Symantec tool cleans up Windows XP SP3 registry corruption

Symantec Thursday released a free tool that wipes spurious entries from Windows' registry that had crippled some PCs running the company's security software after they were upgraded to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) or Vista SP1. The tool, SymRegFix, had been promised by Symantec two weeks ago when users reported that upgrading to XP SP3 emptied Windows' Device Manager, deleted network connections and packed the registry with thousands of bogus entries.

Symantec initially blamed Microsoft for the snafu, but later accepted some responsibility. Last week, the company said the combination of a Microsoft process and the SymProtect feature of its Norton-branded consumer security software had added the errant registry entries, and it told users to turn off that feature before upgrading. Symantec's SymRegFix clean-up tool can be downloaded from the company's site.

News Source: InfoWorld

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16 Comments

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"Symantec initially blamed Microsoft for the snafu, but later accepted some responsibility"

How embarrassing...even for a company as low as Symantec.

"...the SymProtect feature of its Norton-branded consumer security software had added the errant registry entries"

Shocking. Blame Microsoft first, build a fix second. Class act, Symantec, class act.

(C_Guy said @ #7)
"Symantec initially blamed Microsoft for the snafu, but later accepted some responsibility"

How embarrassing...even for a company as low as Symantec.

"...the SymProtect feature of its Norton-branded consumer security software had added the errant registry entries"

Shocking. Blame Microsoft first, build a fix second. Class act, Symantec, class act.

Please quote the entire sentence and not just part of it.

"... the combination of a Microsoft process and the SymProtect feature of its Norton-branded consumer security software had added the errant registry entries..."

Meaning it was an interoperability issue between two programs that neither party was immediately aware of. Some of these things come up once it hits the public. I think the SymProtect program monitors the registry and was probably flagging the Microsoft process by mistake. Crap like this happens. I think this is why you should be disabling security software when installing a Service Pack. Kudos to Symantec on stepping up to the plate and releasing a fix.

(shinji257 said @ #7.1)

Please quote the entire sentence and not just part of it.

"... the combination of a Microsoft process and the SymProtect feature of its Norton-branded consumer security software had added the errant registry entries..."

"Meaning it was an interoperability issue between two programs that neither party was immediately aware of. "

Yeah sure... How come that I use NOD and NEVER have had ANY registry-related problems ? Sure - drop some blame to Microsoft. They are always good to bash...

"Some of these things come up once it hits the public. I think the SymProtect program monitors the registry and was probably flagging the Microsoft process by mistake. Crap like this happens. "

Again - they were several betast of SP to test their product with, stop with crap like this, like they never knew...

"I think this is why you should be disabling security software when installing a Service Pack. Kudos to Symantec on stepping up to the plate and releasing a fix."

And I give a sh*t. I never disabled my AV when installing SP. A good AV should be fool-proof (in the means of Microsoft processes as they are all good documented and well-known).


Companies should be responsible and accept their mistakes when they are spotted. Many blame Microsoft at first place, then they acknowledge the situation and take proper actions, but why?

Symantec is being known as a really bad company when it comes to their products uninstall routines. They are really a PITA to get rid of. As if they never thought people will need to uninstall their products for whatever reason.

Other security companies release "remover" tools for their products but just for ensuring the user can install newer versions without any hassle. Symantec release their tool just to uninstall properly their products. And this has been happening for ages.

Now, at least it is good that their users can solve that particular problem with SP3, but is bad rep (more?) for them.

(ajua said @ #6)
Companies should be responsible and accept their mistakes when they are spotted. Many blame Microsoft at first place, then they acknowledge the situation and take proper actions, but why?

Symantec is being known as a really bad company when it comes to their products uninstall routines. They are really a PITA to get rid of. As if they never thought people will need to uninstall their products for whatever reason.

Other security companies release "remover" tools for their products but just for ensuring the user can install newer versions without any hassle. Symantec release their tool just to uninstall properly their products. And this has been happening for ages.

Now, at least it is good that their users can solve that particular problem with SP3, but is bad rep (more?) for them.

Ok. I'll take that. Panda Security however is another one that is a PITA to remove. The last time that program was removed from someone's computer they could no longer boot normally without getting a blue screen. I had to go into safe mode, get online, hunt and find Panda's removal tool (it is a pain to find), and pray it works.

It was bad enough that I had a hard time finding it. What was worse was that they have a different version of their uninstaller for each version of their program. PIS 2007 has a different manual uninstaller than PIS 2008. At least Symantec has one that encompasses all of their products.

Also Symantec isn't known to false positives. The last time I personally installed PIS they detected my perfectly legit FTP server as a trojan and proceeded to remove without prompting me. Now granted upon further research the ftp server was known to package with a certain trojan that communicated to a user via irc but still make sure that other part exists before removing and even then it should of prompted me.

I used to swear by Symantec AV, especially the corporate version. That is until it allowed a trojan to install itself on my computer AND said trojan actually used the Symantec email proxy to attempt sending thousands upon thousands of emails from my computer. I was finally able to get rid of it only by downloading the free AVG which found the trojan during the install and deleted it. I sent a copy of the trojan to Symantec and their tech people informed me that there was no such trojan and their product was completely safe and that I must be mistaken or did not install it correctly, etc. About a month later, Symantec released a patch for their corporate AV which enabled detection of that trojan.

I'll never trust Symantec again.

(gaurav said @ #1.1)
Cut them some slack mate

Except according to the article, the tool fixed a problem they caused themselves.

(Kushan said @ #1.2)

Except according to the article, the tool fixed a problem they caused themselves.

I don't think they necessarily caused the issue. It was an interoperability issue between a microsoft program and a symantec program. These things happen and neither party is directly responsible in whole. At least one party has to step up to the plate and provide a fix however. Kudos to Symantec for doing this regardless of how bad their programs really are.

P.S. - Their removal tool does wonders.

(gaurav said @ #1.1)
Cut them some slack mate

They've been doing this for years and they still haven't fixed it. Their products are probably the worst bloatware you can buy right now. Even Microsoft isn't this bad. They deserve no slack.