Symantec’s Norton 360: Buggy But Improving

In a recent post, I took Norton 360 to task for being crappy because it deletes other programs that have nothing to do with Norton 360. In my quest to fix everything, I first called support which was insulting, condescending, and accusatory. That got me nowhere except a “uninstall Norton 360” and try again, which of course resulted in the same thing.

I want to give great kudos to Matt B. of Symantec. I’m leaving off his full name, so he’s not buried with emails. He’s a product engineer who I saw had posted on some beta boards regarding similar issues I was having, and I found his e-mail address. He’s the one who helped with the above Ghost Process bug. It works great. That solves the system slows down every time you launch an application because it never really closes previous instances.

I saw that Matt had posted a fix for the first of three bugs. The zombie (aka ghost) process bug is easily fixed as follows:

  • Start a command shell
    • Select Start menu / Run… / type “ cmd ” without the quotes
  • Next you will change directories to
    • type cd “\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\Backup” with the quotes
  • Then you will unregister the dll
    • type regsvr32 /u buShell.dll
    • a dialog should be shown with the following text : “DllUnregisterServer in buShell.dll succeeded.”

The firewall that won’t stay disabled for more than 24 hours bug, they are working on and at some point, you’ll get a live update patch that fixes it. At least that is the claim. Matt also confirmed the firewall bug. So I know I’m not nuts. It’s a pain because you should never have two firewalls running at the same time.

As for my bug, it still IS a bug. More importantly, there is a workaround for Procomm and Partition Magic (both are affected by this bug, though we don’t use PM). You have to install them first, but in a directory that is not the default directory. That is a directory that is not in the Symantec directory at all. I suggest OldNorton as a directory name. Once you do that, you can safely upgrade to Norton 360 version 2. Anyway, why do I want to thank Matt? He didn’t start off assuming I was an idiot. He listened. He asked me to try things (which I did and reported back). And he actually verified what I was reporting instead of insisting the program couldn’t do what it was, quite obviously, doing.

People like him have the power to make a company shine. The problem is, at many companies, the people like him are not available to users. I don’t object to offshore support as a concept, but I object to the fact there is never any real process to get to someone who understands there’s a real problem. I spent forever explaining this to people who just couldn’t grasp what I was saying and insisted I try it over and over and over. Matt got it in ONE email. We exchanged maybe six emails verifying exactly how the product failed. And then it was done.

So, to Matt: kudos for being the kind of person all companies should hire.

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