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Author Topic: Taming Windows Defender  (Read 57972 times)

Awesome Donkey

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Taming Windows Defender
« on: January 21, 2018, 08:51:29 am »

So, Windows Defender. It's the anti-virus bundled with Windows now. While yes, you can use a third-party anti-virus application, a lot of users tend to stick with running just Windows Defender, myself included. With the release of Windows 10 (and subsequent updates to Windows 10) Windows Defender has been more deeply integrated into Windows 10 now, so issues associated with Defender can become more apparent. Windows Defender can and does interfere with JRiver Media Center's ability to playback all your media files.

You might remember the tutorial for taming Windows Defender on the Wiki here but due to changes to Windows Defender and Windows 10, parts of that tutorial can't be applied anymore. So you want to know how to prevent Windows Defender on Windows 10 from interfering with JRiver Media Center? This is the tutorial for you!

Ready to go? Let's do this thing!

NOTE: If you're using an older Windows 10 build, your Windows Defender may look different. I'll try to keep this tutorial updated for future Windows 10 updates (and its visual changes to Windows Defender). Also, yes, I know that MC23's executables are shown in the screenshots. I haven't had time to update them, however the procedure is the same regardless of MC version!


Step 1 - Opening the Windows Defender Security Center window:

First, we need to open Windows Defender. You can do this by either right clicking on the Windows Defender shield icon in the system tray by the clock and selecting Open or you can open the Start Menu and search for Windows Defender Security Center. Once you find it and open it, you should be greeted with this window;



See this? Alright, let's proceed to Step 2...


Step 2 - Navigating to the Exclusions list:

This can be a bit tricky and hard to find, but we can get you there. First, look for the Settings cog icon/button on the bottom left side (where the red arrow points below) and click on it...



Once we click on Settings, we're met with the following;



Now, see the red arrow next to Virus & threat protection settings? Click on Virus & threat protection settings to open that section. Once it's open, scroll down and look for Exclusions like in this screenshot...



Click on Add or Remove exclusions like the red arrow in the screenshot above shows.


Step 3 - Adding Exclusions for JRiver Media Center to the Exceptions list:

Now, we're in the exceptions list. You should see a list like this screenshot below (sans any of the exclusions in this list)...



Now, we're going to add some exclusions. See the red arrow in the screenshot above next to Add an exclusion? Click the + button and you'll see a list of items...



We can add a File, a Folder, a File type and a Process to the exclusions. For the purpose of this tutorial, we're going to add exceptions for files, folders and file types. Keep in mind, we can only add one exception at a time, so I'll list files/folders/file types that should be added to the exceptions list. I'm using the 64-bit JRiver Media Center 25 build on Windows 10 as the example here, but if you're using the 32-bit build or an older JRiver Media Center (pre-25) build, you'll find the Media Center installation directory in the Program Files (x86) instead of the Program Files folder used for the 64-bit build of Media Center. I'll include a list of file locations for both 32-bit and 64-bit Media Center 25 below.

NOTE #1: This assumes Windows is installed on the C:\ drive. If you're using a drive letter other than C, adjust accordingly!
NOTE #2: Every time you add an exception, User Account Control will pop up a dialog asking for permission for the app to make changes to your device. Please press Yes!


Folders to add to the Windows Defender exception list:

For 64-bit JRiver Media Center 25:

C:\Program Files\J River\
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\

For 32-bit JRiver Media Center 25:

C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\

Now, we need to add the J River folder that contains all the library files, thumbnails, etc. that's located in the hidden %APPDATA% (Roaming) folder. The easiest way to do it is add an exception for a folder, then with the Select Folder dialog open, at the top type in %APPDATA% and press Enter to open to that folder. From there click on the J River folder to select it and finally press the Select Folder button to add it to the exception lists. Here's what the Select Folder dialog looks like - the first upper red arrow is where you type %APPDATA% into the address bar, and the second lower red arrow is the J River directory we're looking for...



Also, I recommend adding folder exceptions to where your media files are stored, whether it be a on a NAS, on another hard drive, etc. For example, I keep my main music library in M:\Music with the backup music library in Z:\Music so I add both of these folders to the exception list.


