Norton Antivirus 2006

Instead of just renewing my subscription to Symantec’s Antivirus each year I actually go out and purchase the latest version instead.

I usually get the 3-pack which runs about $65 from Amazon and is scads cheaper than purchasing the subscription renewals from Symantec at $30 each. Their site is pretty hard to navigate but I’m pretty sure that they have no pricing at all for renewing subscriptions to the 3 pack anyway.

But availing myself of the latest antivirus engine seems to be a sound investment.

Of course, with each new version, there are always new challenges and features. Some features are more desirable than others.

For instance, the install and configuration of Antivirus 2006 is the smoothest so far.

But included with the install is something called “Norton Protection Center”. The idea is nice – a one stop shop to verify that your AV definitions are up to date, your firewall is working properly and several other OS and Miscellaneous items are set properly.
The problem comes from the fact that Symantec’s version of “set properly” and mine don’t quite mesh up. i.e. I don’t like my Windows updates to automatically install on my machine. I have them automatically download and then I manually initiate the install at a time of my choosing.
This simply isn’t acceptable to the Norton Protection Center and it keeps insisting my machine is at risk until I agree to let things be handled automatically.
Simple enough, agree to disagree and all that, you can simply uncheck the option to have Norton stop inspecting the Windows Updates parameter. The problem is… it doesn’t work. Also, you can’t get the warnings to stop. That little icon is sitting there with its little yield sign in my system tray begging me to pay attention to it. I loath useless warnings. I don’t want anything flashing at me or trying to get my attention unless it’s a real issue.
So, recognizing that there is a bug in the product, I initiated a chat with Symantec. The tech I got was typically unable to grasp why I would not want to simply do what the product demanded. Although at one point he started to describe how to disable the Norton Protection Center (I’d suggested that it really wasn’t why I had purchased the product anyway and I’m just as happy without it) but I think somebody at his end must have slapped his wrist as he backtracked and said that he recommended I leave the defective feature running.

To make a long story short. When you get fed-up with the well-intentioned but poorly implemented warnings. Simply head over to your services (My Computer > Manage > Services) and disable the “Norton Protection Center” service (fortunately they didn’t disguise it) and then stop the service if it’s already running. Voila, annoying icon gone.

A little ‘nit I have with their threat warning screens is that they do not let you see any details about the local threat as you could with previous versions. When Radmin (see below) was found on my machine the only information I could find about the supposed threat was generic information about the product, not where it was physically located on my system (filepath). When I restored the file it didn’t know where it belonged so the restore failed.

Another warning, apparently with the February 15th virus definitions Symantec got REALLY aggressive against my favorite remote computer software RADMIN and damaged the product on two of my machines. I reinstalled and all was well. But be warned if you use this product or any other remote computer product not manufactured by Symantec.

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