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TooStrong
Posts: 243
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
Accepted Solution

What is Norton Power Eraser?

[ Edited ]

I have seen some messages about using Norton Power Eraser if malware got by Norton. What is Norton Power eraser and why would Norton power eraser find a risk if NIS didn't???

 

and also should I download and run it if i am not having any problems just to see if it detects anything?

Thanks Kevin

AllenM
Posts: 10,306
Topics: 226
Kudos: 2,153
Solutions: 379
Registered: ‎12-14-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

[ Edited ]

Hi Kevin,

 

Norton Power Eraser is a pretty aggressive tool designed to find malware which might have slipped through the radar of your primary anti-virus/auto-protect software. It is more aggressive than MalwareBytes and should not be used for routine scanning of your system.

 

This should be used with guidance from senior forum members, Symantec staff or those familiar with its usage and only if malware is suspected to be present on your computer.

 

Because it is somewhat aggressive there is always the possibilty that it could have a false positive so care should be exercised to examine anything it finds before choosing to have it resolved.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Best wishes.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.4.0.13 * Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari.
Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.3.0.12
SendOfJive
Posts: 10,757
Kudos: 4,798
Solutions: 778
Registered: ‎02-07-2009

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

You can view a tutorial, which does a good job of explaining the recommended use of Norton Power Eraser, here:

 

http://www.symantec.com/norton/products/tutorials/tutorials.jsp?pvid=nis2011&tutid=power_eraser

 

 

AllenM
Posts: 10,306
Topics: 226
Kudos: 2,153
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Registered: ‎12-14-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

Thanks SendOfJive, I had forgotten to include that link.

 

Kevin, the main lesson here is to not take the tool lightly. I have tested this pretty heavily and there have been recent and very good changes made to the tool (compared to the past) but it is not considered an every day scanning tool.

 

Best wishes.

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.4.0.13 * Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari.
Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.3.0.12
delphinium
Posts: 9,862
Kudos: 2,965
Solutions: 293
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

Hi Toostrong;

 

Please heed the warnings, particularly if you think you might have a rootkit.

 

Quads' report:

 

http://community.norton.com/t5/Tech-Outpost/TDSSkiller-TDL4/m-p/243067/highlight/true#M1214

 

 

Under certain circumstances profanity provides relief denied even to prayer.
Mark Twain
AllenM
Posts: 10,306
Topics: 226
Kudos: 2,153
Solutions: 379
Registered: ‎12-14-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

Let's remember too that NPE does not just remove everything it finds, it gives the user a chance to say yes or no to individual items before doing the "repair".

 

So while NPE is aggressive and might have false positives on occasion and in worst case might flag a windows system file for deletion, one has a chance to tell NPE "No don't remove this".

 

The moral: the list should be reviewed carefully and if the user is at all unsure what to do, then come ask for advice.

 

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.4.0.13 * Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari.
Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.3.0.12
Bot Obliterator
Quads
Posts: 16,530
Registered: ‎07-21-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

 


AllenM wrote:

Let's remember too that NPE does not just remove everything it finds, it gives the user a chance to say yes or no to individual items before doing the "repair".

 

So while NPE is aggressive and might have false positives on occasion and in worst case might flag a windows system file for deletion, one has a chance to tell NPE "No don't remove this".

 

The moral: the list should be reviewed carefully and if the user is at all unsure what to do, then come ask for advice.

 

Allen


 

Just like Hijackthis and other tools, this can also cause people to tell the user that you can have NPE remove "this file" just like people have done in the past with Hijackthis etc. when files or entries shouldn't be removed.

 

Why did I do the test of TDL3 (+) and NPE,  hhhhmmmmm

 

I heard circulating basically NPE could successfully remove TDL3 and bootkits.

 

Bootkits I knew was a definite NO, I tested that anyway and it is a No for them.

Then TDL3 (+) well we know the result of NPE finding the infected driver and removing it, especially when it's a critical file infected.

Symantec also had the same result of causing the PC to become useless.

 

Quads

 

 

huwyngr
Posts: 21,631
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Registered: ‎04-13-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

[ Edited ]

Allen,

 

<< The moral: the list should be reviewed carefully and if the user is at all unsure what to do, then come ask for advice. >>

 

The problem there, which one knows from registry cleaners, is that if the unskilled user has confidence in Norton, as we hope he or she has, they are likely to take the attitude that the fact that it is listed makes it probably safe just to click on ALL !

 

People often don't know what they don't know ......

 

I say this without having run the current NPE although I think I ran the first ET/Beta and so I don't know how strong warnings are in NPE itself. Certainly here in the forums I believe we should stress even more strongly perhaps that you must know what the file is and what it does before you delete it.

 

In the same way, any message that is posted suggesting reinstalling Windows should include -- if you do not have backups of your data and media to reinstall your applications you will end up without them so you may wish to try a rescue operation first if only to see if you can save your data/

 

Rather as I say about Registry Cleaners -- if you do not know more than the utility does don't use it!

 

A few of us will recognize the Motto of the Cricket Umpire: "When in doubt say Not Out!"



Hugh
AllenM
Posts: 10,306
Topics: 226
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Registered: ‎12-14-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

[ Edited ]

Hi Hugh,

 

This is why when I recommend NPE I have very explicit instructions about this. I include my boiler plate below.

 

For ALL I am not recommending you run this tool, the procedure below is just for illustration about the disclaimer I would use if I were to recommend using NPE. Please do NOT run this! I have DISABLED the link below just in case. :smileywink:

 

Please download the Norton Power Eraser (NPE) and save to a convenient location such as your desktop.

 

Run the NPE, accept the license agreement and then perform a scan.


Please note: do NOT change anything in the Settings tab unless explicitly requested to do so.


When the scan is completed you will get a results page listing anything that NPE found. Please be very careful before clicking on the Fix button. NPE uses pretty agressive routines to detect malware and it may falsely alert on innocent files. If in doubt, let us know what was found by NPE and ask for guidance as to whether to have it fixed before proceeding.


Otherwise, ensure that Create System Restore Point is checked and then click Fix.


Please let us know the results.


Allen 

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.4.0.13 * Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari.
Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.3.0.12
delphinium
Posts: 9,862
Kudos: 2,965
Solutions: 293
Registered: ‎11-21-2008

Re: What is Norton Power Eraser?

The problems I see are as follows:

 

1.  Five out of 10 users will just click fix because they figure that things can't get worse.

 

2.  3  will come back and check to see if it is okay to click fix and one of the less experienced will tell them to

     go ahead and click fix.  The forum does not protect users from this.

     Even if the assistant is firly knowledgeable, there are so many file extensions, so many names and

     extensions used or hijacked by malware, that I don't believe there are more than one or two people on this

     forum competent to say with any authority to go ahead and click fix.  I know I am not. Sorry.

 

3.  One of the others will decide that reformatting is the way to go and they will just reload the operating system

     believing that that is a reformat.

 

4.  One out of the ten will have everything work like clockwork, because the poster who recommended it knew

     the program well enough to know exactly what it was good for, what malware the user had and what was

     likely to show up on the NPE.

 

I'm not  fan of "give it a shot and see if it works" with an agressive piece of  software.

 

JMHO

 

 

 

 

Under certain circumstances profanity provides relief denied even to prayer.
Mark Twain