In our computer repair business we often see the ‘Virus/Protection’ status causing the following problems: It may show the name of your old antivirus software even after you have uninstalled it. Similarly, Security Center may show the name of a fake antivirus (a nasty virus that pretends to be genuine antivirus software) even after you have removed that virus from your computer.
Security Center may also show the name of an old/fake antivirus even after you have installed a new antivirus. The first two scenarios may prevent you installing a new antivirus package – because Windows wrongly thinks you already have one.
The third scenario is a bit less serious because you have actually managed to install a new antivirus but Security Center will not be able to alert you if your new antivirus is out of date or not working (because it has no record of your new antivirus – it is still checking for the status of the old one!)
If you have an incorrect antivirus product ‘stuck’ in Security Center you need to fix it – you know you have a problem if you see a message when trying to install a new antivirus that you already have one installed (but you don’t) or if Security Center warns you about the status of an antivirus that is no longer installed.
You can see for yourself by opening Security Center – click Start \ Control Panel \ (Security – in Vista/7), Security Center and then click on Virus/Malware protection to see the current status and which antivirus is listed.
How To Fix It – You need to force Security Center to rebuild its database in order to find the correct status of your antivirus (either not present or the name of your new antivirus rather than the old one). To do this just follow these steps:
Step 1 (XP) – Hold down the Windows key on your keyboard and press the letter R at the same time to bring up the Run command. Type the word CMD in the Run box and click OK to open up the Command Prompt window. Skip to Step 2.
Step 1 (Vista/W7) – Click Start and type CMD in the Search box (bottom left of Start menu) – the ‘Command Prompt’ will be listed in the search results above. Right-click the Command Prompt, and choose to ‘Run as Administrator‘ (click yes/ok if a confirmation message appears). The Command Prompt window will now open.
Step 2 – In the Command Prompt window, type in each of the following commands exactly, pressing the Enter key after each one:
net stop winmgmt
ren repository repository.old
net start winmgmt
Now close the Command Prompt window and restart your computer.
The commands you entered forced a rebuild of the database (Repository) used by Security Center to determine which antivirus software is installed on your computer. After your computer has restarted, if you look again in Windows Security Center you should now see your correct antivirus status listed 🙂