A warning about installing Norton SystemWorks!

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by mareke, Jan 18, 2006.

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  1. mareke

    mareke Registered Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    Sydney Australia
    Today I was very lucky not to lose access to the data on all my hard disks after installing Norton SystemWorks 2006. My mistake appears to have been to include Go Back in the installation. On rebooting after finishing the install I found myself in a loop being unable to boot into Windows XP because Go Back did not like something on one of the disks. Unfortunately there was no way out of the loop.

    Since I had Acronis Images on my 2nd and 3rd drives I thought it would be a simple procedure to restore one of the images but when I tried this I was horrified to find that Norton had changed my disks to Dynamic and Acronis did not support dynamic disks!

    Fortunately I had an external drive that thankfully wasn't plugged in while Norton was installing so I was able to restore an image from the external USB drive. Then when I booted into Windows after the restore of the Acronis image I found that my 2nd and 3rd drives where all my data was that I was going to copy back to the restored C drive were not listed in Windows Explorer! Windows recognised the drives in Device Manager but refused to allow me to assign a label to them and access the data on them. It looked like formatting them and losing the data on them was the only way I could get them back!

    Thankfully one of them reappeared when I uninstalled Go Back which remained on these 2 drives but this only allowed me to see the data on one of the drives. I was only able to access the data on the other drive after I made it dynamic again. I was then able to access the data I needed from this drive and I will then format it so it ceases to be dynamic so I can again store Acronis Images on it.

    The really frightening thing is that if my external hard drive had been connected while I installed SystemWorks it too might have been made dynamic and then I would have lost all my important data and all my Acronis images and would have been devastated because some of the data was very important to me and the rest while replaceable would have taken me months to build up again. I would also have had to do a new install of Windows and all my programs starting from scratch.

    I’m not certain if it was Go Back that changes the disks to dynamic or whether SystemWorks does it but I won’t be trying another install of SystemWorks after this potentially disastrous experience! I seem to remember reading in the past some time that Go Back was incompatible with Acronis but I didn't realise it was incompatible because it converts all your disks to dynamic rendering Acronis totally useless!

    The whole experience shows that you can never have enough backups in different places as if I had not had the external hard disk with Acronis images on it as well as backups of other important data, which by sheer luck was not connected when I installed SystemWorks, I would have found losing everything devastating. Norton ought to at least have the decency to warn you that if you choose to install Go Back as part of SystemWorks your hard disks will be converted to dynamic making programs such as Acronis inoperable. It's also a good reason why Acronis should support Dynamic disks.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2006
  2. beckygb

    beckygb Registered Member

    Aug 4, 2005
    You were indeed fortunate. I gave up on Norton a couple years ago as it didn’t play nice with some of my programs. Drove me crazy debugging my computer trying to figure out what the cause of the problems were.

    There is also a rumor that Norton is using a rookkit program in the new release.
  3. Jason Miller

    Jason Miller Registered Member

    Mar 4, 2006
    You are correct about the Root Kit program. I would not use another Norton or Symantec program ever again. First of all, they screw up other programs. Second it is bloated and does not do a very good job at any one of its different functions. Third it is expensive to renew the virus protection every year at $30. I use Avast for virus protection. It works great and it's free. I use Zone Alarm for my firewall and it is free also. I do, however, use and pay for Webroot Spy Sweeper. It is the best around and the yearly fee is reasonable.

    There were two good programs out there - Partition Magic and Boot Magic. Unfortunately they were bought out by Symantec and I am sure they will ruin them.

    I tried Ghost but it was very unreliable and you do not get very good support from Symantec/Norton. There are better companies to do business with.
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