Windows Vista Security Center: User-Focused Improvements

I’m Chas Jeffries, and I’m the lead program manager for Windows Security Center (WSC) for Windows Vista. As I write this, we are working hard to prepare for the RTM release of Windows Vista. The past year has been an exciting one for the WSC team. We have been working with customers and ISVs to significantly improve the WSC experience in Windows Vista for users. The result is a more open and capable Security Center than what we shipped in Windows XP SP2. In Windows Vista, we remain quiet.

At the top of the list of the improvements that we are most excited about is the inclusion of direct remediation in WSC for ISV solutions. This improvement was based, in part, on direct feedback from the ISV community. In Windows XP SP2, if you were running an antivirus program and that program was turned off or its virus signatures were out-of-date, WSC would alert you to the problem and offer recommendations as to how to fix it. The trouble was that it was up to the user to figure out how to fix the problem, which usually meant figuring out which application to run to fix the issue.

New in Windows Vista, participating ISVs can provide links from WSC to the programs that will correct these problems. Specifically, should an issue arise in Windows Vista with any of your third-party security software, including third-party firewall, antivirus, and antispyware software, WSC will alert you that there is a problem and will provide a button that will link you to the third-party-provided solution that will allow you to easily fix the problem using the third-party’s own software. This means that if you are using an ISV solution that integrates with WSC, you’ll be able to fix that solution directly. If you decide that the installed solution is not the one for you, Security Center still maintains the same experience from Windows XP SP2, allowing the user to get another solution from a list of compatible solutions on the Microsoft Web site.

To illustrate this experience, take a look at the following screenshot, which shows the Trend Micro PC-cillin experience on Windows Vista RC1 when the Trend Micro PC-cillin antivirus software is out-of-date.

Notice that in the screenshot WSC provides a button to “Update now” for virus protection. Clicking this button will prompt the user to update his or her antivirus signatures for the Trend Micro PC-cillin solution, as shown in the next screen. As a side note, notice that your third-party software now is able to have its icon displayed, allowing you to easily recognize its presence in Security Center.

Clicking the command link “Yes, I trust this program and am ready to run it” will launch the Trend Micro PC-cillin software to fix the problem, as shown in the next screen.

After the Trend Micro PC-cillin software has successfully updated the antivirus signatures, Security Center will report that Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security – Virus Protection is up-to-date, as shown in the next screen.

In order for this feature to truly improve the user experience around maintaining a secure computing environment, we are encouraging ISVs to provide links to software that will fix the specific problem. We are working closely with the ISVs to ensure that they have the guidance as to how to integrate with WSC for Windows Vista.

One area where we received significant customer feedback was in the area of alerting and the red shield icon in the system tray. While we truly believe that disabling WSC alerts creates risk for the user, we understand that there are certain instances where this is necessary. So in light of that understanding, we have enhanced the functionality for the feature “Change the way Security Center alerts me.” We have added new options for changing the way Security Center alerts you when there is a problem with your computer, as shown in the following screenshot.

New in Windows Vista, you have the option to choose between having Security Center alert you when there’s a problem, not alert you (but display the red shield icon), or not alert you and not show the shield icon in the system tray. In addition, it is now possible to right-click the shield icon when it’s displayed in the system tray and dismiss it, as shown in the next screenshot.

As part of our Windows Vista Beta 2 effort, we conducted a usability study on Windows Security Center. One piece of feedback was on the new feature that alerts the user when there’s an issue with Internet Security Settings, which you can see in the next screenshot.

Should your computer’s Internet security settings be put in an insecure state, Security Center will now alert you to the problem and allow you to fix the situation directly. The way this feature was originally implemented, it only provided a single option to the user, which was to return Internet security settings to their recommended settings. Some users told us that they wanted to actually see what settings were responsible for Security Center alerting them. Based on this feedback, we enhanced the feature so users can now choose to restore the Internet security settings to their recommended settings or they can inspect the settings, as shown in the next screenshot.

