Symantec AntiVirus Issue

  ykzn 13:13 03 Apr 2008

I recently tried to install Symantec AntiVirus 10.1 on my laptop which has MS Windows Xp Home Edition. But only the following annoying message popped up:

"Error 1920.Service Symantec AntiVirus (Symantec AntiVirus) failed to start. Verify that you have sufficient priviliges to start system services."

Now I am certain that I have already logged in as an administrator. Can anyone please give me any advise on how to solve this issue? Thanks!

  Monument 13:17 03 Apr 2008

You have the Server/Client version.

You must ensure that you choose to install an unmanaged client version and not choose the server/managed options.

  eedcam 13:21 03 Apr 2008

click here

  katkins 14:03 03 Apr 2008


Generally, these sorts of problems are caused by not completely uninstalling previous software.

For example, (these are instructions I found online)

Look for a Program file at the root of the OS drive.

If McAfee antivirus 4.03 or 4.5 was installed on the computer, look for a file that is named "Program" at the root of the OS drive. If the file exists, delete it.

Delete leftover registry keys from a previous version of Symantec or Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition

Leftover registry keys from a previous version of Symantec or Norton AntiVirus Corporate Edition can cause this problem. Delete the registry keys and then install Symantec AntiVirus again.

Below, is another procedure I found online.

Confirm that the Defwatch service has the correct settings.

This problem can happen when the Defwatch service account has incorrect settings. Make sure that the Defwatch service is set to log on as the Local System account. Confirm that the service is allowed to interact with the desktop.

To confirm the Defwatch service settings do as follows,

On the Windows taskbar, click Start > Run.
In the Open box, type services.msc and then click

Do one of the following, depending on your program version:

For Symantec AntiVirus 10.x, right-click the Symantec AntiVirus Definition Watcher entry.

For Symantec AntiVirus 9.x and earlier, right-click the Defwatch entry. Click Properties.
On the Log On tab, confirm that the Local System Account is selected and that "Allow service to interact with desktop" is checked.

Click OK.

PS The warning below and the procedure following it, is also part of these instructions which I found online.

WARNING: In the next steps you will edit the Windows registry. Back up the registry before you make any changes to it, because incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify only the registry keys that are specified.
For instructions, see How to back up the Windows registry.

To delete the registry key
On the Windows taskbar, click Start > Run.
In the Open box, type the following text:


Click OK.
In the Windows Registry Editor, in the left pane, click My Computer.
On the Edit menu, click Find.
In the Find what box, type the following text:


Delete all keys and values that contain this string.
Go to and delete the following key:


Exit the Windows Registry Editor.

If the problem persists, manually remove the previously-installed version of Symantec AntiVirus. To find directions for your product version, read Manual uninstallation documents for Symantec Client Security products.

(Btw, editing the registry is not as scary as it seems. I delete orphan files in my registry every time I uninstal software of any description. It just means taking care and studying the files that come up after each click on the find button (under Edit at the top of Registry Editor page).

When there are no active orphan files left of that software in the registry, a dialogue box will appear playing the usual Windows musical ditty confirming this although it pays to run your eyes down HKey Local Machine and HKey Current User under Software in both cases, for any remaining mention of the discarded software which invariably one will nearly always find and thus can safely delete. Entries being listed in alphabetical order makes the checking that much easier.

Leave HKey Classes Root alone unless you are very confident about editing it. (I tend to thread extra cautiously in here and only remove something when I feel absolutely certain it can safely be discarded.)

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