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Solved: Helllllp, lost head, tried removing Norton file by file, line by line!

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by Ms. Mia, Jul 22, 2006.

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  1. Ms. Mia

    Ms. Mia Thread Starter

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    [Relevant OS here is XP sp2.] Hi! Norton Internet Security 2004 (which includes NAV) Live Update stopped working right on my parent's PC, couldn't be remedied, and I decided it was time to get rid of the beast as I had long meant to anyway, and put on AVG and one of the reputable free firewalls.

    Knowing that for some tricky programs it's best to stop its services before uninstalling (e.g. zone alarm), I turned off all norton in msconfig and rebooted. That's apparently what caused my problem to begin -- guess norton services need to be left on to start an uninstall. It wouldn't uninstall, and only later did I see at the symantec site that the error message I was getting is often caused by services being stopped when uninstalling this product: "Error: A Norton Internet Security account with Supervisor access must be logged in... when uninstalling Norton Internet Security..." (Which was not accurate since I was logged on as sup/admin.)

    I did manage to uninstall most lesser, "peripheral" norton components using Reg Cleaner free. Then, feeling fed up, I decided to be hasty (and insane?) and assume I could uninstall the primary parts by picking what I needed to out of Windows Explorer and the registry. After awhile it hit me how stoopid that was, since norton is so notorious for leaving leftovers that interfere with future security progs even when uninstalled properly. And, I saw that if I had checked symantec's site after first getting the error I could probably have gone forward with the uninstall.

    But *now* what do I do?? According to options at the symantec site for uninstalling a *normal* copy of norton (which I obviously no longer have) after getting that error, the choices are: make sure all services start and you are recognized as being logged on as supervisor, then proceed; or, run their uninstall tool from the site then reinstall (that last part I don't get, why would someone want to reinstall when uninstalling was what they were doing in the first place? It did *not* go on to say you should then attempt a smooth uninstall again or anything, that was the end).

    All the norton pieces from my manual picking through Windows Explorer are still in the recycle bin; there's a backup in Reg Cleaner of the peripheral components (I *assume*); and I did back up the registry before I picked through that. But I can't imagine that norton would come back as a cohesive program if I restore all those things individually now...? And no by the way, I was not going from any instructions on what to remove manually from either area, I was indeed just guessing. :( But I have, miraculously perhaps, successfully edited registries many times by guessing...

    What is my best course of action now (please don't say reformat!!)? Might the norton removal tool work to remove whatever I missed, even tho so much is missing now, possibly including stuff other progs still need? FYI, I do still have the installation CDs. Thanks for any help! Have not noticed any problems with the PC (yet?), but even if I get lucky there, I assume the chances are pretty high that when I try to put on AVG, etc. there will be problems...
     
  2. pugmug

    pugmug Banned

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    If you mean you still have the installation cd's for Norton then reinstall it,fully update it then reboot. Then remove it correctly following Symantec instructions.
     
  3. TOGG

    TOGG

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  4. Ms. Mia

    Ms. Mia Thread Starter

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    Hi folks, thanks! I did decide to try reinstalling NIS first. But it must have detected too much remaining that confused it, or whatever, and wouldn't re-install. (Just said that it detected a previous install or uninstall was completed but required a reboot.) So I downloaded and used the removal tool, then continued on my merry manual-deleting way (had already gotten through searching & destroying 'symantec' and 'norton' in the reg, and am now done with deleting all related parts I could remember the names of). Then ran Ccleaner, RegCleaner & RegSeeker.

    I'm inclined to just skip the part about attempting NIS reinstall now and then uninstalling it "properly" again. Things seem to be running fine... Suppose I should probably give it more time, and also test all functions I can think of before trying to install AVG etc... But I am not that patient... And my parents will be overly terrified to go online for anything until they have replacement security progs (even tho they have dialup, and very milk toast Internet/email habits).

    I suppose I should have reformatted to be real safe, and it's silly how I love PC tinkering but for some reason avoid ever trying that like the plague. But if nothing goes wrong when I install AVG and (probably) sygate free FW now, I guess I'll assume I got away with taking the long way around a problem yet again.... Or, if it bites me in the butt after all, I'll be slithering back! ;-) That could be any minute I suppose.
     
  5. junker39

    junker39

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    FYI, I've used the uninstall tool from their website, a few times, and it works great. I'm sure it left remnants in the system but AVG and ZoneAlarm work fine. Maybe sometimes the simple, less involved way is the best.
     
