OT: Norton, the Evil Empire

Spot|DSE wrote on 12/20/2004, 10:26 PM
I chose today to do the upgrade work on my new K37 VAIO.
Normally, I simply format the drive and install XP over top, and then download and install drivers for the hotkeys and powersuite. However, with this one, I didn't feel I wanted to mess with downloads, etc, and decided to live with XP Home until returning from my vacation. What a stupid mistake.
I decided to uninstall Norton. Of course, it wouldn't uninstall from the Start/Programs/Norton/uninstall, so I went to Control Panel. Nope, wouldn't uninstall there, either.
Went to Norton's website. Apparently this happens a lot. So, downloaded all sorts of stupid stuff, then had to reinstall more microsoft software due to Synantec blowing away Microsoft stuff. Then you have to manually edit the registry in just the right order, rebooting each time.
How is it that this company hasn't been charged with a criminal act? Even on their website, it says that it can take 30 mins to an hour to uninstall this software.
I should have just reformatted.


stepfour wrote on 12/20/2004, 10:36 PM
I keep all things Norton off of my computers, and I run far far away from any software that has "Suite" in its name.
nickle wrote on 12/20/2004, 10:48 PM
I went through the same thing with Symantec when "Live update" killed itself.

What was even worse was after I reinstalled it and got it working, it did the same thing after a month.

That's when I switched to Vcom.
Grazie wrote on 12/20/2004, 10:59 PM
Grazie and Norton Internet Security divorced mid 2004.

This was exactly the same issue. After UG-ing to 2004 from, yes, 2001 . . Norton just went berserk . . Now I use Zone Alarm, plus some other "stuff" and so far - touching whole forests of WOOD - I appear to be stable.

I too was confronted with page after confusing page as to WHAT I should do and how to uninstall. I very quickly thought that life in general was far too short. Starting asking questions here and there about alternatives, I found ZA to be truly a cinch to work with.

Norton Internet Security? .. . Not for me . . . I'd been a supporter from way back from Dr. Solomon's - before Norton bought Solomon's out - and "believed" in their customer Online Support. But my last experience with the "Read this article .. Then read this article and then again . . " By the time I had got to the 4th or 5th article I neither remembered WHAT I was searching for; the time of day; the actual day OR the wish to keep living! - I just felt stupid and not a little scared that the whole IT thing had just past me by. I COULDN'T uninstall Norton Internet Security to reinstall it - this I had done before with 2001; I couldn't locate a UK phone number that COULD give me support - All I was being presented with was a very blank, very tall, very THICK brick wall. I think I as experiencing some form of mismatch between NIS and NAV.

Arrrghhhh . . SPOT! Thanks for bringing it all back to me . .. I hated that period of my IT life . . . I really did. And do you know what? THIS IS ONLY MY EXPERIENCE . . but . .. others may be totally delighted with the product . . up till this time I would advise others to buy it 'cos of the "ease" of use and the rapid updates etc. That has now been erased by my own experience. And THAT is very sad.

NickHope wrote on 12/20/2004, 11:02 PM
I've had the same nonsense with Norton on my Sony laptops too. It's POISON!

Unlike Spot I use recovery disks to reinstall my Sonys because the time I used MS disks I couldn't get the hotkeys working no matter what. On mine I think you are prompted to setup Norton AntiVirus, it's not forced on you, and you can just say no. If you say yes, and you're someone who needs to shut it down to print video to tape, you're in trouble.

A couple of years ago in desperation I actually BOUGHT Norton Internet Security for the AntiSpam feature. It was total garbage.

Using AVG free now and Spampal and life is good :)
thomaskay wrote on 12/20/2004, 11:19 PM
I wiped my drive and promptly returned it.
mbelli wrote on 12/20/2004, 11:33 PM

I wish antivirus companies would come out with lite versions that don't totally invade your computer, or even special versions for video editors, digital photographers, music composers, DVD authors who are using CPU intensive apps, digitizing routinely and are often moving lots of files aroud. An antivirus program built for these scenarios that could be completely removed or turned off at will would be amazing.

