Windows 7: Malwarebytes is causing sporadic freezes

[German]Another short information for Windows users who use Malwarebytes security software. It seems that this software is the cause of sporadic freezes in Windows 7 (and possible in other Windows version). The problem occurs under Windows 7 with the current Malwarebytes version 3.6.1.x.


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A blog reader informed me about it on Sunday by mail (thank you for that) – but I’m only getting to the point of preparing it now.

Brief description of the issue

The blog reader described the following error pattern in his mail – I guess that other affected users may know this behavior:

Here a hint concerning the program Malwarebytes…
Could be helpful for some users of the program, if they are affected by “freezes” of the system, but don’t know what the cause is!

More and more users are posting in the forum of Malwarebytes and complaining about sporadic “freezes” by the program “Malwarebytes”!

I myself am affected with one of my PCs. The computer freezes completely (I can still move the mouse, but that’s all). The freezes can only be “fixed” by pressing the power button (for a few seconds).

Entries in the Windows Event Viewer are missing, except for one kernel power entry. So there is no possibility to find any clues!

Since there have been issues with Malwarebytes before, he has visited the Malwarebytes forum and found immediately other affected users.

Messages in the Malwarebytes Forum

Within the Malwarebytes forum, there is a thread Malwarebytes for Windows and Windows 7 Freeze/Lock-up, where a user describes the issue for Malwarebytes for Windows version 3.6.1 CU 1.0.508. His machine freezes sporadically, he has no way to use input devices or solve the problem. A hard restart via the power off button is required. The user has compiled the following workarounds:

Known Workarounds:
It has been reported that either of the following workarounds have a high success rate in mitigating the issue entirely.


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  • Disable Malwarebytes for Windows Web Protection.
    • Open Malwarebytes for Windows.
    • Toggle the Web Protection switch off.
    • Click Yes if prompted by User Account Control (UAC).
    • To suppress the ‘Real-Time Protection turned off’ notifications, do the following:
      • Click Settings.
      • Ensure the Application tab is selected.
      • Under Notifications, toggle the ‘Show notifications when Real Time Protection […]’ setting off.
  • Revert to the previous Malwarebytes for Windows components package.
    • Uninstall the currently installed version of Malwarebytes for Windows. Refer to the following article.
    • Download the setup file from the following link: https://malwarebytes.box.com/s/xq78v2de2k893g1h41upzbtqmsc6t375
    • Run the downloaded setup file to install the earlier version.
    • To prevent the program from automatically updating to the latest affected version, do the following:
      • Open Malwarebytes for Windows and click Settings.
      • Ensure the Application tab is selected.
      • Under Application Updates, toggle the ‘Automatically download and install application component updates’ setting off.

There are other forum threads like this, where a user shows himself angry that Malwarebytes has not yet issued an official warning about the current version. Most users are unlikely to think of Malwarebytes as a root cause.

Malwarebytes staff member dcollins apologizes within in the thread for the missing answer or warning. He writes that this problem (whole machine freezes) seems to affect a very small subset of users (less than 1%). The developers are working on reproducing this problem and understanding what is going on. Currently, dcollins is asking affected users to collect error logs through a tool.

A search for ‘Freeze’ in the Malwarebytes forum has revealed a number of hits since mid-December 2018.

Another system freezing with latest update – 7×64
Another Windows 7 x64 freeze after the 1.0.508 update
FREEEEEEEZE…
Malwarebytes 3.6.1 is locking up my desktop
System freezing with latest update
System freezing with latest updates
System freezing with latest updates on my system

So if you are affected by freezes in Windows 7 and use malware bytes, the cause should be clear. Thanks to user aDude – and my question is: Anyone else who noticed that? Are there any Windows 10 users who have the same problem?

Addendum: Bleeping Computer has added this article with some information about that.


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4 Responses to Windows 7: Malwarebytes is causing sporadic freezes

  1. AJNorth says:

    Malwarebytes have released version 3.6.1.2711-1.0.519-1.0.8728, digitally signed 2019.01.11; it can be installed via the “Install Application Updates” under Settings (or downloaded from their site). As of this post, the Update package version is 1.0.8736.

    “Web protection” is enabled, and there appears to be no untoward behavior on any of the Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64 machines it has been installed on (Malwarebytes Premium).

  2. NSHQ says:

    AJNorth:

    Actually, MBAM has stated this is not a solution to the Win 7 issue. A roll-back of MBAM 3.6.1 to the previous Component Package ( 1.482 ) is their fix, at this point.

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