Live Update: The Symantec Virus?

Page Last Revised: Friday, April 28, 2006 01:13 PM

This program is intended to provide weekly virus definition updates (for the Norton Antivirus program), and to provide occasional updates of various program modules. A wonderful idea in theory. However, the program is plagued with bugs. Sometimes, it will spend hours doing nothing. Other times it will create huge (e.g. 3GB) .tmp files in various disk locations. Other times it will inexplicable "crash" or "freeze" when it is "almost done", displaying cryptic and misleading error messages. And yet other times it will cause the corruption of the registry and/or shared Symantec program modules, preventing previously functioning (Symantec) programs from running properly. A subsequent invocation of LiveUpdate often "fixes" the latter problem --- in toggle-switch fashion.

After months of problem reports, and months of denials by Symantec's technical support staff that there were any problems being reported, Symantec final acknowledged a very small subset of the problem. They then claimed disinegenuously to have fixed it.

The following are a sample of the myriad of reports appearing on Symantec's "Technical Support" page after Symantec claimed to have fixed the problem, which they had refused to acknowledge for several months:

-I have attempted throughout the day today (July 1st) to do a live update to my Norton AntiVirus 2000 program with no success. As a matter of fact, Norton AV 2000 now tells me that it is unable to read the virus definition date, and advises to run Live Update. Running Live Update several times throughout the day results in an apparently normal update, until the third screen of "Installing Update", at which time my machine locks up at about 70%. Downloading new virus definitions and attempting to update does NOT work either! Looking at messages to Symantec for today, July 1st, you apparently have a problem, judging by the number of inquiries. I can appreciate you guys needing some holiday time off, but as I have absolutely no idea how well I'm going to be protected through the July 4th holiday, it would be most helpful if you had someone that could check out the problem and fix it prior to 5 July!

[Note: Or afterwards for that matter, as no solution has been forthcoming to date.]

-After having nothing but trouble (large temp files and Netscape e-mail problems) with updates from 00/06/19,21,22 and after trying several of the solutions proferred here I gave up and replaced C:\\ Program Files\\Common Files\\Symantec Shared\\VirusDefs with a backup copy that had 00/06/12 as the most recent update. This date was no longer in the original folder. Everything now appears normal. Now when I go to LiveUpdate it tells me that I should download a 137KB file for Virus Definitions. I do not wish to have to go through this again. Is this the correct file size? If not what else needs to be done? I am starting to get a little tired of all this mucking around.

-Attempts to connect for Live Update always fail...I have followed all posted knowledge base listings-twice- and find none of the suggested causes of the problem are present on my system. Have trouble-shot this for two weeks. Pleas e post a new listing or otherwise give an active Symantec response.

-I tried running Liveupdate but, I get a message saying "Unable to run LiveUpdate, Installation may be Damaged-Please run LUSetup.exe." Well I did that...but I still get the same message.

-Live Update hangs on 70% installation. Unable to use Ctrl-Alt-Delete to End Task. Have to cold boot to computer to restart. System freezes. Unable to complete new virus definition updates.

-Live update tells me there is a virus update available, and after downloading installing itself, I find it has not in fact updated NAV within System Works, but has left a file named: S3vu9ku9. of 4.18MB on the same drive.

-Live Update loaded the files normally, but hangs during the install phase, showing 70 percent complete for as much as 8 minutes. [Normally, the install phase takes less than ten seconds.] During this "hang" phase, it writes like crazy to the disc. To halt this endless loop type operation, I hit ctrl/alt/del, touch the halt program (proper term?) option, and the system freezes. I am forced to press Reset at this point.

-I've noticed that after the last couple of updates, my disk space has dramatically decreased to the point that I now have only 8 Megs left. I have a 4Gig HDD, and am worried about this sudden loss in space. Why is it happening?

-Tried to use LiveUpdate to download/install Jun 30 virus updates. The installation hung up at 86% (it was 42% for last weeks' updates). Is anyone at Symantec working on this problem? Have you found a solution? Does anyone there care?

[Note: Obviously not. Symantec's only apparent interest is in preserving their no-longer deserved reputation, and selling more defective products and promises to an unsuspecting public, assisted by their willing accomplices in the computer media.]

-I ran live update and received new virus definitions for 6/30/2000. Now AOL won't initialize. AOL worked before running live update.

