Virusscan Software for Windows Server

Anyone who has tried to install virusscan software on their server knows that the activity can quickly become more of a pain than it is worth. When trying to find virusscan software for Windows Server you typically run into one of three issues:

  1.  There’s no support for Windows Server at all.
  2.  The Windows Server version commands a massive price compared to a home/personal version, sometimes as much as a 2000% markup.
  3. The Windows version somehow manages to lack features that even the most basic of desktop version have.

So what do you do? You may be able to survive without virusscan for some services but it’s essential for others, especially systems like file  or Exchange servers. The answer: Microsoft Security Essentials. That’s right, the same virusscan software that has become popular on desktops can be installed and run on Windows Server with no additional configuration. Additionally, because it’s a Microsoft product it can be updated directly through Windows Update, saving you time and possibly bandwidth (if you’re running Windows Update Services for pushing it to multiple servers). Also, most of the definition updates are done live without any need to take your server down. Best of all, Microsoft Security Essentials can be had for the low, low price of free.

There are however a few issues with MSE. For starters, the MSE interface is very basic. The fact that it’s designed with the general consumer in mind and not server administrators or power users means that there’s not a whole lot of customization available in the interface. There are a few workarounds. One of those workarounds it for running multiple scheduled scans. By default, MSE lets you set a single scheduled scan to either run daily or on a specific day of the week. You can also only set the scan time in one hour intervals which will suite most people. What happens if you want a scan for Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:30am? Or if you want to run a Scan daily ever three hours. In the MSE interface that is not possible. The solution: The task scheduler.

  1. Start by making a basic task in Task Sheduler and fill out the name of the task and click Next.
  2. Set a trigger, whatever time you want it to run and hit Next.
  3. Under Actions, select “Start a Program”.
    1. Enter “C:Program FilesMicrosoft Security ClientMpCmdRun.exe” the Program Script.
    2. For aruguments, enter -Scan -Scantype 1 to have MSE perform a Quick Scan. Alternatively enter -Scan -Scantype 2 for a Full Scan.
  4. You can now Hit next and Finish.

Once you’re done you can go back to the task and fine tune the properties to your liking.

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