Safety of MSFT's Malicious Software Removal Tool

By inet32 ·
On TR Dojo they recently recommended a free Microsoft tool - the Malicious Software Removal Tool - it _automatically_ detects and remove malware.

I was thinking of using it but I was nervous about the automatic part - is there any danger that this tool (or others like it) might incorrectly identify something as malware and delete it, thus damaging my system? Would manually setting a Restore point before running it allow me to recover from that?

Thanks in advance!

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While anything is possible

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Safety of MSFT's Malicio ...

Generally speaking this isn't an issue. While I have not personally used the M$ Option I have worked on systems that do use it and you are always prompted when there is something to remove.

While it can possible destroy the system it's not the most likely thing to happen. You could always build a Clone Image of the HDD with something like Clonezilla

and store an Image of your working HDD to recover from if you feel the need.

The only real problem with this utility is that it should be used as part of a Multi pronged Defense against Malware so if it's the only tool you are using it's likely not to be overly effective.


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I was going to reply earlier.

by Ron K. In reply to Safety of MSFT's Malicio ...

I've run Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool for years and have never had a problem. <br>
Regarding your question, "Would manually setting a Restore point before running it allow me to recover from that?" The answer is no. Think about it for a minute, if you remove a program yourself you can't go back and use System Restore to reinstall it. <br>
We use Acronis True Image here at home. Folks are probably fed up with me talking about it. Too bad. It works and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Clonezilla may work as well but I'm happy with my choice. It's simple and intuitive to use. Fifteen to twenty minutes from getting slammed with a virus or malware until my computer is back to normal. It takes longer to dink around trying to remove a virus or malware. Throw in the boot disk, locate your image, choose to restore that and the MBR to your C: drive and in just a short time you're done. <br>
Two things to consider when using imaging software.<br>
1. You can't keep your image on the hard drive you're restoring to unless you intend to copy it off to an external drive. <br>
2. If you use a USB external hard drive it may take longer to restore an image because the USB ports will be a bottle-neck. <br>
The best place to store an image, you ask me, is on a secondary drive. They're cheap and easy to install.

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Don't know how accurate it is.

by Who Am I Really In reply to I was going to reply earl ...

Usually the "MRT" is sent out in the updates to target a small select few current malware
I let it run on an infected system that was brought in and it came back with nothing wrong.
Then I ran MBAM, SpyBot S&D, and ESet Online Scanner on that same system and they all came back with something that they had to flagged remove but "MRT" didn't even see the infections.

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I recall

by santeewelding In reply to Don't know how accurate i ...

That when MS first started doing it a couple years ago, and all along, they selected just one specific flavor of malware for detection and death each month. If you have been using the same system all along, they grow to a library, or blacklist, ready to pounce, or, so I understand.

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