If the user chooses to inspect the settings by selecting “I want to restore my Internet security settings myself,” Security Center opens the Internet Security Settings dialog box, where the user can easily identify the problematic settings, as shown in the next screenshot.

We are excited about the new functionality in Security Center for Windows Vista and believe that these features will allow the greatest choice, flexibility, and freedom for Windows users with regards to keeping their computers safe.

— Chas Jeffries

Comments (89)

  1. I run Vista RC2 and appreciate the great work you have done in creating the Windows Security Center. It is an order of magnitude improvement in usablity over the XP 2 experience and one of the areas that I highlight to prospective users.

    Your post elegantly sets forth the features. From now on I’ll just link to it when people need a quick intro.

    I hope that future live presentations, webcasts and screencasts about WSC will adhere to the high level of clarity you have set forth here.

    Great job all the way around!

  2. gary b says:

    i think the only thing i have been disappointed with security wise is that microsoft has an excellent security program in windows one care and i had to cancel it to run vista. i have a hard time understanding how ms can urge all of the various peripheral program vendors to build drivers for vista beta, while most of the software on my computer that doesn’t support vista belongs to ms! i had to cancel my msn account and windows one care because neither are supported in vista. just seems strange.

  3. Marcelo Birnbach says:

    OneCare for Vista is in Beta right now. You can give it a try, take a look at



  4. gary b says:

    thanks marcelo, i just talked to windows one care help desk the day i posted the original comment you replied to and they did not have a clue about the link you provided. thanks again, garyb.

  5. Sevki says:

    first of all i want to say that all the people who worked on vista did an amazing job… but there are some stuff that are so annoying i want to go back to xp for example there i was trying to modify a txt file w/ notepad an error message popedup it went like this "you do not have permissions to modify this file" i thought there was something with with permissions after a nerveous breakdown i found out that i had to run notepad as administrator… if you help me out with this i will be really greafull (my email is just in case)thank you again for vista guys really great job…

  6. harrison says:

    i want to reset my internet security my self and not to block some of the picture i want.

  7. harrison says:

    pls enable my internet security at it is before for me to view some page

  8. socrfan says:

    Nice to see that my One Care account went right from XP to Vista with no problems. It works well in the background without slowing my gaming computer down. My only hope is that Microsoft works hard at keeping this software effective enough to keep virus/malware off users machines.

  9. Miss iRiE says:

    Finally, I am back home after a nice 4 hours drive. Chicago was as I expected to be, so much better than

  10. Bill says:

    I certainly like Vista over previous Os’s. Well, not SGI Irix, but that is a different story. I’m commenting about the fact that the firewall doesn’t remain in an "on" condition when the computer is turned off.  This is a great annoyance and time-waster.  Why would you create a situation where the user has to turn on the firewall every time they turn the machine on?  I am using the Home Premium version.  Please enlighten me.

  11. Nora Cronin says:

    I am NOT a techie but I had to buy a laptop for my business which is on the internet ONLY. My problem with vista is that EVERY time I go to a website, I get an alert that asks me if I will allow Active X. This is at least three times per page. Help me. Please.

  12. Roger Collins says:

    There is a problem with Windows Vista Security Center – I cannot turn Windows defender ON from the centre nor can I see my 3rd party Anti-Virus software (AVG 7.5).

    The AVG 7.5 was visible after initial installation but on reboot the Windows Security Center cannot find it.

    This problem has been reported in other VISTA forums. I hope that Microsoft fix this problem as it negates the usefulness of the Security Center

  13. Susheel says:


    I’m having some issues with the Malware Protection in the Security Center.

    First, any of the anti-virus programs I’ve installed are detected by the "Security Centre". I am using Norton Anti Virus 2007.

    And finally, I can’t turn on Windows Defender in the Security Center. When I try to activate it, he searches for any available update. Once he detects he is up to date, a warning message window pops-up and there’s no way to turn it on.

    Because of these two issues, I’m continuosly getting alerts from the Security Center. And I know that both programs are up and running.

    Could you help me figuring out as to how to get rid of these Security Center Alerts.



