Is this a computer virus?
July 29, 2006 11:25 AM   Subscribe

For the past few days, when I start up my computer or start Word, I get dialog boxes about Windows Installer and Norton that want me to uninstall Norton. This has to be some kind of virus, right?

These are the boxes I'm getting. Windows XP(SP2).

I've run adaware, spybot s&d, and norton itself. They all came up with a few things, but nothing that got rid of these messages.

I'm very hesitant to uninstall and reinstall Norton (partly because I don't actually have the disk, and don't want to have to pay for ANOTHER two year subscription online to get another version) because just a month ago I had a computer crash that I'm still trying to recover from (and it was caused by a virus).

So, what are these boxes telling me? I can't find the virus (if it is one) to kill it, and I don't know what else it would be. I just want this to go away so I can go back to doing my work.
posted by misanthropicsarah to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
It seems highly unlikely that a virus caused that. It's much more likely that Norton AntiVirus simply has a problem of some sort which it is trying to fix, but can't.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the only way you can likely fix it is to reinstall Norton. You could try calling Symantec to see if they'll allow you to download the software again, under the circumstances.

When you reinstall Norton, incidentally, be very sure you disconnect your computer from the Internet first. You don't want to invite trouble, after all.
posted by cerebus19 at 11:36 AM on July 29, 2006

That is strange and coincidental. I had those same two dialog boxes pop-up yesterday on one of my PC's.

For me it happened soon after I sought to "repair" a "Wireless Network Connection" and after having removed the "Internet Gateway Device Discovery Control Client" which appeared in my Network Connections.

I went ahead and "clicked" on them -- and nothing seems askew. But now, hearing your account, I'm wondering what's up. Could there be some sort of glitch with thie weeks Norton NIS/NAV updates?
posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on July 29, 2006

BTW -- I didn't have to reinstall any Norton products. After clicking on the two boxes, they resolved themselves quickly.
posted by ericb at 11:38 AM on July 29, 2006

It could be just that MSI Installer is messed up. I would do the following:

1) Try a free online scan - here's Kapersky

2) If that doesn't find anything, it could that the MSI installer is messed up. Use Microsoft Cleanit tool to fix it.

If i had to guess I'd say your problem is #2
posted by bleucube at 11:40 AM on July 29, 2006

From the Norton website:
"Norton AntiVirus 2006 does not support the repair feature..."

To disable the plug-in for Microsoft Office 2000, 2003, or Office XP:
1 Start Norton AntiVirus. If Norton AntiVirus is part of Norton Internet Security or Norton SystemWorks, then start that program.

2 Click Options.

3 In the left pane, click Miscellaneous.

4 In the right pane, under "How to keep Microsoft Office documents protected," uncheck Enable Office plug-in.

5 Click OK
posted by ericb at 11:44 AM on July 29, 2006

ericb, that seems to have fixed the problem when I start word. When I restart my computer (tomorrow!) I'll see if it fixed that problem too.

You know, I looked at Norton's site, and didn't find what you did--thanks for the point in the right direction.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:58 AM on July 29, 2006

Weird, I've been getting this problem lately as well - since we resubscribed to Norton, actually. Lo and behold, an answer appears! Thanks, ericb. I lurve AskMe.
posted by booksherpa at 8:23 PM on July 29, 2006

It's my passionately held belief that Norton Antivirus sucks little green rocks.

If that were my PC, I'd be uninstalling the bastard entirely and using AVG Antivirus - the free version if it's a home PC, or the cheap version if it's a business one.
posted by flabdablet at 2:18 AM on July 30, 2006

Hmph, I've been having the same problem the last few days.
posted by amro at 7:12 PM on July 30, 2006

Hmph, I've been having the same problem the last few days.

The problem has reappeared on one of my PC's and just appeared today on another. I suspect that the problem is a result of last week's NIS/NAV update. I hope they are aware of it and will remedy it with this week's update.
posted by ericb at 9:48 AM on July 31, 2006

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