KBA91003: Troubleshooting AV Defender removal of third party software

When installing Security Manager, when you select Standard Removal for the Competitor AV Cleanup option, the agent downloads and runs the executable ThirdPartyRemover.exe. This is an application provided by Bitdefender to remove other anti-malware/firewall applications installed on the computer.

The ThirdPartyRemover.exe application scans the computer for the presence of a supported software application. If an application supported for removal is discovered, the ThirdPartyRemover.exe application attempts to remove it. If it is able to remove the software, then a reboot required message and the product name is sent to agent. The agent re-starts the computer the next time that it is permitted to do so in the Maintenance Windows configuration.

After the reboot, N-able N-central will runs the ThirdPartyRemover.exe application again to confirm the removal and remove any other security software that is discovered. If no Third-Party security software is discovered, the agent begins the AV Defender installation. If further Third-Party security software is discovered and removed, the agent reboots the computer attempt to install AV Defender again.

After the fifth re-start due to this problem, N-able N-central will stop all further re-start attempts and it will send an error message in the Symptom section of the AV Defender Status Service.

The following error message may be displayed for the AV Defender Status Service:

"The maximum number of attempts to remove %PRODUCTNAME% has been reached."

If this error message appears, the ThirdPartyRemover.exe application has discovered Third-Party security software on the computer and removed it five times. This could be caused by:

  • There are actually five different iterations of security software installed on the computer.
  • The Third-Party security software is being re-installed by a tamper-proofing routine.
  • The removal of the Third-Party security software is failing.

To resolve the problem, complete the steps below to completely remove and resintall AV Defender:

  1. Click ViewsAll Devices and click the name of the device.
  2. Click SettingsSecurity Manager and click Enable Security Manager check box to uninstall Security Manager.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Allow sufficient time for N-able N-central to complete uninstalling AV Defender; it can take up to 30 minutes.
  5. Re-start the device.
  6. Verify that there is no Third-Party security software installed on the computer.
  7. Repeat step one to install Security Manager.