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.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchingsymantecbugnorton antivirusnortonantivirus

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?