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First published on TECHNET on May 24, 2017

Authored by Brandon McMillan


Hey everybody!  My name is Brandon McMillan and I am a System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) PFE at Microsoft. ConfigMgr Current Branch has been the standard service based model since December 2015 with the release of version 1511.  You may have noticed that with the continuous improvements, your antivirus exclusions also need to be kept up to date.  I hope this will provide you with important antivirus exclusions you could implement within a Current Branch environment.

This blog will provide a comprehensive list of support articles we have released along with other recommendations you could consider for your environment.  These articles are the authoritative sources for any official recommendations regarding these exclusions.  Please reference the following support articles for further guidance.

 

  • 822158: Virus scanning recommendations for Enterprise computers that are running currently supported versions of Windows - Last Review: Jul 25, 2019
  • 327453: Recommended antivirus exclusions for Configuration Manager 2012 and Current Branch Site Servers, Site Systems, and Clients - Last Review: Jul 12, 2019
  • 309422: How to choose antivirus software to run on computers that are running SQL Server - Last Review: Oct 31, 2018
  • 250355: Antivirus software that is not cluster-aware may cause problems with Cluster Services - Last Review: Dec 15, 2011
  • 817442: A 0-byte file may be returned when compression is enabled on a server that is running IIS - Last Review: May 23, 2014
  • 900638: Multiple symptoms occur if an antivirus scan occurs while the Wsusscan.cab file or the Wsusscn2.cab file is copied - Last Review: Apr 17, 2018

 

Last updated: Oct 15, 2019
We recently updated our support article on ConfigMgr antivirus exclusions - 327453 and our article for Enterprise computers - 822158.  We added additional recommendations for MP's within the ConfigMgr Core Installation Exclusions (All Versions) section.  Additional guidance and recommendations for Enterprise computers have been added to the Core Exclusions for Supported Versions of Windows section.


Update from: Jun 7, 2019
Added a separate section for SQL Reporting Services (SSRS) recommendations.  Also added new paths to consider for SSRS on SQL 2017+.  Thanks again to Todd Mote for the feedback.

IMPORTANT: Antivirus real-time protection can cause many problems on Configuration Manager site servers, site systems, and clients. We recommend to always test before implementing any of these changes in a production environment.  We strongly encourage you to evaluate the risks that are associated with implementing these changes. We recommend that you temporarily apply these procedures to evaluate a system . If you choose to implement these changes in your environment, ensure you take any additional precautions necessary.  Please refer to your antivirus vendor’s documentation for further guidance and recommendations.

The recommendations for each section are separated between "Operational" and "Performance" levels.  Operational recommendations are highly encouraged to be added to your exclusions list.  Performance recommendations should only be considered if you are experiencing such issues that may be a result of your antivirus product.

The following information will cover what could be recommended for your environment.

Details on the variables referenced:

 

  • <InstallDrive> can be multiple drives in some environments, so it is best to use a wildcard if possible for the antivirus solution you have deployed throughout your environment.  Please refer to your vendor’s documentation for further instructions.
  • <InstanceName> is the name of the SQL instance you are using in your environment.  Please be aware if you use any named SQL instances or the default, "MSSQLServer".
  • <SQL Version> is the version of SQL you are using in your environment.  This may also differ between each SQL service referenced between versions SQL Server 2005-2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012+.  Please be aware of what version you have installed. 309422 and the article below can provide you with more details.

How to determine the version, edition and update level of SQL Server and its components

Core Exclusions for Supported Versions of Windows

 

Operational

  • %allusersprofile%\NTUser.pol
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.chk
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.cmtx
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.csv
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.edb
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.jrs
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.log
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.sdb
  • %windir%\Security\Database\*.xml
  • %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore\Datastore.edb
  • %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore\Logs\edb.chk
  • %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore\Logs\edb*.jrs
  • %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore\Logs\edb*.log
  • %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore\Logs\tmp.edb
  • %SystemRoot%\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine\Registry.pol
  • %SystemRoot%\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine\Registry.tmp
  • %SystemRoot%\System32\GroupPolicy\User\Registry.pol
  • %SystemRoot%\System32\GroupPolicy\User\Registry.tmp

For further information regarding recommended exclusions for server roles such as a Domain Controller, DFS, DHCP, or DNS, please refer to the article below.

