Windows Defender 1.55.543.0 Breaks Vista Genuine License?

Okay, I’m having a little panic attack, which may turn into a big panic attack shortly. I came home from work and opened up my laptop (that had just been at work with me), and it rebooted itself (!!) and came up with an error message saying my copy of Windows Vista was not genuine and that I would not receive any more updates. It suggested I remove some older pieces of spyware checkers that may be on my system, including PC-cillin, a free trial that was on my Dell when I got it last year. I checked the security settings and sure enough, PC-cillin was show as a program being used in Windows Defender, although it was turned off.

I attempted to remove PC-cillin, only to find it is not installed on my machine. I went out searching for any kind of removal instructions, and found lots of instructions, none of which worked for me, as there is no TrendMicro (maker of PC-cillin) folder anywhere, nor is the program shown as installed, nor the executable the runs PC-cillin. But Windows still seems to think it’s there, and since I can’t seem to remove it, I guess I’m screwed.

I did reboot and did not get the “you are not a genuine user” error, but I’m still leery. The only update I got today was for the Windows Defender definition update 1.55.543.0, which of course cannot be removed. If I could remove it, I would, as I think it may have been what broke Vista. I’ve done some deep searching and no one, thus far, is reporting this issue online. I have to wonder what I’ll find tomorrow.

Anyone else experiencing any issues? My laptop is a Dell 1525, if that helps. My Vista desktop machine seems to be unaffected, but it also has not received any updates in a few days, whereas this laptop seems to be getting updates almost daily, which has been bothering me, to be honest. Now I’m wondering if I should refuse future Windows Defender updates, so I don’t get anything else broken. I know on my Gateway tablet, I had to stop taking IE updates because they kept breaking things on my tablet functions, and I’m wondering a bit if this is the same thing, just a new day.