Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Symantec = Fail or windows cannot load the user's profile

So I recently started fixing personal computers again recently and remembered why I hate doing it. Anyways I was asked to look at a slow laptop. After taking it home I connected to the internet after noticing it appeared to be virus free. I ran a defrag and it ran some updates.

After doing this and rebooting I saw a screen I didn't like.I was getting aa 16bit 640x480 welcome screen. It gave me the error: windows cannot load the user's profile but has logged you on with the default profile system. Detail - Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service.Ugh and it was giving me an error about bcmwltry.exe. So I rebooted into safe and tried to do a restore. To earlier that day it succeeded but I was getting the same problem. So I tried to before I had touched it and it wouldn't restore. :( I then removed the Dell Wireless utility to at least get rid of the bcmwltry.exe error to see if I would get anymore.

I also created a new user just to check. After rebooting I then selected the new user and get the following error: userinit.exe the application failed to initialize properly 0xc000012d. After looking around I found two forums mentioning Symantec Antivirus as a possible culprit after it had gotten a update of some kind. I am sure while I had it connected to the internet it had done this.

So let me state first off. I have already had numerous problems with various versions of Symantec in the past, don't like it and if I have the choice I uninstall  it. I hadn't done this yet because the user had a up-to-date subscription and I hate to remove a product that someone has paid a subscription for.

Continuing on with the story, I went ahead and in safe mode ran msconfig killed all symantec related startup items. Also disabled all the Services. A reboot later and still no go. I took it a step further in Safe mode. I renamed  the following three folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared 
  • C:\Program Files\Symantec
  • C:\Program Files\Symantec Antivirus
I just added .old to the end of the folders. After a reboot I had the beautiful welcome screen I loved. And guess what, the system was speedy as all get up. That was a good enough excuse for me to remove Symantec. I renamed all three folders back to what they were and did an install of anything Symantec. 
After this I went about my normal computer cleanup steps and installed a free antivirus solution. I predict a very happy client.

MORAL OF THE STORY - Beware of Symantec - (aka If you start having problems with your computer check your Symantec Antivirus Software)


  1. Man,

    God bless you, you save my life. I had the same problem in my workstations.

    Your troubleshooting 100%

  2. I'm sharing this with Symantec to see what they can do about this.

  3. I work for Symantec Technical Support. Do you happen to know what version of SAV was installed on this computer?

    Also why would you make such a blanket statement about a companies products based on one experience. Do you realize how that sounds? That's like saying "Man, I had a Honda and the thing broke down on me. Moral of the story: beware of Honda!"

    That's rather irresponsible of you quite frankly.

  4. Thanks for all the nice comments. I am glad this has helped others.

    As for the Symantec Technical Support comment. As I stated in my blog post this is not the only problem I have had with Symantec’s products. I am usually fair and if this was the first time I had a problem I would have been more hesitant to say what I did at the end of my comments (I actually was more irritated when I did the write up and since then came back and made the comment nicer.) I have had blue screens, fail to login, program instabilities in the past that have been resolved when I removed Symantec(various versions.) now I am not stating that all these problems are always caused by Symantec, as a matter of fact it tends to be seldom that this is the case.

    I would agree a little with your paradigm but it needs to tweaked to more accurately portray the situation. "Man, I bought a Nissan Maxima, and installed a Todd branded Car Alarm. Was great for awhile but then it started driving slow, and then my car couldn't start for multiple days. I sent it to a mechanic who charged me $1,000.00 and fixed it by replacing the car alarm with a different brand." Sadly it's not fair but I would as well as most people take the same steps of avoiding that brand in the future.
    Now I have actually used and recommended Symantec’s enterprise antivirus for large districts. So I am not a Symantec hater, but just have had numerous problems with the home editions of the various suites. The person brought me this computer because they were dependent on this computer and it had been down for days now. I spent hours fighting with it and in the end I didn't have the heart to charge them the 5 hours it cost me to fix it, because at that point it would have been about 1/3 the cost a new computer. Normally after 2 hours I just recommend a fresh re-install but in this case it wasn’t an option.

    I appreciate your feedback and comments, but past experience is what caused me to make my statement.

  5. OK, that's great and all, but you still didn't answer the question. What version of SAV was on the computer in question? This could have a HUGE impact on why this issue was occurring.