 

Reference: 822158

ConfigMgr Core Installation Exclusions (All Versions)


Operational

  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Inboxes\*.*
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Install.map
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\MP\OUTBOXES
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\PolReqStaging\POL00000.pol
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\SMS\MP\OUTBOXES
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\SMS_CCM\Logs
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\SMS_CCM\PolReqStaging\POL00000.pol
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\SMS_CCM\ServiceData

References: 327453, SCCM 2012 Antivirus Exclusions

ConfigMgr Core Installation Exclusions (Current Branch Versions)

 

Applicable to 1511+

Operational

  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\cd.latest
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\EasySetupPayload

Performance

  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminUIContentPayload
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminUIContentStaging
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\CMUStaging

Applicable to 1602+
Performance

  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\CMUClient

Applicable to 1610+
Performance

  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\PilotingUpgrade
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\RLAStaging

Applicable to 1702+
Performance 

  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\CMProviderLog

Applicable to 1806+ 

Performance 

  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\ISVTemp

Reference: 327453

ConfigMgr Content Library Exclusions


Operational 

  • <InstallDrive>\SMS_DP$
  • <InstallDrive>\SMSPKG<DriveLetter>$
  • <InstallDrive>\SMSPKG
  • <InstallDrive>\SMSPKGC$
  • <InstallDrive>\SMSPKGSIG
  • <InstallDrive>\SMSSIG$

Performance

  • <InstallDrive>\SCCMContentLib
  • <InstallDrive>\<ConfigMgr Backup Directory>
    • Ex. D:\SCCMBackup
  • <InstallDrive>\<ConfigMgr Package Source Files>
    • Ex. D:\SCCMSource

Reference: 327453

ConfigMgr Imaging Exclusions

 

Operational 

  • <InstallDrive>\ConfigMgr_OfflineImageServicing
  • %windir%\TEMP\BootImages

Performance

  • %SystemDrive%\_SMSTaskSequence

Reference: SCCM 2012 Antivirus Exclusions

ConfigMgr Process Exclusions

NOTE*** Process Exclusions are necessary only when aggressive antivirus programs consider System Center Configuration Manager executables (.exe) to be high risk processes.


Operational 

Client Side

  • %windir%\CCM\Ccmexec.exe
  • %windir%\CCM\CmRcService.exe
  • %windir%\CCM\Ccmrepair.exe
  • %windir%\ccmsetup\ccmsetup.exe

Server Side

  • %windir%\CCM\Ccmexec.exe
  • %windir%\SMS_CCM\Ccmexec.exe
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\x64\Cmupdate.exe
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\x64\Sitecomp.ex
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\x64\Smsexec.exe
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\x64\Smssqlbbkup.exe
  • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\x64\Smswriter.exe
  • <InstallDrive>\SMS_<SQLFQDN>\bin\x64\Smssqlbbkup.exe

Reference: 327453

ConfigMgr Client Exclusions
Operational 

  • %windir%\CCM\*.sdf
  • %windir%\CCM\Logs
  • %windir%\CCM\ServiceData
  • %windir%\CCMCache
  • %windir%\CCMSetup

Performance

  • %windir%\CCM\SystemTemp

Reference: 327453

SQL Server Exclusions

Operational

SQL Server Process Exclusions

  • SQLServr.exe
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName> \MSSQL\Binn\SQLServr.exe
  • MSMDSrv.exe
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName> \OLAP\Bin\MSMDSrv.exe
  • SQL Server data files
    • *.ldf
    • *.mdf
    • *.ndf
  • SQL Server backup files
    • *.bak
    • *.trn
  • SQL Audit files
    • *.sqlaudit
  • SQL Query files
    • *.sql
  • SQL Trace Files
    • *.trc
  • Analysis Services data files
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName>\OLAP\Backup
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName>\OLAP\Data
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName>\OLAP\Log
  • Full-Text catalog files
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName> \MSSQL\FTData
  • Replication Files
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>\COM
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>\COM
  • Replication Snapshot Files
    • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName> \MSSQL\ReplData
    • These files typically have file name extensions of the following:
      • *.sch
      • *.idx
      • *.bcp
      • *.pre
      • *.cft
      • *.dri
      • *.trg
      • *.prc
  • Checkpoint and delta files
    • No specific file extension for the files Files are present under the folder structure identified by the container of type FILE_STREAM from sys.database_files
  • DBCC CHECKDB Files
    • Files will be of the format <Database_data_filename.extension >_MSSQL_DBCC< database_id_of_snapshot>
    • For more information, see the following article:
      • 2974455DBCC CHECKDB behavior when the SQL Server database is located on an ReFS volume
  • Exception Dump Files
    • *.mdmp
  • Extended Event Files
    • *.xel
    • *.xem
  • Filestream data files
    • SQL 2008 and later versions
  • In-memory OLTP Files
    • Present in a xtp sub-folder under the DATA directory for the instance
    • File formats include the following:
      • xtp_<t/p>_<dbid>_<objid>.c
      • xtp_<t/p>_<dbid>_<objid>.dll
      • xtp_<t/p>_<dbid>_<objid>.obj
      • xtp_<t/p>_<dbid>_<objid>.out
      • xtp_<t/p>_<dbid>_<objid>.pdb
      • xtp_<t/p>_<dbid>_<objid>.xml
  • Remote Blob Storage files
    • SQL 2008 and later versions
  • Windows Failover Clustering (If applicable)
    • <Quorum Drive> (Ex. Q:\)
    • %windir%\Cluster
    • MSDTC directory in the MSDTC drive