Files to add to the Windows Defender exception list:

Honestly, adding folder exceptions *should* be enough to stop Windows Defender from interfering with Media Center. But I don't trust Windows Defender enough to not scan files inside a folder added to the exceptions. So this part is considered optional but I do recommend doing it. It's overkill and time consuming, I know, but it's better safe than sorry.

So here's some of the files you might want to try adding (one at a time) to the exception list.

For 64-bit JRiver Media Center 25:

C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\CDLabeler.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\dbghelp.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\gnutls.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRCrashHandler.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRDisc.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRImage.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRMediaUninstall.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRPlayer.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRReader.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRService.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRShellExt.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRTelevision.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRTools.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRWeb.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRWMFactory.dll
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\JRWorker.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\MC25.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\Media Center 25.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\Media Center 25.tlb
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\Media Editor.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\PackageInstaller.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 25\TWAINDSM.dll

For 32-bit JRiver Media Center 25:

C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\CDLabeler.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\dbghelp.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\gnutls.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRCrashHandler.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRDisc.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRImage.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRMediaUninstall.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRPlayer.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRReader.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRService.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRShellExt.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRTelevision.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRTools.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRWeb.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRWMFactory.dll
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\JRWorker.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\MC25.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\Media Center 25.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\Media Center 25.tlb
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\Media Editor.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\PackageInstaller.exe
C:\Program Files (x86)\J River\Media Center 25\TWAINDSM.dll

If you use the Media Network and/or the Media Server features, Media Center will add a MC25.exe file to both the C:\Windows\System32 folder and the C:\Windows\SysWOW64 folder. So, add these files too if you're using Media Network, Media Server, etc. You might want to check the two directories regardless for the presence of the MC25.exe file and add exceptions. You'll probably want to add these to the exceptions list regardless if you chose not to add the file exceptions above since they're located outside of the Media Center installation directory.

C:\Windows\System32\MC25.exe
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\MC25.exe

I know there's more files inside the Media Center 25 install directory like in the Drivers and Plugins folders. It's up to you whether or not you want to manually add all those to the exception list.


File types to add to the Windows Defender exception list:

This is also considered optional, but I do it so Windows Defender isn't running real-time or on-demand scanning of my FLAC and other media files.

.ape
.avi
.cue
.dff
.dsf
.flac
.iso
.log
.m4a
.m4v
.mkv
.mov
.mp3
.mp4
.mpeg
.mpg
.shn
.wav
.wma
.wmv
.wv

And whatever else file types you're using. Adjust this to your own needs!

So, we've added a bunch of exceptions for JRiver Media Center. If yours looks kinda like this...




If you're satisfied, call it done. Congrats, you've added Media Center exceptions to Windows Defender. I'd recommend rebooting after doing this. If you have any questions or notice any issues with the tutorial or any feedback, please post below! :)

Enjoy!
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1maynard

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 09:02:43 am »

Thanks for the tutorial. That is fantastic. I will be working on that this afternoon. I had set my win 10 firewall to allow all JRiver apps etc through but was not sure how to do this in Defender. This should be a sticky or added to the Wiki.

Great job.
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mattkhan

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 09:26:18 am »

AFAIK excluding a folder excludes all files and folders within that folder so why do you need to add all the files individually?
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 09:31:20 am »

Thank you. Hopefully it helps with any issues users experience with running Media Center with Windows Defender.

One of the most common symptoms of an issue I've seen running MC with Defender without taming is, MC will open more "slowly", even when running MC on a system with a SSD. Meaning you start Media Center 23 but the main window doesn't immediately appear but you can see Media Center 23.exe running in the Task Manager. Eventually MC's window will load after 10+ seconds. This is something I've noticed on clean installs, but once I've added all the exceptions in place, MC will open much more quickly. I'm assuming Defender is scanning MC via its real-time scanner, hence the slowdowns. Once added to the exceptions, Defender shouldn't be scanning MC anymore and thus no more "slowdowns" when starting MC.

