Win 10 Defender won't start bc points to wrong subfolder - how to fix?

On reboot of my Win 10 Pro 64-bit machine, the Windows Defender Antivirus Service doesn't start. If I go to services.msc to start it manually, I get an error box that "The system cannot find the file specified".

What I've discovered by right-clicking the service and looking at its Properties is that this service points to a subfolder that isn't there any more. It fails to point to a newer subfolder in the same folder.

It currently points to: "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\platform\4.18.2008.9-0\MsMpEng.exe" .

However, the subfolder 4.18.2008.9-0 no longer exists in the folder
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows Defender\platform\

Instead, that folder "platform" has two newer subfolders with the names
4.18.2009.7-0 and
4.18.2010.7-0
Both of those newer folders have the file MsMpEng.exe.

So, how can I get the Windows Defender Antivirus Service to point to one of those newer folders, ideally the (maybe) newest one with the title 4.18.2010.7-0?

Failing that, how can I create the missing folder 4.18.2008.9-0 and copy into it everything that is in the newer folder 4.18.2010.7-0? This is a heavily secure area, and the normal New Folder, Rename Folder and Copy and Paste operations are blocked even though I'm in the Administrators group on my machine.

And I also have exactly the same problem with Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service, which points to the file 4.18.2008.9-0\NisSrv.exe, except that 4.18.2008.9-0 no longer exists..

WARNING - "Advisors" should not post here unless they have the exact answer to my question.  I have already rebooted and run sfc / scannow and Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth.  Please only answer my questions.

Thanks.

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Hi, how are You?!

I am Jediael, an Independent Advisor. I'll be happy to assist You today.

I appreciate the contact !!!

First, please make sure that Windows and the Program are up to date.

After checking these Options and Procedures to solve your Problem:

https://windowsreport.com/fix-windows-defender-...
(P.S .: Pay attention to the Procedure only)

Also check this other Procedure:

https://thegeekpage.com/windows-defender-wont-s...

Here are links may help you solve the problem.

Fix Windows Update issues:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/sbs/windows...

Definition updates for Windows Defender Antivirus and other Microsoft antimalware:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wdsi/defenderup...

Standard / Important Disclaimer: There are links to non-Microsoft websites. The pages appear to be providing accurate, safe information. Watch out for ads on the sites that may advertise products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Products). Thoroughly research any product advertised on the sites before you decide to download and install it.

I hope that these solutions above will solve your problem!

If you don't decide, let me know what else needs help to find the best solution!

Please, let me know about the result and everything went well ... Anything I am here to seek the best possible solution for your problem!

Have an excellent day!

Hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Jediael Elias Corrêa
Independent Advisor

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Hi,

I received a tip from another Expert/Indepent Advisor who can also check the Manual Update:

https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search...

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wdsi/defenderup...

Have an excellent day!

Hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Jediael Elias Corrêa
Independent Advisor

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jecorrea8 - your last two links look interesting, but which way should I go? 

Your first link - when I click download, it prompts me to pick one of three .exe files:

Which one is correct for my Win 10 Pro 64-bit v 1909?

Also, I am not sure how to apply the info in a further link that your second link directs me to:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4052623/update-for-microsoft-defender-antimalware-platform 

What exactly do I do to implement that last link?

Also, that last link has a revert option at the end - should I try that first?

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Hi,

Thank you for your feedback!

The indication would be to make a System Restore to an earlier point being a reversal process.

Always Download in the Version of your Operating System 64 bits.

The vast majority will download the executable .exe where it will ask for the Version for Installation!

Have an excellent day!

Hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Jediael Elias Corrêa
Independent Advisor

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jecorrea8 - Please ask your "another Expert/Indepent Advisor" which of the three .exe files applies to my Version 1909 of Win 10 Pro 64-bit.  How can I tell which is which? 

I still need help.

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Well, I have apparently fixed this in a weird way.

I have a small file which lets me do things in cmd as Trusted Installer. In that role, I renamed the subfolder 4.18.2009.7-0 as 4.18.2008.9-0 since Windows Defender Antivirus Service and Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service are looking for 4.18.2008.9-0.
(I could not do this in cmd merely Running as Administrator; I got Access Denied. I had to be Trusted Installer.)

Then, in services.msc, I was able to start both Windows Defender Antivirus Service and Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service. Yay!

Then in Settings - Update & Security, I re-ran a Security Intelligence Update that had failed to run, and this time it ran well.

Now, back in services.msc, in Properties for both Windows Defender Antivirus Service and Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service, those services are now pointing to the latest subfolder 4.18.2010.7-0 !!!! Perfect (so far).

THANKS to Sr. Correa.  Although I couldn't follow your suggestions, your thoughts and the thoughts of others over at Ten Forums led me to this train of thought.

Wow. I deserve a day off.

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Hi,

Thank You for your return!

Great!!! Congratulations, I'm happy to know that it worked and managed to solve your Problem!!!

Now just enjoy your day off (more than deserved)!!!

It was a Satisfaction to serve/help You!

If you have no further questions, feel free to choose a rating and have a Great Day!!!!

Sincerely,

Jediael Elias Corrêa
Independent Advisor

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What was the programme you used to edit the folder name? I have exactly the same issue!

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Graeme - The trick is to run cmd as Trusted Installer, not as yourself and not even as Administrator.

Trusted Installer is more powerful. When running cmd as Trusted Installer, the "rename" function in cmd should work to change the name of the relevant subfolder to the name that Windows Defender is looking for.

Google "Run cmd as Trusted Installer".

It's been a long time since I made my related file, but I think I got it from

https://github.com/jschicht/RunAsTI

The green "code" button will give you the option of downloading the relevant files as a zip.

Obviously, be very careful with this tool. Exit out of the cmd with TI privileges as soon as you're done with the rename.

Good luck.

EDIT -- see also

https://msfn.org/board/topic/175949-office-16-click-to-run-extensibility-component-could-not-modify-137-protected-registry-keys-during-installation-or-update-of-office-365/?do=findComment&comment=1135234

and following posts. But I think that since those posts in 2017 the only way to run cmd as Trusted Installer is to download from the github link I added above in this post. I think -- not sure -- that you copy the stuff in that zip to your Windows/system32 folder, and then create a shortcut to the relevant "RunAsTIxx.exe" but try to confirm that somewhere.

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Last updated June 1, 2021 Views 71 Applies to: