So you inherited a PC? Sweet. But dang, it has Symantec’s crapware Endpoint Protection 11 on it. Tried uninstalling, but you need a password? Don’t know it? Sorry dude.
Actually, there’s good news. There is a way to remove SEP 11 without the password. The first (and easier) way is detailed here. Unfortunately, that way didn’t work for me (I think Symantec disabled it in an update), so I found another way to remove it.
Disclaimer: Don’t do this on a work-issued PC. Your company may have policies about such things, which, if violated, could get you in trouble.
Steps to remove Symantec Endpoint Protection 11 WITHOUT knowing the uninstall password:
- Click on Start -> Run (or Window Key + R if you don’t have the Run menu item)
- Type smc -stop. If it prompts for a password, open regedit (Window Key + R; type regedit; hit ENTER) and then navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection\SMC. Look for the smcexit key, delete it, and then type smc -stop in the Run box again. Note: my key was called smcexit-test or something like that, but deleting it had the same effect.
- Now, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Symantec\Symantec Endpoint Protection\SMC. Look for the smcinstdata key; delete it.
- You should now be able to use Add/Remove programs (or Programs & Features in Vista & 7) to remove SEP 11 without supplying the uninstall password.
- You’re now free from the shackles of Symantec. Enjoy a 10-15% performance boost.
For a free replacement antivirus/anti-spyware program, I’d recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. I’ve used it for a couple years with no problems, and it seems to go easy on my system resources.
Did this guide work for you? Let me know either way below.