    Susheel Rathi

  14. Bazza Taylor says:

    I have exavctly the same issue with security centre.  Doesnt see my anti virus prog (MacAfee) and I cant turn on Defender.  Yesterday, for some reason, my Firewall got turned off.  What’s going on??

  15. Frank Hsu says:

    I find your article very helpful.

    I have a very simple problem and don’t know how to solve it.

    No matter how I tried, I just couldn’t execute the exe application firewallsettings. That means I can not turn my firewall on or off, allow special program through the firewall and manage all my firewall settings.

    The program is in /windows/system32/firewallsettings but can not be loaded!!



  16. Sam says:

    Hi I am having trouble switching my Windows Vista Security Centre. Whenever I log on to Windows it gives me a warning saying that Windows security center is not working, and then when I go about switching it on, it says "Windows Security Centre cannot be started".

    Any one has any ideas why that might be?

  17. Vista User says:


    One of the things that I don’t like is that in XP you could choose "change the way windows alerts me"and turn on/off the alerts for each category such as antivirus.  In Vista it seems the only option is to turn off the entire system.

    I don’t want the entire system off, I just want to turn off alerts for one component (i.e. the fact that User Account Controls is off).  i want to be warned about any other problems that are present – or occur later (like antivirus being out of date).

    Why was this feature removed?

  18. TechBlog says:

    To prepare for a review of Norton 360, Symantec’s reworked Internet security suite, I uninstalled AVG Free, the excellent and free antivirus program from Grisoft. After the requisite reboot, I noticed that I was not seeing a warning from Windows Vista..

  19. Ed Deren says:

    I have the same issues  as described above.  I have Trend Mico and it is not being recognized by Security Center adn I cannot turn on Windows Defeder.  Any suggestions?

  20. TaxiGirl says:

    Ditto.  Antivirus and Windows Defender not recognized in Security Center.  I have searched the internet and found no answers.  Guess we have to wait for Microsoft to fix this in a future update?

  21. DangerMowse says:

    Vista also doesn’t recognise my Avast antivirus and I can’t turn on Defender (although both used to work!). I wish they’d hurry up and fix it!

  22. The Warrior says:

    Some programs like kaneva wont install updates because of the security settings.. how do you know which to change etc.

  23. Paul says:

    I’m having the same issue with it just turning off.  I’m using McAfee.  It’s happened several times, and I’m forced to roll-back my system to a day ago to fix it.

    Clicking on the defender will do that "Updating…" thing and then it will just conk out and not work.  I also can’t get my anti-virus to be recognized as McAfee, though it does appear to continue to work in the system tray.

    When all this happens, then the backup, restore function has some issues too and gives me some errors, quite annoying.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one having this issue, I was beginning to think I was getting targeted by a hacker.

  24. diane says:

    what web cams are compatible with both xp & vista.  please contact me at:

  25. diane says:

    what web cams are compatible with both xp & vista.  please contact me at:

  26. Josh says:

    On Windows vista how do you change the way you log in?

    email me asap

  27. Jim says:


    I’m having a similar problem with the Malware Protection in the Security Center.

    I just got a new Sony Vaio, but the anti-virus programs (Norton Internet Security) is OFF and cannot be turned ON. When clicking "Show me my available options", it went to buy another norton anti-virus program.

    Could you tell me how to turn Norton Internet Security ON? I cannot run it from START-ALL PROGRAMS either.

    THanks & Regards


  28. Paul G. Landis says:

    My friend in Australia is blocked from sending me Email. How can I unblock his mail?

  29. nitehawk1845 says:

    running vista premium home edition, all of a sudden, security is nor recognizing my avg virus protection, even though it is running & up to date.also says defender is turned off, when in fact it is not, need a fix, can you help please.

  30. Simon Furey says:

    This is a general problem that affects everybody’s AV products, including Microsoft’s own OneCare, and is caused by a corrupted Vista WMI Repository. In my case ESET NOD32 wouldn’t register, although it seemed to work. The solution is simple and is clearly described at:

    In my case it took two goes to work, and now all is fine.