    As far as this, and your other previous issues with our products, did you call Technical Support and try to resolve this or the previous issues or find out what was causing them? Or did you just simply assume since it's a Symantec product it's got to be crap and remove it? I'll assume you didn't since there's no mention of it anywhere in this post. Chances are, it was an easy fix. But if you never called support, then you really don't know what the issue was or what was causing it. And THAT'S Symantec's fault? How so? Please explain that to me. Because I'm not following the logic here.

    I can assume since you tout yourself as a computer technician/IT professional you know that driver conflicts can cause BSOD's specifically with AV products due to the way they hook into the OS, and simply uninstalling them can resolve the issue. This doesn't mean it's the AV products fault. It could be a faulty or old driver and updating the driver will resolve the issue. The fact that the free AV worked in this case really has no bearing on the issue because quite frankly, because again, Technical Support was not contacted so you don't really know what was really causing the issue. All you know is removing SAV fixed it. And That's not really a fair or accurate assumption now is it?

    I know our product in the past have been not the greatest. Even I wouldn't have put a consumer version of the AV products on my machines back in the day. However, the consumer products these days are nothing like they used to be. I now use them myself, not because I'm an employee, but because they work and work well, with a very small footprint or impact on the machine. And they install in seconds.

  6. May I suggest that you post your problems to Symantec's forums (Symantec Connect).
    That way, more people can help solve your problems and see your ideas. Maybe they (community) can help in making a better product.

  7. Symantec Employee here again.

    I did a little research into this as well and found that threats can cause issues with Userinit.exe. It's possible the machine was infected at one time, or currently infected with a virus. Can't explain why removing SAV would fix it unless we are trying to scan or clean it, but there is nothing in our KB that I could find that wasn't virus related in one way or another.

    Also my Google search returned the practically same results. Almost all the posts regarding this issue were virus related. I found one total post/article that mentioned it was an issue with SAV. And he also never mentioned the version of SAV that was on the machines. Mind you this was a "hand full" (his words not mine) of machines out of 500+ that SAV was installed on. All the rest were virus related. Still not a valid reason to "beware of Symantec"

  8. Disclaimer: My statements in no way reflect the position or opinions of Symantec. They are mine and mine alone.

  9. Dear Symantec Employee,

    Small footprint my @$$

    Every week when our scheduled virus scan runs, it brings machines to their knees. I'll have my usual look at rtvscan.exe and sure enough, hogging up ATLEAST 50% of the CPU.

    And I have made all the necessary changes to allow for best application performance, etc. etc. etc. Every suggestion support has thrown my way DOES NOT work.

    I continue to hear how it will be better in the future, we promise and how scan times are number one on the list. Right.....

    And don't get me started on technical support. I spend an hour waiting to get through and another hour arguing with multiple technicians / managers to send me to a call center where I can understand the accents.

  10. My site is here to assist people who have the same problems as I, but use the Google mode of resolving problems. Usually I create blog entries if I was unable to find information by doing tons of searches. I didn't do a search of Symantec + my problem because until 5 hours later it hadn’t occurred to me that it was occurring due to the antivirus. Apparently my post has already helped at least 2 other people, actually this post is one of the highest hit and longest time spent on my blog. I am kinda curious how you ran across it.
    It seems that the problem you have with my post is the last line. Everyone who reads blogs posts knows that there is opinion interlaced with fact. So as for that, that is my opinion, your loyal customers won’t be swayed by my comments. As a matter of fact when they find my post, if they are paying for your software then they won’t changed products they will just be happy they have found the culprit and then probably contact your support.
    I can’t remember which version they ran as I don't own that computer anymore. Sorry but I tend to take the replace mentality if I can. If one thing doesn't work right replace it. That's what happened with this problem.
    I appreciate the comments from everyone, but am done commenting on this matter since I have many other things to do.

  11. I'm trying to solve the same issue on my sisters computer. While I did not want to remove the AV (SAV 9), I'm backing the partition right now to try it.

    One thing that seems to temporary solve this is chkdsk at boot (maybe anything at boot). If I 1.enter safe mode "chkdsk c: /f"
    3.answer "Yes" to "run at boot"
    5.chkdsk runs in pre-windows enviroment, 6.chkdsk reboots on finish loads normaly...
    -until the next restart.
    Also, if I skip the check (press a key in the 10s period) it still boots normaly.

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