Symantec Antivirus Update Causes Some PCs to Crash

Dennis Faas's picture

A new update for a Symantec antivirus program reportedly causes some PCs running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system (OS) to crash. Apparently, the new software contains elements that conflict with older elements of the Symantec program.

The faulty update was first made available early last week for Symantec's Endpoint Protection 12.1 antivirus software, a program used by a substantial number of businesses and some home consumers.

Some XP Users Updated, Then Confronted by Blue Screen of Death

The problem seems to affect computer systems running Microsoft's aging Windows XP OS.

Symantec has admitted that some XP users who downloaded and installed the update were left with a "blue screen of death," the universal signal of a Windows computer that has crashed due to malfunction.

"On July 11th, 2012 Symantec Security Response started receiving reports of customers experiencing blue screens after applying the July 11th revision 18 definitions," said Orla Cox of Symantec's Security Response team.

"Machines may continue to blue screen after they reboot. This problem only appears to occur on Windows XP machines." (Source:

Affected Users Lash Out at Symantec

So far, it seems that only about 300 corporate and 60 home users have reported being affected by the Symantec update-related problem. However, many of them are understandably livid and have made their opinions known on Symantec user forums.

One user claimed that the update problem was "a joke," adding that "had the issue been a conflict with a random device driver then I could maybe slightly more sympathetic...But for it to conflict with its own Symantec related drivers and cause this issue is a total farce. Who tested it before release? Was it even tested?"

Symantec has issued a solution for the problem, which involves rolling back signatures until the affected computer returns to a state prior to the problem update.

This new public debacle comes at a very bad time for the antivirus software firm, whose shares have declined substantially in value in recent months.

"Enterprise security has continued to be an uphill battle for Symantec," noted industry analyst, Daniel Ives. "There is increasing competition. The company historically has not been consistent around executing." (Source:

Any users whose computer has suffered a serious crash as a result of the latest Endpoint Protection 12.1 update are encouraged to contact Symantec for help making the necessary repair.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet