My Windows XP Machine is acting fishy. I installed the google pack, a software package that includes google desktop, firefox, google earth, picasa, and norton antivirus, and things have started going wrong with norton antivirus.
I also installed google pack on a different PC and had the same thing happen. First Norton has an error like “Norton encountered an internal error and needs to close. Please reinstall norton antivirus.”
I also get the error when opening word documents or running the symantec autofix tool: “Norton Does not support the repair feature. Please reinstall norton antivirus.”
Then, programs will start to fail. After being left idle for about 15 minutes, the internet will fail. Launching programs will give you a file not found error. Rebooting fixes the problem.
On my main PC, I tried several times uninstalling norton antivirus and google pack. Norton still persists, giving me several errors including the amusing “this program was installed with [cobrandedpackagename]. Please uninstall [cobrandedpackagename] as well.” (Brackets included in the error message.) Now it says “The installation is missing the file instopts.dat. Setup will now exit. For more information, please visit wwww.symantec.com/install” [sic].
I’ve done an online virus scan with trendmicro housecall, which didn’t find much. Programs like mcaffee internet security and personal firewall are also not working now, and their uninstalls failed.
Certain run commands do not work anymore, such as cmd.exe and compmgmt.msc. Browsing to their location and double clicking does not work either. I get the error “Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the file.”
I read here that nconvert.exe can generate this error for cmd.exe if it does not have the right permissions. However, I can’t find this file.
My user accounts window was completely blank, until I read here that running “regsvr32 jscript.dll” will solve this issue.
However, now that I can access user accounts, it looks like my account is completely normal, administrator with all rights.
I guess my next step is to find my hard drive device driver and do a repair install of windows.
I read that the sircam worm can corrupt rundll and .exe files, especially if you try to repair it with symantec norton, but their removal tool scaned my machine and couldn’t find it.
I didn’t want to run a system restore because I’d uninstalled antivirus programs and was afraid this would give me all sorts of errors (it has in the past). So I dug up my SCSI/ultra ATA hard drive drivers and did a repair install of windows.
47 updates later, it looks like I’m running smoothly again. I think I’ll try mcaffee instead of norton.
I may have had more luck fiddling with permissions before doing the reinstall. I didn’t try these but it looks as though there are some fixes on this page:
It also had a replacement cmd.exe that worked for me when my system was acting up. It’s a useful resource.
Even though my computer’s normal again I’ll leave this as unsolved because I don’t know what caused the problem.
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