Security

Symantec LiveUpdate Not Automatically Updating?

You have the most recent Norton Antivirus (2002 or 2003) program installed on your computer and have LiveUpdate (the program that keeps the virus signatures it uses to scan and detect nasties up to date) switched on.  Nothing else to do now.  It's all automatic and you can put your feet up and relax ... wrong!  

There are some known issues where LiveUpdate isn't updating properly ad the real nasty part of this is that nothing tells you that it's not working - other than the occasional reminder from Norton Antivirus.  Thing is, it could be too late by then!

One thing you must do is check the Norton Antivirus program regularly to see if all is well.  Look for signs that things aren't updating or working right, because if there is a problem with the application, you might not being properly protected.

If the virus definitions date seems a bit old (older than a couple of weeks at least) then it's time to do a few things:

  • First, run LiveUpdate manually by clicking on the "LiveUpdate" button (shown above) and follow the prompts
  • Investigate why LiveUpdate hasn't been updating manually

Important information for Windows XP users
If you are using Windows XP, this is a known problem if your user account has a blank password.  This is a very common issue under XP.  For more information on this see the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Scheduled Tasks Cannot Run with a Blank Password (Q310715).

Download the latest version of LiveUpdate.

This will ensure that you have the latest Automatic LiveUpdate files on your system

  1. Download the Lusetup.exe file
  2. Save the file to a location on the hard drive
  3. After the download is complete, double-click Lusetup.exe to install it
  4. Restart the computer
  5. Run LiveUpdate

If this does not fix the problem, then it may be that Task Scheduler isn't working.

Task Scheduler Issues

Automatic LiveUpdate uses the Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler to organize when it is run.  If there is a problem with the Windows Task Scheduler then Automatic LiveUpdate will not run.  An easy way to test Task Scheduler is to create a simple task (such as running an application) and see if it runs.

Delete and recreate the NetDetect Task.

This will fix the problem if it was caused by a damaged reference in the Task Scheduler.

To remove the scheduled task:

  1. Start Norton AntiVirus
  2. Click Options. If a submenu appears, click Norton AntiVirus
  3. Click LiveUpdate
  4. Uncheck "Enable Automatic LiveUpdate"
  5. Click OK
  6. Close Norton AntiVirus
  7. Click Start, point to Programs (All Programs in Windows XP), point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks
  8. Look for a scheduled task named "NDetect.exe" or "Symantec NetDetect"
  9. Select the scheduled task and press Delete
To recreate the scheduled task:
  1. Restart the computer. If you are using Windows NT, 2000 or XP, then you must log in as the default Administrator account
  2. Start Norton AntiVirus
  3. Click Options. If a submenu appears, click Norton AntiVirus
  4. Click LiveUpdate
  5. Check "Enable Automatic LiveUpdate"
  6. Click OK
  7. Check "Enable Automatic LiveUpdate (recommended)."  Also check "Notify me when updates are available."
  8. Close Norton AntiVirus
  9. Restart the computer.  Log on to the Internet.  If this fixed the problem, and updates are available, LiveUpdate should run within several minutes

Is Task Scheduler Running Properly?

Sometimes a Scheduled Task is called by Task Scheduler, but then, for one reason or another, fails.  When a task is run, or attempts to run but fails, an entry is made in a log file. Follow these steps to check the log:

  1. Click Start, point to Programs (All Programs in Windows XP), point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks
  2. Click Advanced and then click View Log
  3. When the log opens in Notepad, scroll to the list to view the most recent entry. On some operating systems, it will be directly above the following text:

    [ ***** Most recent entry is above this line ***** ]
  4. Look for an entry that refers to Ndetect.exe. It should be followed by the text:

    "Result: The task completed with and exit code of 65" (Or similar message, such as 0x65.)
  • If you don't see this, the Task Scheduler is not working correctly.  Time to contact Microsoft or your system manufacturer
  • It you do see this, go to the next section

LiveUpdate Corruption

Occasionally, this happens because a Symantec file, which is normally updated each time that LiveUpdate runs, is damaged. To determine if this is the problem, simply delete this file. It will be recreated the next time that LiveUpdate runs.

Note: This section does not apply to LiveUpdate 1.8 and 1.9 (the latest versions of the LiveUpdate).

Follow the instructions for your operating system:

Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000

  1. Click Start, point to Find or Search, and then click Files or Folders
  2. Make sure that "Look in" is set to (C) and that "Include subfolders" is checked
  3. In the "Named" or "Search for..." box, type the following file name:

    autoupdt.trg

  4. Click Find Now or Search Now
  5. Delete the autoupdt.trg file
  6. Log on to the Internet. If this fixed the problem, and updates are available, LiveUpdate should run within several minutes

    Note: If no updates are currently available, it could be several days (up to seven) before LiveUpdate runs when you access the Web.

Windows XP
  1. Click Start, and then click Search
  2. Click All files and folders
  3. In the "Search for files or folders named:" box, type the following file name:

    autoupdt.trg
  4. Verify that "Look in" is set to "Local Hard Drives" or to (C)
  5. Click "More advanced options"
  6. Check "Search system folders"
  7. Check "Search subfolders"
  8. Check "Search hidden files"
  9. Click Search
  10. Delete the autoupdt.trg file
  11. Log on to the Internet. If this fixed the problem, and updates are available, LiveUpdate should run within several minutes

If All Else Fails ...

As always, when all else fails, it's time for tech support.  If you still can't get Norton Antivirus to LiveUpdate the you have two options:

  • Uninstall and reinstall Norton Antivirus
  • Contact Symantec for support

You may also want to take a look at the article: More Symantec LiveUpdate Problems

 



Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Last updated: May 4th 2004
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