Unable to Unlock Server Group or Start Symantec AntiVirus Server

When trying to unlock a server group in Symantec System 5.0 for Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition, I see the message below:

Symantec System Center
Error: Can't communicate with the Server Group. Verify network connectivity, and that machines are operating within the Group!
If problem persists, try clearing the Server Group cache and re-discovering all Server Groups.


I clicked on Tools and selected Discovery Service. I then clicked on Clear Cache Now. I then clicked on the Close button. But the same problem occurred when I again tried to reopen the server group.

I then clicked on Tools and selected Discovery Service I then selected "Intense Discovery" and "NT Servers" and then clicked on Run Discovery Now. That didn't help either.

I checked the status of the Symantec AntiVirus services by clicking on Start, selecting Run, and typing services.msc and hitting Enter. I saw that the Symantec AntiVirus Server service, which had a startup type of "Automatic" was not started.

Symantec AntiVirus Server
service not started

I double-clicked on it to open its properties window, then clicked on the Start button to start it, but it wouldn't start.

Could not start the Symantec AntiVirus Server service on Local Computer.

Error 10: The environment is incorrect.


I've used the LiveUpdate function after opening Symantec AntiVirus on the server. It downloads the latest updates and appears to be installing them, but the virus definitions date never changes. It always stays at "Version: 4/26/2006 rev. 19".

Searching online I found others reporting a problem with version 8 of the Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition software when a virus definitions file is corrupted. Others also reported receiving the "Could not start the Symantec AntiVirus Server service on Local Computer" message. At How to manually repair or backdate virus definitions for Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 8.x and 9.x, I found a process for dealing with the problem.

The instructions stated "Do not run the *x86.exe Intelligent Updater on an AntiVirus server that manages clients. Use the .xdb file instead." Since the problem was on the antivirus server that manages the other antivirus clients at the location, I needed to follow the xdb method for resolving the problem.

I've copied the portion of Symantec's instructions that applied to the case of the problem occurring on the antivirus server itself, shoud the URL become invalid. Those instructions can be viewed at How to manually repair or backdate virus definitions for Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 8.x and 9.x.

To stop the Symantec services that use the virus definitions, I clicked on Run and typed services.msc and hit Enter. I double-clicked on Defwatch, which was running and clicked on Stop. The Symantec Antivirus Server service was not running, so I didn't have to stop it.

In C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\VirusDefs, I saw the following:

 Directory of C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\VirusDefs

05/04/2006  02:50 AM    <DIR>          .
05/04/2006  02:50 AM    <DIR>          ..
05/04/2006  02:07 AM    <DIR>          20060426.019
05/04/2006  02:47 AM    <DIR>          20060503.018
06/27/2004  08:13 PM    <DIR>          BinHub
05/04/2006  02:50 AM                57 definfo.dat
06/27/2004  08:13 PM    <DIR>          incoming
06/27/2004  08:13 PM    <DIR>          TextHub
05/04/2006  02:50 AM                45 usage.dat
               2 File(s)            102 bytes
	       7 Dir(s)  27,698,786,304 bytes free

When I opened usage.dat in that directory, I saw the following:


Since I didn't see Qsadmin, I didn't worry about stopping the Symantec Central Quarantine, Symantec Quarantine Agent, and Symantec Quarantine Scanner services.

I deleted the folder 20060503.018, which was the most recent virus definitions folder. The previous one, 20060426.019, matched the one that the antivirus software showed for the vius definitions version.

I opened definfo.dat in Notepad. I saw the following:


I changed the value for the CurDefs line to match the one for LastDefs, so I now had the following:


I then saved and closed the Definfo.dat file. I then opened Usage.dat in Notepad and confirmed that the virus definitions version number between the square brackets in the first line of that file, which was [20060426.019] in this case, matched the folder referenced for CurDefs in the Definfo.dat file and that there was only a single square bracket around the heading. I then closed that file.

I then went to the directory where Symantec AntiVirus was installed and looked for any .xdb files with a date that was later than the one listed in Definifo.dat, i.e. any after April 26, 2006. There were quite a few.

