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Windows 7: Cannot Get MSE Scheduled Scan to Run

06 Feb 2012   #11
AlanDyson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Version 6.1, Build 7600
 
 

Thanks to Corrine for your continued advice.

I have at last got the scheduled scan to run. I thought I had achieved this by removing all the conditions in Task Scheduler (the scan has such a light touch that I am quite content not to specify only when idle and on AC power). As it happens, the computer was idle and on AC power when the scan ran, which is just as well because I've discovered that these options become checked again on reboot! Had it been in use or on battery power, the scan presumably would not have run.

There seem to be an awful lot of hoops to jump through to get the scheduled scan set up, and I do wonder whether it's best just to wait till the icon turns orange and run a manual scan.

Corrine, you may wish to comment on the following:

1. Why are some of the options in Task Scheduler not retained on reboot? For MSE, this means that you cannot choose to have the scan start when the computer is in use, which is what I want to do. To have to remember to leave the computer live and plugged in to get MSE to scan is inconvenient to say the least, and probably unrealistic for many people.

2. When the "start scan only when computer is on but not in use" is checked, MS Antimalware disappears from Task Scheduler. Does that mean that the scan would not run whatever?

3. I understand that a scan cannot run while the computer is asleep, but why doesn't the Task Scheduler obey the instruction to wake it up?

4. I don't understand how the load on the servers can advance or delay the start time of a scan. (I can see that there may be some effect on the running of a scan if you have chosen to check for definition updates, but that's a different matter.)

This may be a bit long-winded for something that I can easily work round. But, while MSE functions way better than any of the several AV packages I've used over the years, this is the first real problem I've had in setting up an automatic scan to run reliably.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Feb 2012   #12
Corrine

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

Hi, Alan.

I believe that by removing all of the conditions in Task Scheduler, have removed the condition to "Wake the computer to run this task".

That aside, two comments regarding "Start the scheduled scan only when my PC is on but not in use"? First, when referring to "scheduled scan", this is not referring to Task Scheduler but the scan scheduled by MSE. Second, the MSE scan is not resource intensive and with the "Limit CPU usage during scans to 50%" checked, even less so.

This article from TechNet, Troubleshooting Task Scheduler, may be helpful.

Note also from the tutorial here at Seven Forums: Task Scheduler - Create New Task:

Quote:
10. If you Created a Task to Wake Up the Computer and Run A) You would need to change how long Windows 7 will wait to go back to sleep mode automatically after waking up unattended (no activity made by the actual user) and idle. The default time is only 120 seconds (2 minutes), so you would need to set this for how long it may take for the program or task to run instead. The tutorial below can help show you how to. It will be the same in Windows 7. For how, see:

Sleep Return Timeout for Unattended Wake Up - Vista Forums
Consider how many users from around the world that there are of MSE. For example, you are in the U.K. and I am in the U.S. Thus, if your PC is scheduled to update and run a scheduled scan at the time the the U.S. is "waking" and MSE is downloading the latest definitions, the servers would be very busy. Another reason the servers could be busy is if your scheduled scan is during a time of heavy online activity. With the network inspection feature inspecting traffic of online MSE users, that would also have an impact on server usage. Coincidentally, as I was responding here, I had MSE launched on another computer so I could check some wording. I saw activity start, looked over and realized MSE was beginning its scheduled scan -- as it turns out, not much of a delay, it was 7 minutes past the actual time scheduled.

Personally, I have not found a need to use Task Scheduler in conjunction with MSE but rather use MSE to schedule a daily quick scan at a time when I know my computer will be on. I am not concerned should a daily quick scan be occasionally missed if my computer is asleep during the scheduled time.

One last suggestion, if you really prefer to use Task Scheduler rather than the built-in MSE scheduled scan, on the Settings tab, try UNchecking "Run a scheduled scan on my PC (recommended)" and see if that allows Task Schedule to control the task.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2012   #13
AlanDyson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Version 6.1, Build 7600
 
 

Thank you, O Mystical Rose, you have inspired a big improvement in this old boy's grasp of these issues.

