Glitch Downs Symantec Discussion Group

The discussion group was for Symantec's AntiVirus Business Pack 10.0. The group page was down from about 4pm on Dec. 8 until the afternoon of the following day. It is possible that the error affected not just the Business Pack 10.0 page but other discussions as well, the spokeswoman said. She provided no further details of the glitch. She said communications problems prevented Symantec from returning calls from CRN last week.

Earlier this month, Symantec, Cupertino, Calif., announced it would shutter all of its online technical support discussion groups on Dec 15. The groups are too public for a meaningful discourse on technical questions related to individual customer concerns, the spokeswoman said. A technical support Knowledge Base and other automated support options will still be available after Dec. 15, according to Symantec.

Jonathan Platt, president of Datasoft, a VAR in Pipersville, Penn, said that for several weeks leading up to the outage of the Business Pack 10.0 discussion group, the group had been filling with complaints that the product was not installing properly.

Platt, a participant of the discussion group, said complaints posted about Business Pack 10.0 in that product's discussion group centered around buffer overflow errors the software triggered because of a Defwatch QuickScan feature that was recently added to the product, said Platt. Defwatch QuickScan boots at the startup of Business Pack 10.0 and runs a quick antivirus scan of the local system, he said.

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Symantec support personnel answering discussion questions advised those encountering the buffer overflow problem to "turn off QuickScan," said Platt.

Disabling QuickScan is a procedure already in place in Symantec's support Knowledge Base.

Some passionate attacks against Symantec can be found in the Business Pack 10.0 discussion group.

Platt speculated that the increasingly hostile nature of some of the entries in the Business Pack 10.0 discussion group could have played some part in the group being taken down. "Everyone complaining in the discussion group was recommending switching to Trend Micro, which might be part of the reason they took it down sooner," Platt said.