Norton "Crash Guard"

(or more accurately, the Norton Crash Generator)

Page Last Revised: Friday, April 28, 2006 01:14 PM


When a "crash" occurs, CrashGuard gives you the choice of 1) attempting to save your data and continue, or 2) closing the program and losing any work in progress.

Selecting the first option will usually either lock up the system completely, or result in an access violation, and then lock up the system. In both cases the only solution then is a HARD REBOOT (i.e. pushing the reset button on the computer), which results in the loss of all data from ANY programs that are running, not just the one that "crashed".

Selecting the second option sometimes produces the same results as the first option. At other times it will actually close the "crashed" application, but then the icons for all programs that are running frequently disappear from the task bar, again requiring a reboot to restore the desktop to its "pre-crash" status!

Removing the CrashGuard program also seems to remove 90 % of the "crashes" that were regularly occuring. Windows 9x then gives you the ability to close any crashed applications, albeit without purporting to give you the opportunity to "save your data" (which CrashGuard seems to consider synonymous with locking up the system and/or crashing).

The "antifreeze" features of Crashguard produce similar unpleasant results!

These are some typical user comments that have appeared on Symantec's "Technical Support" Forum:

"I purchased Norton Systemworks because I was having a problem with crashing - perhaps once a week. I bought version 1.x, then traded in for version 2.0. I installed the recommended configuration and used live update. Since then, my computer has crashed 3 to 4 times per day. There seems to be no consistancy. It has crashed on every application I use, and it crashes when I click the mouse, when I hit a key, or when I'm not even in the room. Crashguard intercepts the crash, but can't seem to do anything with it. The screen eventually freezes and even Ctrl-alt-del doesn't work. I have to reset or power off. I detailed the messages for awhile, but gave up. Last week I uninstalled Systemworks, and am now back to about one crash a week. If you don't have a magic answer, I'll be looking for my money back."

"I have the same trouble with CrashGuard (both versions 3 and 4). With CrashGuard installed, the frequency of unexplained crashes increases exponentially, and CrashGuard NEVER recovers from any of them. Instead, it 'loops' until there is no longer a response to CTL-ALT-DEL or any keyboard or mouse activity, and the only way to continue is to hit the RESET key and restart the system. Reinstalling Crashguard (or following any of Symantec's other helpful suggestions) makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE. Uninstalling CrashGuard alleviated 99 % of the crashes that I was experiencing. More important, with CrashGuard removed Windows allows me to close the offending application and continue without rebooting my system. [If you are running Internet Explorer, it is also advisable to set 'Launch Browser Windows in a Separate Process' via 'Tools/Options/Advanced' - this will maintain the DeskTop in the event of an Internet Explorer Window crashing]. I would be very curious to know if ANYONE has ever had CrashGuard recover from any crash, or has ever seen CrashGuard unfreeze any frozen program (other than when invoking the 'test' that CrashGuard performs to impress all of us as to its legendary capabilities)."

"Norton 'Crashguard' causes 99.987% of the 'crashes' that it 'intercepts', and rarely recovers from any 'crash', 'unfreezes' your system, saves your data, or any of its other purported functions. With 'Crashguard' installed, my system 'crashed' and/or 'froze' 4-5 times per day, always requiring rebooting to recover, and resulting in loss of data, and disk file corruption. Since removing 'crashguard' six months ago, I have only had three crashes, and was able to 'end-task' on the offending application without rebooting using the standard built-in Windows function. My experience has been shared and reported by thousands of others!"

"You are soooooo right about Crash Maker.  I learned that a longgggggg time ago, to NEVER install or run it, that it will only CAUSE crashes, or at the very least make a crash worse and totally unrecoverable. That one piece of software alone --- I am shocked that no one yet has started a class action lawsuit on them for, as it IS VERY false advertising in what they promise as compared to what it does, even to the point of CREATING the same problems out of thin air that it purports to protect you from.  With so many revisions out there, so many people who have used it, that it has been out there so many years, and NEVER fixed but only getting worse, it is shocking that they have not been sued on that one piece of software alone, both from the damage it does to systems and data, as well as the blatant lies in advertising it has. The claims about Crash Maker makes our country's President's integrity look good.  :("

Symantec's Response: "We are unaware of any problems with CrashGuard".


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