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As I detailed here, I’ve had some problems in the past with Symantec’s support.  Now, it’s their product division that I’m mad at.

Why this time?  Well, I’ve been a longtime user of Norton Systemworks.  I think the first version I bought was 2000, and I’ve re-upped my subscription every year.  I know a lot of people have had trouble with it over the years, but WinDoctor has worked wonders for me at being able to avoid wiping my computer every few months, which was relatively common in the past.

However, I’m also using this product on a corporate laptop.  This means that I have Symantec’s corporate anti-virus product installed, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition.

Systemworks has never been all that friendly with Symantec AntiVirus.  The install program has over the years told me that a) I needed to un-install Symantec AntiVirus or b) that I was getting an incomplete install because it was unable to install it’s own AntiVirus program.  Also, you have to “convince” WinDoctor and One Button Checkup not to complain about your lack of an installed anti-virus program (come on, it’s from the same company, and you can’t recognize it’s existence?!?!?!), but this year, Symantec has hit a new low in product incompatibility.

Norton Systemworks 2006 has a new “feature”, the “Norton Protection Center”.  The Norton Protection Center uses the “toast” mechanism, like ZoneAlarm, to warn you about problems on your computer.  So, now I’m getting toast telling me that I don’t have any anti-virus program installed.  I can tell the protection center that I don’t want such alerts, but I still get a big red X on the icon letting me know that it thinks that there’s something wrong with my computer.

However, the NPC is crying wolf here, as I DO have anti-virus installed.  So, now, if there actually is a valid reason for that X to be there someday, I’ll never know, because I’ve already trained myself to ignore it.  Great feature, guys.  Thanks.  Didn’t anyone beta test this?  I’d like to just make the icon go away, because I already have an anti-virus icon, and a System Doctor icon, but that will take a little bit of work because it appears to be started from the registry and not from a startup folder (thanks again, guys).

Of course, what I’d really like is for Symantec to a) tell me how to get the thing to work right, or b) fix their stupid application so that it does.

Past performance has me less than hopeful on either of these two fronts, however.

UPDATE: As detailed in the comments by Byron and Vincent, disabling the service does indeed work.  However, that's a less than optimal solution in my opinion.

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2005 9:55 AM General | Back to top


Comments on this post: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)

# re: Symantec is Annoying me (Again!)
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I have the EXACT same problem as you except that I'm staying on NSW 2005 until they can fix this problem. So count my vote for Symantec to make their various modules/solutions play nicely together.
Left by Michel Biedermann on Oct 31, 2005 11:22 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying me (Again!)
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Based on the e-mail I received from their customer support today I wouldn't hold my breath:

Greetings Chris,

Thank you for contacting Symantec Online Technical Support.

I understand from your message that you are receiving an "Urgent Attention" (red X mark) error message in the status of Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006.

Chris, please note that Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 do not recognize Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition. So it is checking for the AntiVirus program that has to be installed with NSW 2006 suite product.

I suggest you to ignore the message provided by Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006, if you wish the facilities provided by Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition.

To turn off Norton Protection Center alerts:

- Start your Norton program.
- Click on Options > Norton Protection Center.
- Under Alert Options:
- Uncheck Show AntiVirus alerts.
- Click OK.
- Close the Norton program.

Please feel free to contact us, if you need any further assistance.

Regards,

Udhaya Shankar
Symantec Authorized Technical Support

Ummmmm..that doesn't help. I still have the annoying red X. Also, he didn't suggest anything that wasn't already mentioned in my problem report.