But yeah, I agree, Norton sucks now, haven't used it for 3 years, using Avast free version and it's pretty good and doesn't interfere with anything.

pb wrote on 12/21/2004, 12:49 AM
Phew, and here I though it was only me who wasted a good protion of his life trying to eradicate Norton! I had it on the Internet PC and as a previous poster mentioned, its live update feature killed itself. Then there were the endless system hang ups. I gave up on it and, like so many others, ended up reformatting the HD. Well, later I bought a more recent version for one of our stand alones -- after the 15 day grace period it expired and endless emails and calls to the buggers to get an activation code were fruitless. I reformatted the drive and now live without any virus protection on the stand alones, preferring to screen all files with the PC equipped with McAfee. Norton Anti-function is a total waste of money and I will never buy another Symantec product again. It should be rightly called Norton Hantavirus, thae useless crap junk.

busterkeaton wrote on 12/21/2004, 1:48 AM
Unfortunately Norton bought Powerquest, so now Drive Image and Partition Magic are owned by Norton.

I think if I need drive imaging software, I would look at Acronis' package.
DGates wrote on 12/21/2004, 2:38 AM
No Norton, no Windows Service Pack 2. Both created more problems than they fixed.
farss wrote on 12/21/2004, 4:22 AM
Worked just fine on this machine for years, keeps itself up to date, never had this machine even get a sniffle despite maybe an average of one emailed virus per day.
Then again this is just the office machine, it and every other PC in the place live behind a firewall and the unprotected machines that are used for editing aren't normally connected to the internet nor do they handle email.
As for XP SP2, as far as I know the only reason it'll cause problems is because of others bad code, if you find something that doesn't work after you updated, delete the app and never buy software from the slackers who wrote it again.
smhontz wrote on 12/21/2004, 4:39 AM
Yeah, I got off the Norton Titantic several years ago when similar things happened to me. Since then, I've had at least two people I know have their systems totally screwed up by Norton to where they had to wipe and start over. I always tell people not to use Norton anything and I've been ridiculed by some who say "But it's always PC Magazine's Editor's Choice!"

Had similar problems (not playing well with others, difficult to uninstall) with McAfee and ZoneAlarm a few versions back and dumped them, too. Now using Panda AV and Sygate Firewall. Started using AVG AV on a couple of machines, and been pleased with it, too.
Dan Sherman wrote on 12/21/2004, 4:40 AM
I just uninstalled AVG and reinstalled Norton.
What have I done?
Is this malicious software?
Really confused here.
Had some problems losing files a while back.
Initially thought Norton was problem.
Seemed to be confirmed by forum folks and my IT guy.
But IT guy now says no,--seems Norton wasn't at fault.
Is there someone who can capsulize the reason(s) to uninstall this program again?
JJKizak wrote on 12/21/2004, 5:14 AM
I get around the Symantec stuff by using it on a third computer just for online stuff with Win2K. The video and scanning computers have no virus protection. Even then they have problems with their install discs, troubleshooting problems, uninstall problems and occasionally send you some bad live updates like the latest "Client Update fiasco" that disabled my "E" mail. I had to by "TWO" install discs because of the activation stuff and one disc would not install properly the live update install section. Contact with Symantec said that their disc was not the problem and that it was my computer problem even after I told them I used the good disc to install over the bad disc and it worked. They are just plain nasty, arrogent people who do not want to troubleshoot their stuff and their web site reflects this attitude as they run you in circles to discourage you. I also have their Fax program which is excellent but they use small white fonts with bright green background which is really difficult to see, and they still haven't changed it. Symantec and Epson make the worst compatible software in the world. Its world class non compatible. Epson printing software never worked in Windows 95 and they still haven't corrected it.
I use 2004 anti-virus, firewall, and anti spam.
farss wrote on 12/21/2004, 5:14 AM
Norton WHAT?
Surely that's a pretty vital question!
Some of Nortons stuff seems like junk to me, what's that thing called again "Doesn't Works"?
But Norton AntiVirus seems a totally different beast.
Then again there are better anti virus systems available, one of the best there was was written in Oz, it didn't rely on needing updates. However it regularly scanned every file on the HDs and built very clever double encrypted keys so it'd detect if anything was fiddling around. I think their problem was the product was too good, once you bought it you never needed to pay them again and sadly they went bust.