C:\Program Files\Security\SAV>dir /od *.xdb
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is A0BF-4A1A

 Directory of C:\Program Files\Security\SAV

04/26/2006  12:00 AM        12,660,324 VD213413.XDB
05/03/2006  12:00 AM        13,897,644 VD214612.XDB
05/10/2006  12:00 AM        13,562,588 VD215413.XDB
05/17/2006  12:00 AM        14,453,877 VD216214.XDB
05/20/2006  12:00 AM        14,180,924 VD216805.XDB
05/24/2006  12:00 AM        13,770,093 VD217021.XDB
05/31/2006  12:00 AM        13,689,546 VD217E13.XDB
06/01/2006  12:00 AM        13,817,548 VD218213.XDB
06/07/2006  12:00 AM        14,035,310 VD218E12.XDB
06/14/2006  12:00 AM        14,010,645 VD219C23.XDB
06/21/2006  12:00 AM        15,117,130 VD21AA18.XDB
06/28/2006  12:00 AM        14,827,009 VD21B814.XDB
11/15/2006  01:00 AM        16,725,897 VD22DE12.XDB
01/03/2007  01:00 AM        15,675,903 VD244642.XDB
03/10/2007  12:00 AM        18,160,659 VD24D409.XDB
09/23/2007  12:00 AM        23,258,437 VD266E08.XDB
02/08/2008  01:00 AM        32,443,671 VD289003.XDB
              17 File(s)    274,287,205 bytes
	       0 Dir(s)  27,698,774,016 bytes free

I deleted all of the later ones, leaving only the April 26, 2006 version.

I then checked the .vdb files and saw the following:

C:\Program Files\Security\SAV>dir /od *.vdb
 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is A0BF-4A1A

 Directory of C:\Program Files\Security\SAV

04/05/2006  11:06 PM        12,233,273 VD210C06.vdb
04/11/2006  11:05 PM        12,090,427 VD211805.vdb
04/18/2006  11:20 PM        12,093,348 VD212614.vdb
04/23/2006  11:18 PM        12,140,032 VD213012.vdb
04/25/2006  11:19 PM        12,162,872 VD213413.vdb
05/02/2006  11:18 PM        12,281,011 VD214612.vdb
05/09/2006  11:19 PM        12,344,102 VD215413.vdb
05/16/2006  11:20 PM        12,359,466 VD216214.vdb
05/19/2006  11:05 PM        12,379,978 VD216805.vdb
05/23/2006  11:07 PM        12,401,856 VD217021.vdb
05/30/2006  11:19 PM        12,478,933 VD217E13.vdb
05/31/2006  11:19 PM        12,529,471 VD218213.vdb
06/06/2006  11:18 PM        12,565,750 VD218E12.vdb
06/13/2006  11:09 PM        12,638,305 VD219C23.vdb
06/20/2006  11:24 PM        12,651,761 VD21AA18.vdb
06/27/2006  11:20 PM        12,686,922 VD21B814.vdb
11/15/2006  12:18 AM        13,634,640 VD22DE12.vdb
01/03/2007  12:14 AM        14,306,593 VD244642.vdb
03/09/2007  11:09 PM        15,806,627 VD24D409.vdb
09/22/2007  11:08 PM        19,881,246 VD266E08.vdb
02/08/2008  12:03 AM        26,869,016 VD289003.vdb
02/08/2008  09:00 PM    <DIR>          I2_LDVP.VDB
              21 File(s)    288,535,629 bytes
	       1 Dir(s)  27,698,745,344 bytes free

There was no file dated April 26, 2006, but there was one dated April 25, 2006. Its name matched the .xdb filename, VD213413.xdb, except for the .vdb at the end. I left that one and deleted all of the others. I then deleted all of the subfolders beneath the I2_LDVP.VDB directory, but left that directory itself.

After that, I started the Defwatch service again by double-clicking on it and choosing Start. I then did the same thing for the Symantec AntiVirus Server service, which I had not been able to start previously. It started without any errors this time.

I then opened the Symantec AntiVirus Coporate Edition program and clicked on the LiveUpdate button. I was informed that LiveUpdate was already running. I waited a few minutes and checked again. This time the definitions version was listed as "2/17/2008 rev. 3". I was also able to go to the Symantec System Center and unlock the server group.


  1. How to manually repair or backdate virus definitions for Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 8.x and 9.x
    Document ID: 2002102209110448
    Last Modified: 11/06/2007
    Date Created: 10/22/2002
    Product(s): Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 8.0, Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 9.0
    Release(s): SAV 8.0, SAV 8.0 [All Releases], SAV 8.01, SAV 8.1, SAV 8.1.1, SAV 9.0, SAV 9.0 [All Releases]
    Symantec Corporation