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Topic # 59300 1-Apr-2010 10:06
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Hi.  I usually run most applications without too many problems, but recently upgraded my Norton security for the 3rd time, to Norton 360 v.3.
Unfortunately, around the same time I installed it (a few days later), my PC started playing up (blinking screen, shut-downs etc).  We thought it was the graphics card, but weren't sure, so we took it into a well-known computer shop and they confirmed it was the graphics card and replaced it (with an ASUS card).
Because my PC was also running very slow now, they looked at that and tweaked it a bit, but said the rest of the performance was down to the Norton 360.  They did recommend another 'lighter' product but I thought that might just be sales pitch, so chose to ignore it for the time being (especially as my Norton upgrade had only been in a week or two).
Unfortunately, 3 weeks down the track, not only can I not get my fonts/graphics looking like they used to - the new card, no doubt - but my PC is running like it is on dial-up.
I have tried changing the Norton settings and reading the on-line guides, to no avail.
This morning I tried the on-line help.  At the beginning, it gives you the option to run something which will 'check for any problems with the product'.  After a short while (30 seconds), my PC hangs every time I try to do this.
I'm considering uninstalling Norton and sending it back under the 60 day warranty.
I'm not that techo myself, but I'd be interested in opinions on whether there is anything I should do first.
Thanks.



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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 313757 1-Apr-2010 10:17
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Most "tech" these days are quick to blame Norton software for anything they can't explain.

How much RAM do you have on your PC? What OS? Have you applied all Windows Updates? When was the last time you run a full defrag? How much is the size of the pagefile?Are you running the latest drivers for your video card? And for your network cards?





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  Reply # 313770 1-Apr-2010 10:47
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Hi ShortNZ,
Judging by the timing of the description that you have given, it appears that Nortons 360 could possibly be the blame.  Nortons anti-virus has had a reputation of slowing pc's down, that being the case I have heard the latest versions of Nortons are lighter on the system.  However in your case it sounds like the new update may just be conflicting with something on your PC setup.

The best way to see if that is the case is by removing Nortons 360 and seeing how your performance improves or not.  

I wrote an article a couple of days ago which has been posted to my Geekzone blog and posted on CyberHubs website blog in the article I explain a few ways to increase the speed of your PC.  One of the way I suggest to increase the speed of your PC is by removing Nortons, it has the instructions on how to do that.

Once you remove Nortons if you find that your PC runs faster and your issues are resolved, it would then make sense to find another anti-virus that is lighter on your system resources and does not conflict with what you have running.

When you remove Nortons 360, it would be a good idea to disconnect it from the internet to be extra safe and don't use any unknown USB keys.  Before reconnecting to the internet make sure that your Windows firewall is on and you have Nortons 360 or another anti-virus loaded on.

It would be interesting to hear what your results are and to hear from other people what their experience is with the new version of Nortons, whether it is lighter on resources or not.

Good Luck





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  Reply # 313771 1-Apr-2010 10:50
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I run Microsoft Security Essentials on my main laptop and Media Center, but run Norton Internet Security on my HP Mini - even though it's a mini running on an Intel Atom processor I didn't see any performance impact. As cyberhub says Norton software has come a long way in terms of impacting the system.

That's why I am not sure if it could be the only cause. Techies have this perception "If it's running Norton, then that's your problem" when they obviously don't get on top of the game with the latest updates.

Having said that I would explore all the other things I've listed. After that then removing Norton and trying without it would be the natural course.







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  Reply # 313892 1-Apr-2010 14:25
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Many thanks for your replies.

I will mention this as I feel from your questions it may be relevent:
When I sat down to check for replies to my question, there was an error message I have not encountered before of "Windows Virtual Memory Minimum Too Low".  I haven't googled this yet.

I have an HP Pavilion a1550a PC with 1.00GB of RAM.
My OS is XP-SP3
A full defrag was done straight after the new graphics card was installed - about 2 weeks ago (and the shop tech installed new graphics card drivers from the CD which came with the card).  I am still not happy with the graphics card, but I will post a question about that later.
To be honest, I had not heard of pagefiles, but I have looked it up and my system says it has an initial size of 1536MB for all drives and a maximum of 3072MB.  It is set currently at 2301MB.
I have applied all Windows updates.
I haven't had a new network card installed since purchasing the computer.

Hope I've given you enough to work with.

Thanks again






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  Reply # 313927 1-Apr-2010 15:23
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1GB RAM is not much these days if you keep a few programs open on Windows XP. Upgrading your RAM to 2GB will probably give a huge performance boost anyway.




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  Reply # 313944 1-Apr-2010 16:29
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freitasm: 1GB RAM is not much these days if you keep a few programs open on Windows XP. Upgrading your RAM to 2GB will probably give a huge performance boost anyway.


Agreed, you need to up your RAM to 2GB as a starter.
How large is your HDD, 320GB? Smaller/larger?

Also, what else is running on your computer when you get this message?
Email client, web browser, Norton 360, MS Paint, HP utilities?

