Friday, January 15, 2010

How to Install and Use Microsoft Security Essentials

This article assumes that you have my “classic” computer setup with Avast, Ad-Aware, Spybot and SpywareBlaster. These instructions can easily be modifies to apply to any other combination of security programs.

If you run Windows XP you can skip the next paragraph because your Windows XP is definitely a 32-bit system.

If you run Windows Vista or Windows 7 it is from now on imperative that you know what type of the Operating System (OS) you are using; since Vista there are two types of OS, 32-bit and 64-bit. You can find out what type yours is by right clicking Computer and left clicking Properties. You’ll see something like this: 

In System type it will say either 32- or 64-bit OS.

The sequence of steps I will describe may by some people be considered overkill; I have in mind the majority of my customers who refer to themselves as being “computer illiterate”; I want to give them something as foolproof and simple as possible.

I recommend to print this text so you have it available during the process. At the end of this article is a "Print this post" link. 

  1. Download Microsoft Security Essentials from here. As usual you need to know the name of the file being downloaded and where the download will be stored, mostly either on your desktop or on XP in the My Documents\Downloads folder and on Vista/7 in the \<username>\Downloads folder.

  2. Physically disconnect your computer from the Internet, that is disconnect the networking cable that comes from your router or modem from the computer.

  3. Un-install all security programs one by one, beginning with your anti virus program or security suite. Restart the system when prompted. Ignore browser windows that may pop up.

    And for those that don’t seem to know what “all security programs” means: Yes, that includes Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destroy and Spywareblaster! I apologize for being a bit facetious but I have gotten this question too many times.

  4. Check that the Windows Firewall is turned on; Control Panel, Windows Firewall. If it is not on then turn it on! 

    Some so called security software does not turn the Windows firewall back on or outright clobbers it! 

    If you get an error message your computer either was messed up  by a virus or you have used a “security” program other than AVG or Avast! and you have ended up in the deep end. If you can fix it yourself, congratulations; otherwise you should call your computer helper immediately. Do NOT go back online without the firewall working!

  5. If the Windows firewall is turned On then it is time to re-connect the networking cable, the one you un-plugged in step #2.

  6. Restart the computer!

  7. Check that you can get any web page other than your home page; try

    Serious problems? You have ended up in the deep end. If you can fix it yourself, congratulations; otherwise you should call your computer helper.

  8. Find the file that you downloaded in step #1 and run it, that is double click it. Follow the instructions and prompts.
MSE is running? Congratulations!

All you have to do with Microsoft Security Essentials is check if it's tray icon (bottom right corner of the screen) looks like this: 

Important is the color green. If this icon changes to yellow or red you need to give it immediate attention. Click on this icon and MSE will come up with the program window telling you exactly what needs to be done and a big yellow or red button to do it.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.


Anonymous said...

After missing one important instruction (#8) about double clicking on MSE in download folder and "running the program" I'm happy to say everything turned out as instructed and is working. Thanks to Mr. Heinze for all he does for we "computer illiterate" or semi illiterate people.

Anonymous said...

Does this program check for key loggers?

Anonymous said...

Does Security Essentials protect from key loggers?
From G. Graff

Eike Heinze said...

Please, I did not write MSE.
Why don't you ask Microsoft?

And, BTW, what kind of key logger are you talking about? Software? Wireless? Hardware? If hardware: Dongle or modified keyboard? Human (over the shoulder)?

Thanks for reading my blog anyway.

Anonymous said...

The kind of key logger that tracks your key strokes to be used to steal your personal information. I did not know there was any other kind to protect your computer from. If there are many more to be concerned about how can we protect our computers?
G Graff

Eike Heinze said...

You make it really hard to remain polite and patient.
I did mention all together SIX types of key loggers in my first reply.
Why don't you look detailed information up yourself rather than simply repeating the question in other words?
Oh Lord, give me patience...

Anonymous said...

Hi Eike-Thanks much for the info on setting up the security protection . The instructions were very good and complete.Microsoft Security Essentials is up and running. Thanks,too, to WTKM for making programs such as yours to play to us for great information on a lot of subjects. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.