AFAIK excluding a folder excludes all files and folders within that folder so why do you need to add all the files individually?

This is true, adding folder exceptions is likely enough. But I'll go the overkill route and add the individual files too, just in case. This is because I really don't trust Defender to exclude all files inside a folder, even though it likely does.

EDIT: I changed around the order of the tutorial, adding folder exceptions first and adding a note to file exceptions about it likely not being needed and is overkill.
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tzr916

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2018, 05:12:40 pm »

Nice write up. Thankfully I've been using MC on five PC's for 2+ years on Windows 10 and never had any need to (permanently) "tame" Windows Defender. It just works.
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 05:17:15 am »

Yeah, it's something I've noticed within the last 6 months to a year (the Defender causing MC to open slowly thing).

It may or may not still do it, not sure. I'll find out in a few weeks once I do my quarterly clean install.
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1maynard

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 07:02:34 am »

I'll find out in a few weeks once I do my quarterly clean install.

On your quarterly clean install? Is that a Windows install, MC, or both? Care to elaborate?
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 07:48:53 am »

On your quarterly clean install? Is that a Windows install, MC, or both? Care to elaborate?

Both (minus library backing being restored for MC).
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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 03:36:22 pm »

I'll find out in a few weeks once I do my quarterly clean install.

And I thought I was radical doing a clean install each year    ;D

Thank you for taking the time to write this.
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tzr916

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 09:09:13 pm »

I'm thinking you should also exclude not just files and folders but any MC Processes. To do that you MUST enter the entire PATH and process name into Defender. Examples:

C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\MC23.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRService.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWorker.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWeb.exe
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Antognini

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2018, 11:38:29 pm »

Any idea why Windows Defender is causing JRiver problems? Can you at least characterize the issues?
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 03:32:24 am »

I'm thinking you should also exclude not just files and folders but any MC Processes. To do that you MUST enter the entire PATH and process name into Defender. Examples:

C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\MC23.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRService.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWorker.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWeb.exe

It's probably not a bad idea to do, in addition to those I'd also add...

C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\PackageInstaller.exe
C:\Windows\System32\MC23.exe
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\MC23.exe

Any idea why Windows Defender is causing JRiver problems? Can you at least characterize the issues?

Nope. Could be quirks in its real-time scanning engine to false positives. Probably not the latter, that seems to be an issue with some third-party anti-virus applications (even though a good bit of MC's files have a digital signature).

My guess (in regards to the delay when starting MC I've seen before taming Defender) is it doesn't recognize a specific file (e.g. Media Center 23.exe) and is either actively scanning the executable(s) and/or uploading the file to the cloud for analysis.
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mattkhan

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 03:50:02 am »

fwiw I found https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/5gf38v/when_excluding_a_process_in_windows_defender_do_i/ provides a link to the official, updated, docs on this subject

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/threat-protection/windows-defender-antivirus/configure-exclusions-windows-defender-antivirus

which includes the line

Quote
When you add a process to the process exclusion list, Windows Defender AV will not scan files opened by that process, no matter where the files are located. The process itself, however, will be scanned unless it has also been added to the file exclusion list.

This also says you can use wildcards so c:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\* should be sufficient (if you're happy using wildcards)

I suppose you could just use that entry alone if you just want to give a pass to MC as the process exclusion also excludes any files opened by that process (whereas a file/folder exclusion excludes those files when touched by any process).
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 04:35:01 am »

Huh, interesting. Using wildcards would certainly make life easier when doing exclusions. But looking at the wildcard examples the MS article lists here, this rule *should* cover all files and subfolders (unless I got it wrong);

C:\Program Files\J River\*\*

It can probably be used with an environment variable too. I'll go through these articles and test some stuff.
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1maynard

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 06:56:55 am »

Good stuff Guys. Very helpful for computer dummies like me.
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2018, 07:30:23 am »

If you are going to do this, is it really necessary to exclude anything more than the "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe" process?
As far as I can see, everything to do with playing back media, importing, tagging files etc. is all done via that.
 
