Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows Defender Won't Turn On

  1. #1


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8

    Windows Defender Won't Turn On


    I'm running 8.1.

    When I try to run Windows Defender through services (since it is set to manual and turned off), I get the following message:

    Windows could not start the Windows Defender Service service on Local Computer.

    Error 577: Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damanged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown device.

    I can't get Windows Defender to start through the Action Center. When I turn it on, it just brings me to the system32 folder.

    Any ideas? Do I need to do a clean install? I used to have avast installed, but have uninstalled it. If I can't get windows defender to work should I install something else?

    EDIT: I am running malwarebytes anti-malware. Do you think there's a conflict there?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by TUnitG6; 19 Nov 2013 at 14:49. Reason: Additional Information

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Hi there. Yes, there's definitely a conflict. Defender by default will automatically turn off when another AV is installed.

    Is there a reason why you want to use Defender?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 10
    Windows 8


    Thanks for the response. I didn't realize that Malwarebytes was considered as an AV.

    There isn't a specific reason. Do you have any suggestions for AV software? Should I reinstall avast free?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    I use Defender. Used MSE since introduction. Never have a problem. Easy on system resources also.

    You may be correct about Malwarebytes. Is it the pro version you have? If so, that may be a full-fledged AV which is not allowing defender to start.

    Forum friends of mine, Robinb9 and others, know more than I do about this stuff. Please read through this thread: https://www.eightforums.com/system-security/29529-windows-defender-windows-8-enough.html.

    PM Robin if you'd like. I'm sure she won't mind helping you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Malwarebytes Pro does not interfere with MS Defender. You may have some residue from an incomplete Avast uninstall
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Ohio
    Posts : 473
    Windows 8 Pro


    I had the same problem with Defender. I had the Pro version of Malware bytes installed at the time. It is my understanding that the Pro version has a fire wall which will conflict with Defender and will therefore shut it down. After a lot of searching on the subject it was believed that when another firewall shuts down Defender you will no longer be able to turn it back on even if you un-install Malwarebytes. That is not necessarily a fact but there were some who believed that it was a possibility. I couldn't even do a refresh as a message popped up saying that the drive Windows is installed on is locked. What I finally had to do was to restore to the factory image (after backing up my data) and then put back windows 8 and then 8.1. I'm not suggesting that it will be necessary for you to do that, (I hope not) but that was what I ended up doing. As far as malware protection is concerned, I only have Defender.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Joisey
    Posts : 315
    Windows 8.1 consumer 64 bit


    Maybe this thread will help:

    Windows Defender - Turn On or Off in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    There is a possibility that there are remnants of Avast left over. Did you use a uninstall tool to remove Avast? This article has a link to the Avast uninstall tool, as well as instructions on how to use it.

    Avast Software Uninstall Utility Download
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Borg 386 View Post
    There is a possibility that there are remnants of Avast left over. Did you use a uninstall tool to remove Avast? This article has a link to the Avast uninstall tool, as well as instructions on how to use it.

    Avast Software Uninstall Utility Download
    I think you are correct along with Frank and owenspal. And in reading the posts following the tutorial that mikeytg linked, one will see that others had problems with other AV Programs that didn't totally uninstall.

    It's the typical sloppy-written uninstall programs that leave remnants behind such as program folders, executables, dlls, crap in the registry, etc. That's why the post their updated or specific uninstall programs on their sites.

    This includes most developers including Microsoft. That's one thing I could never understand, especially Microsoft. Its like tearing down the building, removing the debris including the foundation, and leaving a hole in the ground. Ugh!

    Rant over.....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Ohio
    Posts : 473
    Windows 8 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Borg 386 View Post
    There is a possibility that there are remnants of Avast left over. Did you use a uninstall tool to remove Avast? This article has a link to the Avast uninstall tool, as well as instructions on how to use it.

    Avast Software Uninstall Utility Download
    When I had my problem, as mentioned in post No. 6, it could not have had anything to do with Avast, because I had never installed it. I did have the Pro version of Malwarebytes. I am not suggesting that that would not apply in this problem but it was not the cause of the problem that I had. I cannot even say what caused the problem because I really don't know, but I suspect that it was Malwarebytes. I just know that after trying several other things, I had to restore my system to its factory settings. I even tried to restore an image that I had made earlier and I was unable to do that. I've restored images several times before and never before had the problem. And as i mentioned before, I couldn't even do a refresh. But whatever was causing the problem with Defender being locked was causing my other problems.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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