Norton Anti-Virus Software Slowing Down My Compute


Jun 2, 2001
I am running an EPOX 8K7A+ Motherboard with an AMD Athlon 1400 CPU and 512 Megabytes of Kingston DDR 2700 Ram.

My Computer System was always running fast and stable

I recently installed the Norton Anti-Virus 2002 System Software with the Auto Protect On, and it is scanning the incoming and outgoing E-Mail Messages and the File Attachments.

I have been running Windows XP over the past year, and today I just upgraded with the new Windows XP Service Pack 1 System Software.

Since I installed the Norton Anti-Virus 2002 System Software, my Computer has slowed down around 30 Percent.

In the past five years each time that I installed the Norton Anti-Virus System or the McAfee Anti-Virus SYstem Software, it always slowed down my Computer System.

I would then uninstall the Anti-Virus System Software, and the Computer System would be back to its normal speed again.

The same Computer System slowdown always occured whenever I installed either the Norton or the McAfee Anti-Virus System Software.

Does anyone have any ideas where I can use some kind of Anti-Virus System Software to protect my Computer, and still have the Computer maintain its normal speed.

I tried only scanning Incoming and not the Outgoing E-Mail Messages and File Attachmentsand it did not really help.

I am using Verizon DSL with a LinkSys 4 Port Router.

Thank You.




Jun 23, 2002
It's a resource hog. McAfee is a little better, but not much. The best antivirus software, in terms of not slowing down your PC and still protecting you is TrendMicro's PC-Cillin 2002.

I used NAV 2002, McAfee 6.1, but I stuck with PC-cillin. I didn't know what to do, since they both really slowed up my system. I went to CNET, and they did a anti-virus software roundup. Pc-cillin has caught everything NAV and McAfee did and they even mentioned how it barely used system resources, that's why I tried it and have stuck with it.

Try it out and see if you like it, if not try another one. I assure you though, there is now way to stop NAV from eating resources, it's just what it does!

Free trial, <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>


Apr 10, 2001
I'd suggest you try disabling it from running in the background. First do so through the program interface. Then, if you reboot and it's still running, then you can use this free utility below to try and disable it. Toey uses it, and I definitely like it better than MSCONFIG.

<A HREF="" target="_new">Startup Control Panel</A> by Mike Lin

<b><A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=red>My system rig</font color=red></A></b>
<b><A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green> forums</font color=green></A>
<A HREF="" target="_new"><font color=green></font color=green></A><font color=green> - Windows XP stuff and more</font color=green>
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Jul 9, 2001
Most Anti-Virus programs will use a certain amount of resources as the work in the background. Norton's is particularly robust as it scans both incoming and outgoing e-mails. It's the price you pay to be protected.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it. MY RIG: <A HREF=" " target="_new"> </A>


Jun 23, 2002
LOL, you can pay much less of a price with other virus scanners as mentioned above. Disabling a virus scanners “background program”, will render a virus suite impotent. So don’t do that: you might as well uninstall it if you would do that.

You haven’t wrote back yet, when you do let me know if tried PC-cillin; also if you felt less "protected" than with NAV. If you did, then you most certainly can go back to it.

PC-cillin scans mail and web pages for malicious content (java, activeX scripts, etc), and contains a site filter just like NAV; when compared to NAV and McAfee, PC-cillin caught every single virus thrown at it, just like NAV and MC, and quarantined them all the same. The idea of a performance hit as a "price for protection" isn't fact based and is ludicrous. While NAV is a wonderful anti-virus suite; there’s other, less performance hungry suites that give you the same level of protection. Don’t take my word for it (see below)

<A HREF="" target="_new">User opinions of NAV 2002</A> (55% "thumps up")

<A HREF="" target="_new">User opinions of PC-CILLIN 2002</A> (65% "thump up")


Feb 13, 2001
Norton claims to be true non-intrusive A-V package, but unfortunately we have found many examples of NAV actually preventing normal operations of software and creating MAJOR performance hits (not to mention failures of some application software). The folks at McAfee love to talk about this as well, as they CLAIM that their software is totally (and proven) non-intrusive.

Here's what we have done to get around AV intrusions to performance and application stability.

1) In NAV, Use the "Exclusion" features to prevent NAV from scanning problematic application directories that do not have shared permissions. We are forced to tell NAV NOT to scan our customers' ACT 2000 directories for example, because if NAV does, the application takes a severe performance hit due to the fact that data files are constantly changing (and thus, must be constantly re-scanned).

2) Use blood-hound services for scanning download directories, your root directory, caches, Email and ALL removable media only. There's no sense of constantly monitoring your application space if there is no way for the virus to get into your system in the first place. Be sure to always target downloads to a common area for scanning upon download completion. This is also great for when applications are zipped so that they may be scanned before actual installation.

