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Manually Removing Norton.

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#1 RandomUser


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Posted 17 August 2007 - 04:54 PM

This is more of a rant and rave than a problem in and of itself. Beyond that point, this is a quick useful reference to what happened when trying to install
Norton 360. The idea of which made me cringe regarding Vista, and the rumored horrors about the norton removal tool for Pre-installed Products.

My sister's new Dell Inspiron 1520 came with Norton Internet Security pre-installed. Yippee!

I removed NIS 2007 from the add remove programs applet, which M$ and Norton suggest as the primary removal option. There are however, many articles on both sites using the NRT (Norton Removal Tool) Which I didn't see a need for as that simply scopes out all software and Registry keys, as well as stopping all Norton or Symantec services (Services.msc for the Console) And deletes it. The problem it would seem, is that the registry in Vista kept a String for the Norton product to rebuild the HKCU Database. Ergo, It appeared that NIS 07 was still in use on the system. This was not the case at all.

How did I solve this without restoring the pc and go through it all again? I'm Glad you asked.

I had to haxor the PC Which you should never have to do when installing and uninstalling Software. The steps are below.

WARNING! This Post contains steps to Edit the Registry in Windows Vista.
I am Not responsible for any problems that may arise from this. This Post is for Intermediate and advanced users and is meant to be educational.
Follow these Steps AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Step 1: Temporarily shut down Startup Items

Start:Search box: Type - "msconfig" [enter] - that will start the startup config tool in Vista.
On the General Tab, Choose "Selective Startup" That will shutdown unprotected drivers and limit access to hardware from the software on your machine
IMPORTANT. Leave the Boxes for "Load System Services and Startup Items Checked!" The reason for this is simple, you don't want to cause issues with key system components when trying to do something simple like removing Norton.

Next select the "Services Tab" and Check "Hide all Microsoft services" So that only the ones we need to shut down will be visible. Uncheck Any services with "Symantec" in the Manufacturer Section.

Now Click the "Startup" Tab Here you will find the System startup Items. Please ONLY Disable the Symantec startup Items. You can generally tell what programs on the startup item, because either the manufacturer or command path will have the name of the product or manufacturer. Also, Disable (uncheck) Windows Defender as it may cause issues with new installs.

Before exiting the msconfig tool, you may want to look at the "Tools Tab" For additional help and diagnosis. When Fisnished, click "Apply" and the "Ok".
You will then be asked to restart now or later. Restart now.

Step 2: Editing the Registry.

Click start:Place the cursor in the search bar, and type regedit**. This will open the Windows Registry Editor**, (Very Intimidating and may cause problems if used incorrectly)**

Here, Click {Edit}; Click {Find}; Type "Symantec" Click Click "Ok" Windows begins searching the registry for the String, "Symantec"
AT YOUR OWN RISK, You may delete registry key and their corresponding folders. In some cases you will ONLY Want to delete the Appropriate "value" inside a key, that is, a single value inside a System Wide Key. The reasoning is that Not All Key are program specific. Many are specific to Windows. Being that windows needs to publishes information about INSTALLED programs for instance; You do NOT want to delete the Key for this or all of your programs may become inaccessable to a verying degree of severity.

IMPORTANT! DO NOT DELETE THESE KEYS or I Gaurantee you, that things will cease to function.


Further; Any Single Key withing "Classes" or "Namespace" May be deleted, HOWEVER. Delete a system wide key or one for the wrong program and the results could spell disaster. Name Space and Classes from links to Programming API's and or Technology Stacks that perform a specific function.
Now you can see why deleting the wronf key could be an issue.

If you were bold enough to go through this process and get it right, you would restart your computer at this point.
Again Click cancel if the MSCONFIG tool comes up after reboot. We will reset it later.

Step 3) Install your current Symantec Product. Reboot the computer.

Step 4) Click start, search for msconfig if it's not already up, and Select Normal Startup on the General TAB. This will set startup back to normal. All other programs and services should start normally. This will restore functionality to anything previously disabled.

If everything went properly, you now have your Symantec product installed and working, allbeit this is the Round about way to do this.
Even knowing how to perform this trick is a pain in the but if you have to do it.

You might search Google, Altavista, Yahoo, or Microsoft for Registry editors which are more efficient, however not all of them are complete or even friendly to your computer. Be weary of any software that claims to "FIX" Registry problems as some of these may be Malware. Also, some may mean well, but they might inadvertently destroy important system links to .dll's

Find Information on the registry from Microsoft at


This article does not give information specific to Vista per se although the registry has few changes that I'm aware of.
I hope you had fun reading, this process was nuts, but I got everything working. Norton 360 is a Great product.

**WARNING! This Post contains steps to Edit the Registry in Windows Vista.
I am Not responsible for any problems that may arise from this. This Post is for Intermediate and advanced users and is meant to be educational.
Follow these Steps AT YOUR OWN RISK!

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