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how to uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials in Vista

Does anyone know how to uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials on a Vista Home Premium system?  I think this may be a solution to the computer becoming unresponsive soon after startup.  Not even task manager will come up with Ctrl-Alt-Delete.  McAfee is on the system also and I know we must uninstall one of them so Microsoft will be first to go.      
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wildgolf
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wildgolf
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1 Solution
 
Jackie ManCommented:
On restarting Vista, press F8 and select Safe Mode first.

In Safe Mode, in Vista "Start Search", type msconfig and you will be prompted with UAC to proceed.

Then, a window called "System Configuration" will appear.

Go to the Services tab in "System Configuration" and locate the service for Microsoft Security Essentials and un-mark the check box before Microsoft Security Essentials and click OK button.

You will be asked to re-boot Vista to take effect and click "Restart" button.

On restart to normal mode, go to "Control Panel" -> "Add / remove Software" to remove Microsoft Security Essentials and reboot Vista.

You computer will be fine afterwards.
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wildgolfAuthor Commented:
Thanks jackieman, I'll try your solution later today.
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Jackie ManCommented:
Hope that you can recover your Vista soon.

I have a typo in my previous post as follows:-

In Safe Mode, in Vista "Start Search", type msconfig and and select msconfig.exe and you will be prompted with UAC to proceed. For details, please see the screenshot below.
msconfig.jpg
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
Having Two (same-type) Security Softwares installed on the computer is no doubt your problem.  Security Essentials is more reliable than other free anti-virus solutions and uses fewer resources than most main-stream anti-virus products.  I highly recommend uninstalling McAfee as this is a much heavier weight security software - then keeping Security Essentials.

Under normal circumstances, Windows Security Essentials is uninstalled just like any other properly installed software - through the Programs and Features (or Add/Remove Programs) applet in Control Panel.

Using MSCONFIG or services control to turn off the startup of Security Essentials does not uninstall it and may still permit the conflict you are experiencing now.
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wildgolfAuthor Commented:
I can't do anything with Windows, even in Safe Mode.  It just freezes up (or runs VERY slowly) shortly after restart. Tried System Restore to back out last Windows fix, no improvement. Any other ideas? Can I try anything at a command prompt?  
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Jackie ManCommented:
You need to use a Vista Recovery Disk or use your Vista Setup Disk to start your PC and launch system restore to go back to a restore point before you install Microsoft Security Essentials.

URL: http://www.vistax64.com/general-discussion/146356-download-vista-recovery-console.html

A downloadable version of Vista Recovery Disk is as follow.

http://coblitz.codeen.org/neosmart.net/downloads/guides/Vista_Repair/Vista_Recovery_Disc_x86.iso

(I assume that your computer is of Vista 32 bit.)

When a problem appears in Vista and there are no clues from google, it seems to me the last resort is to use system restore as Vista is much better in system restore than the system restore in XP. System Restore in Vista is just like a time machine to go back to the exact state when the problem does not exist. But the drawback is that it consumes a lot of hard disk apace and it will restore the applications that you have removed and old version of document on desktop,

So, before your use System Restore, make sure all user data has been properly backup as it is just too powerful if Vista thinks that the path you stored your data is part of the system folders.

In a nutshell, System Restore can reduce the time of troubleshooting (except the problem is caused by hardware failure) but it must be used with due care.
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Jackie ManCommented:
A tutorial of Vista Windows Recovery is in the URL below.

URL: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial142.html
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wildgolfAuthor Commented:
thanks again jackieman.  this machine (Dell inspiron 1520, not mine btw) includes a System Repair, including System Restore option when you press F8 during boot. there does not appear to be any Restore Point before MSE was installed.  it's looking to me like "Restore to Factory Settings" may be the only option at this point.  any more ideas?  
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Jackie ManCommented:
So, have you tired to enter into BIOS and select CD as the first boot device and start the computer with the Vista Recovery Disk?
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Delphineous SilverwingGood Ol' GeekCommented:
If you can get the machine to boot into Safe Mode Command Prompt ... run services.msc and disabled all McAfee services and Security Essentials.  Then you should be able to boot into regular mode and uninstall one of them.
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Jackie ManCommented:
I see a thread in MS forum for a case similar to yours in the URL below.

URL: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistarepair/thread/6b7fd413-78f4-40c1-ab06-289df4587239

Let me think about how to fix it tmr.
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Jackie ManCommented:
Hi Delphineous

I guess that Vista will hang at Safe Mode command prompt also.

Any other tricks?
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Jackie ManCommented:
Try to start Vista in safe mode again and use the command line to kill the process of MsMpEng.exe (Microsoft Security Essentials) by the procedure below in DOS prompt.

1. type tasklist and press enter and a list of all running process will be listed out.

2. locate the PID Session corresponding to MsMpEng.exe in the list of service (say 724)

3. type taskkill /PID [PID Session] and press enter (say taskkill /PID 724)

Source: http://www.myptsmail.com/myptsmail/?p=194

After killing the process for Microsoft Security Essentials, the CPU ulitsation will drop and act quick to launch MSCONFIG.exe to disable the startup service for Microsoft Security Essentials.
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wildgolfAuthor Commented:
Was not able to fix the problem with any of the suggestions, so decided finally to restore to factory settings.  Fortunately the owner has a backup of his data.  Good lesson in here to NEVER install two AV programs at the same time.  Thanks to jackieman and Delphineous for your help.  
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