Software Wars: Revenge of the Clueless
Left by Chris J. Breisch on Oct 31, 2005 12:13 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Seems the Norton Protection Center is actually a service that is installed. Its useless to me, so I disabled the entire service and am no longer bothered by the icon nor the red X's on it.
Left by Bryon on Nov 26, 2005 8:32 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I've experienced similar problems with Symantec products. My son runs Win XP Home and he could never do Live Update with Norton AV 2005 and Symantec's Support was of no help.
Just yesterday, I tried installing SystemWorks 2006 and after 2 hours running I got a message saying the install was aborted. Symantec's online support said to disconnect from the internet before attempting a 2nd install. But rather than waste another 2 hrs without being able to use my PC, I just installed Norton AV and will try installing the other features as my time permits.
I too wondered what sort of testing Symantec does before they release their products for sale. I have tested software and one of the things you always should do is check previous bug reports to see if the same bugs continue to persist. Either Symantec doesn't care about customer loyalty or they just don't get it. As soon as a decent competitor product comes along, it's "bye bye Norton" for me.
Left by Lynda on Nov 28, 2005 5:56 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Experienced the exact problem described, under Windows XP. Was able to stop the Norton Protection Center Service (Rt-Click My Computer, select manage, navigate to services) which removed NPC icon from systray.
Left by Vincent Baird on Dec 29, 2005 12:02 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I'm very displease with this new feature, on top of the BIG RED X in my face, NAV 2006 only update about once a week or when there is a high risk Virus is found. Well I guest updating once a week goes for all norton products. When my subscription is up, i'm switching AV.
Left by Jim Jones on Jan 06, 2006 12:57 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Wise move is to move away from NAV...It is worse than sh*t
Left by Squiffy on Jan 08, 2006 5:54 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Getting the same garbage from NAV2006. It says, urgent attention must be paid to web browsing, which results in the red X. Click for details and it says, <blank> is turned OFF. No idea what blank is. Click the "Learn how to fully protect this category" link, and all you get is an ad for Norton Internet Security 2006. Incredible! Seems they're saying that this brand new NAV2006 that I just installed is inadequate and that I need to upgrade to another product. I think this is entirely dishonest. Time to ask for money back.

Avoid Symantec products at all costs!
Left by WileEDingo on Jan 24, 2006 10:02 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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The "red X" is extremely annoying. Why not let user decide if the warning can be ignored or removed? A stupid feature!
Left by Buffalo on Jan 25, 2006 11:37 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I don't use windows automatic update I download them manually. This dumb red x thing keeps telling me to turn it on. In the protection options you can check which alerts to display and which to not but they don't work and still pop up telling you there is a problem .
Left by Jetta392 on Jan 25, 2006 8:09 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Thanks for posting this - I was going nuts trying to figure out what I did wrong. It's almost March for crying out loud, and SystemWorks 2006 still produces this same result if you do not install the AV that came with it. What ever happened to 'compatibility' or 'integration'!? A company like Symantec should have figured this out by now, especially since they're acquiring instead of building these days...
Left by Jeff Burnett on Feb 22, 2006 3:14 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Vincent Baird's solution <i>does</i> work. I should update the blog entry with appropriate thanks. It's good to know that I'm not the only person going crazy with this one, though.
Left by Chris J. Breisch on Feb 22, 2006 5:16 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I have a very similar problem, and the exact same red X.... It is also telling me to turn 'on' my previous/outdated antivirus program that it made me remove at installation. I also received an e-mail that is almost two words different than the one posted above.
Left by Annoyed and Confused on Mar 01, 2006 6:46 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Same thing here. This is truly stupid. Makes you think there are two warring camps at Symantec both of whom think they can control the world with their AV.
Left by Anne Toal on Mar 02, 2006 6:32 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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The issue remains....ITS THE SAME COMPANY. Not having 100% FULL compatibility is just unacceptable if you want to still be respected as a "A"-List software company. My IT department refuses to deploy systemworks, instead using it on a case by case temporary basis. Thumbs down, Norton.

-Anonymous Tech
Left by the anonymous tech on Mar 11, 2006 2:59 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Thanks! I had a similar problem with annoying messages about having various protections turned off. I have them turned off for a reason! (For example, I use an SSL connection to retrieve POP mail, and so cannot use the NAV POP proxy). It's really annoying that I can't just tell NAV not to bug me about these things I haved turned off intentionally.

Another problem that goes beyond annoyance and is itself a serious security problem itself is that NAV now requires admin privileges just to run! It's the ultimate irony that to get virus protection you have to turn OFF one of the most effective anti-virus measures you could use - installing all your applications as admin, and then routinely running as a non-admin user. Of course, if everybody did this, there would be much less need for products such as NAV...
Left by jt on Mar 19, 2006 6:37 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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here's the solution:
- DISABLE the Norton Protection Center service from the services panel. Set it to disable! It will go away forever!

