Security essentials on vista - Error code 0x80070005.'

Microsoft security essentials running on Vista home premium  has just started coming up with an error 'couldn't start security essentials, access is denied. Error code 0x80070005.'    I''ve tried uninstalling and reinstalling it but no success. What can I do to resolve this error?

Question Info

Last updated May 16, 2018 Views 1,884 Applies to:

Hi David,


0x80070005 is an Access is Denied error this is because either an application or executable does not have the necessary elevation to invoke a specific action. One possibility is you are trying to do this or did the update or installation as a standard user instead of as an Administrator - especially if you are using XP. Login to an Admininstrator account to proceed. This is not always required and I'm not sure about your circumstances or configuration or operation system, but given that error we should err on the side of cautiion and use the Administrator account here.


Let's start with some possible troubleshooting ideas and solutions from others who also experienced this error code:


Please see if the answer in the following thread helps:


If not try the answer and the other suggestion in this thread: It is similar to the above, but includes another link which may apply depending on your version of Windows.


I'm not sure where you are or where you got the download or what you've done, so if the above didn't help, let's just start from scratch.


Start with the following compliments of Dr. Strangelove:


Verify that you have removed all other real-time antimalware products that were ever installed on your PC, including free/trial products that were installed when the PC was purchased (Norton, McAfee, TM, AVG, OneCare, Malwarebytes (paid), etc). Then, use the cleanup tools here: List of anti-malware program cleanup/uninstall tools. You MUST use the cleanup/removal tools to get rid of these programs properly as the normal uninstall process leaves remnants behind that cause problems with any other AV product you install later including MSE.


NOTE: If you have installed Adobe FLASH, and you already had the Google toolbar, you were presented with the option to install “McAfee Security Scanner”, which is selected by default. If you were caught by this, and unknowingly/accidentally installed McAfee, uninstall it and use the McAfee cleanup tool in the list above. Other programs "package" deals like this as well with this or other products and if you've recently done a clean install (a restore to factory conditions) you may have also re-installed trial software that you long since forgot was there.


Verify that your PC clock is correctly set. If not, correct it. If it is wrong, you may also want to either synchronize with a different internet time server or replace your CMOS battery (which keeps the clock running when you turn off the PC and like any battery can eventually run down).


Verify that you are up-to-date with SERVICE PACKS and updates (including .NET and IE). Yes, it can take some time to do this.


Then, restart your PC.


If that doesn't work, try the following:


Try a clean boot (Vista and W7) (except for MSE which we are testing). If the problem goes away then it's just a matter of tracking down the culprit causing the problem. Follow the procedures in the article. Once found, delete, remove, deactivate, or uninstall it. Once done be sure to reset your system back to normal status as explained in the procedures. If the problem occurs in clean mode then just restore the system to normal status and reboot - this solution is not going to work. If using XP, see and


Because we don't know how much of what installed is good or possibly corrupted (or what that malware may have done even if it was removed), we need to first uninstall and then re-install MSE. To uninstall MSE, proceed as follows: or NOTE: Given you said you had problems with uninstalling, pay particular attention to the manual methods here if it still doesn't work and be sure to follow the steps exactly and precisely in order and that should do the trick.


To re-install, check out this article and follow ALL the procedures: - but also check out the next paragraph before you begin the download.


If you do or ever did have any other AV program installed on your computer (even if you didn't use it), you need to make sure they are all uninstalled and fully removed before you install. To fully remove them, check out this listing of removal tools or the listing in that article at the bottom under troubleshooting steps (why this link isn't at the top near things to do first where it discusses removing all the prior and current AV programs is beyond me) or, if not on the lists, go to the website of the AV software and get and use the removal tool for that product. You cannot just uninstall these programs – you MUST also use the removal tool – even if the uninstall was years ago but you didn’t use a removal tool at the time.


To install, go to and click on languages and locales at the bottom of the Download button and then choose your language and the appropriate version for your operating system. When you download, save it to the desktop (rather than running it). When finished, right click on the installation icon and click run as Administrator (even if you’re logged in as an administrator) as I’ve found this sometimes helps.


Then you need to configure your settings, set a scheduled scan, enable real-time protection, update MSE, and then run a quick scan (or a full scan if you have time).


I also recommend the following setup for MSE (though the decision is yours - I've just found this helpful and the most effective and best way to set it up and is how I have mine configured):


Make sure that ALL threat levels are sent to Quarantine where you can then decide whether or not to allow them or leave them there, or remove them. It is the safest solution for having the most options for dealing with the situation. Quarantine is as safe as removed, but in some cases you may want to remove them to be more certain - and with this one I would remove it (when the time comes). To do this, open MSE, click on the Settings Tab, and for each of the threat levels, set the action to be Quarantine and save.


Go to the History tab and click on allowed and unless you specifically placed something in allowed, remove everything else from the allowed category. Only put things there that you ABSOLUTELY know are not problems (are "false positives") and triple-check before you do it as doing this could allow a real threat to bypass security and infect you and it won't be detected or rather won't be reported or acted upon by MSE.


Go to the Settings Tab and click on Real-time protection and check all the boxes and save.


Go to the Settings Tab and click on SpyNet and click on Advanced and save. This is not at all dangerous to you and no information sent will be used by Microsoft to identify you even if some minor identification information is sent in terms of defining the infection, but it can sometimes help with new threats by initiating an immediate update to deal with the problem if it is in the SpyNet database (and it helps Microsoft update definitions to provide you and everyone else better protection).


Go to the Settings Tab and click on Advanced and check the box for save Quarantine items and change it from one month to three months so you have more time to decide if you want to restore something.




If that doesn't help, then there's a good chance you may be infected by malware. Please proceed as follows:


First, try the following programs if you haven't as they may help. I recommend you download, install, update, and run full scans with Malwarebytes: and SuperAntiSpyware: and then run a full Safety Scan from Microsoft: These may or may not remove the infections, but will probably not repair any damage caused by them. Even if they or your current AV software seem to work or indicate you aren't infected, you shouldn't completely trust them and need to continue with the recommendations that follow (so it's up to you if you want to try them first or just skip over all of this and get the expert help you really need as described below).


Properly and completely removing such infections can be complex and often require manual removal procedures (which may or may not be entirely effective either). Even if they work, I'd suggest the following anyway, so we may as well start there (you can ignore the above removal methods if you want as this is really the way to go, but it won't hurt to try them).


Please follow these recommendations compliments of Stephen Boots - MVP:


Start here - and select the link that says - I think my computer is infected - and then select the support option for phone, chat or email (options will vary by Region)


If you are in North America, you can call 866-727-2338 for free help from Microsoft for virus and spyware infections.


In other regions not served by the link above, go here: go to the “assisted support” or contact us menu.


If that doesn't work or they can't help, try one of the following malware-removal forums compliments of PA Bear - MVP:


I can recommend the expert assistance offered in these forums:,,,, and




If malware was found and removed, then you need to again uninstall and re-install MSE as it will never work properly if installed on an infected system (which we didn’t know at the time).


Hopefully, one of these solutions (or a step in one of these answers) will resolve the problem. If not, then open a support case describing the problem starting at:


I hope this helps.


Good luck!

MVP(7/2012-6/2015),MCSE,MCSA,MCC2011,xCMM,xCAM,A+,Net+,Security Expert, xInfluencer. See Profile.

W10Prox64 Fast 16299rs3; Ofc Insider 1710/8613.1000; Edge,IE11,Chrome.

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