Downloading Norton AV over dialup connection

  mjd 21:20 13 Mar 2006

I recently got the hard disk on a PC running Windows ME reformatted before giving the computer away to a friend. The technician who did the job said be found hundreds of viruses, trojans and worms on the HD despite the fact that a fully up-to-date of Norton AV 2005 is running on the machine. He said he found these viruses using vcleaner.exe. There was no indication of these viruses on the machine and it was working OK - a little slowly, perhaps. A full system scan using the updated version of Norton always found nil infected files. He then alleged that Norton AV definitions will not load efficiently using PSTN (dial up)and on a computer using a 800 mhz processor with 64 mb RAM and 15 GB hard disk. Basically, he was saying that because it takes so long to download an update over a dial up connection, viruses would be getting into the computer during the download.

I'm just wondering if anyone would have any opinion on this or does it sound like bulls**t?



  watchful 21:27 13 Mar 2006

balderdash to me but not an expert. I know from personal experience when I had Trend PCcillin and was on dial-up that the updates came over fairly quickly and regularly.
Downloading the whole programme was a non-starter on dial-up but the updates weren't a problem.

  PC Bilbo 22:12 13 Mar 2006

I used Norton AV a few years back on on a computer running Celeron II 433MHz & dial up without any problem but with 128MB RAM.64MB is a tadge light for
running ME smoothly.

The problem I found was not so much download but the actual scan as Norton AV is very processor intensive
when running.

The real question is why was the technician concerned about checking for viruses etc. if he was going to reformat the disk? It might have been more useful to have erased it before reformatting.

  ton 22:13 13 Mar 2006

Sounds like a load of rubbish!

  Belatucadrus 00:27 14 Mar 2006

Technically it's possible if you download a virus, say via e-mail during the update and the dial up update will take rather longer than one on broadband. But practically the difference is likely to be only a few minutes and it's so damned unlikely to have any affect in the real world, that he's indeed talking cow doodoo. Besides any scan run after the update should have found anything that sneaked in before it was loaded.
However vcleaner.exe is a trustworthy tool from Grisoft, the people who do AVG antivirus. So if he did run it and it found something it could be that there was something pear shaped or maybe it just detected the Norton AV signature files.

  Smegs 00:31 14 Mar 2006

Sounds rubbish.

If the PC has been Formatted and reinstalled, there wouldn't be ANY THINK on there.

Start using another PC shop.

  bjh 09:06 14 Mar 2006

Again, it sounds rubbish... did he want to sell you anything "better"? Vcleaner is part of the AVG group, and works reasonably well. However, it is not going to find hundreds of different types of virus missed by Norton. I'm not saying it couldn't find one repeated mant times, or even a couple.

During the download Norton, and all good AV products are still 100% active. There is a brief time after the download when the virus engines are updated, but for the last three years all that I have used (Norton included, although I'm no fan of it) stop various processes until update is complete. You'll see this as stalled internet connection for a second or two on an older computer.
There are ways that this can be foiled, but a slower processor on a dial-up connection is probably safer from this flaw than a dual core on cable!

Do update your AV BEFORE downloading your mail, particularly if you only go on line once a week or so.

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