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 newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags symantecantivirusnortonnorton antivirusbugpatching

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

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?