12-11-2010 12:08 PM - last edited on 12-11-2010 01:09 PM by Dave_Coleman
When I bought my computer almost a year ago it came with Norton Online Backup (NOBu) and 5 GB of storage pre-installed. Within a month I ran out of space and so on February 12 I bought another 25GB. I assumed it was working but in August I discovered that the additional storage was not actually available to my account; that is, for the first 6+ months of a 12-month subscription I was locked out of the space I had paid for, and for 6+ months I was getting no backup protection at all. Furthermore, there were no warning messages or any other indications from Norton that there might be a problem.
On August 22 I attempted to purge everything on backup and start over and a week later the NOBu Home page still showed "Purge in progress". This meant that I was completely locked out of all NOBu activity. I contacted Norton Support and over the course of two days I spent about eight hours on line with at least ten different analysts, all of whom asked the same questions, gave the same responses, attempted the same fixes, and seemed not to have the slightest idea about what to do to resolve the problem. They all seemed to think that they could look at my computer and find out why the Norton computer was hung up. Needless to say, they had zero success.
Then I got an answer of sorts, via email. I was instructed to remove and then add the computer to the Norton account. This did succeed in breaking the backup-in-progress loop and it also connected me for the first time to the 25GB that I had paid for back in February. It also wiped out all of my previous backup data, which happened to be worthless anyway, as it was six months out of date. So now, starting in September, I should finally have the backup protection that had been missing since the beginning.
On September 8 I emailed Norton to say that the system seemed to be working, but I that I was not sure because I couldn't interpret the NOBu Activity Log information. For example, the log showed the following backup history:
9/3/2010 11,483 files 3.96GB (why was the original 5GB not sufficient?)
9/4/2010 3,997 files 1.12GB (does this mean an ADDITIONAL 3,997 files in 24 hours?)
9/5/2010 3,980 files 1.12GB (still ANOTHER 3,980 files in 24 hours?)
At this point, the log showed a total used of 5.05GB out of 30GB available, which doesn't jibe with the numbers above.
For a long time after that the log showed about 3,997 files backed up each day. I asked Norton (repeatedly) for some help in understanding just what information the log was supposed to be conveying. I have yet to get any kind of an answer, either good or bad. The Activity Log showed the most recent backup to be on 9/6/2010 at 1:11:56 but the File Actions Options page showed the most recent backup to be on 9/5/2010 at 6:29:00. The Norton people seem to be at a loss to explain differences like this.
In Settings/What/Additional Files and Folders I had added a number of files that are not in C:\Users\... There was no indication that this was not a perfectly legitimate thing to do (why would it be an option if it weren’t allowed?) but I found that these files were never backed up (but still no warning message), and furthermore, even if such files were to be backed up there is no way to navigate to these files to recover them again. I asked for help in this and got (as usual) no answer. If anybody at Norton knows the answer they are keeping it a secret.
One day an analyst and I had a long on-line and telephone session in which I demonstrated (several times) that we could perform a backup, go in and modify one of these additional files, and then attempt to recover the original by recovering the library that contained the file. (Apparently he didn't realize the difference between a library and the files in a library.) The result was always that it was the modified file that was still on the disk. He then created a lot of log files of various kinds which he said he would analyze and then get back with me "in a week or two". That was three months ago and I don't expect an answer any time soon.
On September 15 I decided to give up on these additional files and removed them from the backup What page. Here is the backup information from the log:
9/4/2010 through 9/14/2010 3,998 files 1.12GB 5.06GB used
9/16/2010 12,049 files 4.41GB 9.36GB used
How can it be that when I REMOVE files from the backup list the number of files backed up jumps from 3,998 to 12,049? How can usage jump by 85%, from 5.06GB to 9.36GB? Why was there any kind of change, if these files were being ignored anyway, and if they weren’t being ignored, what was NOBu doing with them? I have never received any answer (good or bad) on this.
On October 27 I discovered that none of my files had been backed up for several weeks (and no warning from Norton that there might be a problem). I performed backups at 4:14 and 4:33 PM and then attempted to recover a file. The NOBu page came up with the message that the recovery would be from the latest backup on 9/22/2010! How can 9/22/2010 be the date of the latest backup when I just did two backups in a row and the log confirms it? And I just checked again today, December 10, and the LATEST BACKUP IS STILL 9/22/2010! I'm still paying for Norton Online Backup, and had I not discovered the problem I would still be relying on NOBu for backup protection, when in fact there has been no backup protection for nearly three months.
And remember, this is three months without backup in ADDITION to the 6+ months without backup before the extra 25GB of storage got activated. This is all out of a single year's subscription. Furthermore, I am quite certain that given the record of Norton so far, I won't be getting any backup protection between now and when the subscription runs out in February. So out of a year's subscription I seem to have gotten a few backups last January and at least two in September. Today in my inbox I found a blurb from Norton about how "your holiday pictures are precious", so buy Norton Online Backup today to make sure that those precious pictures are "protected"!
There is a long record of emails and on-line chat sessions that documents the problems I have had with Norton Online Backup, and there is a long list of their promises to get back to me in "24 to 48 hours" or within "a week or two" ( the most recent being on November 22) and there have been more than enough BS answers and empty promises. What I would really like at this time is to get my money back, because I have given up on ever getting a straight answer from Norton, or of ever getting this problem resolved. Even if they could get it fixed I have absolutely no confidence that Norton products actually protect anything.
(Moved to its own thread and edited the subject heading.)