JRWeb.exe is the web browser, and that probably should be scanned by Defender.
JRWorker.exe seems related to podcast downloading - so I can't imagine there is any performance impact for it being scanned. Though it's probably safe, I always err on the side of caution with anything network-related.
That said, since those are launched as child processes of "Media Center 23.exe" wouldn't they also be excluded?
 
If you're creating a process exclusion, Defender also asks whether you want that process to be added to the Controlled Folder Access exclusion list, if you have it enabled.
These two entries are linked, so if you remove one it will prompt and ask if you wish to remove the other as well.
 
It is a real nuisance to set up in the beginning, but CFA offers some serious protections against ransomware or other malware.
Though I think there are some areas where CFA could be improved, I feel a lot better knowing that only whitelisted applications can make changes to my document and media folders.
 
Huh, interesting. Using wildcards would certainly make life easier when doing exclusions. But looking at the wildcard examples the MS article lists here, this rule *should* cover all files and subfolders (unless I got it wrong); C:\Program Files\J River\*\*
It can probably be used with an environment variable too. I'll go through these articles and test some stuff.
If you're using the Fall Creators Update (1709), I believe that this would have to be set via the Group Policy Editor, which means that you need the Pro version of the OS.
I don't see any way to enter a custom path for file/folder exclusions any more, only process exclusions - and those only support wildcards at the end of a path.
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RoderickGI

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2018, 03:00:49 pm »

"C:\Program Files\J River\*\*"     and      "C:\Program Files\J River\*"  are equivalent anyway.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
  Running JRiver for Android, JRemote2, Gizmo, & MO 4Media on a Sony Xperia XZ Premium Android 9.
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Manfred

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2018, 03:09:22 pm »

Great work.

Shouldn't that be part of the Wiki?
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 11:37:40 pm »

"C:\Program Files\J River\*\*"     and      "C:\Program Files\J River\*"  are equivalent anyway.
I believe they are functionally different, but practically the same in this case.
If I’m reading things correctly:
\J River\* includes all contents of the J River folder and its subfolders.
\J River\*\* excludes the contents of the J River folder but permits everything contained within its subfolders.
 
I’d still feel a lot more comfortable excluding a single process than a directory and everything contained within.
There doesn’t seem to be any reason to exclude more than "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe" and that is what works best if you have Controlled Folder Access enabled.
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RoderickGI

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2018, 02:49:50 pm »

Hmmm, your interpretation could be right there RD.

Just for reference, my Norton 360 automatically created rules for the following;
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWorker.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWeb.exe

So I would think those should be the minimum, with the others mentioned optional.
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What specific version of MC you are running:MC27.0.27 @ Oct 27, 2020 and updating regularly Jim!                        MC Release Notes: https://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Release_Notes
What OS(s) and Version you are running:     Windows 10 Pro 64bit Version 2004 (OS Build 19041.572).
The JRMark score of the PC with an issue:    JRMark (version 26.0.52 64 bit): 3419
Important relevant info about your environment:     
  Using the HTPC as a MC Server & a Workstation as a MC Client plus some DLNA clients.
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2018, 03:10:21 pm »

Just for reference, my Norton 360 automatically created rules for the following;
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWorker.exe
C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWeb.exe

So I would think those should be the minimum, with the others mentioned optional.
I see no reason to exclude JRWorker / JRWeb, unless someone on the JRiver team tells us otherwise.
And since they're executed via the Media Center 23 process, I'm not sure it would make a difference whether you exclude them or not.
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JimH

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2018, 03:37:50 pm »

I see no reason to exclude JRWorker / JRWeb, unless someone on the JRiver team tells us otherwise.
And since they're executed via the Media Center 23 process, I'm not sure it would make a difference whether you exclude them or not.
I think you would need to exclude those, too.
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2018, 02:28:53 am »

I think you would need to exclude those, too.
Do they do anything more than run the web browser / download podcasts?
If that's all they do, it seems unnecessary - or potentially harmful - to exclude them. A web browser should never be excluded from anti-virus.
 
