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Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!

Don Firth 29 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Mar 09 - 05:44 PM
Howard Jones 29 Mar 09 - 06:18 PM
JohnInKansas 29 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM
JohnInKansas 30 Mar 09 - 07:20 AM
Don Firth 30 Mar 09 - 04:45 PM
olddude 30 Mar 09 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 30 Mar 09 - 11:18 PM
Howard Jones 31 Mar 09 - 03:51 AM
Murray MacLeod 31 Mar 09 - 05:19 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 31 Mar 09 - 09:48 AM
Uncle_DaveO 31 Mar 09 - 11:35 AM
JohnInKansas 31 Mar 09 - 12:27 PM
Simon G 31 Mar 09 - 01:07 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 01 Apr 09 - 05:33 AM
JohnInKansas 01 Apr 09 - 07:09 AM
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Subject: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM

Note steam pouring out of my ears and my gnashing teeth striking sparks.

I have an HP Pavilion laptop with Windows XP. Among other programs, I have both Norton Systemworks and Norton Internet Security.

A recent check of my hard disk (going to "My Computer," right-clicking "Properties," and looking at the pie-chart and attendant figures) revealed the shocking news that the 80 GB drive (C:) on my laptop had only 6.4 GBs free. Not that long ago, it was more than half free. So I transferred a lot of photos and music files to an external USB hard drive and removed them from my laptop's hard drive, only to find that the amount of space I freed up was negligible. Mysterious, and a bit upsetting. What, I asked, is eating up all my free disk space?

Furthermore, when I tried to defragment the hard drive, I received the error message that there was insufficient free space to do so!

I ran a Norton Internet Security scan a few days ago and noticed that the numbers that were rolling over were downright mind-boggling! What IS all this? I also noted that the read-out seemed to be stuck on files beginning "RECYCLE\NPROTECT," followed by a string of numbers that were rolling over rapidly. Subsequently, I ran Windows Search, and although it wouldn't acknowledge the existence of a "RECYCLE" folder, it showed me that I had some 149,598 files that began "NPROTECT" and that they occupied 39.2 GB of space on my hard drive!!

My HP has an advertised 80 GB hard drive, but it's actually 74.5 GB. The RECYCLE\NPROTECT files occupy 52.6 % of my entire hard disk!!

I googled "RECYCLE\NPROTECT" and learned that these are files—generated by Norton—are, apparently, related somehow to the recycle bin (which I routinely empty every few days). I also discovered that there are many people asking the same questions that I'm asking because their hard disks are filling up with "NPROTECT" files, and they don't know if they can remove them—or if they should remove them. What would happen if they do? Some have tried to remove them, but their Norton program will not allow them to do so.

At one time, I thought Norton Utilities was one of the best utility suites around. But within the past couple of years I am becoming increasing disenchanted with Norton Systemworks and Norton Internet Security because I will be working away at my computer and suddenly things slow down or start acting strangely. Or my wife and I will be watching a DVD movie on the computer and it stutters, stopping and starting and stopping again, and I discover that—unbidden—Norton is running one of a number of scans.

I'm quite sure that Norton does a very good job of protecting my computers from viruses and intrusions. But it is also becoming a royal pain in the neck when it interrupts what I am doing during the day and while watching NetFlix movies with my wife in the evenings.

Does anyone know what the blazes is going on and how I can get my usable disk space back again?   And does anyone have any recommendations as to a different utilities and security program that will do it's job without making a perpetual pain in the butt of itself?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 05:44 PM

I believe that NProtect is a Norton Recycle Bin that's intended to prevent inadvertent permanent deletion of stuff you might lose if you just dumped the normal recycle bin. It should be safe to just empty the folder, and you should be able to disable NProtect in Norton settings.

The folder probably has a copy of everything you've ever deleted, and if it's stuffed it probably indicates you're of a flighty sort who saves a lot of stuff you don't really want (tweak-tweak).

NProtect doesn't appear in newer Norton versions, so far as I've seen. It may be available but doesn't turn on by default in my last three versions.