    Why the hell Microsoft isn’t making this information more widely available is anyone’s guess.

  31. koko says:

    After (successfully) uninstalling Norton Internet Security 2007, Vista Security Center still report two firewalls. So, is this a Microsoft problem or Symantec problem? Who to blame?

  32. jimmy crooks says:

    please provide firewall info. need it

    thanks have a good day

  33. Mikhail Goncharov says:

    I have similar problem. I bought HP laptop with Vista Home premium and Norton IS preinstalled. Ones Norton firewall prevented me from usind HP wireless all-in-one scaner (and fixes are quite laboresome) I removed Norton completely and installed trendmicro antivirus to leave firewall functions to windows. First surprise was – no wornings from security center after uninstalling norton and prior to installation of trendmicro. Security center showed that all norton components report functioning properly – i.e. 2 firewalls, antivirus antimallware.

    I cleaned registry of all symantec data using regsupreme – same messages remain in security center.

    Now I have still the same with add-on of trendmicro tools –

    Security center reports that 2 antivirus programs running (norton amd trendmicro), 2x firewalls (norton and vista), 3x (spaware – vista defender [off], norton[on] and trendmicro[on])

    will appreciate help to resolve this

  34. madie says:

    Have a similar problem with Mikhail – McAfee Security Suite preinstalled in my case. After uninstalling all McAfee components and rebooting, the Security Center still detects 2 firewalls turned on (Windows and McAfee firewalls). Since McAfee can no longer be found among Programs and Features or All Programs, I assume it was a clean uninstall. Help, anyone?

  35. Jerry Litton says:

    "You are about to view pages over a secure connection. Any information etc etc etc…

    In the future do not show this warning "

    I click yes and I still get the warning every page.  How do I fix it? I am the only one who uses this computer and I assume I am the administrator….any ideas? My email is


  36. Yuen Gi Yee says:

    I’m running Vista Ultimate, build 1/21/2007, the OEM Builder Pack with Norton Internet Security Suite 2007. Neither can be found by the Security Center, and have selected the not being monitored alternative. Defender finally works after many tries to get it going.

    Charles, are you folks going to provide users with a fix? Like everyone else – Vista was a substantial investment and I feel like i’m not getting my money’s worth!

  37. pc cilin and xp problem says:

    i have an upto date pc cilin 2007 internet security and out of no were after having it on for two months microsoft tells me its turned off? but it says its on plzzzzzzz reply to me asap on plzzzzzzzzzzz ps i can help u with a virus prob if u can help me (”-)

  38. Chris Linders says:

    I have tones of cookies and vrirus in my computer need a program to get rid off them

  39. mike Balding says:

    I have a customer running Vista Home Premium. Security centre reports that there is no anti virus software installed, however AVG has been running successfuly for 2 months. Also, we cannot turn on Windows defender although it runs and updates normally.

  40. Kimsifla says:

    Since two weeks I have the same problem: Security center reports that there is no anti virus, yet I have been using AVG for 2 months with no problems. At the same time, Windows defender cannot be switch ON. Help!

  41. hamed says:

    The Security Alerts on Windows Is Always Trun off I cannot

    change It, and the All  download programes is stoped

    how can i fix this problem plz advise

    Waitting reply

    Best Regards


  42. ACE says:

    Even though I uninstalled AVG Free to install Zone Suite 7.1, Security Centre says I’m still running both when the AVG Free was successfully uninstalled!

    Falsely reporting the presence of a security program after being uninstalled cannot be secure!


  43. Derek Smart says:

    I too installed Norton Internet Security 2007 on a Vista Ultimate machine last week. After two days (of problems with it), I un-installed it. However, Security Center is showing two (NIS and  Windows Firewall) firewalls installed and ON.

    The only reason I installed NIS was because I was evaluating NIS, KIS and Zone Alarm for Vista compatibility before deciding which to adopt. I had completely forgotten that my systems, since 2004, were declared a "Norton Free Zone" having then determined that NIS was as much a virus (in terms of removal) as any.