I discovered that with all options checked in the MSE scheduled scan settings, relevant details were automatically sent to Task Scheduler. I could see that some of the conditions checked in Task Scheduler could have been preventing a scan from running as I wished, and that is why I experimented with it. Because of this misunderstanding, I thought that the disappearance of MS Antimalware on checking "Start the scheduled scan only when my computer is on but not in use" must be a glitch. I never particularly wanted to use Task Scheduler.

Also, I can now see that having MSE set to check for latest definitions could result in a scan being delayed. (Though it's set for 10am here so should not compete with many in the US apart from New Yorkers having an early helping of pancakes and maple syrup.)

I agree wholeheartedly that MSE has a light touch; that was obvious from the outset, and it's a major reason why I've recommended it to many people. So I have no problem with a scan running while I am using the computer.

With all this in mind, I've unchecked the two scheduled scan settings apart from the CPU usage limit. I'll try to make sure that I'm at the computer when tomorrow's scan is due, and hopefully will be able to report a successful scan.

Last thing, I've set a scan for 10am every day. So if my hope is fulfilled, I should hit a scan naturally every few days without having to make a special effort to ensure the computer is on. Failing that there is always the MSE reminder to keep me fully scanned.

Still grateful for your continued attention.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Feb 2012   #14
AlanDyson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Version 6.1, Build 7600
 
 

Sorted! My misunderstandings of the role of Task Scheduler and scan timings made a mountain out of a molehill.

I didn't want to have to take special steps to have the scheduled scan run, otherwise I might just have well relied on starting it manually. Given that the MSE scan is fast and has a light touch, I am quite happy to have it run while I'm using the computer. Armed with my new understanding, I set the scan to run daily at a time when I would probably be at the computer some days, and unchecked the two options above the CPU usage limit. Yes, the scan has run and I didn't even notice it happening!

Thanks again for the advice. Your kind attention has added a little to an old boy's internal memory.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2012   #15
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AlanDyson View Post
I set the scan to run daily at a time when I would probably be at the computer some days, and unchecked the two options above the CPU usage limit. Yes, the scan has run and I didn't even notice it happening!
If you uncheck those 2 choices as you have done, are the settings in CCleaner then irrelevant? Or must you also make certain choices there?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2012   #16
AlanDyson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Version 6.1, Build 7600
 
 

As advised, I've set CCleaner to clear cookies and temporary files. It doesn't seem to have any effect on the MSE scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2012   #17
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AlanDyson View Post
As advised, I've set CCleaner to clear cookies and temporary files. It doesn't seem to have any effect on the MSE scan.

What about the choices in CCleaner/applications/Windows for "MS Antimalware"?

Or CCleaner/applications/utilities for Windows Defender?

Do they appear to have any effect?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2012   #18
AlanDyson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Version 6.1, Build 7600
 
 

They're all unchecked. Only checked items are browser caches and cookies, system temp files and flash player.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2012   #19
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AlanDyson View Post
They're all unchecked. Only checked items are browser caches and cookies, system temp files and flash player.
OK.

I'll replicate your settings and see if I have continued issues.

I thought I had it figured out by unchecking those settings in CCleaner, but yesterday I got another orange flag asking me to scan.

So, I've also unchecked the 2 settings you mentioned within MSE itself. If I can go a month or so without an orange flag, that should do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2012   #20
AlanDyson

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Version 6.1, Build 7600
 
 

Here's a bit more detail in case it helps. I've set a scan daily at 10am, because I use the computer around that time fairly frequently. This morning I turned the computer on just before 10 and finished about 10.30. I didn't notice anything going on during that time, but when I checked MSE I found that it had scanned at 10.15.

Job done, I hope!

It might also be helpful to extract the positive things I've learned from this thread.

1. It's hopeless expecting Task Scheduler to do anything while the computer is on standby (asleep). Setting it to wake does not work. This effectively means that a scheduled scan will only run while the computer is fully on.

2. Setting MSE to check for new definitions before scanning is likely to delay it. Given that automatic checks run frequently, this setting is superfluous anyway.

3. Setting the scan to run only when the computer is on but not in use means that it has to be left on after use, or the scan won't run. That seems to be pointless; if you have to remember to leave the computer on, you might just as well start the scan manually.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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