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Help, I need to install a new Norton antivirus but

by shenene / May 27, 2008 2:58 AM PDT

I need to install new Norton antivirus software but it is not compatible with XP Home Edition, only XP SP2, now I have read some other threads saying DO NOT insall this package, please can someone suggest what I should do, my computer is currently being attacked by viruses and I am unable to do anything to it at all, I am in the process of manually removing them but will need new anti stuff so they don't come back!!!!

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Get AVG 8,O
by cobra501 / May 27, 2008 3:25 AM PDT
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I wouldn't
by Jimmy Greystone / May 27, 2008 4:28 AM PDT

I wouldn't install any new Norton products myself. They've been going from bad, to really bad, to really really bad, and beyond for several versions now. False positives, feature creep, unnecessary bloat, and most recently, some strange interaction with XP SP3 where Microsoft and Symantec are playing a game of pass the buck.

AVG Free is a pretty good alternative, though I must admit I wasn't a big fan of version 8, so I switched to Avast. Avast has it's own set of annoyances, but they're pretty minor all things considered. It's hard to go wrong with either one as a basic anti-virus program.

There are plenty of anti-spyware programs out there, several of them free. Of course, it's not really all that difficult to insulate yourself from viruses and spyware if you just take a few basic precautions. I'll include a list of suggestions on how to do just that.

It's generally better to cobble together a collection of independent security programs rather than use an all inclusive suite like Norton offers. That way, if one of your security programs is ever compromised, it's far less likely any of the others will be affected. Norton products share a lot of the same DLLs, and so if there's ever an exploit found in those common DLLs, ALL Norton products would be vulnerable, as an example. If every program has its own set of DLLs and other files, an exploit that works for, say ZoneAlarm, wouldn't necessarily work for AVG Free.

And now, as promised, my set of tips.


The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.

Things you should NOT do
1: Use Internet Explorer
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running
3: Always have a firewall running
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address

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thanks for the response
by shenene / May 27, 2008 6:31 PM PDT
In reply to: I wouldn't

I downloaded and installed Avast and did the system scan which found 36 nasty trojans and malwares, a couple of which I was unable to to delete and had to choose ignore, thought the system was looking normal, but alas now is shutting itself down and restarting constantly only gives me about 10secs before doing this on a loop, is there any suggestions about what I could do.

Also I am still unable to connect to the internet. I have changed the homepage to my original one but is still jumping to a random one and states page cannot be displayed?????????

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If it can't be cleaned ...
by Kees Bakker / May 27, 2008 6:34 PM PDT

do a clean install of Windows XP again to start from scratch.

Do I understand correctly that you were invaded while being protected with Norton? Or were you temporarily unprotected while doing dangerous things?


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No I had turned off the firewall - I know, I know
by shenene / May 27, 2008 6:59 PM PDT

to download a game for my daughter, nothing naughty!

To do the clean install does this delete all software etc I have put on the computer, if so this is what I have been avoiding doing as dont want to lose the things I've got on there?

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by shenene / May 27, 2008 6:33 PM PDT
In reply to: I wouldn't

Why not internet explorer?

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by Jimmy Greystone / May 28, 2008 12:42 AM PDT
In reply to: PS

Because Internet Explorer will probably forever hold the title as the most insecure web browser in the history of computers. Over the course of IE6's life, there were probably exploits into the hundreds, several of them leading to complete system compromise, and Microsoft would take weeks to months to fix most of these exploits.

As a company, Microsoft still does not "get" security. Security is a distant afterthought to adding new features. Any time the two might clash, the features additions will win. As a company, Microsoft is still stuck in the mindset of the 80s and early 90s, before everyone started getting on the Internet, and computers were largely stand-alone systems. The fact that Microsoft has a extremely large amount of code in products like Windows and Office from those days is another problem. One that can really only be truly fixed by a massive overhaul of every program, and they aren't going to do that any time soon.

So, the long and the short of it is... Internet Explorer is simply unsafe to use for any extended period of time. Even going to trusted sites, like Cnet for example, cannot be relied upon anymore. SQL Injection attacks and Cross Site Scripting (XSS) attacks mean that some script that will download nasty things onto your computer, will be inserted into the Cnet webpage code. All unbeknown to anyone at Cnet, so they're completely innocent, but their website will still be used to pump out viruses and malware to computers for people using Internet Explorer.

And to be fair, Internet Explorer isn't the only browser with security issues. Just the far and away leader, along with the one with the slowest turnaround time for fixes. Firefox tends to have fixes out within 48 hours, Opera averages no more than a week... Safari can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks, assuming Apple ever decides to get around to fixing it at all. However, the big difference is that Safari on Windows would have a hard time compromising the entire system... At best the attacker could probably crash your browser. Safari on the Mac is a whole other beast, where you'd first need some kind of program that could run on a Mac. As I said, IE averages about 2 weeks for a fix. That's a long time to wait when you have people out there working to exploit that vulnerability within hours of it becoming publicly known, and sometimes even before.

Finally, to answer your question above, yes, formatting would cause you to lose all data on your drive. However, you SHOULD have backups of anything important already. If not, make some, but be sure to install and update a virus scanner BEFORE you attempt to restore them. It's possible the virus could attach itself to your backups, and start the process all over again. If that does happen, you're probably going to have to abandon the backups.