I always err on the side of caution, so my recommendation is to only set up process exclusions for "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe" EDIT: and "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWorker.exe" if you are experiencing problems caused by Defender.


But if you want to exclude everything that Media Center does, it would make more sense to set up folder exclusions than 15+ different processes (if you want to get them all).
"C:\Program Files\J River\" and "%APPDATA%\J River\" - or "%APPDATA%\J River\Media Center 23\Plugins\" if you want to be safer - should do that.
I really don't think it's necessary though.
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Hendrik

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2018, 03:01:30 am »

JRWorkers primary purpose is to perform file analysis on newly imported media files, as well as extract thumbnails. And enumerate handheld devices.
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flac.rules

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2018, 03:03:23 am »

This is how i tamed it:

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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2018, 04:56:55 am »

JRWorkers primary purpose is to perform file analysis on newly imported media files, as well as extract thumbnails. And enumerate handheld devices.
Ah, I did try running the analyzer but I suppose JRWorker is only used for auto-import, which would explain why I only ever noticed it running when a new podcast episode is downloaded.

This is how i tamed it:
That seems smart.
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imeric

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #26 on: January 25, 2018, 11:38:00 am »

I just did a clean install of the Fall Creators Update on one of my PCs and MC seems to be working fast and flawlessly as-is...
But I will probably end-up creating exclusions in Windows Defender just in case it does slow MC down eventually...

I had Mcafee on that same machine and never will install that crap again on any of my PCs...I gave it a try as it was provided for free by my Internet Service Provider... Bloated bloated bloated...

This is a great post and the How-to should definitely be on the Wiki.  Good Job Awesome Donkey thanks for taking the time!
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DocLotus

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2018, 02:07:01 pm »

This is great stuff Awesome Donkey. I asked for this several months ago after the Fall Creators Update came out but got no response; guess it was too early for anyone to figure it all out as it is very complicated.

One thing though, this is VERY complicated stuff for the average user who will never attempt it.

I think what is needed is a script, bat file or better yet, auto detection upon installing MC that automatically adds all the correct locations, folders & files to Defender exclusions.

The real problem I have always had with manually adding Defender exclusions is that next time when we go to MC 24 all those MC23 exclusions become useless (I ALWAYS forget to update them). The only way I see to keep them current is to have MC itself automatically add the exclusions.

What do you guys think ::)
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mattkhan

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2018, 02:16:09 pm »

You can write a script in powershell for this

https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/windows-itpro-docs/blob/master/windows/threat-protection/windows-defender-antivirus/configure-extension-file-exclusions-windows-defender-antivirus.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn455323(v=vs.85).aspx
e.g.

Code: [Select]
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe"
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath "C:\My\Music\Folder"

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RoderickGI

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2018, 04:52:43 pm »

I think what is needed is a script, bat file or better yet, auto detection upon installing MC that automatically adds all the correct locations, folders & files to Defender exclusions.

I suspect that any application that tried to create Defender exclusions for its own executables would trigger a security response. Imagine if any application, or its installation script, could do that! What do you think?

But an Admin user running a script as per Mattkhan's suggestion would be allowed.
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DocLotus

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2018, 05:25:34 pm »

Quote
Code: [Select]
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe"
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath "C:\My\Music\Folder"
Same problem... it's the number 23 in the script that makes the script obsolete as soon as MC 24 come out. If I don't manually update the script to MC 24 (and re-run it) it is no longer viable after MC 24 is installed.

Seems the only way to assure constant updates is for MC itself to somehow make the exclusions. Don't know the best way to do that but JRiver has some really sharp developers on staff that could hopefully figure it out.
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2018, 05:57:10 pm »

The only way I see to keep them current is to have MC itself automatically add the exclusions.

This is probably a bad idea. I don't think Microsoft would like an application adding itself (and its other files) automatically to the Defender exclusions list - in fact, it might cause MC to get flagged in some sort of MS list doing that. Seems like a terrible thing to do/allow, security-wise.
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JimH

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2018, 06:00:16 pm »

This is probably a bad idea. I don't think Microsoft would like an application adding itself (and its other files) automatically to the Defender exclusions list - in fact, it might cause MC to get flagged in some sort of MS list doing that. Seems like a terrible thing to do/allow, security-wise.
Agreed.

