Update Symantec without an uninstall password

I had to update an old XP Home test machine to run the latest Symantec Suite of Crap. Installation of new Symantec stuff requires a manual uninstall of old Symantec stuff. Here, I ran into a problem — it prompted for an “uninstall password”.

The default password is “symantec”, but that wasn’t my issue.

Apparently, whenever an old version of the Symantec corporate authentication server is taken offline, the automatic uninstall password process verification is broken, and it keeps prompting indefinitely.

Open the registry editor (Start > Run > regedit) and navigate to:

Set it to 0. It will now not prompt for a password when uninstalling.

Also look at this.

Set it to 0 too. You’ll now be able to unload the service.

Do a Start > Run > services.msc

Scroll down to Symantec Antivirus, go into Properties > Recovery, and disable automatic reload.

Now right-click to stop SavRoam and all the other Symantec services.

You can now uninstall Symantec AntiVirus from the Add/Remove Programs control panel.

Restart the computer. This resumes some necessary services.

You can now install the updated Symantec product.

Useful tools

References