Security Essentials Causes Hard Reset? (WRONG)

I’ve been having intermittent hard resets (no BSOD) over the past few months.  At first I thought it a problem with VirtualBox because it always happens when VBox is running.  I do most of my work in VMs, however, so I began to suspect that it was just coincidental.

Then I thought it may be due to my laptop’s network driver.  Correlation? Sometimes resets would occur during significant network activity – downloading a multi-gig ISO, for example.  Unfortunately, resets also occurred when network activity was all but idle.

Recently I noticed some a nasty serious of events in Event Log which indicate that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSSE) is the culprit.  My laptop reset tonight and, sure enough, the same MSSE event was in the log.

MSSE OOBE - Critical Event

A little research online provides some credibility to MSSE being the culprit.  In particular, skr68’s comments in this post on 5/11/2010 ascribes BSODs with the same Event Log data.

So, after tonight’s reset I confirmed that the “Microsoft Security Essentials OOBE” error was in the Event Log, and then I uninstalled MSSE.  Yup, I’m flying unprotected – forgoing virus protection for now.  The best case scenario is that no more resets occur over the next few weeks.  If that happens, I’ll gladly spend some bucks on non-reseting virus protection