But i want to know if anyone has a registry tweak or knows wat values to use for the installshield setup so i can disable it unattended
Left by 1guy00 on Mar 30, 2006 4:20 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I can do you all one better... my NPC was popping up an "Everything's OK" message every time I'd open a browser window or navigate to another page. Yep, a big green checkmark telling me that nothing was wrong with my system. That's even after I disabled every type of alert in the options.

Their tech support was awful. One week to respond. Their response was that I should disable the alerts that I had already told them I had disabled. I responded to that by saying that I had already done that and had simply disabled the service. Their response to that was that I should disable the service. Good to see that each of their suggestions simply rehashed what I had told them I had already done.

It's a bit scary when a company tells you that the only way to solve the problem is to disable the product. The good news is that the app is really completely useless and the rest of the suite seems to work just fine. I'm just amazed that NPC made it through testing.
Left by Some Person on Apr 21, 2006 6:13 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I've always been annoyed having NPC on my systemtray. Actually before, i've get used to even hiding NAV systemtray but now this worthless NPC stuck on my PC and i can't uninstall it.

And also i notice a slow down at start-up, at first i thought thats just the way it is but with so many complain this is not right.

Though NAV has some issues/bugs, its still the best anti-virus out there....


Left by Herbert Talabis on Apr 30, 2006 5:00 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I've always been annoyed having NPC on my systemtray. Actually before, i've get used to even hiding NAV systemtray but now this worthless NPC stuck on my PC and i can't uninstall it.

And also i notice a slow down at start-up, at first i thought thats just the way it is but with so many complain this is not right.

Though NAV has some issues/bugs, its still the best anti-virus out there....


Left by Herbert Talabis on Apr 30, 2006 5:00 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I keep getting the same popup messages, "Virus protection is turned off, " and "Virus definitions are out of date." It's ironic a program who's goal is to block pop ups actually contributes to the pop up problem.
Left by Extremely Annoyed on Jun 10, 2006 12:08 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Stupid Red X. Can't turn it off.
Left by AnnoyedCustomer on Jun 29, 2006 8:14 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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To turn off the alerts from NPC you can following the steps in the URL provided below:

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/sharedtech.nsf/0/a089bc5985fdbff06525708f004a8c1f?OpenDocument

You can also follow these steps to minimize the annoying pop-up screen that comes up.

--Start your Norton program.
--Click Options > Norton Protection Center.
--Uncheck Show protection status on Windows taskbar.
--Uncheck Always show status window after login.
--Uncheck Show messages from Windows Security Center.
--Under Alert Options, uncheck Show Antivirus alerts, Show Firewall alerts, and Show Windows Updates alerts.
--Click OK.

Once these steps are performed, the NPC alert screen will not pop-up again like it used to do before.

NOTE: Norton Protection Center gives you instant status on all your security issues. As you use your computer, Norton Protection Center monitors how well your activities are protected from threats, risks, and damage. Norton Protection Center is useful to determine if it is safe to continue an operation.

It has features like: Security Basics, Data Recovery, Performance , Web Browsing, Email & Messaging. These feature are really useful to determine the status of your computer. But usually the problem happens when you have installed Norton AntiVirus or Norton Internet Security, and the features are missing in either of these products, in this case it is recommended to turn off the alerts; but you need to make sure that your product is updated with all virus defintions running LiveUpdate. You can also update your virus definitions using Intelligent Updater, that's how I used to do. Norton programs where really helpful for me.





