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Symantec tool cleans up XP SP3 registry corruption

New member
May 25, 2007
Symantec Corp. yesterday released a free tool that wipes spurious entries from Windows' registry that had crippled some PCs running the company's security software after they were upgraded to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) or Vista SP1.

The tool, SymRegFix, had been promised by Symantec two weeks ago when users reported that upgrading to XP SP3 emptied Windows' Device Manager, deleted network connections and packed the registry with thousands of bogus entries.

Symantec initially blamed Microsoft for the snafu, but later accepted some responsibility. Last week, the company said the combination of a Microsoft process and the SymProtect feature of its Norton-branded consumer security software had added the errant registry entries, and it told users to turn off that feature before upgrading.

SymProtect, designed to protect Symantec's security software from being hacked by malware, guards against unauthorized changes to the registry.

Reese Anschultz, a senior Symantec manager, announced the availability of SymRegFix on a company support forum yesterday.

When some users on that same thread noted that the tool had not deleted all the spurious registry keys, another Symantec employee stepped in. "The other garbage entries may have been created by Microsoft's Fixccs.exe outside of the Symantec registry keys," said Steve Dang.

Earlier, Symantec had identified the Fixccs.exe executable as the Microsoft side of the problem; it had also contended that other security software that monitors registry changes can cause registry pollution, although few incidents have been logged to Microsoft's support forums.

"If you have any other security applications, especially any that monitors/protects the registry, please disable those," said Dang. "Then, open a command prompt and type 'symregfix /override.' This will attempt to delete the garbage registry keys under the entire HKLMSystemCurrentControlSet hive, not just those under the Symantec registry keys."

Symantec has also issued a patch via its LiveUpdate service that prevents the registry corruption from occurring, although users must run LiveUpdate from within their security software, then reboot the PC before attempting an upgrade to Windows XP SP3 or Vista SP1.

That the problem could also affect users updating to Vista SP1 was new information last week; before then, only Windows XP SP3 upgrades had been fingered as causing trouble. In a message posted to the Symantec support forum last Friday, Anschultz downplayed the threat posed to Vista users. "Given how long Vista SP1 has been available relative to the XP SP3 upgrade and the rarity of this issue on Vista, it appears that the FixCCS.exe program doesn't need to 'fix' stuff as often on Vista, but it may on occasion," he said.

Symantec's SymRegFix clean-up tool can be downloaded from the company's site.
New member
May 25, 2007
Upgrading to Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Vista Service Pack 1 with your Norton 2008 product installed
How will the Service Pack installation affect the Symantec products I already have installed?

When you install Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Vista SP 1, a tool that is called Fixccs.exe adds numerous registry keys in many locations (some of them within the Symantec registry keys) but is unable to remove them. Because of these registry keys, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
Windows Device Manager is empty
Missing Wireless network adaptors or other hardware devices
Unable to connect using a wireless adapter

How to ensure that I install Windows Service Pack without any problems?
We have developed a LiveUpdate solution that is available now, which prevents this issue from occurring. Ensure that you run LiveUpdate and restart your computer before installing Service Pack for your Windows. For more information on running LiveUpdate for your Norton product, read How to run LiveUpdate from your Norton 2008 product.

We suggest that you install this latest update before you apply any operating system upgrade.

Please note that this LiveUpdate solution only addresses the issues that are related to Symantec products.

I have already installed the Service Pack and I am facing problems

Symantec has developed a tool to remove the registry entries that were added during the Windows XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Vista SP 1 upgrade. Download and run the tool to automatically remove the registry entries.

Download the SymRegFix.exe file. DOWNLOAD

Save the file to your desktop.

On the desktop, double-click the SymRegFix.exe file.
If the Open File - Security Warning window appears, click Run.

Read the License Agreement, and then click Next.
If you do not accept the License Agreement, you cannot run this tool.

In the Symantec Registry Repair Tool window, click Next.

When the tool completes, click Finish.
Super Moderator
Sep 11, 2007
Thanks Ahmedvisham. Many people faced this problem. I hope this method can fix the errors.