The slowdown of your computer during scans can be eliminated if you can upgrade to the latest Norton Internet Security 2008. It runs Quick Scans continuously in background. When one scan is finished it starts another; but it only runs when the system is idle. It runs a full system scan when scheduled (I run full system weekly) but pauses when anything else is going on, and runs only when the system is idle. The only evidence that it's there is when it pops up a notice that a scan has finished.

My current install started with NIS 2005, and although they don't advertise it prominently, with the "Internet Security" packages they generally allow you to update to the next newer versions as they come out. I've gone throught 2005, 2006, 2007 and now 2008 as free upgrades on my original store purchase.

You do have to pay the annual "rental" but the store package allows you to use ONE COPY on up to three computers, so it's actually quite a bit cheaper for me (I have three computers) than any cheaper programs (and a lot less trouble than any free ones, IMO).

I don't know what the update policy is on the "bare bones AV" versions, but I've had good protection from the "Internet Security" package.

I haven't had, or used, any of the other Norton "utilities" for several years (decades?) since I can't find anything in the package descriptions that can't be done as well using built-in WinXP/Win2K/Vista tools. They were "necessary" when Win98 was king of the hill, but Utilities and System Works don't show me anything I need. (They may have some nice stuff; but they don't describe it on the box if it's there.)

About the only thing that I'm sure would be useful, beyond NIS, would be Ghost; but I've managed backups that satisfy me with XCOPY, and Vista has a built-in "full system backup" (it's probably in WinXP too?).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Howard Jones
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 06:18 PM

I stopped using Norton after a problem a few years ago with the anti-virus software. My real gripe was the total lack of support from them - nothing relevant on their website, and total failure to reply to emails or snail mail. I had to uninstall the program. and lost several months subscription.


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM

Norton's help and business sites can be a bit boggling, but I've always found excellent technical support available from them. For any non-trivial technical problems, I've found the most efficient method is via "support chat" where, if needed, you can let the techie take control of your desktop, and you get to sit there and watch while (s)he fixes things.

The only time I've had real problems with the business office is one time when they couldn't answer a question about my account so they cancelled the charge on my credit card. When I found the answer later, I was unable after multiple phone calls, emails, chat hookups, or other methods to find anyone to talk to me about it, so I ended up with a renewal that they wouldn't let me pay for.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 07:20 AM

Note steam pouring out of my ears and my gnashing teeth striking sparks.

Note: last post by Don Firth. He musta' blowed his whole computer up?

Or maybe the steam built up and his haid exploded?

Are we worried? Or maybe he's just out doin' somethin' useful.

Might be worth noting that Norton recommends a complete uninstall of any existing AV before installing any new version. Most retail package installers will ask to do this automatically, but for a web download version it's recommended that you download the "Norton Uninstaller" from their website. This will remove everything Norton from your computer, so make sure you have the disks to put back any of the "utilities" and such after you install the new AV or Internet Security, if you want them back.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 04:45 PM

Well, fortunately my head is more or less intact, but I'm still trailing wisps of steam.

Many thanks for all the comments. Having watched a feature on "60 Minutes" last night on the "Conflicker worm," I think I'll keep Norton Internet Security. In spite of it's tendency to take over my computer at inconvenient times, that's a lot better than having to deal with the plethora of viruses that seem to be out there, some spawned by malevolent forces but most by smart-ass brats who have the same mentality as those who try to spray-paint the front of your house or business. There have been a number of times when Norton has popped a little window down in the lower right corner of my screen informing me that it has just blocked an attack or attempted intrusion.

I'm preparing myself for the ordeal of contacting Norton's "help and support." Wish me luck!

I have a friend who works at Microsoft. With her own personal computer (at home), she has found that the best way to keep it functioning well is what she refers to as "the nuclear option." She backs up her personal work diligently on an external USB hard drive, and about every two months or so, when her computer starts slowing down or doing weird things, she re-formats her computer's hard disk, dumping everything and taking all the accumulated crap with it, then reloads everything. She says it takes a couple of hours and it's a pain in the butt, but by doing this, she saves herself time in the long run, and a lot of frustration and aggravation. It's very nice when you click on something and it happens right now instead of showing you an hour-glass for forty-five seconds or so.

Unfortunately, when I received my nice, new HP Pavilion a few years ago, all the software I ordered had been pre-installed and they didn't send me the distribution disks. So unless I can get distribution disks for the software I use, I can't use Katie's "nuclear option." I don't know quite what I'm going to do now, but when I get my next computer, come hell or high water, I'm going to have the distribution disks. Nice to be able to hose the place out and start fresh!

Again, thanks! And as I say, wish me luck! I'm goin' in!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: olddude
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 08:02 PM

Don
consider Mcafee total protection, well worth the money and absolutely no issues that I have always encountered with Norton. Norton use to be the premier software but right now all the corps I know are using Mcafee including myself

Best Wishes
Dan


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 30 Mar 09 - 11:18 PM

Within a most recent six week period...it was my pleasure to sit next to "an aged one" on my right.

She had an I-MAC (not germain to this but it IS.)

First, she showed me wonderful - incredible - dynamic photographs from Yellowstone, and New Mexico and then a series of a Budhist temple with red New Years lanterns.

Six weeks later, by some miracle, she was again seated on my right. Perplexed and frustated and almost angry she demonstrated how the hard-drive was fuller than ever before....and she had added little.

I suggested that Adobe Layers in RAW and TIFF required greater space each time they are accessed...(unlike an un-archived (write-protect) JPEG that can get squeezed smaller each time it is opened)

She had perhaps, 6 gig available and there should have been 40.

To my frame of thinking - I beleive that you need to scrupulously catalogue your files....NEWER ... deleate and trash .... seem to have backup...watch WHAT is being recorded WHERE.

Before the 6TERAbyte or 600Gigabyte or the 6Gig - all the DT fitted on 6 simple (1.44 mg )disks (mail them in and they were returned full courtesty of Disk and Susan)

With all the memory currently available - people have become VERY LAZY about routine computer maintenance.

You change the oil in your car every three months. You cut your hair. Your take the trash to the dumpster. You wash the windows. You pull the weeds in your garden.

Who would dare to practice/perform without tuning their instrument

At LEAST as often as you clean your bathroom and kitchen ... you should check your inter-net-machine ! ! ! And clean it...and scan it...and defrag it.

All too many "folks" are beleiving that the InterNet is their Television Set....

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Many have, and many more shall, get rich - providing convenience to the hordes that have arrived and want to - drink at the well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Howard Jones
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 03:51 AM

Gargoyle, I don't think it's just about people being too lazy to carry out routing maintenance. Many people, myself included, who are fairly competent at using applications don't really know what to do to when it comes to computer maintenance. Just as I can drive a car without knowimg much about the mechanics, I can use a computer without knowing what's going inside.

Computer manuals and help files are (sometimes) good at telling you how to do something but not at telling you what you need to be doing in the first place, or what it means. Speaking for myself, I am frequently flummoxed when a program asks me to make a choice when I don't understand either the question or the consequences.


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 05:19 AM

"You change the oil in your car every three months.
You cut your hair.
You take the trash to the dumpster.
You wash the windows.
You pull the weeds in your garden.
Who would dare to practice/perform without tuning their instrument"


6 new items for my "must-do" list ...


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 09:48 AM

From experience, Norton is one of the greatest memory hogs in the business. I ditched it five years ago, and now use AVG free antivirus, and Zonealarm firewall, with Adaware anti-spyware.

No memory problems, and the first thing AVG did was to evict about a dozen viruses and trojans which Norton hadn't noticed.

I've not had a single infection since making the change, unless you count a heavy cold in January.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 11:35 AM

Don Firth said:

Unfortunately, when I received my nice, new HP Pavilion a few years ago, all the software I ordered had been pre-installed and they didn't send me the distribution disks.

It is my understanding that you are entitled to a distribution disk. At least when I needed to reinstall XP Pro on my Compaq tower, I called MicroHype support. When they found I had a Compaq, with XP Pro installed by the manufacturer or retailer, they told me that the version necessary was peculiar to Compaq, and they couldn't help me themselves, but they told me that Compaq had to give me a distribution disk free.   They gave me a support number, and indeed, Compaq did send me an XP Pro distribution disk, free.