    Anyway, after "uninstalling" NIS 2007 and using their removal tool, using other tools (JV16 Power Tools & Ace Utilities which found in excess of 76+ entries for the now removed program!!!), I still found remnants of "norton" and "symantec" in my registry. Those – and any/all – traces of NIS2007 are now flushed from this machine, but according to Security Center, NIS firewall is still installed an ON.

    I spoke to Symantec tech support. Get this: I was told that since it apparently had nothing to do with Symantec, but rather Vista, that I should reformat my HDD in order to clean up Security Center. Thats the part where I hung up on our out-source Indian friend who – decidedly – had no clue whatsoever.

  44. nesryan says:

    i just installed norton internet security. when doing the inital setup windows security centre picked up norton, however after running update and doing a restart its saying no antivirus software dectected. why is it doing this?

  45. John Luke says:

    Derek Smart, your third paragraph is what I have encountered to the letter.

    What to do…….

  46. raffy says:

    how come my security center in visita basic cannot detect my preloaded norton anti-virus software and says windows defender is off when it is on, and when I tclick "turn on" all it does is update and sends an error message…HELP ME

  47. raffy says:

    how come my security center in visita basic cannot detect my preloaded norton anti-virus software and says windows defender is off when it is on, and when I click "turn on" all it does is update and sends an error message…HELP ME

  48. Thanks to Simon Furey’s post dated Thursday, May 31, 2007 5:37 PM. The trick given on linked page works.

  49. Michael Cannon says:

    I think the most frustrating part of WSC is when a security program leaves and entry out in WSC as if it is still installed. As the Administrator, there should be a function that allows you to correct this issue and there is not.

    I think a function like this should be included and not make us depend on the Code provider to correct this issue..

  50. Alan Darbyshire says:

    I recently purchased a new HP laptop with Norton Internet Security installed trial version, i am not a norton fan i can never get my home network to function with it. So i uninstalled norton and norton reported its fully uninstalled then i rebooted and installed Kaspersky AV using windows firewall. Now when i look it is showing that i have 2 AV programmes and 2 Firewalls, Norton is still being detected even though its uninstalled. Any help would be appreciated.

  51. Simon Tuvey says:

    I can’t turn windows defender on when i try it checks for new definitions then tells me it can’t find any and remains turned of,any ideas?

  52. Chuck S says:

    My Acer came with Norton and my ISP offers McAfee Security Center and Webroot for spyware. Although my MSN security center says I an running 2 firewalls Windows firewall and McAfee I do not seem to be having any problems. Can I trust windows firewall if I disable McAfee? Please clarify?


  53. pretentious says:

    I noticed an earlier post regarding the removal of McAfee products and am experiencing the same problem. I had McAfee Total Protection installed and found the overhead on the system unacceptable. I removed the software via the control panel and rebooted. The Security Centre still shows McAfee Firewall as being on. I tried all of the programs McAfee had for total removal of their software yet it still shows as being on. I’ve scoured the registry and can’t find any mention of McAfee anywhere. I have tried the live chat service with McAfee tech support but it has become clear that they just don’t understand what the problem is. Needless to say I have become thoroughly puzzled. If anyone has any thoughts I’d be very grateful to hear them. Cheers.

  54. G. H. says:

    Security center reports that there is no anti virus, yet I have been using AVG for 1 month with no problems. At the same time, Windows defender cannot be switch ON. Help! e me at gh426 at adelphia daughtt nwet.


  55. pretentious says:

    I posted a few days ago regarding the problem with two firewalls showing in the Security Center but forgot to let an address I could be reached at. If anyone has any idea how deal with this situation I’d really appreciate the assistance. tech(@) Cheers. T

  56. Chuck says:

    Security Center sucks anyways. It’s only for morons who can’t or won’t monitor software themselves. Put on a simple option so we can just turn the junk off if we want. I’m tired of searching through services and registry keys just to disable something completely childish.

