Symantec, you bastards -- this should be free!

I was looking at Norton SystemWorks Basic Edition to sharpen my computer’s performance. When I added the “download version” to my shopping cart and went to check out, I found another item added to my list with an $8.99 price tag, on top of the 39.99 for the software. It was an Extended Download Service. Symantec’s definition is below:


The downlaod version costs the same as the box, though I’m sure there would be a shipping charge added down the line There is no offer of upgrades or patches should one come out in the next year. It is only for the right to re-download the exact same program, shoulld you have a crash, or get a new computer, in the next 12 months

The box people have thw right to reinstall in perpetuity so long as they have the CD. .

If you go a link beyond that page, you can learn that the download people get 60 days of download privileges as part of their deal, but that is hardly the equivalent.

Damn box people! Damn Symantec!

You want free?

I resisted for so long until I finally got disgusted with Norton and downloaded AVG. MUCH better.

I just bought Norton SytemWorks and Internet Security online when my previous versions expired, and want to clarify a few things about the OP’s complaint.

When you buy the download version, you get a file that you can burn to a CD and use to reload the software if you need to later on. So there’s no real need for the perpetual download service. You’ll still be able to reload the package if necessary.

Also, all Norton programs have the Live Update function, so whenever you install them, you can update them to the latest versions.

That said, I’m peeved with myself that I didn’t remember to check my local CompUSA before buying the updates online. At the moment, they’re offering a bundle of those two programs, System Works Basic and Internet Security, with a rebate combo equal to the purchase price: in other words, FREE. So I’m out the $70 I paid for the package for my main computer, but I’m going to get the free one for my laptop in the next day or two.

You might want to check your local stores, Boyo, or see what’s available from other vendors online. Symantec is not the cheapest source for Symantec products.

The product the OP is talking about isn’t the Norton anti-virus but a suite of other products.

I am interested to learn the first, as the Symantec website downloads and instals as one process pretty much blind to the user. You hit a button to “Download now”, and eventually get to a point where you can choose an automatic or custom install for some of the functions. I never got prompted to save the download file, for instance. Maybe it’s one big compressed file, but I don’t know what it’s named or where it is. I’ll go check the My Downloads folder, maybe it got dumped there.

As to the Live Update, I didn’t see anything in the agreement to allow that. In fact, the language of the Download Service agreement suggests otherwise. I would think “Download Agreement” would also address a right to download upgrades, if there was such a right. There is no such language. Still, you may be right, they could be so compartmentalized that one page of their website conflicts with others.

Symantec software is, generally speaking, the work of Satan. You would be doing yourself and your computer a huge service by simply avoiding it. 90% of their non-bundled anti-malware* trade (by my personal estimation) comes from desperate non-tech users who resort to it to try to remedy a specific incident; they plump for Norton purely because it is a household name; what they don’t realise is that Norton/Symantec is riding on a reputation gained when it was providing an entirely different product (one that actually worked); they’re managing to prop this up with nothing much more than aggressive marketing - the product itself is a huge pile of shit. I have lost count of the number of times one of my support clients has brought me a PC, saying something like “it was working fine, but I saw a warning about [some virus or other] and I downloaded Norton Antivirus; now it takes ten minutes to boot up/runs really really slowly/won’t let me open my documents/won’t let me install my new printer/etc…”
*I know the OP isn’t actually talking about this genre of utility; it makes no difference to my point.

Free? Heck, they should have to pay you to install that junk.

Mangetout is right. It’s worthless.

But the real ‘fun’ doesn’t start until you try to uninstall it. Best to just reload your o/s.


Aw shit! Jesus, I’m sorry-I’ve had a really rotten day-how’d I miss that?
Forgive? slinks out of thread

Your words are disturbing, stranger. What means this “uninstall”? It is not the way of our people…

I had fun and games with this on the last Symantec-buggered machine I fixed; it wouldn’t let me uninstall it without logging in as system administrator (not Administrator in Windows, Administrator in some Norton Control Panel), except the option to do so was greyed out. There was another option to install LiveUpdate and use LiveUpdate to perform the uninstall, but I was not prepared to install anything else.