Now I remember, "VET" was the name of it. Anyone heard of them recently?
Arks wrote on 12/21/2004, 6:08 AM
Mcafee. stick with them =)
Coursedesign wrote on 12/21/2004, 6:39 AM
Things were fine when Peter Norton was personally involved, then "the suits" took over.

The same thing happened with Scott Cook and Intuit. When I needed help with a Quickbooks installation problem, I went to an outside consultant. Getting Intuit to even pick up the phone costs several hundred dollars, and then you still get mediocre advice. And then there is the total lack of understanding of customers' needs (you can Ship from an Invoice but not from a Sales Receipt, which means ugly workarounds or multiple steps for something that should be a total no-brainer).

Every growing organization starts rotting at about 250 employees, some earlier.
Spot|DSE wrote on 12/21/2004, 6:40 AM
Norton, like many antivirus apps, will screw with the speed of your system when you're doing video. And even though you can "shut it down" you really can't. Norton deliberately makes their system difficult. When you go to uninstall via the Control Panel, it will come up and tell you that "Norton failed to uninstall, would you like to try again?" I didn't count the number at first, but after about 30 times of hitting the "retry" button, I noticed that there was progress in the progess window even though it said it had failed. After 147 clicks of the Retry button, it was gone, and only registry editing left to do. Except you can't just do normal registry edits because it embeds itself deep into the OS. You have to download their registry killer. Then you have to download Microsoft's code to replace what Symantec killed. And you must reboot after running each of these. Even then, SystemMechanic found more than 300 Norton-related files after I got the "Norton has been removed" screen.
Not only will I never buy Norton anything, I'll do everything in my power to recommend against this Nazi-like software. I'm amazed there are people or OEM's dumb enough to buy this crap and force it on their customers.
As it is, I'm not totally trusting this machine, so I'm gonna wipe it anyway.
John_Cline wrote on 12/21/2004, 7:33 AM
Yes, Norton used to be the best of the bunch, but now it just gets its hooks into EVERYTHING and is vastly more trouble than its worth. For Firewall and Virus scanning, I've been using the Zone Alarm Suite and it's been great. For defragging, I like Raxco's Perfect Disc.

Norton is one Evil Empire, Pinnacle is another.

Spot|DSE wrote on 12/21/2004, 7:49 AM
Fortunately, Pinnacle's Empire is crumbling. I wish that Norton's would crumble and go away.
Right now I'm feeling like Luke Skywalker and Norton is Darth Vader.
I've only once experienced this kind of stupidity in the past with software, and that company is long, long gone.
kentwolf wrote on 12/21/2004, 8:26 AM
>>...Pinnacle's Empire is crumbling...

In what way?
B_JM wrote on 12/21/2004, 8:49 AM
i have posted the world over about norton = evil ...

i sure agree
Spot|DSE wrote on 12/21/2004, 9:03 AM
First, their new CEO is laying people off left and right. Second, she's finally selling off assets they never should have acquired in the first place. Other than their consumer application "Studio9" they're not making any substantial revenue either. They've been found in very difficult situations with distribution as well. There are all sorts of market reports available out there, you'd be surprised at how much info is out there on a company if you dig deep enough. But in Pinnacle's case, it doesn't take much digging.
Look at the thread below this one, Pinnacle is selling off Steinberg already.
riredale wrote on 12/21/2004, 9:53 AM
I'm using Norton Systemworks 2003 here, and it seems to run fine. I haven't tried to uninstall it, though.

One trick I heard is that if a program is having a problem getting itself uninstalled, just reinstall it, and then uninstall it.
Lili wrote on 12/21/2004, 10:21 AM
Glad I checked the forum before making a purchase I may regret.
Have Norton on my PC (no problems - knock, knock), however, just bought a new laptop and was about to run out this aft. for another Nortons.

Changed my mind after reading your horror stories and decided to get McAfee. Checked AVG freebie on the web and it seems good too, but McAfee offesr more protection. Hope there will be no McA bashing going on after I get the thing installed!