Windows Defender (formally Microsoft Antispyware) Beta 2 has been released. Downloaded, installed, scanned with it, first impressions are it looks a lot nicer, cleaner simpler interface.

Windows Defender needs Automatic Update service running to get definition updates, and downloads them directly through the network connection for Generic Host Process for Win32 Services. Not sure if I like that. It scans a lot slower, especially when scanning archives. It took forever to get through my Call of Duty 2 and Battlefield 2 program folders. Those game installs are loaded with huge archive folders for maps. Only 8.4 gigs on this drive and it took 23 minutes to scan with a full system scan, spending like 22 and a half minutes on just this drive. It went through my other drive with nothing but 9.5 gigs of mp3 files very quickly. Windows Defender REALLY wants to run all the time now like an anti-virus. Even when I disable Windows Defender real time protection, which it has loads of check points for, and close the window, it leaves no icon in the tasktray, but still has two running process’s, (MSASCui.exe and MsMpEng.exe), one using 15 megs of memory and the other 5.

I, personally, don’t want it running all the time. I don’t need it running all the time. It didn’t find a single thing because I never get any spyware. I just want it to do the occasional full scan when I tell it to.

It took me a couple minutes to figure out how to shut Windows Defender down. It installs a whole new service, Windows Defender Service. Maybe if I just stop the service and set its startup type to Manual, and remove the startup entry it created too, ok rebooting to try it, ok not starting with system. Failing to start service when running it, must manually start the service. Ok I manually started the service, running ok now, must manually stop the service to shut it down again, and then end task on the 1 process it still leaves running (MSASCui.exe, using 5 megs of memory) even after shutting down its service.

I’m gonna have to manually start Windows Defender service everytime I want to use it, and then manually stop its service, and kill the extra process it still leaves, when I’m done. Cause I just don’t need it or want it running all the time if I’m gonna scan with it once a month at most.

It really wants to be integrated and run all the time. I don’t think I’ll mind when its preinstalled into Vista, but this aint Vista, and it should shut down when I want it to. Thats ok I know how to shut it down and how to get it started again when I want to use it.

Pretty impressed with Windows Defender even tho I don’t like how badly it wants to always run. Its Software Explorers thing in its Tools section, and also places a shortcut for in the windows control panel, is pretty impressive. Gives loads of info about everything, every startup item, every running process, every open network connection.

I like Windows Defender, now that I figured out how to tame it. It has no license expiration date anymore in its about box either.