’t want the board’s Rules to be thrown at me. ;)

    Sorry joke removed, many people take these things seriously

    Also it's against the board's rules ;)

    Now, as I see rotten tomatoes being unpacked, I leave in a hurry before they start being thrown my way. :D
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I have yet to find a case where Windows malicious software removal tool was used. I can't think of even one time.

    I have used my AV and spybot SS in the past though.
  12. bobcat

    bobcat TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 688   +67

    I see a contradiction on the part of Microsoft.

    MS Itself admits and advises that its tool cannot replace an AV on guard and thus the presence of the latter is still required.

    Yet, if a proper AV is present, the MS tool is superfluous because the AV will find even more malware and also be on constant guard.

    In other words, the MS tool on its own is insufficient, and with an AV it’s unnecessary.

    The logical question follows: What is the purpose of its existence?
  13. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    When the thousands of Windows users contact MS on the issue of malicious software. MS response is "Refer to the tool. Next".
    Certainly a lot easier for them now ;)
  14. mflynn

    mflynn TS Rookie Posts: 2,655

    I agree and feel the same about Windows live OneCare.

    This one is about like Norton at digging in with claws everywhere when it comes to removing it.



    you might run into some software or other updates that require this update. its not very big and takes only moments to install, therefore i would recommend installing it.
  16. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    The fact that is showed up at the same time as Windows Genuine Advantage, and is there as a download every patch tuesday, makes me suspicious that it may also have an alterior motive. As some sort of spy thingy or whatever, I have stopped allowing it just for my own security. Its sad when you feel secure not allowing Microsoft to do stuff to its own OS. But MS has done this to themselves, when WGA was tagging legitimate users as pirates (and still may for all I know) and MS was sneaking patches onto the PC without telling us, they should expect a little hesitance on the side of caution.
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