Symantec offers fix for buggy Norton patch

Last week's update caused crashes for less than 1 percent of Norton users

Symantec has posted a software fix after hundreds of users reported problems with a buggy update of the company's flagship Norton AntiVirus software.

The buggy patch was released last Wednesday and was automatically installed on systems running Norton 2009 and Norton 360 using the company's LiveUpdate system. For most customers the install went fine, but for "less than 1 percent" of users, the update didn't work, according to Symantec Spokeswoman Cecilia Daclan.

Hundreds of users have complained about the issue on the company's online discussion boards, she said.

Users who experience the error get the message: "Symantec Service Framework has encountered a problem and needs to close..." before their software crashes.

"The problem was intermittently completely disabling my machine. I was afraid to open programs with critical data for fear that they would crash. CPU usage could hit 100 percent," wrote Norton user Robert Charlton in an online forum post.

Charlton spent seven hours on-line with Symantec Tech support on Friday. "It took them much too long to catch on," he wrote. "I've been telling them it's been their problem all week, and they've been telling me I need to take that up with vendors of much of my software."

Symantec's Daclan couldn't say exactly what caused the issue. It has to do with the way Norton handles responses from some custom-configured Windows machines, she said.

"Most of the customers who are reporting the issue are using PCs that have been specifically configured or customized," she said. "They're not out-of-the-box PCs."

Although most Norton users have already been automatically updated, Symantec has pulled the patch and will release a fixed version later this week.

Users who experience this problem can download a software fix from Symantec's Web site.

This isn't the first problem with Symantec software updates this year. In March, Symantec engineers forgot to digitally sign a diagnostic program called PIFTS (Product Information Framework Troubleshooter). That caused it to be flagged by Norton's firewall.

Scammers soon tried to take advantage of the problem, by flooding Symantec's forums with bogus messages and setting up malicious Web pages that popped up when people searched for PIFTS.exe.

Tags patchingsymantecnorton antivirusbugantivirusnorton

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?