  57. pretentious says:

    To those of us that have the problem with the McAfee firewall and maybe others as well not going away after completely uninstalling them and Security Center stating that there are two firewalls you may want to check out this URL Check for the response for Malke and it just may solve the headache. It worked for me and hopefully will for you. Cheers. T

  58. shaun says:

    Just got a new pc with windows vista….Couldn’t believe it when i see norton internet security was already installed…so removed it from system & installed PC Tools with AV & thought id use windows firewall……now im being told i have multiple anti virus on the pc!! ie pc tools & norton….also i keep turning windows firewall on & when i check again its saying its turned off & norton firewall is being used!! anyone got any ideas how to get rid of this useless nuisance from my system?? thanks

  59. shaun says:

    I Must of been one of the lucky ones! I found that Norton removal tool done the trick….I Now have no trace of Norton in Windows Security Center.

  60. c clark says:

    My problem is is the same as the others, winsecurity

    alert refuses to turn on, even though win updater,defender and firewall appears to work.  In the past I have also had problems w/ system restore.

    I can’t understand why microsoft is ignoring this long lasting  problem. It needed to be fixed yesterday.

    Microsoft gets 2 thumbs down for not solving this problem.

  61. Shaun says:

    Dont know if this is any use but it seemed to speed mine up.

  62. Jerry says:

    Hello Chas,  I am having a problem with security center.  for some unkown reason it has stopped working and will not allow me to start it back up.  I have looked online for an answer to this but have not had any success.  Can you please help me?  I did notice that there were a couple of other people with the same problem that I have when I googled the issue.  It worked for a while and then just stopped working.


  63. Mentor says:

    Hi, I’m running Vista Ultimate 32 bit on a Fujitsu-siemens PC, after uninstalling kaspersky internet security 7, I installed Eset Nod 32 Smart secuirty, and  now WSC says that I have 2 firewalls turned on, and 2 antivirus softwares. Any help how to resolve this problem I will appreciate.

  64. I must agree with Lee. I work in tech support and was advising customers to …

  65. Sarah D says:

    Similar to some of the above…

    I uninstalled Norton (no probs) and installed AVG. I was then bombarded with error messages. So, I uninstalled AVG (after some difficulty) and downloaded Avast. Now, when I try to launch Avast, a message tells me that the ‘splash screen is no longer working’ and/or that my "GUI is no longer working".

    I’m confused. As a non-techy I’m worried that I have no virus protection. Everything is assuringly green in the security centre, but I just don’t trust Microsoft!!


  66. andru says:

    thanks. so if my kaspersky anti virus is up to date the detetion of windows xp sp2 edition is still working good so as my antivirus am iin the rught track? thanks. thanks too for th information. i love it

  67. Aaron says:

    I’ve had the same problem as Jerry.  Last week, out of the blue (no recently installed programs or system changes) Security Center informed me that it was no longer running, but when I went to turn it back on a small window popped up with the message, "The Security Center service can’t be started."

    Has anyone been able to figure out what’s going on?

  68. Aaron says:

    Hey guys, Aaron again.

    I finally found an easy tutorial that shows how to turn Security Center back on.  For some reason unknown to me you have to tell your computer that Security Center CAN be turned on before you are allowed to turn it on…  odd, yes; confusing, yes; easily fixed, yes.

    Follow this link and skip Step 1.  It’s irrelevant.

  69. jeff says:

    Using Vista Home Basice, when I open the security center, the option to "Change the way security center alerts me" does not appear.

    I have tried disabling the Security Center from services.msc, but it keeps coming back!!!

    How do I get rid of it?

  70. Gillian says:

    Hello, I am completely baffled with my laptop, somebody PLEASE HELP ME

    i have been trying unsucessfully to install internet explorer 7 for months and months (through genuine microsoft updates) and apparently i need to disable my anti-virus programme, which is antivira personal edition classic. I did disable it, the update still failed, i then unstalled the entire programme and tried again, update still failed. I checked windows security center and it reports antivira as still installed and running, yet in control panel, it is no longer coming up as being installed on my computer (as i removed it). so the update is failing because of a programme i dont actually have.

    SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP BECAUSE IM COMPLETELY LOST! the automatic updates keep trying to install it, failing, and then i am being prompted to restart my computer so the changes can take effect when there never are any changes ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    any help would be greatly appreciated, im about to throw my laptop out the window


  71. tst says:

    Maleware protection is Security center report that Norton antivirus 2007 is out of date even though I do up-to-date. Please help me how to fix

  72. pet says:

    I too have the almost identical problem as reported by koko on 6/13, Mikhail on 6/11, Madie on 6/12, ACE on 7/27, Derrel Smart on 7/30, Alan Darbyshire on 9/10, pretension on 9/13, shaun on 10/16, and mentor on 12/7.  And yet no answers have been posted by Microsoft!  Communally we have all wasted hours poking about in the registry, googling etc …

    My new Sony VAIO (Vista Business) came with Norton Internet Security pre-installed! (d*** them!). As Derek I went through multiple hoops to get it completely uninstalled, cleaning the registry etc. (although I haven’t yet run the Norton Removal Tool).  I have installed AVG free for Virus protection and Windows Bitdefender for Spyware protection.  They work fine, BUT:

    In my case WSC is showing that NIS is still installed but out of date in both the Virus and Spyware categories, and I keep getting red-shield pop-up warnings in the taskbar that NIS is out of date.

    What’s going on?  What’s the solution?  I want this removed and no reminders for phantom programs.

  73. Blind Dragon says:

    This thing is a piece of junk. No offense.

    First… It tells me that I have multiple firewalls running, so I check and it says that Comodo is installed twice. I uninstall Comodo, but it’s still showing there. I deleted over 20 registry entries for Comodo, as well any file close to Comodo = Still there.

    Second… I decided to out smart this stupid security center, or so I though, through services I stopped the WMI from running: I navigated to C:windowssysytem32wbemRepository and deleted it to the recycle bin.

    Third… I reboot the computer and restart the WMI through services thinking that the Repository would re-create itself. That was a no-go. So I restored the Repository from Recycle and now Comodo is not showing at all.

    Finally… Now the best part.. I install Zone Alarm and it shows that I have no active Firewall and expects me to turn on Windows firewall to quit giving warnings. Yea right. It also quit recognizing AVG untill I wasted another half hour uninstalling and reinstalling. I don’t simply click uninstall. I like to nuke every instance of a removed program.

    Thank you for developing this annoying feature that thinks it knows better than I what I have installed/active/updated

  74. christine dwyer says:

    I need to know how to enable email scanner. Thanks chris

  75. Arnold says:

    Am using Vista Ultimate anddecided to go with another anti-virus rather than OneCare which I had been using.  One Care stopped Defender from starting and  even though I reconfigured Defender to startup, I keep getting the message that "Defender cannot start, try again later"  and it will not start.  How do I turn Defender back on after removal of Windows Live OneCare?



  76. John Mc Cart says:

    I keep being alerted by a red cross on the bottom right hand corner of my screen, which is windowa security alerts. This states that my malware protection is out of date. I installed the free Norton Protection Package I received with my new computer some weeks ago. So how could this be and how can I rectify it



  77. lynn haskins says:

    hi , i have norton security  on my home vista and my windows

    security center ,  mailwere and wont turn on and the windows defender will not fix and its sayins i have no antie virus softwere it wont turn on , its bringing me into a link to get new somtwere  can any one help me?????

    its doing my head in!!!!!!!!!

  78. Akif says:

    The Using Vista Home Basice, when I open the security center, the option to "Change the way security center alerts me" does not appear.

    I have tried disabling the Security Center from services.msc, but it keeps coming back!!!

    How do I get rid of it?

  79. Akin says:

    One day I turn on my computer and I get a message saying I don’t have an antivirus software installed. I’ve had an antivirus software installed since day 1; why has, all of a sudden, Windows decided that I don’t have any?