-My C: drive has some huge .TMP files. In c:\\programfiles\\commonfiles\\symantecshared\\virusdefns there is a subdirectory: \\ 20000621.080 with files: 0001NAV~.tmp size = 82,878 kb; 0002NAV~.tmp size = 137,172 kb; and another subdirectory \\20000622.018 with files 0001NAV~.tmp size = 82,878 kb; giving me a total of 302Mb in temp files.

-After a recent live update I have been unable to get into WORD. It simply gives an Error message and I can not proceed. What should I do? Thanks.

-I cannot run LiveUpdate without getting a "Tapisrv" message saying the program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. I have manually unistalled NSW per your procedures, reinstalled NSW and manually installed new virus def initions. Still no luck. Plus, I get a similar message ("Nmain") shutting down the program when I try to clean up cookies. Plus, my hard drive keeps losing big chunks even though there don't seem to be any Dir0000x folders on the root of the C drive.

-30 Jun 2000: I have been trying to run liveupdate for over a week now. I connect fine and it retrives the updates but everytime it goes to update the virus protection files it gets hung at some point before finishing (my hard drive will be working away) i do a alt+ctrl+del and the liveupdate program has a not responding message next to it i try to apply antifreeze and this clears the not responding message but it does not start up again. After many trys i end up hitting alt+ctrl+del again and doing a end task for liveupdate and that really causes a problem get window fault error and it hard to recover. If i check antivirus now the status says cannot read virus definition dates run live virus but at this time i am afraid to run it with the way it hangs my system and causes excep ti on and window errors. Ihave run a complete scan disk and had no errors i had system doctor run a check on my system no errors found. Ever since this started happening last i also at times have a problem with a program "msgsrv" which gets hung and i end up having to alt+ctrl+del and do an end task on it and that really hangs my system to the point of having to power off and on.

-I have a windows 2000 system, that, if i run norton av 2000 on it, it runs fine without updating the virus soon as i update the defs, via live update, it will take an average of 20 minutes to log in, and i have errors in my event log. event id 9 and event id 25, which indicate that there may be a hardware issue. now before i get a whole lot of crap about me having an issue with hardware, I HAVE ALREADY VERIFIED THAT IT IS FINE! myself being a tech of 4 years, i KNOW when there is an issue. i think there is something whacked with the defs because i can format/install fresh win2k and install norton, and it runs fine - UNTIL i update the defs. after that is when the 'fun' begins. i go to run the scan, and it will scan the master boot record, and then it will go to scan the boot record and it hoses my hardware:

-I know, I know, Windows 2000 is not offically supported by Nav2000 but it worked fine until the latest update(s). Yesterday (June 29th, 2000) I ran live update. The next time I tried to boot my machine, It hung up just after the login prompt before all the shell links could be created and the start a pplications loaded. I was forced to re-install the os and backup what data I had. I lost some data I wish I still had :( After re-installing the os, I re-installed nav and ran live update again to confirm the problem wasn't a fluk. It happened again.

-I went to live update and got an error message that I do not have enough disk space to run the update. I just installed a larger hard drive and have 3.4 gigs available. What is the problem?

-LiveUpdate created a .tmp file "0004nav~.tmp" which is about 490 Mb (yes Mega bytes).

-Live Update is STILL running wild on my computer. When I tried to update today, it ran for a while and then stopped responding to the OS. HELP!

Symantec's response from April-20 June, 2000: "We are unaware of any problems with LiveUpdate. No one else has reported any problems".

Symantec's response after June 21, 2000: "There were some problems for some users with the 6/12 and 6/16 updates, which were fixed with the 6/21 update, but not the ones you are reporting."

Symantec's response after the long July1-5th weekend: Dead silence on the issue, and deletion of customer complaints and pleas for a solution from their "technical support" website.

Postcript, July 10, 2000: Symantec has now announced that "the problem [which they previously claimed didn't exist AND was fixed] only affects a few users", can be "fixed" by reinstalling everything after each LiveUpdate, and therefore is not worthy of their further efforts to find a real solution.

Disingenuity, thy name is Symantec!

If Symantec can't even get a simple update program to work properly without causing so many severe problems, and won't even acknowledge the full scope of the problem, much less take the necessary steps to fix it, how can we trust them to protect us from viruses, or perform any of the other (more difficult) tasks which give them access to our vulnerable system files? 

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