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Does Microsoft Defender block the DST.exe file? Fix it

The presence of this file can create controversy among users, as we probably do not know its origin. This is something that can make us seriously think that it is a malicious file, especially when verifying that it is blocked by Microsoft’s security system. But we can rest assured that, as we will see below, it is not a virus and we can create an exception to prevent it from being blocked.

What is the DST.exe File

Although it may seem otherwise, this file it is not a virus or malware that could endanger our computer. These are the initials for “Drive Self Test.” We are talking about an HP monitoring tool for laptop hard drives, so it is considered a safe element, as it is signed by HP Inc. Usually this file is mainly found in the path:

AppData / Temp / HPDIAGS / XYZXYZ

As we can intuit when being inside the «Temp» folder, we are dealing with a file that has a temporary use and once the execution is carried out it becomes unusable. Windows Defender automatically recognizes it as a malicious file, so when it starts, it blocks it as a security and protection measure.

Since it is not a virus, we can create an exclusion so that the Windows security system does not block it and considers it a safe file.

Solve the problem

To prevent Microsoft’s antivirus from blocking this file as it is considered malicious, we have the option of adding both an exception from the Protection against ransomware section or adding it as well as to the list of excluded files. They both do the same function and prevent it from being blocked. Also, we can prevent the file from being executed at the beginning and in this way the annoying window does not appear.

Add an exception

As we have commented, the DST.exe file is not a malicious file. For this reason, we can solve the crash made by Windows Defender by making an exception for the file or for the C: / DR0 folder within the Controlled access to the Microsoft security system folder.

To do this we must access the Settings menu, for which we can choose to use the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”. Once in the menu, among its different options, click on the “Update and security” section that we find at the bottom. Later, in the new window, we must select “Windows Security” from the options available in the left column. Next, in the panel on the right, we click on the button “Open Windows Security”.

This will make a new window appear, with a list of options in its left panel. Here we must select “Antivirus protection against threats”. Now, we go to the bottom of the panel on the right and into the “Protection against ransomware” section. Here, we click on “Manage ransomware protection.”

Windows Defender Manage Ransomware Protection

Here we find the section “Control access to the folder.” If it is activated, it is responsible for protecting our files, folders and memory areas of the device to prevent unauthorized changes by malicious applications. Now we must press the option “Allow an application to access one of the controlled folders.”

Windows security Allow an application to access one of the controlled folders

This will help us in the event that controlled access to folders has blocked a trusted application. This is something that happens in the case of DST.exe, and so we can add it as a safe and allowed application, giving us the option of which application can make changes to the protected folders. Therefore, we click on the button “Add an allowed application”. This will open a list where we must select the option “Recently blocked applications”.

Windows security recently blocked apps

From here we can add an exception for the DST.exe file or the C: / DR0 folder. Thus, from this moment Windows Defender the recognize as a safe app, so once added the pop-up window should no longer appear at system startup.

Add to Exclusion list

Alternatively we can also add the DST.exe file to the Windows Defender Exclusion list. To do this, simply type Windows Security in the Start menu search box and click it to open it. In the new window that will appear, within the options menu on the left side, we select “Protection against viruses and threats”.

Here we move through the right panel to the section “Anti-virus and threat protection settings.” Now, we click on the “Manage settings” section.

Windows security manage settings

On the new page, we scroll to the bottom where we find the section on «Exclusions«. Here, we must click on the button «Add or remove exclusions» and then on «Add exclusion». This will open a small list where we must select if the exclusion is for files, folders, type of files or processes. We only have to add the DST.exe file or the C: / DR0 folder so that the Windows security system excludes it as a potentially dangerous file and prevents it from being blocked.

Windows security add or remove exclusions

Remove from startup programs list

In the event that we do not want to make changes to Windows Defender, we can find a last alternative. This is to remove this file from the list of startup programs. This is something we can do from the Task Manager. It is common for many programs to be added to the startup list, so it is important to keep the list managed to dispense with those programs that we do not need to be activated at system startup, such as this case.

To open the Windows Task Manager, just press the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + Alt + Del”. Later we click on the “Home” tab that we find at the top. This will show us all the files and applications that are executed at the beginning of the system, so we must look for the entry of the DST.exe file and mark it. Finally, click on the button “To disable” which is in the lower right. With this, this HP tool will stop starting at first avoiding the appearance of the annoying

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