    This is exactly why people aren’t happy with Windows products anymore. What kind of behaviour is this??? Man, when the hell will apple make their OS public for all computers – I really hate Windows.

  80. Dean says:

    Same problem here with Mcafee.  Uninstalled it, yet Security Center says that it is still installed and "on"… I don’t get it… ran the mcpr.exe tool – still does not work.

    I don’t understand how Vista can be secure if it shows that you are protected with a antivirus program yet nothing is installed.

    This should be fixed!

  81. Jordan M says:

    Hello ,

    I have been reading a few comments and i see that some people are getting the error "Windows Security Centre Cannot be started" , This is not a major problem and im now going to tell you how to sort it out.

    First in In the Start Search Bar type Services

    Then when in services look for Security Centre.

    When you find it double click it.

    Then on the startup dropdown thing it will probs be disabled. Click Automatic instead.

    Now click apply and you can now Restart your PC

    When you have rebooted the problem should be fixed and windows should have restarted Security Centre without problems. If you still are having problems Email me at and i will try help you further.

    Hope that helps anyone that is currently having the problem and people  who later visit this page with the same problem.


    Jordan Malthouse

  82. Michel Nizette says:

    Dean wrote:

    >Same problem here with Mcafee.  Uninstalled it, yet

    >Security Center says that it is still installed and "on"…

    >I don’t get it… ran the mcpr.exe tool – still does not work.

    The solution proposed here worked for me:

    Hope this helps.


  83. Iiona says:

    I need help! I have AVG but windows security center doesn’t recognize it and defender keeps turning off!! Help!!

  84. R D says:

    I am using Windows Vista with automatic updates turned on. I have Trend Micro Antivirus 2007 and Spybot Search & Destroy as well a Windows Defender. Since yesterday (8-12-08), I began to notice a Windows Security Alert. When I opened Windows Security Center, the section under "Malware Protection" shows that antivirus protection was "not found" and sypware and other malware protection is "snoozing". The messages are "Windows did not find any antivirus software on this computer" and "Spybot – Search & Destroy reports that it is temporarily turned off" Windows Defender is not listed under spyware protection at all. For Spybot, when I click on the "Turn On Now" button followed by "Yes, I trust this program and I am ready to run it", a command window pops up with a flashing prompt for a few seconds and then this window disappears with no remedy. Sybot continues to snooze. When I open Trend Micro Antivirus and Spybot, they seem to be working fine. There is a clearly problem with Windows Security Center. Is there a fix?

  85. Leonardo says:

    I am using Avast! for virus protection in my laptop. Windows Vista Security Center has marked it red showing the status of out of date. However, when I tried to update Avast!, a pop up message appeared: "This program will not run, Security Center did not trust this program because it’s identity can’t be verified." I found this problem after noticing that I did not see a regular avast notification of "virus definition update" in my laptop once it is connected to internet. It’s weird since I set the updating period for every 240 minutes. I tried to update Avast! manually, and another message appear: "cannot connect to because :

    – you are not connected to the internet (weird reason)

    – your firewall does not allow the program "avast*.setup" to access the internet

    – your HTTP proxy settings are incorrect (another weird reason)

    – the server is inaccessible because of a network error or maintenance".

    I tried to fix this by including various Avast! files in the Windows Firewall list of exception software, as recommended by the Avast! website. However, it still does not work. Windows Vista Security Center still does not recognize/trust Avast!.  For comparison, Avast! update works well and automatically in my friend’s laptop which uses Windows XP. Could you help me fix this problem? Many thanks.

  86. Erica Miller says:

    I need my activation code, I didnt never get it, and you’ll taking my money anyways!

  87. Samvwel says:

    у меня на компе Vista Center вирус  мне надо анти вирус

  88. cath says:

    When I open Windows Security Centre it shows I have 2 firewalls and 2 antivirus programmes running, when, infact I have uninstalled them, deleted the registry keys etc.. very annoying I must say. I even had remote access from ESET on my pc but he couldnt even tell me why this is happening. Any ides ??