How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Harold Hanna Your Own Question
Harold Hanna
Harold Hanna, Engineer
Category: Software
Satisfied Customers: 219
Experience:  Sr System Administrator at General Dynamics
Type Your Software Question Here...
Harold Hanna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is there a safe way to test if my antivirus / anti-malware

This answer was rated:

Is there a safe way to test if my antivirus / anti-malware program is working? thank you

Hello how are you today. There is a way to test your antivirus. It is a simple test, but keep in mind the best thing you can do is make sure your anti-virus definitions are updated daily. Give me a moment to type the steps to test your anti-virus.

The easiest way is to make a quick file with notepad, and input a line of code into it that mimics coding of an actual virus. If you open up notepad, paste the following into it


Save the file. Sometimes it will be detected immediately, or you can scan the file manually. If it is not detected, rename the file from .txt, to .bat

Please let me know if you need any further assistance testing your anti-virus, I will be happy to help! If I was helpful to you, please rate my assistance!

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
I need to keep Symantec end point protection. I don't get requests for updates or upgrade to new version.But an IT person helping me with a problem found a virus with Malwarebytes on same computer. Removing that virus solved the issue.So I wonder how to know if Symantec EPP is doing its job to protect me.

The problem with viruses and protection is they are consistently evolving. That is the reason the anti-virus companies release definitions nearly every day. Once a virus is detected, the people or group who make the virus can make one small change, and the virus is again undetectable. Is Symantec not updating it's definitions at all?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Whenever I look at it's UI there's a green light and it says all up to date. It is provided via my university so I guessed it would be a thorough one. Makwarebytes requests an update every other day or so.

In my personal experience, malware bytes (MBAM) has been more successful overall at finding both viruses and malware. However, the best prevention is intelligent computing. Don't download files unless you get them from a reputable website, be very cautious of links sent through email or social media, make sure anything you download has high ratings or is directly from a company that publishes the file. Symantec has an all around solution, but Malware Bytes seems to be better at specifically detecting viruses. As long as you aren't experiencing performance issues, it is alright to have them both running. Did you try the test I provided above and did Symantec detect it?

Harold Hanna and other Software Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 27 days ago.
I did create the .txt you recommended. and after a time, Symantec did find it. So did MBAM but i had to run a manual scan.
- I also tried .bat and neither MBAM nor Symantec-EPP noticed it.
- Your preventive advice is excellent and in many ways obvious. I try not to open suspicious looking emails. If I mistakenly open a suspicious email with a link, I don't cick on it. I don't open or download unsolicited links or downloads. Nevertheless Geek Squad found malware that Symantec didn't identify using, by MBAM or Webroot.
- I'll give you 5 stars now, and hope I can come back for follow up if needed.
Thanks again!!

The last I remember (it is updated frequently), unless you pay for MBAM, it requires manual scanning to detect viruses/malware. That is their perk for paying -- active scanning. It is still an extremely useful tool, I have used it for many years and I agree with your findings. It definitely detects things other virus scanners don't. They also have another piece of software, Malwarebytes Anti-rootkit, that I have also had success with. Additionally, they offer enterprise level solutions to system hardening --

I appreciate the 5 stars! Feel free to follow up with me at any time, I'm more than happy to help! I hope you have a great weekend!

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Hi, i should've said I have paid version of Mbam.I haven't heard of the anti-rootkit. I just read now what rootkits are, they allow malware to hide in the deeper levels of the OS or elsewhere. The Mbam site says the pdt is beta, and Mbam isn't responsible for any damage. "Use at your own risk"Geek squad once installed Webroot , but I removed it since I have other antimalware.Does webroot clean out rootkits? And do you like it? I get warnings to pay for it or to uninstall it. I don't think I use it now.Thanks again!!

The reason it says to use the rootkits program at your own risk is because as you mentioned, rootkits dig in deeper into the OS, in drivers, in boot records, or other places that make it possible for the computer to no longer boot up when the rootkit is removed. I've never used Webroot, but if it's border lining on nagware, I'd remove it personally. Avira is a highly rated antivirus, but I thought it was getting a little "naggy". If you are ever forced to run a program you aren't sure of, the safest way would be either in a virtual machine, or using a program called sandboxie. There are some viruses that can tell they are being ran that way, and will react a certain way under those conditions (masking themselves), but they are somewhat rare.