Symantec revises panicky crash notice

Symantec put out a report June 15 that caused a double-take.

Here’s what it originally said before it was revised:

“KNOWN ISSUE: Altiris Agent service is crashing on a high percentage of computers after upgrading from Symantec Management Platform 7.1 SP1 to 7.1 SP2.”

[Emphasis added, not that high percentage needs extra emphasis.]

Altiris, which was acquired by Symantec in 2007, is an asset management tool. It is used to manage patches, maintain compliance with software licenses and remove unauthorized software, among other functions.

A user of this system alerted us to the problem. His Altiris agents, which are on the clients, were crashing after the upgrade. He has since been unable to patch his systems, something that is becoming increasingly worrisome.  

When the user first sought help from the Symantec help desk, the support tech was unaware of the alert. That increased the user's concern.  

But today, Symantec revised the crash report to say:

“Altiris Agent service is crashing on computer with Out of Band (OOB) plug-in installed after upgrading from Symantec Management Platform 7.1 SP1 to 7.1 SP2.”

Gone is any reference to high percentage [emphasis added] and a narrower interpretation of what’s triggering it.

In response to a query, Symantec spokesman Spencer Parkinson wrote that this “is an issue with an optional and separately installed component of the Endpoint Management product that was reported by a single Symantec customer.”

Parkinson’s note, in full, continued: “We developed a point fix for this issue, which was shared with the customer at that time. As the customer decided not to pursue the implementation, we were unable to validate that the point fix resolved the issue in question in their environment. We welcome the opportunity to work further with this customer to resolve this issue. In addition, any customers that contact us on this issue in the future will be offered the point fix. At Symantec, we take every customer reported issue very seriously and work to resolve them in a timely manner.”

It was after that note that Symantec revised its knowledge base notice.

Is it just one customer who is having this problem? Can’t be certain at this point, but the person we’ve been in touch says he still can't patch.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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