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Former Member
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Message 1 of 10

Sleep Mode and Scanning

The new Virus Scan seems to have a problem with Windows Sleep Mode. I just type in 'Sleep Mode' in the community search and got dozens of hits. Well, here's one more for the list: The old Virus Scan keep the computer occupied while it was working, but the new verison is SO unintrusive that the computer thinks it's idle and goes to sleep, pausing the scan. Now, you have to baby-sit your scan, keeping the machine busy while it scans, which means no more scanning overnight, a common practice I'm sure. I could readust my power optons, of course, but I shouldn't have to.

Here's hoping this will be a quick fix.

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Former Member
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Message 2 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

Hello MJ7111,

You could scheduled a scan overnight , as McAfee has changed the way scheduled scans start to prevent your computer from launching a scan while you are using it, which could cause performance to be slower than desired.

When the scheduled time for a scan occurs, McAfee SecurityCenter begins to monitor your computer for activity. If no keyboard or mouse activity occurs for 10 minutes, SecurityCenter then monitors for CPU usage. If CPU usage remains under 10% for 10 seconds, the scheduled scan will begin.

Dinesh K
McAfee Online Community Moderator

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Message 3 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

Dinz, thanks for providing the info on how a scan starts up, but I think it does not address the original problem here.  In the morning I often wake up my computer and find that it's in the middle of a McAfee scan.  Apparently the scan was running when Windows decided to enter the sleep mode. I would prefer that the scan run to completion before Windows goes to sleep.  Can't the McAfee software use some Windows API to prevent sleeping when there's a scan running?

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Message 4 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

I find this annoying too and wonder if you found a solution to it yet?

My computer is set to sleep after 60 minutes of no activity, but since my McAfee scans take longer than 60 minutes to complete the computer sleeps before the scan has completed. I'm not sure of this should be considered a VirusScan problem or a Windows problem. What is needed is a way for Windows to treat a VirusScan in progress as an indication that the computer is not idle.


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Message 5 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

Yes, it's called Microsoft Security Essentials and it also compares favorably on price.  I like it because it's less intrusive.  When I wake up my netbook and want to demonstrate something I used to find that the antivirus would get very active and spoil the demo by taking too much cpu.  Not true with the alternative product I mentioned.

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Message 6 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

Problem still exists - got told to contact computer manufacturer.

From a web search it seems to be a common software problem under Windows 7 as other antivirus software has the same fault (common suggestion is to disable any sleep/hibernate settings)

A check with

    powercfg -requests

will show that while defrag requests the system stay active no entry ever shows up while completing a virus scan.

Former Member
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Message 7 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

well it is a known issue so i check my scedule scan after intervals but i suggest McAfee tech team to fix the issue if they can control some windows feaure

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Message 8 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

I found a way to run a scan on a sleeping PC.

this will both wake up the PC and complete the scan without Windows putting the scan to sleep.

This is done on Windows 8.1 with McAfee Anti-Virus 16.8 (I'll be trying this on my windows 7 PC later and will report back)

McAfee 16.8 includes a command line scanner that can be launched from the Windows Task Scheduler - this allows you so set up a scheduled task and have it wake up the PC and because it was scheduled by windows, it will complete BEFORE the system is allowed to sleep again.

For those who have never setup a task before, it is really quite easy, but there are a lot of options and settings - so it looks complex.

Below I've detailed (in text, because I'm too lazy to do screen shots) all the info I used to set this up.

Perhaps someone else would like to do a full tutorial with pictures...

The command line scanner should be in "C:\Program Files\McAfee\VirusScan\mcodsscan.exe"

- if not, you'll need to search for "mcodscan.exe"

- if it doesn't exist, you're SOL.

The available command line options for this program are:

-- Scan Options (Required) --

--fullscan, -f, -full                           Perform a full scan

--quickscan, -q, -quick                  Perform a quick scan

--customscan, -c, -custom            Perform a custom scan

--filescan, -fd <value>... <value>    Scan specified files


-- Custom Scan Options  --

-where <[Drive]:\ | all | critical | desktop | my_docs | prog_files>   

           Specify one or more areas to scan during custom scan. When all is specified all other options are ignored.

-threats <all | spyware | stealth | unknown_viruses>

           Specify the types of threats to scan during custom scan. When all is specified all other options are ignored.

-types <all | nozip | programs_docs>

            Restrict the types of files scanned during custom scan.

-exclude <value>... <value>

             Exclude files and folders from a custom scan.


              Reset any files and folders that are excluded from custom scan.

