Norton NT Tools by Symantec

New tools for old problems.

John Enck

June 30, 1996

4 Min Read
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New tools for old problems

Peter Norton gained fame from thewidespread acceptance of his DOS-based Norton Utilities. Norton Utilities wassuccessful because it plugged some huge, gaping holes in MS-DOS. But that was along time ago, and Windows NT doesn't have the same holes. You can't compareSymantec's Norton NT Tools to Norton Utilities for DOS and Windows--they'redifferent solutions for different OSs. A better way to look at Norton NT Toolsis to view it as four of the best programs from Symantec's family of Nortonproducts, all ported to run as native, 32-bit NT applications (Intel only).Those programs are the AntiVirus Scanner, the File Manager, System Informationand System Doctor, and the Control Center.

Norton AntiVirus Scanner
Screen 1shows Norton AntiVirus Scanner, which works on all NT file systems and candetect (and often eliminate) thousands of viruses. Symantec updates virus listsmonthly, and you can download these lists into the product from or (Internet), GOSYMANTEC (CompuServe), SYMANTEC (AOL), and SYM-NAV95 (Microsoft Network--MSN).

Norton File Manager
Screen 2shows Norton File Manager, which supports local file browsing, network browsing,and FTP server browsing. With an interface adapted from Norton Navigator, NortonFile Manager includes several interesting value-added features, such as thecapability to zip and unzip files.

Norton System Information and Norton SystemDoctor
Screen 3 shows Norton System Information and Norton SystemDoctor, which let you view your system's resources and configuration settings.The System Information program lets you see the overall system environment, andthe System Doctor provides ongoing information about system resources.

Norton Control Center
NortonControl Center lets you customize the operation and behavior of Norton AntiVirusScanner. It also lets you customize Norton System Doctor.

Norton NT Tools Time
InstallingNorton NT Tools was easy, and I didn't have to reboot the system. Followinginstallation, the program asked me whether to launch the virus scanner--a handystep in the process. When I launched it, I was annoyed to find that my viruslist was outdated and I needed to download a new list--nothing like installing abrand new product from a shrink-wrapped box only to find some of it obsolete.Fortunately, after I ignored that warning, the virus scanner began examining myhard drive with the existing virus list.

You can invoke any of the tools from the Norton NT Tools program group.Alternatively, you can set Norton System Doctor to activate when NT starts, andyou can configure the virus scanner to run at scheduled intervals. Symantecprovides high-quality printed and electronic documentation for all products.

All the Norton NT Tools worked as advertised when I ran them in the WindowsNT Magazine lab. As I reviewed Norton NT Tools, I wondered: How muchbetter is Norton NT Tools than NT's tools? Is Norton File Manager dramaticallybetter than NT's File Manager? Do Norton System Information and Norton SystemDoctor present system information better than NT's Diagnostic, PerformanceMonitor (Perfmon), and Disk Administrator programs? (NT has no counterpart forNorton AntiVirus Scanner.)

Judging Norton NT Tools against the standard NT tools is subjective. I findthat Norton NT Tools does a better job organizing and presenting informationthan the standard NT tools. I can also point to specific features in Norton NTTools that don't have equivalent features in NT.

For example, you can browse local files, network-based files, and FTPserver files (assuming you have an Internet connection) with Norton FileManager. Similarly, Norton File Manager provides tool buttons to zip and unzipfiles. Of course, you can just as well use any FTP client program or a zip andunzip utility. The point, however, is that Norton NT Tools puts several usefultools at your fingertips. You don't have to open a separate program or accessthe command line to start an FTP client or invoke a zip and unzip utility.

Similarly, Norton System Information and Norton System Doctor programsprovide detailed information about system resources in a convenient visualformat. Norton System Information presents detailed information similar to theNT Diagnostic tool, but in an appealing, organized fashion. Norton System Doctordisplays easy-to-read gauges and indicators that show current CPU, hard disk,and memory utilization.

After comparing the features of Norton NT Tools to the standard Windows NTtools, I concluded that Norton NT Tools would be a worthwhile addition to any NTsystem I used. The add-on feature in the Norton File Manager impressed me. Ilike the FTP and zip/unzip support in particular, but you may find other productfeatures that ring your chimes. Norton NT Tools is clearly a product that castsa wide net of features to capture a broad base of potential users.

Tools You Need?
Is Norton NT Tools a valuable addition to most NT systems? Absolutely. Arethese tools first class implementations of virus scanning, file management, andsystem resource management? Sure. Can you live without Norton NT Tools? You'llhave to decide. However, considering its price of $49.95, the value-addedfeatures in Norton NT Tools make the package pretty hard to pass by.

Norton NT Tools

System Requirements: 386/33 or higher (uniprocessor and multiprocessor machines); EGA, VGA, SVGA; 16MB of RAM; 8.5MB of free hard disk space; NT Workstation version 3.51 or later; NT Server version 3.51 or laterSymantec * 800-441-7234 or 541-334-6054Email: [email protected]Web: $49.95 (CD-ROM)

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