It started with this message:
“Your AntiVirus subscription is about to expire…”. Then there was the stupid decision not to just renew the subscription but also, since the cost was almost the same, “upgrade” to the latest version.
It started OK, the download took a while but then the update began installing, slowly. About four hours(!) later the otherwise idle machine finally finished the install and requested to re-boot.
The First Run:
No problem, well it took about ten minutes to restart, and then ran Auto-update demanding some patches were installed. Not just virus definitions, which I could understand, but also multiple application and update application components. What’s that about when I’d just downloaded the “latest version”? I let it install the patches.
After the Patches:
After another re-boot it demanded a full scan, to complete the install, but about halfway through Auto-Protect failed. It required an auto-update which installed some components then demanded a re-boot. You might be able to guess what happened about halfway through the scan…
Help, there’s a fix!
After repeating that process half a dozen times and I gave up and resorted to the support site. It was nicely set up and after requesting me to enter the error code it suggested yet another fix-up patch.
I had forgotten the error code but by this time Auto-Protect failed again so didn’t take long to get it. If you build a support site around cryptic error codes why can’t the software log them for the Support Site to retrieve?
But the fix didn’t…
After another re-boot it demanded a full scan, to complete the install, but about halfway through Auto-Protect failed. (OK that sentence was a copy/paste from an earlier paragraph but that’s what happened again!). It was back to the Support site. The advice “If the fix hasn’t fixed things” is to download an un-install tool, completely remove the software and start again. So I decide to do that, the next evening…
So I install the software again which seemed to go OK. After another re-boot it demanded a full scan, to complete the install, but about halfway through Auto-Protect failed. (Yeah, it’s another copy/paste sentence). Back to the support site again and decide it’s time for some live interaction. You can phone, for a price, or chat via IM for free so that’s what I do. After establishing the problem, that the fix doesn’t work and that a re-install didn’t work the technician advises a simple mix of disabling Auto-Protect, rebooting, then re-enabling Auto-Protect and it’s all sorted.
The endless initial scan runs yet again this time completing with a little I’d hoped to see twenty four hours before, when I ticked upgrade on a fully functional trouble free installation. Finally shiny new AntiVirus protecting my machine and all was well with the world.
Four days later I get “Your trial has ended purchase a permanent license here…”.
Back to Support and find the entry for “You purchased a license but now get trial ended message” which gives another “fix” to download. It demands a re-boot and the trial is magically transformed into the permanent license it always was. That was about a week ago and so far, hopefully forever, I’ve seen that lovely or a dialog I thought I’d never see ever again...
I can report Norton’s AntiVirus Support site is well organised and their IM Support Technician was great. The sad thing is I had so many opportunities to experience it.
If Anti-virus is this much hassle I hope it works and I never get a virus!
UPDATE 08–09–2007 : It still doesn’t work!
The “working” Norton AV never managed to retrieve a Virus Definition update. It tried, failed then launched into a process which required a 18mb manual patch download, every time. After two of those the support site led me back to the total re-install process. At about that time a promo offer from ZoneAlarm offered the addition of AV for 1/4 of the upgrade cost from Norton. I have uninstalled the Norton Product and requested a refund. ZoneAlarm is working fine.