-- Action Options  --

-pupaction <remove | trust>                     Take the specified action on potentially unwanted programs

-- Output Options  --

-log <value>                                           Specify the file to output scan results to

-- Help Options  --

-h                                                          Display this usage

-?                                                          Display this usage

With this information, it is now possible to create your own custom scheduled task and get McAfee working the way you want it to.

Launch Windows Task Scheduler

- in windows 8, this can be done by searching for 'schedule' in the application search or from Control Panel -> System and Security -> Administrative Tools

    - if you use control panel, a window listing of all the Admin tools will be displayed, one of which is Task Scheduler

Once Task Scheduler has started, follow these steps

Create a new task (not a basic task) Action -> Create Task...

     - this will open a Create Task dialog box

Fill out the task details (on each Tab) as follows:

     General Tab:

          Name: <give your task some name you'll recognise - I used "Scan for Viruses">

          Location: \

          Author: <this should be your computer and userid - it can't be changed>

          Description: if you want, provide a more detailed description of what this task does

          Security options:

               When running the task, use the following user account:  <leave this as your user or change it - up to you>

               Run only when user is logged on (uncheck this one)

               Run whether user is logged in or not  (check this one)

                    Do not store the password: (check this one)

               Run with highest privileges (if checked, task should finish sooner)

          Hidden: (not sure what this does, so I left it unchecked)

          Configure for: <select your version of windows - I used "Windows 8.1">

     Triggers Tab:

          click the "New..." button at the bottom of the tab

          this will open a New Trigger dialog box

          Begin Task: <On a schedule> (this will allow you to schedule a task to run at specific dates and times)

           - fill in the setting details as fits your needs to schedule a virus scan when you want it to run

          Synchronize across timezone shouldn't be needed unless you are setting up a laptop and you travel a lot

          Advanced Settings:

               you shouldn't need to set these if you are setting up a scan to run when you are away from your PC

          Enabled: (check this)

          Click OK to save this trigger

          You should now see a Trigger in the Triggers Tab

     Actions Tab:

          click the "New..." button at the bottom of the tab

          this will open a New Action dialog box

          Action: <"Start a Program"> (this will allow you to select a program to run)



                    use the browse button and then find "mcodsscan.exe"

                    on windows 8.1, it is in "C:\Program Files\McAfee\VirusScan\mcodsscan.exe"

               Add arguments:

                    for me, I'm running a full scan and saving the results to a log file so these are the arguments I used:

                         --fullscan -log C:\Users\<my user name>\Documents\virusScanLog.txt

                    this runs a full scan of all disks and appends the results of each scan to the "virusScanLog.txt" file

                    this allows me to see the results by opening the file

                    I'm sure there are better methods to get the reports, but this works fine for me

               Start in: <leave blank if doing a full scan>

               Click OK to save this trigger

               You should now see an Action in the Actions Tab

     Conditons Tab:

          Start the task only if the computer is idle for: (unchecked)

               - the whole point of what we are doing is to run a task when its sleeping - so we know its idle

          Start the task only if the computer is on AC power (recommend you check this one)

               Stop if the computer switched to batter power (recommended for notebooks)

          Wake the computer to run this task (definitely check this one)

          Start only if the following network connection is available: (if doing a local disk scan - this isn't needed)

     Settings Tab:

          personally, I unchecked all of these and then set the last setting "if the task is already running..." to:

               <Do not start a new instance>

          this will prevent multiple scans from starting if something goes haywire

     Now click the "Ok" button to save the task

I also personally enabled task history - so that I could see if there were issues getting the task to run.

This is available from the menu Actions -> Enable All Tasks History

   - you might need to select "Task Scheduler (Local)" in the left pane if that option is not visible to you.

And that's it.

Oh and you should probably disable scheduled task in McAfee Security Center - but I'm not going to describe how to do  that here - McAfee should have instructions if you need them.

My computer is set to sleep after 15 minutes of idle time.

This task woke up my sleeping computer; ran the virus scan (which took 59 minutes); and then allowed the computer to go back to sleep about 15 minutes after the scan completed.

Hope this helps someone out.

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Message 9 of 10

Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

Update for Windows 7.

Initially my Windows 7 PC had Anti-Virus 15.6 - which did not include the command line scanning program.

Luckily for me, I get McAfee from my ISP for free - so I uninstalled McAfee and downloaded & installed a newer version which included the newer version of Anti-Virus (v16.8) and the command line scanning program.

So if you have a newer version of McAfee, these instructions will work for Win 7 & 8


Re: Sleep Mode and Scanning

Thanks for that update Will digest it.

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