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ok am now going to ask probably some really basic questions
by shenene / May 28, 2008 2:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Because

but please remember I am a NOVICE at all this!!!

1. The backup thing, I have tried to do this, but with no joy, now I am unable to find the link to do the backup. And is this backup backed-up to a disc.

2. do you have any idea why my computer keeps restarting and shutting down by itself in its 10 sec loop

3. If not internet explorer then what? and (now this may sound a bit dumb to you) are the web pages available on all browsers, I personally don't know anyone with anything other than internet explorer, this maybe because we are in New Zealand?? Not that its the back of beyond or anything Happy

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Well, in order

1: You don't really need a special backup program. Any CD/DVD burning program will work just fine. All you need to do is burn a copy of important files to disc. External hard drives are another option. The main thing though, is you don't really need some special backup program.

2: No, but one thing to do to see if it's a hardware or software thing, is to enter into the BIOS setup program. At bootup, somewhere along the initial screen will be a message about pressing some key to enter setup. Usually it's F2 or Del, but other systems may well be different. After entering into this special area, just let the computer sit. If after a minute or so it hasn't rebooted, it's a software problem almost for sure. If it still reboots, then you have a hardware problem... Most likely an overheating CPU.

3: If not IE, then your choice of Firefox, Opera, or Safari. I know New Zealand doesn't have the same all-you-can-eat style Internet we do on this side of the Pacific, so you will probably want to do a little research into each before deciding on which to download. The basic differences are: Firefox is probably the slowest of the bunch, but it has a pretty good selection of extensions. Similar to ActiveX controls, only a bit safer, these add new features to the browser. Some improve security, others help deal with common annoyances on websites, others add new functionality. Opera is probably the fastest browser out there, and it's an interesting little browser, but it lacks some of the highly useful features that can be added to Firefox. It's a good solid middle of the road choice though. Safari is the newest browser of the bunch. Apple created it a couple of years ago when it became pretty clear Microsoft wasn't interested in really developing IE for the Mac. Then, just recently, they decided to make a version for Windows users as well. Safari is based on a very lightweight rendering engine, which can be quite fast and nimble, but doesn't always render pages correctly. It has gotten significantly better since it's initial release, but it's not quite as good as Opera or Firefox at dealing with poorly constructed websites. But do some research of your own to weigh the various pros and cons of each, and decide for yourself. All three are free, and even downloading all three shouldn't put a significant dent in your download cap.

And to answer your other question... For the most part, yes, all websites are available to all browsers. There are a few that will ONLY work with Internet Explorer, and I usually promptly leave those sites in favor of one that will work with Firefox. Every now and then I have no choice but to use IE, but I always make it a matter of last resort. I will often complain to the person responsible for the website, though a lot of times I'm not telling them anything they haven't thought themselves. They are just bound by stupid corporate policies. Which isn't to say there aren't some people out there who are just too lazy and/or incompetent to know any better.

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Norton AntiVirus is supported with Windows XP Home
by Michael_York / May 27, 2008 6:29 AM PDT

Hi shenene,

This is Mike from the Norton Authorized Support Team responding, and I would like to clarify the compatibility issue for you.

All Norton 2008 products are indeed compatible with Windows XP Home Edition, as long as you have Service Pack 2 installed. If you do not have Service pack 2 installed, then most likely your computer is at risk for being compromised, as you need to have it installed before other Windows security updates will install. After you have installed Service pack 2, you should run Windows Update and install the remaining updates. Once you have done this, you can then install Norton AntiVirus, making sure that you are connected to the internet during the installation. This will allow LiveUpdate to run, which will download and install the latest program and definition updates. After installation, I would strongly advise you to run a Full System Scan to make sure that there are no infections on your system.

Thank you,

Michael York
Norton Authorized Support Team
Symantec Corporation

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by sethbandit / May 27, 2008 8:52 PM PDT

i have a problem with my norton product. sometimes when installing updates,i suddenly get errors like Auto protection failed and other stuff like that. what's wrong with it?

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Possible Infection
by Michael_York / May 28, 2008 5:12 AM PDT
In reply to: hey

Hi sethbandit,

Mike from the Norton Authorized Support Team responding to your question. If your Auto-Protect is disabled, it can be an indication of an infection, a software conflict or a corrupted installation. Make sure that you do not have any other antivirus software installed and running, as it can cause conflicts with Norton.

What Norton product and version are you using? What are the specs of your system (OS, RAM, Free Hard Drive Space, Processor?

Have you run LiveUpdate and then a Full System Scan? If you have not run LiveUpdate and then a Full System scan, I would suggest that you do so first. LiveUpdate will download and install the latest program and definition files.

If you can clarify the answers to the questions I pose above, I can assist you further.

Please first run LiveUpdate and then a Full System Scan and let me know if it reports any infections.

Thank you,

Michael York
Norton Authorized Support Team
Symantec Corporation

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Why no SP2?
by Kees Bakker / May 27, 2008 7:39 AM PDT

It's free and it's more safe. What's your problem with it?

What viruses do you have, and where are they coming from? I've had 3 in 20 years, as far as I remember. The first one was a boot sector virus on a diskette (and then antivirus doesn't help). The last 2 came from the internet on opening an attachment in mail or my childrens MSN. So it's useful to have antivirus, but I wouldn't call it "being attacked". If you are, there must be something wrong, I'd say.


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