3) Increase the default Process "PRIORITY" within Windows XP of your Anti-Virus software AND/OR performance affected applications.

We found that increasing the priority of NAV from "Normal" to "High" really has makes a difference. For applications that require a lot of memory, we do the same. NetObjects for example takes up to 3 minutes to go from "Browser View" mode to "Editing Mode" when set to "Normal" priority. When set to "High" it changes screens in seconds.

We can't say enough how important it is to have a great deal of RAM with Windows XP Pro. Generally, 512MB is our minimum RAM configuration; however, we recommend a Gigabyte of RAM in all new systems. Remember that with NAVCE 7.6, Outlook 2002, Word 2002, IE6, MSN Messenger, ATI Video Shortcut and Audio Controls shortcut loaded (on a clean bootup with one of each open) you have just used 238MB of RAM without a single keystroke (and/or whatever RAM you have plus you disk cache space to makeup the difference). That's quite an increase over any other Windows OS when you think about it. It kills me that Word 2002 will take up generally around 22MB just to open, and if you have it set as your default mail handler, it will STAY as an open process, keeping that RAM from other use. That's fine if you have RAM to spare, but if you don't you'll see a performance drop off as you load additional applications/data.

4) Clean your registry. Duplicate and invalid entries are still a bitch with Microsoft. It amazes me how much plain crap is in there, not to mention features that are enabled that shouldn’t be, and features that are NOT enabled that should be! Tweaking your registry to tell your OS how much L2 Cache your PC has (for example) will improve your performance. We have found about 20 of these settings that need to be changed and/or customized for your experience. Many XP Tweaking sites list the common fixes and it is something that every user should do.

5) Get TweakUI for Windows XP and enable your ability to see and utilize the “Administrator” ID. We do this first in all new system configurations. All new software installations (REGARDLESS OF WHAT IT IS, but especially AV) should be installed via the “Administrator” account. To do so, you’ll need to see the “Administrator” ID on your login screen. With TweakUI, you need only check a single box to enable seeing your Administrator ID on the logon page. It is important to install software via this account to keep the master profile records of your personal accounts SMALLER and more efficient. By having the “Administrator” ID perform all updates and installations, its’ profile grows larger; however, as you do not use this account for normal PC operations, it is better this way as it will keep your user profiles as compacted and streamlined as possible.

Remember to make a new “System Recovery Restore Point” BEFORE running Windows Update and again BEFORE each new software installation. This way, if things don’t go right, you can always revert back to your previous state through the system recovery features under the “Help and Support” button. We tell all customers to perform Windows and application updates ONLY when logged into the Administrator account. We also recommend that customers do a full system virus scan after the each new software installation and/or system update.

6) There are many people that endorse different companies for different reasons. Our approach to AV is to find the best solution for each individual customer situation. Some people need network protection (Not using NAV 2003 but rather NAV-CE 7.6 for example), others just need something much less sophisticated. Our experience with AV software has proven (if nothing else) that some packages work better for some clients. It really depends on what you are doing with your computer, what applications you run, what hardware configuration you have, what connectivity and communications requirements you may have, etc… While I might offer opinions of different packages, I can honestly state that every AV solution has advantages as well as disadvantages when compared to every other package. In order to determine what your best solution is, it is important to analyze your configuration and use, and ONLY then evaluate the best AV solution for that particular need.

It bothers me when people say, “product xyz sucks” when the truth of the matter is that product xyz may just suck for them and not the next person. Additionally, product xyz may simply be configured wrong which doesn’t mean it “sucks”, but rather that it needs to be tweaked or adjusted by a qualified professional.

In the final analysis, we know that EVERYONE needs AV protection. We should continue to compare and harshly evaluate all available AV software so that we can force greater competition between vendors and continued improvement of products. This week alone, McAfee made some major new product introductions into the reseller channel that will introduce live network-wide updates for clients (meaning when one PC updates, that PC updates the rest of the network’s computers automatically).

My only qualifying comment regarding purchase decision making for AV software is to ensure that your AV vendor is highly active in tracking virus histories and evolutions. Saying that a package finds every instance of every existing virus is great, but that doesn’t do you much good if it takes them two days to come out with a new definition file for a virus released today. Your best bet is to look at their batting average. Examine how long it took them to release a definition, as well as how long it took YOU to get it. We’ve seen cases after the release of major virus’s where they had a fix, but since 2 billion people were trying to download it, it was almost impossible to get the fix. Generally, we stick to the major AV players, specifically because we KNOW that they will quickly release definition updates that will PREVENT our clients from being infected, which is much better than recovering from the infection later.

I hope this intelligently addresses some of the AV operations and performance issues addressed in this thread. Sorry for being so long, but at least it's thorough. :)


Stable Technologies
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