Coincidence Or Accident? Microsoft Security Essentials Bug Rendering XP Machines Hamstrung Like A Virus

Since its release back in 2009, Microsoft Security Essentials has become a respected anti-virus / anti-malware solution. Even I, someone who never went out of their way to run such a solution, used it from the get-go due to its solid design and effective scanning. The fact that it was a cost-free solution sure didn't hurt, either. As it is today, though, there are many out there starting to wonder if MSE is all it's cracked up to be. And Microsoft has backed away from the product as of late it seems as well.

Hot on the heels of Microsoft's retirement of XP, users are reporting some rather severe issues with their boxes, caused by the company's security suite. While no data is at risk, and the OS remains operable, if stricken with this bug, you'd swear that you've actually contracted a virus. The PC will be slow, "down to a crawl" as one Google+ user has said.

Further, errors related to "MsMpEng.exe" might also arise on boot, and this is the process that needs to be killed in order to regain normality with your PC. To disable MSE, you can go to your Windows run line (Win + R), type "services.msc" without quotes and hit enter, then scroll down to "Microsoft Antimalware Service". Once found, right-click it, go into the properties, and then choose "Startup type: Disabled". After a reboot, MSE will stay clear, and your PC should be back to normal. Note that you may have to boot into Safe Mode in order to successfully complete this disabling.  You can also uninstall it via the standard Programs and Software control panel.

If this is a widespread issue, and hints are leading us to believe that there are many out there battling it, we can't help but wonder what Microsoft is going to do about it - if anything at all. After all, with XP dead on the consumer side, it has no responsibility to continue updating it at all. If Microsoft does decide to patch it, we'd imagine users could go online and download the most up-to-date version of MSE, as it's not exclusive to XP.

Still, what a coincidence. If you're still running an XP box, have you been bitten by this bug?