I’m hating Symantec

Well last night I was REALLY hating Symantec, I’ve since cooled off a bit. A friend of ours purchased, and then tried to install, Norton’s System Works 2006. She thought she had a successful install, however when she restarted her computer, her new System Works immediately went into red stop sign mode, telling her that she had no Anti-Virus installed. Obviously this through her for a loop, so she decided to call in backup and got in touch with me about making a house call. Last night was the arranged time, so after work I went over to her house, and went to work. First thing I did was find the support page on Symantec’s website and look for articles addressing exactly this issue. Found one, which said to uninstall, find a certain registry key that was corrupt and reinstall. Now, she downloaded the software over a dial up connection and I wasn’t entirely sure she still had the installation files, so I didn’t want to uninstall until I knew I could reinstall, but in the meantime I went looking for the registry key, and couldn’t find it. That key didn’t exist, so there was no reason for the AV to not install along with the rest of the suite, but it didn’t. Eventually, I found the installation files and decided to just see if I could run it and add in the AV. Turns out I could.

Restart the machine and get another red stop sign, this one about the AV being out of date, and I should use Live Update. OK, I decide to do that. Well, not only is there a definitions file update, there’s a pretty big update to the AV too, even though the suite was just downloaded a week ago. So we wait for that to finish over the dial up. It finishes downloading the updates and proceeds to tell me it failed to install it, because my version of Live Update is not the latest version. So I go and download the new Live Update version, another 3MB file over dial up. Restart, go back to run Live Update and have to wait for it to download the updates, again!

Eventually, everything was working and three hours after I got there, I headed home. Glad that I could help out a friend, but mad at Symantec for a couple of things:

1- Why does a version of System Works 2006 downloaded on 12/17 not have the latest version of Live Update within it on 12/22? Why are there huge updates to the AV product as well that aren’t included in the finished version of the suite?
2- Why didn’t their software tell me my version of Live Update needed to be upgraded before I sat and waited for it to download updates?
3- Why doesn’t their software save the downloaded updates that couldn’t be installed right then instead of making me fix the error and then wait for them to download again?

Maybe I’m expecting too much, but these ideas make sense to me. Next time she has a problem though, I’ll have her bring the PC over to my house and connect it to the Ethernet router. At least that way it won’t take as long.

Tags: Symantec, PCHelp

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One Comment

  1. Thats one of the reasons I don’t do housecalls if i can help it – or at least not on a dialup.
    Symantec have had major updates this past week though – there was the symantec flaw with rar files and liveupdate itself was updated. I think you were just unfortunate enough to be asked at the wrong time.

    Although I’ve just defended them, I would like to point out the fact that their software really is crummy and their support is not very helpful either – 2 weeks before I got a reply on the help forums with a problem and then that was only to say “thats the way it works”

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