Norton Antivirus 2000: A cure worse than the disease!

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Rating: Forget about it

Review:

Most of us purchase anti-virus software to protect against the damage that a computer virus might cause to our machine, and the subsequent expense and inconvenience of restoring an entire system from scratch. However, most of us are also fortunate enough to not have experienced such a disaster, nor to have needed to test the efficacy of our anti-virus software in preventing such a situation. We rely heavily on the product test reviews in magazines in our selection of such software, and we expect the software to perform as represented. However, expectations and reality are not always the same thing.

For the past several months, almost every second virus definitions update obtained from Symantec for their “Norton Antivirus” product, has caused problems that have “crashed” the computer system, corrupted the system registry, prevented the system from being rebooted into Windows without manual repairs being made at the MS-DOS command level, created huge files (e.g. 3 GIGAGBYTES!) on the C: drive, with unknown contents, and generally behaved with all the destructive force of the worst imaginable computer virus attack.

If you click on the link below (which should bring you to Symantec’s technical non-support page for NAV LiveUpdate), and then click on some of the links displayed, you will see SOME of the problems that are being experienced, at least until Symantec deletes these problem reports, and reverts to their standard “No one else has reported any problems — it must be your system that is incompatible” answer:

http://servicenews.symantec.com/cgi-bin/browse.cgi?group=symantec.support.generic.liveupdate.general&submit=Post&

As a result of this “anti-virus” program, Symantec customers have spent an average of one entire day per week over the past several months recovering from the damage caused by Norton Antivirus. This from a program that allegedly will protect us against similar damage from a “real” virus, that might happen once in a lifetime. Of course, when and if the virus attack does occur, this product may not protect us from it at all. Not a very good trade off, in my opinion.

I have been using and recommending Norton Utilities since the very first UNERASE program written by Peter Norton in the 1980’s. Similarly, I have been using and recommending Norton Antivirus since its first release. However, I have seen a very serious degradation in product quality and technical support in the past few years. Because of the myriad of problems I and my clients have encountered, I now strongly recommend against anyone purchasing or attempting to use Norton Utilities, Norton AntiVirus, Norton System Works (the epitome of oxymorons), or any Symantec product.

Some of the many problems with the various utilities and “technical support” are documented at my web page http://personal.riverusers.com/~cdgoldin/norton.htm

Submitted by: Carl D. Goldin

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