If I were in your situation I'd call HP's support and ask for the distribution disk they didn't supply. I think you'll get it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 12:27 PM

All of my recently (within 15 years) acquired computers have come with disks, but with a couple of them it's been difficult to tell what they were.

With a couple of builders (I think it may have been Fujitsu and Toshiba) the "Recovery Disk" isn't the one you need. That's the one that "Recovers" all the trash they add on because the program makers give them a kickback for loading your computer down with their stuff (usually trial copies or "free versions" of stuff that might actually be good-if-you-wanted-it-but-you-probably-don't).

[You use that disk to make a list of what to uninstall.]

The disk that was labelled "Drivers" - for the ones who supplied them with that name - was the one that actually restored Windows and whatever "productivity programs" were actually the builders' "real programming."

I think I've seen some other deceptive/confusing labels, but don't remember what all of them were.

OEM builders are permitted to make changes to the Windows that they install, so Microsoft can't provide disks - or support - that they can be sure will run on an "OEM provided" setup. Among "popular" US makers, both HP and Compaq are reputed to be (or to have been) "highly modified Windows" distributors. Dell and Gateway have a little less reputation for significant changes, but that may be just because their changes are "better concealed."

The last time I looked it up, the OEM contract with Microsoft required the OEM builder to provide "all necessary support" and that includes the ability to reinstall.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Simon G
Date: 31 Mar 09 - 01:07 PM

I work in a business centre with 60 or so small businesses. I help people from time to time when they are in dire straits with there computers. Excluding hardware, 100% of the problems in the last 5 years have turned out to be with Norton Internet Security. I simply cannot understand why people run this application.

Many laptops are shipped with the distribution on a partition on the hard drive, this maybe the case for your HP. I think all are shipped either with the distribution on the hard drive or on CD/DVD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 05:33 AM

My current PC is an HP Pavilion too. When I uninstalled Norton it left behind some intrusive bits and pieces that weren't removable EVEN by deletion.

On request, Symantec DID supply a software download to remove every trace of Norton. It was 100% successful.

Immediately, all my PC problems, and there were a LOT of them, disappeared.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Tech: NPROTECT is taking over my hard drive!!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Apr 09 - 07:09 AM

Certainly the first thing that any well-trained worm should do would be to look for the install log for any AV program that might be on the computer. Then it just needs to run the log backwards to remove the AV program, which is the chief impediment to accomplishing what the worm was sent to do.

It is for this reason that nearly all AV programs delete (or should delete) the install log on completion of the installation.

Without a log to "run backwards" normal removal procedures cannot be effective for anything but the most trivial of programs - and decent AV programs are far from trivial.

The failure to completely remove an AV program using "ordinary" removal methods, while not a proof, is at least evidence that the program was "strongly constructed and installed."

Retail Norton AV disks have generally include a step in the installation procedure that asks for permission to remove earlier versions, and some people skip that step. One reason for asking permission is that if you, the operator and owner of the computer enter the "permission" via a keystroke, variations in security setup don't have to be analysed to decide what permission to ask for and how to phrase the question and get an answer. The ONLY thing that matters is the one who hits the "YES" button is the BMFWIC who has to be obeyed by the OS.

Some download versions may have omitted the embedded "uninstall prior versions" step in the automated installation; but the instructions for installing the download invariably inform you that you should uninstall all prior versions before installing the new one, which you will do if you read the instructions before starting to install.

Some AV programs, that don't "embed" as deeply and protect as strongly as Norton can get by with installing over an earlier version, or another kind of AV program; but there is some risk that you'll break the whole system if you don't remove the one that's no longer to be needed.

And Norton is NOT the only good AV that is accused of "breaking the computer" when the actual cause is "operator error" and an incorrect or incomplete installation procedure.

In recent years (or decades) Norton has made available a "stand alone" program called "Norton Remover" that can be used if you need to clean up to install a new AV - Norton or any other. For complete effectiveness, it does remove "everything Norton" so it has the disadvantage that you might have to reinstall Utilities or Ghost after you use it. Most of the "embedded" removal programs that come on retail Norton AV and Ineternet Security program disks are a little more selective, but keeping the other disks handy is still recommended just in case.

John


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