Adventures with Norton Internet Security

Whirr. WHIRR. *WHIRR*. My laptop fan spins furiously as Norton Internet Security insists upon doing yet another “idle time scan” whether I want it to or not.

Did I mention these scans routinely use 50% of processor time, sometimes for 30-60 minutes at a time? Further, it completely ignores its own configuration options which has Idle Time Scans turned off. Lordy, what an ill-mannered program. It hogs resources and refuses to stop.

And what it doing that is so bloody important? Why, it is defragging the disk. Well gosh, I can do that myself. In fact I did just that, using a different defragger, yet Norton immediately began defragging again. Apparently only it and it alone knows how to properly defrag a disk.

Norton support forums have a number of reports about this bizarre, runaway program problem – but no solutions. One disgruntled user suggested deinstalling Norton, but warned that since it embeds itself so deeply into the system that it’s practically a virus (heh!), said to use using the Norton Removal Tool. I did so. It took about three minutes, and now I’m using the well-mannered Zone Alarm. And the whirrs are gone.

There’s no excuse for a major software vendor to have a product so shoddy that it uses 50% of processor time and ignores its own settings.


  1. I’m surprised, Bob, that you would even consent to Norton in the first place. I’m guessing an OEM install? Going on ten years now Norton, any Norton, is something I actually remove, regardless the extra effort, from my clientele’s computers for free, just because it makes life so miserable for them.

    And like Micro$oft, it spies on you for the government. I can’t think of any product more deserving of the term ‘malware’. Yo, Peter, sue me.

    • It was laziness on my part, and a mistaken belief that Norton had mended its evil ways.

      Peter Norton has had nothing to do with Norton (except for stock holdings) since the end of the DOS days. He lives in NYC now, I think, and collects art.

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