• All Community
    • All Community
    • Forums
    • Ideas
    • Blogs
Advanced

Kudos0

Is It Doing Anything?

I recently explained how the Smart Scheduler feature in Norton 360 works to stay out of your way in deciding when to run tasks. The scheduler is so effective that it's common for users to wonder if we're ever performing scans. Neil Rubenking even noted in his PC Magazine review of Norton 360 that "It's so quiet you might begin to wonder if it's doing anything at all."

We want to shed some light on this for anyone (myself included) who can't resist the urge to dig into how things work. We've created a small widget that shows you everything going on behind the scenes:

You can download it here (it's free) and it will work with any active copy of Norton 360 version 2.0. Windows XP users will need to install a copy of Microsoft's .NET Framework 2.0 if they don't already have it.

At the top you will notice a small icon of a person - that's you. Next to it is a timer that starts at 20 minutes and begins counting down after Norton 360 notices you're not moving the mouse or keyboard. Below this is a list of all your computer's resources (CPU usage, disk activity, network traffic, etc...). When the time is right and a scan is pending, you'll see it start up.

When you first run the tool, you might not see any "Pending" jobs. That's okay; it just means Norton 360 doesn't have anything to run right now. In this case, the timer doesn't tick down either. This is for performance - there's no point in the product monitoring user activity if it has nothing to do.

There's one other feature in the widget worth mentioning. In the top right corner, there's a green "play" button. This will make you appear inactive for 5 seconds. Say you're heading off to lunch and want Norton 360 to start its scan now instead of waiting 20 minutes. Click this button, walk away and any pending jobs will start immediately. If you come back before those jobs are done, they'll stop just like normal.

I hope this tool helps provide you with some transparency into the Smart Scheduler feature of Norton 360.


Message Edited by jgonzales on 02-11-2009 06:57 PM

Comments

Kudos0
Dear Mr. Davis. I have recently purchased the Norton 360 program and have major concerns. I aquired a malware trojan downloader on my PC and pop ups and interent access are the major issues affecting my PC. Norton 360 would not detect the problem so i downloaded the PC Tools anti virus that quickly detected the problem and would fix the issue for 39.99 (if i bought the full program). I quickly contacted Norton techincal support who advised me to remove the PC Tools software because it could disrupting the Norton program so i did. Still no detection by Norton, the support next explained to me that it would cost 99.99 to fix the malware trojan downloader. After i researched the trojan downloader i found that any sub par antispyware program could resolve the issue. My concerns come from Norton's ineffective ability not to stand behind there product and fix the issue. THe ability of an inexpensive program to detect and fix the issue concerns me, because Norton 360 could not. It seems to me that Norton program doesnt protect my PC and only serves as a gateway program to more cost on my behalf if an issue arises. I could understand if the problem was caused by a major virus but this is not the case (what i gather from research). This is my first experience with Norton and it has been very trouble some. I was not sure who to contact over my concerns, so i decided to try this blog. The ineffective ability of Norton not to stand behind there product and fix minor issues or design the program to fix the issues concerns me. Thanks you and hope to hear a reply from you soon. Vince Liberato
Kudos0
Thanks Evert and welcome to the Norton blogs! That's exactly what we were shooting for -- small and simple but full of information to show you what's going on behind the scenes of your product. Thanks again for your feedback.
Kudos0
Hi citacomp, I've sent you a PM.
Kudos0
Hi Njinau, thanks for the update. I am glad everything is working as expected now. Don't hesitate to get in touch in again if you have other concerns/comments.

To answer your other question above, "PM" is forum-speak for Private Message. You can send any user on this board a direct message by clicking on their user name and choosing to "Send this user a private message"

Collin
Kudos0
Very nice!!
Some questionmarks are easily being removed and uncovering what is actually going on.
A peace of mind comes into the users of N360.
Genious !!

Kurt
Kudos0
Colin,
Further to my comment/request above, I now find that I cannot replicate the problem. This is possibly because I've since used Registry Mechanic to Optimize Services. I note that the RM function changed some services from "disabled" to "manual". Please treat the problem as "User Error".
Noel
Kudos0
yes, they have .net framework installed (1.1 w/hotfix kb928366, 2.0 sp1 v2.1.21022, 3.0 sp1 v3.1.21022). The error is the standard windows program crash error. "Norton360Status has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." When I click on the "what does the error report contain" link it gives the following information in the error signature section "AppName: Norton360statuswidget.exe AppVer:2.2.2.0 AppStamp:47d86948 ModName: kernel32.dll ModVer:5.1.2600.3119 ModStamp:46239bd5 fDebug:0 Offset:00012a5b" There is also the full contents of the error report which is too long to post here.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Our CompanyNorthern Colorado Computer IT Consultants & Custom Computers
Kudos0
Thanks for your reply Colin,

I didn't really want to have this running on startup, is there no other way to "find it" if you have closed it with the "corner x" ?
Kudos0
I am running XP SP3 with Framework 2.1.2102. The widget clock has no face and is not counting down.
Any suggestions please.
Kudos0
Hi vinsanity, I apologize for this inconvenience. Your previous post has been moved to the Norton 360 board at the following location:
http://community.norton.com/norton/board/message?board.id=Norton_360&mes...
Tony Weiss | Norton Forums Global Community Manager | Symantec Corporation
Kudos0
Colin,

What a PM? What sort of information would you like in it?
Noel
Kudos0

As I said before.. very useful tool.... One small question....
Is it possible to have also net-work activity in a small bar... (out- in going) With this 360 is round in respect to information...

