Get rid of Security Essentials 2011 virus easily on Vista for Free


I recently got hit with a computer virus called Security Essentials 2011.   It was actually the second time MacAfee let it through (the previous instance being Security Essentials 2010.)   It ends up being quite the ordeal.   It overrides the launching of all programs  on your computer (including your virus protection) with a message that says  “Application cannot be executed. The file is infected. Please activate your anti virus software.”

Then as time goes by it will change your wallpaper to say a similar message, and launch a million popups (basically crippling your computer.)  I am not sure who would purchase a virus removal program from a program that has infected their computer, but that’s just me.

McAffee offered no help in the matter except to say that I can purchase an overpriced session with one of their technicians to try to solve the problem.   They claimed that it is a new virus so they are not responsible.    If it has been around since at least 2010 it’s not that new but it is no use arguing that with them (trust me, I tried.)

If you search the internet on how to get rid of this virus, all you are going to get are suggestions of programs to download.   I tried them all … Malawarebytes, Spybot Search and Destroy etc.   They are great programs, and worked on the 2010 version, but the 2011 version seems to be able to circumvent them.

Here is how I ended up dealing with the problem:

I am running Windows Vista.   The first thing I tried doing was running System Restore.    It remained on my computer.

The way to deal with it is to restart your computer, and press F8 while it is booting up in order to enter “safe mode.”   The program will be unable to run in safe mode.   Go to “My Computer” and search for “Security Essentials” in the top right search box.    A folder should come up.  It likely will not allow you to delete the folder, but open up the folder and delete all files inside it (one of them should be an .exe file.)

Restart your computer in regular mode.   You will still see the icon in the bottom left hand of your screen, but don’t worry it will not launch.   Go to your start menu, and launch Windows Defender.   This will remove any remaining elements of the program.


Jef Kearns is a Soul Flautist proving that flute can get down-and-dirty.
Check him out at
and buy some of his music if he saved your computer and/or mental health with this post.

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2 Responses to Get rid of Security Essentials 2011 virus easily on Vista for Free

  1. Gretchen says:

    You are a lifesavor! It worked.

    • soulfisticated says:

      Great to hear! Yeah, when I got it all I could find were sites trying to sell me a solution. Just got to this one through trial and error. It was bad … it kept shutting off my computer as I was figuring it out.

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