Thanks, Awesome Donkey, for taking on this awful monster.
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2018, 06:07:15 pm »

One thing though, this is VERY complicated stuff for the average user who will never attempt it.
That's why I have said that the only thing you should do is either exclude the two processes:
"C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe" and "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWorker.exe"

Or exclude the two directories:
"C:\Program Files\J River\" and "%APPDATA%\J River\"
 
It is unnecessary, and massively over-complicated, to do anything else.

I think what is needed is a script, bat file or better yet, auto detection upon installing MC that automatically adds all the correct locations, folders & files to Defender exclusions.
It should absolutely not do this under any circumstances.
I've never had Defender cause any problems for Media Center at all, and I'm surprised that it's been such an issue for some people.
And I would hope that Microsoft has protections in place to prevent applications from doing this - though I suppose if you're granting them elevated permissions, what's to stop them?
 
The real problem I have always had with manually adding Defender exclusions is that next time when we go to MC 24 all those MC23 exclusions become useless (I ALWAYS forget to update them). The only way I see to keep them current is to have MC itself automatically add the exclusions.
The two directories I listed are all you need if you want to set up version-agnostic rules.
 
You can write a script in powershell for this
https://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/windows-itpro-docs/blob/master/windows/threat-protection/windows-defender-antivirus/configure-extension-file-exclusions-windows-defender-antivirus.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn455323(v=vs.85).aspx
e.g.

Code: [Select]
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe"
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath "C:\My\Music\Folder"
There's no need to exclude your media folders, unless you are wanting to exclude them system-wide rather than only from Media Center's processes.
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DocLotus

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2018, 06:39:58 pm »

Quote
That's why I have said that the only thing you should do is either exclude the two processes:
"C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\Media Center 23.exe" and "C:\Program Files\J River\Media Center 23\JRWorker.exe"

Or exclude the two directories:
"C:\Program Files\J River\" and "%APPDATA%\J River\"
 
It is unnecessary, and massively over-complicated, to do anything else.

I agree. That is how I'm doing it.

However, I'm getting a little tired of having to revisit this topic every year after a new version of MC comes out just because of a number change. It just seems like something needs to be done to resolve the problem.

All I want to do is simply enjoy the wonders of MC & not have to constantly mess with little details like anti-virus exclusions on a yearly basis.

Is that asking too much??
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2018, 07:52:32 pm »

I agree. That is how I'm doing it.
However, I'm getting a little tired of having to revisit this topic every year after a new version of MC comes out just because of a number change. It just seems like something needs to be done to resolve the problem.
All I want to do is simply enjoy the wonders of MC & not have to constantly mess with little details like anti-virus exclusions on a yearly basis.
Is that asking too much??
I think you missed the part of my post where I said that setting up those folder exclusions are version-agnostic.
If you just exclude the "JRiver" folders, you'll never have to do it again.
 
I still don't know why people are having to do this at all though, as I've been using Media Center for years now without Defender causing any problems.
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RoderickGI

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2018, 08:57:33 pm »

I still don't know why people are having to do this at all though, as I've been using Media Center for years now without Defender causing any problems.

Do you allow Defender to pop up messages when it needs to create a rule for a new application, or version? (I don't know if Defender does this, but Norton 360 does, if you don't turn it to silent.)
Do you read any popup message and understand what is being asked?
Do you always select the correct response to a security popup question?

You are analytical like me, so I suspect that you do. Most people either turn security software to silent and it takes the conservative approach by blocking stuff, or they see the popup and just dismiss it without reading it, or they don't understand what the popup question is or it's saying and by default answer "Block" "Close" "Cancel" or whatever but not "Allow", because that is how internet users have been trained to respond. Especially the average user who browses all over the place and doesn't understand security but is a bit aware of it, and a bit scared of the risks.

