- Users of Windows 95 and 98 say their PCs hang up during shutdown after installing or upgrading to Version 7.5 of Symantec's Corporate Edition Norton AntiVirus software.
In fact, a number of IT managers are flooding Symantec's public message board with questions about possible fixes.
Symantec acknowledges the problem on its Web site, but says there currently is no solution.
Symantec, in Cupertino, Calif., develops virus protection software, including the Norton AntiVirus software, for consumers and corporations.
"I have 30-plus PCs on an NT network," said Kevin Pazdernik, IS manager at Allen Plumbing & Heating Inc. in Fort Collins, Colo. "Since we installed the Corporate Edition of the Norton AntiVirus software, every night 1/3 of the PCs don't shut down. And it's a random selection. It's not the same [machines] every night. When I checked their troubleshooting Web site for a solution, I discovered they acknowledged the problem, but said they didn't have a solution."
Pazdernik said he tried the work-arounds Symantec offered at its site and by e-mail, but said they didn't work. Consequently, he said, users are forced to hit the PCs' kill switch to shut down their machines. So, he said, every morning those computers have to run through rebuilding their hard drives.
"One of their solutions [for Windows 98] was to disable the fast shutdown," he said. "I tried that but it didn't work. I asked them if the problem could possibly be with the video driver, and they said to go ahead and try a different video driver. But I don't want to be their testing lab. I still haven't gotten an answer [that works] from them."
Gary Ulanger, group product manager for NAV Corporate Edition, said Version 7.5 is installed in hundreds and thousands of nodes in corporate environments, but the comments from users at Symantec's message board number less than two dozen.
He said that none of the corporate users who tested Version 7.5 reported problems during the shutdown process. "When a corporate user has a problem, he talks to the computer response team," he said. "I haven't gotten hold of them to [find out about the problem]. Are we working on it? I can't say, but I would imagine we are."
Chris Le Tocq, a security analyst at Gartner Group in Stamford, Conn., said although WIN 95/98 have historically had shutdown problems in the past, Symantec probably should have discovered this particular bug during the testing of its software.
"If that guy has one-third of his machines crashing every night, [the problem] sounds fairly widespread, so you would have expected them to have caught it during testing," he said.
Symantec seems to be having its share of problems recently. Two weeks ago, users complained that they were having problems downloading the company's antivirus software.