Symantec Cleans Up Their Registry Mess

After admitting that the SymProtect feature of its security products was at least partially to blame for registry corruption which occurred during both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1 upgrades, Symantec promised a standalone utility to remove the corrupted entries, and it's finally delivered on that promise.

SymProtect, designed to protect Symantec's security software from being hacked by malware, guards against unauthorized changes to the registry.

Reese Anschultz, a senior Symantec manager, announced the availability of SymRegFix on a company support forum yesterday.

When some users on that same thread noted that the tool had not deleted all the spurious registry keys, another Symantec employee stepped in. "The other garbage entries may have been created by Microsoft's Fixccs.exe outside of the Symantec registry keys," said Steve Dang.

Earlier, Symantec had identified the Fixccs.exe executable as the Microsoft side of the problem; it had also contended that other security software that monitors registry changes can cause registry pollution, although few incidents have been logged to Microsoft's support forums.

Our guess is Microsoft was testing the upgrades only on systems running Windows Live OneCare, its own security product.

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