So many people have blocked MC from working, without ever knowing when, how, or why.
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tzr916

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2018, 09:45:51 pm »

Do you allow Defender to pop up messages when it needs to create a rule for a new application, or version? (I don't know if Defender does this, but Norton 360 does, if you don't turn it to silent.)
Do you read any popup message and understand what is being asked?
Do you always select the correct response to a security popup question?

You are analytical like me, so I suspect that you do. Most people either turn security software to silent and it takes the conservative approach by blocking stuff, or they see the popup and just dismiss it without reading it, or they don't understand what the popup question is or it's saying and by default answer "Block" "Close" "Cancel" or whatever but not "Allow", because that is how internet users have been trained to respond. Especially the average user who browses all over the place and doesn't understand security but is a bit aware of it, and a bit scared of the risks.

So many people have blocked MC from working, without ever knowing when, how, or why.

Windows Firewall pops up to create new rules, Defender doesn't. Don't think Defender can even do that. If you want to exclude something it's manually done AFAIK.

I'd be interested if someone can point out a proven example here on the forum where Defender actually caused an issue with MC. Windows Firewall yes, Defender um still waiting...



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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2018, 09:59:24 pm »

Do you allow Defender to pop up messages when it needs to create a rule for a new application, or version? (I don't know if Defender does this, but Norton 360 does, if you don't turn it to silent.)
Do you read any popup message and understand what is being asked?
Do you always select the correct response to a security popup question?

You are analytical like me, so I suspect that you do. Most people either turn security software to silent and it takes the conservative approach by blocking stuff, or they see the popup and just dismiss it without reading it, or they don't understand what the popup question is or it's saying and by default answer "Block" "Close" "Cancel" or whatever but not "Allow", because that is how internet users have been trained to respond. Especially the average user who browses all over the place and doesn't understand security but is a bit aware of it, and a bit scared of the risks.

So many people have blocked MC from working, without ever knowing when, how, or why.
Defender operates silently by default. You don't have to do anything unless it detects malicious software.
The only pop-ups you get are a notification once a week displaying a summary of any actions it's performed; e.g. scanned 3 times since last summary and found no threats.
 
Block / Close / Cancel options don't sound like antivirus functions, but some other thing that Norton 360 is doing. It looks like Norton 360 is a "security suite" rather than just an antivirus.
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RoderickGI

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2018, 12:20:40 am »

It looks like Norton 360 is a "security suite" rather than just an antivirus.

Yes it is, but so is Defender these days. They are all intertwined and Microsft even calls them "Windows Defender Firewall" and "Windows Defender Antivirus" now, as shown in the above images. All part of the "Windows Defender Security Center".

Norton 360 is both a Firewall and Antivirus, and also some functionality that falls between the two, like the File Insight, SONAR, Download Protect, etc. Protected Ports is part of the Antivirus, but sounds like a Firewall function. It seems Defender is moving in the same direction, as implied by its "Virus and threat protection" switch. I get Norton Popups for both Firewall and Antivirus alerts, some of which are driven by heuristics, like File Insight, which is more like an Antivirus function, but will block a file from being run like a Firewall would block a website. I guess a bit like Malicious Software functionality, and related, but separate. I commonly get "Bad reputation" alerts for programs I download that are either very new, or not used by many people.

I don't see everything the firewall does though. Only alerts. I now see above that non-critical notifications from Defender Antivirus can be turned on, and notifications from Defender Firewalls can be turned on or off. My preference would be to have the later turned on, as per the image above.

While this thread is about Defender Antivirus, Defender Firewall is just as often the problem when MC doesn't work. They both have to be configured together really.

Anyway, I was responding to the comment:
I still don't know why people are having to do this at all though, as I've been using Media Center for years now without Defender causing any problems.

With my conclusion that people turn off, respond incorrectly, or just ignore Alerts/Notifications, and so the software implements the failsafe solution, which is to lock down the PC. Hence thing don't work. But yes, except for performance issues on low powered or otherwise compromised PC, mostly it isn't Defender Antivirus but Defender Firewall that blocks MC and generates alerts.


