(repost 8/19/08) More fun with Norton Antivirus!

Wow, another article about something I hate.

The situation: 16 brand-spanking new Dell Optiplex PCs running Vista in a new training lab. Customer had bought multi-user packs of Norton Antivirus (over my objections and warnings).

Shortly after build, two of them cease all network operations. No domain login. No access to shared folders. The things won’t even get an IP address whether wired or WLAN.  The network appears as “connected” and tries to get a DHCP address but eventually fails. Assigning a static IP makes me feel better but does no good either.

I booted from a Knoppix linux CD and was able to get the machines back on the network. So it’s not a hardware problem.

Norton Antivirus was disabled, there was an activation problem because we were re-using license keys from the machines we were replacing. The Symantec Network Security Intermediate Filter Driver was disabled and uninstalled…all firewall and AV services were stopped and disabled.

I re-imaged the boxes with a known working copy. Things were fine for about 2 days, then same problem again.

I walked away for a few minutes (the customer thought I was getting my really big hammer) and thought. “What’s the single most common cause of ANY computer problem?”

I uninstalled Norton Antivirus from the computers.

“Please select the network type….” and all is well in the world.

I have no qualms with Norton AV shutting itself down because of an invalid key. I knew this was a problem we’d have to go through Symantec support for, and that we’d be unprotected until we got through that. I didn’t expect Symantec to shut down my network because of an AV product licensing issue. This customer didn’t even purchase Internet Security, firewall, or any of the advanced Internet-protecting stuff, this was JUST NAV.

This was just wrong. This package should have just stopped working and had no right to disable my network.

eset nod32 is the way to go, people. No more Symantec crap.

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  • Alex Hanks  On November 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Great story Greg, I really enjoyed it. I got a kick out of the solution, so true! And my eyes popped with the closing line.

    I’ve been running nod32 on the PCs in my house and those of my immediate family for a couple of years now and boy its been a fantastic AV program. Whenever a relative asks me to setup their new PC, the first thing I do is wipe the pre-installed AV program and install nod32.

    Come to think of it now… the PCs in my house have been as trouble free as the Macs. 🙂

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