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  Reply # 314305 2-Apr-2010 23:06
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I would not be at all surprised if you have far too many applications starting with Windows.
Many applications that you may install default to starting with Windows, whether you actually need them or not. Over a couple (or more) years of use, you can easily end up with a lot of startup items, and those are in addition to the stuff that HP tends to run on its OEM machines.
Some can usually be trimmed.
If you can do without the HP stuff, you might find that improves things, too.

The main reason I think the above is the reported VM shortage. That either says "excessive program demands" or "memory consuption runaway" - usually a buggy program, or a software confliction. Have a look in Taskmanager next time that happens, and see what is using all the RAM, and CPU.

Another thing I'd try would be a check disk. Right-click the drive the operating system is on (usually C:\ ), select "properties" , "tools" and then check this volume for errors. Tick both the boxes, then check now, then follow the restart prompt. It will take a while.

I would have thought that 1GB of RAM would be enough for XP, even given todays program demands, which are certainly increasing all the time. It wasn't that long ago that half a gig woud make XP fly.

I have little experience with 360, and that only with version 1, but it certainly slowed things down a little. I have read that NAV or NIS 2010 are both far snappier. 360 is more a "takes care of itself without bothering the user too much" type tool. The problem with that approach is that if something does go wrong, like a corrupted update - which I've seen - it's harder to diagnose.

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  Reply # 314319 3-Apr-2010 00:09
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I am one of those "techs" freitasm speaks of but that's only because I have many experiences with machines running all the different versions of Norton products.
I probably work on at least two or three machines a week that are running slow and crashing, not shuting down but restarting instead then get a Windows crash report, the list goes on.

All of these problems are fixed by removing whatever Norton product is on the machine.
Before that is done though I do make sure everything is up to date, including Windows updates and drivers.
Also do scans for malware etc first, check specs of machine, defrag (not with the crappy standard Windows defrag) and check the registry.
Quite often too, once the fully up to date Norton product is removed and a new AV program installed, I run a scan and viruses are found that Norton has let in and not detected.






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  Reply # 314498 3-Apr-2010 22:42
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Many thanks for the suggestions.
I am going to work through them all (probably take me a bit longer than most!) and will let you know the outcome.
1GB was working really fine for me until the day I installed the new Norton, but I would be happy enough to upgrade if that's what it takes.
I haven't had the error message today, but will take note of what is running next time.
I do notice alot of HP stuff running at start-up, although I'm not sure I know enough to trim it down.
My HDD is 140GB and I've used 33GB of it.
I don't do much with my PC - really just email and MS Office applications (Word and Excel) and the usual sort of web surfing.
CYaBro - the tech guy did also install what he said was a much better defrag device for me and I have used that since.

Thanks again; will let you know how I get on.


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  Reply # 314499 3-Apr-2010 22:48
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You shouldn't need to upgrade the ram to run a security suite.
I've got plenty of clients running only 512mb ram and eset smart security and the machines run fine.




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  Reply # 314501 3-Apr-2010 23:03
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What defrag did he install?
A lot of the stuff that runs at start up may not be required. Applications you don't need can usually be uninstalled, or at least the service (if present) associated with it can be disabled.

Knowing what may be necessary from that which you don't want might take a little research.

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  Reply # 314768 4-Apr-2010 17:55
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A Good 'small' program I have used for many years, on almost all the computers I fix
for others, and my own: Mike Lin's Startup control panel.

http://www.mlin.net/StartupCPL.shtml

uncheck items which you wish not start at Windows XP boot process.

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  Reply # 314772 4-Apr-2010 18:17
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CYaBro: You shouldn't need to upgrade the ram to run a security suite.
I've got plenty of clients running only 512mb ram and eset smart security and the machines run fine.


The cokebot (our #geekzone IRC channel robot monitor) runs on a Windows XP virtual machine with 256MB RAM and it's fine. But try having a browser with multiple tabs open, Messenger, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word all open at the same time and you will see the PC crawling.







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Reply # 317526 12-Apr-2010 21:37
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Hi there - well, I DID say it might take me a while!

The defrag tool the tech guy gave me was Diskeeper Lite.

In the end, I resorted (well, my husband did it for me actually) to uninstalling Norton v3.

Typically, from start-up, I open Outlook Express and then open Outlook Explorer.  Outlook Explorer was taking around 2 minutes to load, even with just O/Express open.  Norton seemed to be using my PC more than I was Wink  

To be honest, I was quite nervous about uninstalling it, but we have and we have now installed a one- month trial of the security programme the tech guy recommended - ESET Smart Security, which I've used all of 20 minutes now!   Everything is working faster/more like it used to, although it is too early to tell what I think of ESET.  

So thanks for all your help. I will probably upgrade my RAM to 2GB anyway, but at least I have less irritation in the meantime.



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  Reply # 317559 12-Apr-2010 22:52
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Hi ShortyNZ,
Good to hear that things appear to be running better for you now.

Regards
Dan




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