I'd be interested if someone can point out a proven example here on the forum where Defender actually caused an issue with MC. Windows Firewall yes, Defender um still waiting...

There have been a two or three cases where MC seemed to get onto a Black List for some Antivirus products, for a short time. Usually at a major version upgrade, and where file certificates have changed. Also some false positives with some antivirus. If you search diligently in the forum you could probably find them. I can't remember if Defender has been involved.
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JimH

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2018, 07:03:25 am »

If you search diligently in the forum you could probably find them. I can't remember if Defender has been involved.
There is a list of antivirus problems here:
https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=86096.msg588759#msg588759
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2018, 07:25:30 am »

There is a list of antivirus problems here:
https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=86096.msg588759#msg588759
Third-party antivirus solutions are always a source of headaches, actively interfere with Windows' own security features opening you up to more risk, and are often a source of stability problems.
Windows Defender has never caused me any problems, with Media Center or anything else.
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flac.rules

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2018, 08:44:34 am »

Windows defender is a resource hog that refuses to let you decide what is should and shouldn't do. Better than many perhaps, but it has steadily grown worse.
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RD James

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2018, 09:52:40 am »

Windows defender is a resource hog that refuses to let you decide what is should and shouldn't do. Better than many perhaps, but it has steadily grown worse.
Well I can't say that I've ever noticed a performance impact, but I did just check and Defender was using a non-negligible amount of CPU usage during video playback, so I could see that being an issue on slower CPUs - though I could also see it scaling down when you don't have 16 cores available.
I'm not sure what you mean about not having any control over it though.
I set up an exception for the "Media Center 23.exe" and "JRWorker.exe" processes, and a folder exclusion for "%APPDATA%\J River\Media Center 23\Plugins\" directory, and that CPU usage dropped to 0 after restarting Media Center.
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flac.rules

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2018, 11:24:57 am »

Well I can't say that I've ever noticed a performance impact, but I did just check and Defender was using a non-negligible amount of CPU usage during video playback, so I could see that being an issue on slower CPUs - though I could also see it scaling down when you don't have 16 cores available.
I'm not sure what you mean about not having any control over it though.
I set up an exception for the "Media Center 23.exe" and "JRWorker.exe" processes, and a folder exclusion for "%APPDATA%\J River\Media Center 23\Plugins\" directory, and that CPU usage dropped to 0 after restarting Media Center.
Check the memory usage, especially over time. It somehow makes programs use more memory (don't ask me how).

I want to turn of real time scanning (as long as I want to have it off) I want to turn of scheduled scans. You can't do it in the program, and the latter isn't even properly mentioned in the software. It sometimes has problems with actually not deleting files you don't want it to delete. I grew pretty tired of the whole thing after a while. Windows defender was pretty ok, but its user-friendliness has steadily declined.
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JimH

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #45 on: February 15, 2018, 01:55:03 pm »

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mojave

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2018, 03:29:21 pm »

I was getting a lot of frame drops in madVR when watching the Superbowl and the Winter Olympics. My present queues wouldn't fill and the present time was very high. I couldn't figure it out for a while and reverted to Red October Standard. I was using less than 50% GPU of my GTX 1080Ti. I finally realized I hadn't updated my Defender exceptions for MC23. I turned off/on Defender several times and found that it was causing the dropped frames. I turned it back on, added the exemptions for MC23 and now have smooth playback again.

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kolia

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2018, 11:24:02 pm »

As far as I'm concerned, since it is a dedicated PC for audio video with almost no internet browsing, windows defender is deactivated.
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Solderman

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2018, 08:05:16 am »

I found this thread because my security (IObit Malware Fighter) flagged the latest (02-16-18) update to MC part "CDLabeler" as a malware. I deleted it. Since I use MC only for audio and don't label CDs, I will give it a try.

With the recent revelation of the hack (named, uh....?) that virtually all chips made in the past twenty years are wide open to security issues, I am not so worried about malware....  ;D
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millst

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Re: Taming Windows Defender on Windows 10
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2018, 10:11:19 am »

So your neighbor gets robbed and your response is to leave your front door open?

-tm
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