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Solutions: Before adding Windows Defender, remove one that came with PC

How can I get Windows Defender to begin working on my computer? I took your advice to use MS Security Essentials and Windows Defender on my laptop. If all goes well, I'll do the same for my desktop. I easily installed MS Security Essentials. Windows Defender is listed in my computer as "OFF." I attempted to turn it on and it will not change to "ON." I tried to download Windows Defender, and the computer says Vista already contains Windows Defender, and it automatically cancels the download.

You're not alone in your confusion. What's happening is that Microsoft Security Essentials already contains a built-in "Windows Defender." This same confusion existed in Microsoft OneCare. Microsoft could avoid this ambiguity by just prompting you to delete/remove the old Windows Defender during the Security Essentials install. On the PCs that I load Security Essentials, my next step is to remove the old Windows Defender if present (Control Panel/Add Remove Programs).

I am using Windows XP and when I turn it on, a box pops up with this message: "Tray Program for IntelDesktop Utilities has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." I would like to know if this is harmful to my computer and how to correct the problem and get rid of the message.

The Intel Desktop utilities is a system-monitoring application that came with your PC. It is a safe application, but it is not essential to the running of your computer. The error message no doubt has something to do with an incompatibility in your system that occurred as the result of a Windows or other program update. You can uninstall the application from Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, or you can go to and download the latest version.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Before adding Windows Defender, remove one that came with PC 07/18/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 16, 2010 5:04pm]
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