Left by Sandy on Aug 23, 2006 3:40 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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if anyone has any concerns regading this please let me know, we will sort it out.
Left by Sandy on Aug 23, 2006 3:41 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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if anyone has any concerns regading this please let me know, we will sort it out.
Left by Sandy on Aug 23, 2006 3:41 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Norton AV is undoubtly the best Antivirus, though causes certain issues at times
Left by Sandy on Aug 23, 2006 3:44 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I want to manage my windows updates myself.
I unchecked the box for "Show Windows Updates alerts". It is still flagging it, what's the deal with this version of NIS? It is so freaking irritating. urghhh
I am calling my retailer tomorrow to see if they will take it back.
Left by disapointed :/ on Sep 09, 2006 1:29 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Didn't help me - there is no 'Norton Protection Centre' option under 'Options' - only 'Norton Internet Security' and 'Norton AntiVirus'. The popup is now appearing every minute or so, despite virus protection being turned on.
Left by Paul Bradshaw on Sep 13, 2006 9:38 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Mine is really bugging me. NPC won't even start until I click on the NPC button in NAV (even though the service IS started). Once it starts, it never stops! Never a green check mark or even an X. Go figure!
Left by Rick on Oct 08, 2006 12:56 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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it is not working .. tried everything ... no go ..
Left by Srikanth on Oct 19, 2006 7:07 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Same problems here. As with the Norton Protection center, I have everything blocked out. I'm also getting problems with the LiveUpdate. I have this turned off, but yet I'm getting error messages from the Norton Center saying its trying to do a LiveUpdate. While I find this somewhat comical, it refuses to block itself from doing a LiveUpdate and demands it does this. If you stop the service for it, it helps temporarily but then it re-installs the service next boot.

While I appreciate being up-to-date on the latest software, it's also annoying to be constantly reminded of it one way or another. Why does Norton approve itself as so darn important?
Left by Johnson on Nov 02, 2006 11:32 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I have the NPC Service (NAV 2007 installed with Systemworks 2006 - NAV 2006 removed) disabled in the services management console, everything is unchecked in the NPC Options and the warnings and pop-ups still keep coming - every 15 minutes or so. I have full time NAV turned off and run it manually at intervals since it slows the system down so much. The warnings are driving me nuts - like malware. Tech support just responds with the same recomendations - do what I've already done. It's maddening!!
Left by Dave on Nov 17, 2006 6:28 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Hello. I have read the posts here complaining about Norton. After many years working with computers, I can suggest to forget NAV and choice a much better solution, NOD32. This is probably the best antivirus out there. Working fine for years, light and updated few times a day. If you dont believe it, do a web search for comparatives and reviews. It is a non well known antivirus, sadly.
Left by Dionisio on Nov 26, 2006 1:54 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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So Norton Protection Center doesnt consider Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition as antivirus software and beleives that any PC with it installed is not protected from viruses!!! Dont tell the thousaands of large businesses that have bought it!! Seriously Symantec this would be so easy to fix!!
Left by MarkS on Jan 23, 2007 5:07 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I'm using Norton Internet Security 2006, getting an irritating yellow exclamation mark, also can't switch off the alerts. The slow startup's also really irritating. I'm getting another product...
Left by disgruntled on Feb 16, 2007 11:05 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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and one more thing: if sandy "Norton AV is undoubtly the best Antivirus, though causes certain issues at times" doesn't work for symantec, i'll eat my NAV installation disc.
Left by disgruntled on Feb 16, 2007 11:08 AM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Same Problem. Thanks, I'm disabling the service.

disgruntled comment 2//16/2007 11:8 AM
> and one more thing: if sandy "Norton AV is undoubtly the best Antivirus, though causes
>certain issues at times" doesn't work for symantec, i'll eat my NAV installation disc.

Very funny!
Left by Rob on Mar 19, 2007 11:25 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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I just blogged about the same problem (and many others) with Norton Save and Restore. Even after uninstalling Save and Restore I get an error window at each boot saying, "A necessary file could not be loaded: NSC." Does anyone know how to fix it?
Left by Nick on Apr 17, 2007 5:13 PM

# re: Symantec is Annoying Me (Again!)
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Bueno, mi consulta seria;tengo Symantec end Point Protection 11.05 y el problema resulta que al instalarlo las maquinas se ponen o corren sumamnete lentas. Cuales serian las especificaciones de la Pc para que este problema no resulte molesto..?
Gracias..
Left by Santiago on Dec 01, 2009 8:22 AM

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