Evert Maurer (The Netherlands) 

Message Edited by emaurer on 04-13-2008 01:22 PM
Evert Maurer (The Netherlands)
Kudos0

Hi vinsanity, the experience you describe is very concerning. I want to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.

I would like to keep this discussion on the topic of the scheduler widget. I've arranged to have your post moved here:


http://community.norton.com/norton/board/message?board.id=Norton_360&message.id=157

We'll follow up shortly in that forum.

Thanks.

[edit: URL updated to reflect new Norton 360 board] 

Message Edited by collindavis on 05-08-2008 01:28 PMMessage Edited by Tony_Weiss on 05-22-2008 05:52 PM
Kudos0
Very cool tool idea but..I tried to download it three times and failed. Error window says Norton 360 has quit working.
I'm using Win Vista Home Premium SP1.
Disappointing :-)

Ron
Kudos0
Moving to NAV/NIS board for better exposure
Kudos0
Hi Ron,

This widget is really still in the "beta" phase, but it definitely should not interfere with your base Norton 360 product. I've sent you a PM to get some more information and help you sort this out.

Collin
Kudos0
Just what I was hoping for. Thanks!
Kudos0
Hi Liverbird43,

Clicking the red X only closes the window - I had a similar experience (not able to find it again). On checking the Taskmanager, I found that the task was still running. I then found the option to add the icon to the Notification Area by clicking on the Options Icon (far right) and choosing "show icon etc.". To restore the window after clicking on the red X, just right click the icon in the notification area.
Noel
Kudos0
Dear Mr Davis, I am pleased with your interest in my concerns but I am having problems reaching the link that you placed on your response, it has been deleted. All I want is for my PC to be fixed due to the problem that Norton failed to fix. Thanks Vince Liberato
Kudos0
Hi Liverbird,

Thanks for the feedback. We did consider making this a sidebar gadget (and we still are). For now though, we wanted all our users including those with Windows XP to be able to use this.

One thing you can do if you want the widget to show up every time you start your computer is add it to your Start Menu's startup folder. To do this, just drag the Norton360Status application to your start menu and drop it in the "Startup" folder.

Collin
Kudos0
Nice informative utility - Thanks

However, it stops my PC from shutting down. I'm running Win XP Pro SP3 with about 90 concurrent processes. When I choose Start/Shutdown some processes stop (about 20) but then the Shutdown proceeds no further. New programs can be activated, but new Shutdowns will not shut any more. The PC is not hung. Once I stop Norton360status then a new Shutdown will complete the operation.
Noel
Kudos0
Hi guys, I'm glad to see this tool is still getting lots of attention. I'm going to try and reply to a few of you in one post here.

cgoldman, If I understand correctly you're trying to use the widget to check if scheduled (not automatic) scans are running. Unfortunately, it's only been set up to monitor idle time tasks. Scheduled tasks should run at the appropriate time and can be confirmed by looking in the details of each of the 4 main categories.

Hi nijinau, this is not a problem I have seen. Are you using the tray icon mode of the widget? Does enabling/disabling it affect the behavior?

I'd ask both of you to drop me PM with your contact information if you're still seeing these problems.

Thanks
Collin
Kudos0
I tried downloading it twice and installing on 2 xp pro machines. After I open the file and say run, it blows up and gives the standard XXX has encountered an error and needs to close.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Our CompanyNorthern Colorado Computer IT Consultants & Custom Computers
Kudos0
Hi, I installed the tool a few weeks ago and closed it with the corner red x ....... after that I couldn't find it anywhere to "open it up" again ??

Tonight I have gone to the installer which I still had and "ran" it again.
Is this what you have to do each time you want the widget in view ??

It would be cool if you could make this as a sidebar gadget ;)

Liverbird
Kudos0
Thanks Evert, we're definitely open to suggestions on this widget. When it comes to the Smart Scheduler, Norton 360 does not distinguish inbound from outbound traffic. This is why the tool only shows a single bar for network activity.

If you're interested in monitoring detailed network activity, there are some cool gadgets available for Vista that do a pretty good job:

http://vista.gallery.microsoft.com/vista/SideBar.aspx?mkt=en-us

Collin
Kudos0
Hi citacomp, I'm sorry you're having difficulty.

Have you double checked that the machines have the Microsoft .NET framework installed? You can get it here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=0856EACB-4362-4...

If that doesn't work, can you provide the text of the error you're seeing and we'll take a look.

Collin
Kudos0
Hi cgoldman, this likely because there are no pending tasks. If Norton 360 doesn't have anything in the queue, it doesn't monitor idle states and the clock won't tick down.

Is there anything listed under "Pending"? If not, give it a couple days and something should kick in.
Kudos0
Hi Liverbird,

I did this by downloading it to my Desktop. When you click on the link in my post above you should be presented with the option to "Save" or "Open" the file. If you choose "Save", you can select to put it on your Desktop. This makes it very convenient for quick access.

Collin
Kudos0
Perfect, nice, small but good information....

Evert Maurer (The Netherlands)
Evert Maurer (The Netherlands)
Kudos0
Alas no. There is the last green bar (100%) and nothing underneath. Scans and backup take place but never according to the schedule. I have separate posts on this. So far nobody using winXP has confirmed that their backup or PC security and tuneup is taking place as scheduled. By scheduled I mean anything other than "automatic" and I have disabled only on idle.
Kudos0

Will such a widget be available for NS?

I assume if yes then a different link would be used as the one listed here no longer appears to exist.

Take care.