Fortunately, there was a tool called SymNRT.exe on one of their support pages; intended to remove all Symantec/Norton products in order to perform a clean upgrade to whatever shit they were currently peddling, but worked just as well to remove their software and leave it removed. I think they have withdrawn the tool.

Boyo, I use Firefox, and had the option to save the download instead of run it. If you were using IE and didn’t get that option, search your system for NSWBE06901.exe (SystemWorks) and NIS06910_2YR.exe (Internet Security). I don’t know if IE saves the files locally in this circumstance, but if it doesn’t you can go back to Symantec within 60 days of your purchase and download it again. This time, select “Save to File” instead of “Run.”

As for the updates, regardless of what the agreement says, Norton products do have a Live Update function that lets you download and install (automatically, if you want) the latest virus definitions, security updates, and program patches while your subscription is active. Run the program and see for yourself. In fact, generally, on installation the first thing Norton programs do is run a Live Update.

I’ve heard the bitter complaints against Norton like Mangetout’s in the past, and all I can say is that that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve been using System Works and Internet Security for about ten years, and have had none of the problems described here or in other threads about Norton. I uninstalled both programs just the other day, in order to install the new versions, and the process went very smoothly.

Admittedly, the reason I had to uninstall was that I had first installed the new versions on top of the old, without uninstalling them, and was getting an error message when I rebooted. The installation instructions hadn’t said it was necessary to uninstall the old versions, although the nice Indian guy on the phone who was my sales assistant said I should. So I grant that Norton is not perfect.

But as I said, the process went smoothly with no problems, and the reinstall worked fine. And in all the years I’ve used Norton products (dating back to before they were acquired by Symantec), I’ve never gotten a virus or had my firewall breached, and the other utilities have worked as advertised. I’m a satisfied Norton customer.

Any program that is trying to do as much as these programs do has to dig itself pretty deeply into the operating system, and there must be an essentially infinite number of configurations that it must try to cope with. It’s possible that the problems that Mangetout and others had were the result of installing Norton on a system that was already infected, or that had other problems, and that Norton wasn’t the sole cause of the difficulties.

Or maybe Norton is a POS, and my positive experience is the exception. But I think it would be hard to explain its success in the marketplace if that were the case.

Question, if you like it so much, why don’t you buy the “pro” version? It seems to me that the “smaller” guys need all the help they can get and tossing them a few bucks, by buying the pro version at least allows them to continue to offer the free version and give people the opportunity to try them out.

Maybe you have, your post wasn’t clear. Just asking.

I honestly think you are the exception; at least you would be if you walked into my office with your PC now; I don’t think I’ve seen a machine where Norton/Symantec security/AV software was present and wasn’t a huge burden on the system and I must have dealt with dozens where it was present and was a huge problem. As I said, I believe its success in the marketplace is driven almost entirely by agressive marketing, bundling with new PCs and the enormous reputation built by Norton back in the days of DOS (which has no connection at all to the present offerings, other than name).

I’ll be the first to admit that my own sample size is small, but I know I’m far from alone as an IT support professional who regards Symantec/Norton products as buggy, intrusive and burdensome.

I used to be security administrator for a government department and I switched from Symantec to AVG. I have had no problems since.

Sigh. Back in the day Norton Utilities was the system utilities to own. When it defragged your hard drive it damned well defragged your goddamned hard drive!! In the last version I bought (maybe five years back), you ask it to defrag, and it sorta kinda runs this background task for a few hours and comes back and says “done” and you look at the fragmentation map and swear nothing’s changed …

I finally gave up on it. Someday I’ll work up the energy to track down a real NTFS hard drive defragger …

BTW, you do get all patches and upgrades to the program for the next 12 months, and it is functional (if it does have a huge impact on performance). But God help you when you need to upgrade for next year.

After this year’s fiasco with that process, I no longer use Norton products. Horrible upgrade and hideous tech support.

Because I don’t really need the pro-version. And quite frankly, it’s none of your business why I choose to use something that’s FREE.

Does the one that comes with windows not work?

The last time I tried it it didn’t work for crap, either. It’s been a few years, though, maybe they’ve improved it since then. And maybe aliens have landed in my back yard sometime today.