March 11th, 2009


Symantec Endpoint: Computer Performance Killer

I only use Symantec Endpoint for virus scanning because as a University of Iowa Employee, I get it for free. It doesn’t take long to realize that this may be the most universally reviled piece of software currently in use today.

I could just remove it from my computer, and get AVG Free, and be done with it, but for two reasons:

  • Even with its obvious drawbacks, Endpoint is probably better at virus detection than AVG Free
  • Uninstalling Endpoint can be painful.  How painful? Check this shit out!

What I did discover last night though, really pushed me toward pursuing the painful manual uninstall.  I got sick of the performance hit from Endpoint and turned off all real-time protection.  I already have a firewall, so the Endpoint firewall is redundant, and constantly scanning every file operation in the backround completely kills audio performance.  And that’s really the main purpose of my computer.

But… I was using Ableton Live and noticed last night that the CPU usage meter up in the corner of the window was constantly jumping up above 100% usage (!) even with the simplest Live Set.   So I started looking through the XP Services.  Symantec installs several, and on a hunch I disabled them all and rebooted.  Now, the CPU meter in Ableton Live stays constant at 1 or 2 percent when nothing is going on.

So here’s the incredible thing about this:  It turns out that the Symantec Endpoint Firewall services use up incredible amounts of CPU even when the firewall is disabled.

This, thankfully is not the case for the main Endpoint service.  I turned this back on because otherwise virus scanning doesn’t work, and it didn’t spike CPU usage.

I could do another post called Nero Burning Rom Has Turned Into A Bloated Sack Of Fail, having to do with how it installs a file indexing service for Nero Scout without asking, that you have to manually disable, but others have beat me to it.. Unfortunately, when I installed the current version of Nero 8, it didn’t bother putting a Nero Scout applet in the control panel, so I had to run services.msc and kill it myself.

Don’t know how to disable Windows Services? Here’s a decent guide.

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.