  6. Ms. Mia

    Ms. Mia Thread Starter

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    Thank you junker, that is very good to hear. In my case I didn't use the tool on a full remaining version, and am not sure it would have prompted me if it in fact removed nothing more because of that, or whatever. And I have to hope that what I removed on my own before and after running it was ok. But, it is still good to hear encouraging news from someone about the aftermath of an "atypical" uninstall! :)

    I agree about the simplest way being best... If I do end up having any problems, I'm not sure if that will be trying to reinstall/uninstall NIS again, or reformatting... I know which one *I'd* consider simpler (the first)! It would take me much obsessive compulsive research before I'd actually put my hand to that first-ever reformat!
     
  7. dick471

    dick471

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    You can now use "Registry Finder1.0" to eliminate any left-over Norton garbage. It's like Regedit but on steriods and can remove ALL traces at one time! I can email it if you can't find it (small-but great).
     
  8. Ms. Mia

    Ms. Mia Thread Starter

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    Hi Dick, thanks! I'll have a looksee for that sometime tonight or tomorrow, and post back! :)
     
  9. TOGG

    TOGG

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    On the basis of previous threads at TSG it would appear that the serious problems occur when somebody removes a Symantec product and then tries to reinstall it or a later version of it.

    I don't think non Symantec products are as sensitive to leftovers of earlier versions. When I got rid of NAV 2003 I only used Add/Remove and a registry cleaner and had no problems in installing NOD32.
     
  10. Ms. Mia

    Ms. Mia Thread Starter

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    Also good to hear, Togg. Here's a Q about my "guessing" at registry editing, to help me anticipate what kind of job I did: If regedit stopped on a value containing my keyword (e.g. 'symantec') in the right pane, but there were other lines in that pane that did not specify or give any clue that they were sym/norton related, I deleted only the value, and not the whole "parent" key in the left pane. Thought that was safer. I only deleted whole left-pane keys when they had the name of a symantec, etc. component, *or* when all values displayed in the key's right pane mentioned symantec, norton, live-this-n-that, cc_app, etc. etc. etc. Was that a good way to do it? (If that made sense at all!) Or did that leave too much stuff? I figured deleting the values alone in those cases would at least kinda "negate"/defuse the key, even if in reality the whole key could have been removed.
     
  11. TOGG

    TOGG

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    I'm far too chicken to attempt manual Registry editing so I can't comment on how you went about your efforts. Key thing seems to be that you still had a working computer when you finished, so you did something right!

    As long as the installation of the replacements works (AVG and Sygate?), I should think you can relax about any Symantec leftovers. I imagine everyone's Registry is stuffed with useless broken entries that are doing no harm and you've already run some cleaners haven't you?

    All bets are off of course if your parents suddenly start getting messages that Live Update is trying to run but can't find a needed file!!
     
  12. Ms. Mia

    Ms. Mia Thread Starter

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    hehe, I guess I could start a separate thread asking my regedit Q, and perhaps even just the way I worded it would show the knowledgeable that I don't belong in there. :) But I probably should pursue an answer, since otherwise I will continue doing it that way even if I shouldn't. In this case, I think what worries me most isn't symantec leftovers, but the possibility that I might have removed some things that sure looked like -- but weren't actually -- related; AND what I might have removed that was actually shared/needed by remaining progs. A couple odd little things have happened already, but so far they weren't important, and could have just been coincidences. (Yes, this is the point at which many would pipe in saying "REFORMAT!" But I still plan to skate on that if I can.)

    So far I have AVG and Windows Defender in, no probs yet. But will force myself to wait a bit, and test out more PC & program functions, before I put on a FW. I scraped out NIS plus ended up removing (properly) two other large, complicated progs and a couple smaller ones, all in two days... better slow down and see how things go, so I could trace any problems (well, probably too late for that already). But then I do have that 'impatience' problem. Hmmm, ok to put a positive spin on things, I have read that most real techies earned their stripes by having the nerve to blow up a couple machines along the way. ;) Only, not "production" machines I guess... :-o
     
  13. TOGG

    TOGG

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    I think that one of the problems with inexpert Registry editing is that problems could take a long time to become obvious, particularly if you have inadvertently amended or removed a reference to some program that only gets used very occasionally.

    Like many others, while I lack the nerve to amend my Registry, I willingly allow others to do so by using various cleaner programs. The drawback, even with the good ones that make backups, is that the problems could take months to appear, by which time who knows how much use the elderly backup will be?

    The author of the one I use also wrote jv16 Power Tools, and he includes this warning in Reg Supreme's Help files;

    "Using the registry cleaner of RegSupreme can damage your computer, in such case you might even have to reinstall your operating system. This kind of situation is rather theoretical but still possible, if you do not know how to recover your computer from such state you should not use any registry cleaning program."

    So, if you know how to backup your Registry and restore the backup (using a boot disk presumably?), you are good to go.
     
  14. Ms. Mia

    Ms. Mia Thread Starter

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    ...I don't have the patience to reread my own old thread here lol, but it all worked out ok and stayed ok, so I'm marking 'Solved.' Catching up on that!
     
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