Category Archives: Symantec Rants

(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.


(repost) Norton + Quickbooks + SBS = Hours of Extra Work

I had an “interesting” experience this week, where I moved a client from an existing peer-to-peer network to a shiny new SBS03 setup. The user profile migration went well, the e-mail copy-over went fine and didn’t take that long to do manually for 6 users…

…then I got the old Quickbooks file off their old “server” and tried running QB. They are running Enterprise 8, which had been upgraded from QBE 7 a few months ago, which has been upgraded on a regular basis since Quickbooks Pro ’97.

Some of the desktop PCs sat at “Starting Quickbooks…….” for a long time. Some also came up with a Windows Installer window that wouldn’t go away.

There’s a known issue listed on the Quickbooks support site (“Clicking the QuickBooks icon displays the Microsoft Windows Installer message and QuickBooks does not start “): is all well and good. I start working away to do a repair reinstall of Quickbooks. No good. Move on to Part 3, Uninstall the “Quickbooks Product Listing Service.” Easy enough…..Hey, it’s asking for an .msi file that I can’t find (QBPLSInstaller.msi). Try with the QBE8 CD…still no good.

Turns out Quickbooks Product Listing Service is on the QBE7 CD. Fortunately the client is a pack-rat who didn’t throw away the older Quickbooks disks. Pop the Enterprise 7 CD in, Add/Remove Programs, Quickbooks Product Listing Service, reboot.Some of the machines started working OK at this point, others needed a Repair installation of QBE8.One machine didn’t even like a repair install of ent 8. I went through and tried the reboot.bat file in the Quickbooks directory, like shown here:

I ended up uninstalling everything Quickbooks…scouring the registry by hand to remove anything with the work “Intuit” or “Quickb” (took about 45 mins) and rebooted.After the restart I was finally able to get Quickbooks EE 8 running again.Crap list:

  • Symantec. There’s no reason why Norton’s uninstall should touch anything to do with Quickbooks.
  • Intuit. I removed BY HAND several hundred registry entries and files that were obviously Quickbooks-related. Why couldn’t the Quickbooks uninstaller wipe them out?
  • Me. I should have moved them off Norton AV LONG ago.

That’s why we schedule extra time for these things.