References: 309422,250355,2974455

SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) Exclusions
Operational

  • SSRS for SQL 2016 and below
    • Process Exclusions
      • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName\Reporting Services\ReportServer\Bin\ReportingServicesService.exe
    • Reporting Services Files
      • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName\Reporting Services\LogFiles
      • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\<SQL Version>.<InstanceName\Reporting Services\RSTempFiles
  • SSRS for SQL 2017+
    • Process Exclusions 
      • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services\SSRS \ReportServer\Bin\ReportingServicesService.exe
    • Reporting Services Files
      • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services\SSRS\LogFiles
      • <InstallDrive>\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services\SSRS\ReportServer\RSTempFiles

References: 309422

IIS Exclusions
Operational 

  • IIS Compressed Files
    • IIS 6.0:
      • %SystemRoot%\IIS Temporary Compressed Files
    • IIS 7.0+:
      • %SystemRoot%\IIS Temporary Compressed Files
      • %SystemDrive%\inetpub\temp\IIS Temporary Compressed Files
  • IIS Worker Process
    • %windir%\System32\inetsrv\w3wp.exe
    • %windir%\SysWOW64\inetsrv\w3wp.exe

Reference: 817442

WSUS Exclusions
Operational

  • %SystemRoot%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore
  • %SystemRoot%\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  • %ProgramFiles%\Update Services\LogFiles\WSUSTemp
  • <InstallDrive>\WSUS\UpdateServiceDBFiles
  • <InstallDrive>\WSUS\WSUSContent

References: Designed for Optimized Performance, Windows Exclusions for Windows Defender

WSUS Offline Scanning Exclusions - Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)

NOTE: There are four distinctive methods to choose when using MBSA and WSUS offline scanning. Method 1 has the least amount of risk. If this method does not work for you, we recommend you use Method 2. Methods 3 and 4 may increase your security risk.  We recommend that you use Methods 3 or 4 only if required and ensure you please take necessary precautions.

 

Method 1:

Exclude the following files from scanning:

  • Wsusscan.cab
  • Wsusscn2.cab

Method 2: 

Exclude all *.cab files from scanning

 

Method 3:
Exclude all archived files from antivirus scanning 

  • %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\ScanFile

Method 4:
Exclude the folder where the Wsusscan.cab file or the Wsusscn2.cab file is located

Exclude the path of the Wsusscan.cab file or the Wsusscn2.cab file on the local computer

 

MBSA was largely used in situations where neither Microsoft Update nor a local WSUS/SCCM server was available, or as a compliance tool to ensure that all security updates were deployed to a managed environment. While MBSA version 2.3 introduced support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, it has since been deprecated and no longer developed. MBSA 2.3 is not updated to fully support Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

A script can help you with an alternative to MBSA’s patch-compliance checking:

References: 900638, MBSA, Wsusscn2.cab

I received numerous feedback on this post and I wanted to highlight the contributions from the following individuals: Max Baldt, David Coulter, Aaron Ellison, and Julie Andreacola .

Special thanks to Kevin Kasalonis, Cameron Cox, Clifton Hughes, Rushi Faldu, and Santos Martinez .

Thank you!


Brandon McMillan, Premier Field Engineer

Additional References:

  1. Microsoft All Inclusive Exclusion List: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/953.microsoft-anti-virus-exclusion-list....
  2. Configuration Manager 2012 Antivirus Exclusions: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Core-Infrastructure-and-Security/Updated-System-Center-2012-C...
  3. Configuration Manager 2007 Antivirus Exclusions: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/configurationmgr/2010/11/30/configmgr-2007-antivirus-scan-and-e...
  4. Install Reporting Services for SQL 2017 or later: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/reporting-services/install-windows/install-reporting-services?...
  5. What Has Changed in Configuration Manager 2012: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/plan-design/changes/what-has-changed-from-configuration-...
  6. Windows Exclusions for Windows Defender: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/security/windows-defender/automatic-exclusions-for-...


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