[Python-bugs-list] [Bug #114598] Blue Screen crash, popen, Win98, Norton Antivirus 2000

noreply@sourceforge.net noreply@sourceforge.net
Mon, 20 Nov 2000 11:13:26 -0800


Bug #114598, was updated on 2000-Sep-16 13:24
Here is a current snapshot of the bug.

Project: Python
Category: Windows
Status: Open
Resolution: None
Bug Group: 3rd Party
Priority: 3
Summary: Blue Screen crash, popen, Win98, Norton Antivirus 2000

Details: On Windows 98, all of the os.popen*() functions cause a hard "blue screen" crash requiring a reboot, when Nortin Antivirus 2000 is installed and enabled. (Not with Norton Antivirus version 5, not on Windows 2000.)

While this is probably a bug in Norton Antivirus 2000, and we're already warning for this on the download page, that's not enough (we've seen at least one report in the newsgroup), and it would be good if we could somehow prevent it. Even a call to Py_FatalError is better than the blue screen, and raising os.error would be a *lot* better.

Follow-Ups:

Date: 2000-Sep-16 14:26
By: tim_one

Comment:
I don't know how to stop this.  Pissed away an hour trying to get help on the Symantec site, and eventually found a support board to which I posted this msg:

Product: Norton AntiVirus 2000 6.0 for Windows 95/98/NT
Supported operating system: Windows 98
Action: Run Another Program
Error Message: 
Summary: Blue screen crash

I develop the Windows version of the core Python language. Several reports of blue-screen death on Win98 have been traced to NAV2000.  Here's the exact msg from one such:

An exception 0E has occurred at 0028:C02AD9D0 in VxD IFSMGR(04) + 000050E4. This was called from 0028:C000B511 in VxD VMM(01) + 0000A511. It may be possible to continue normally.

This occurs whenever a user executes a member of the popen family of functions from within Python; for example, this Python program:

import os
p = os.popen("dir")

popen is a std C library function, poorly implemented by Microsoft, but not *that* poorly <wink>.

You can get our latest installer here:

http://www.pythonlabs.com/tech/python2.0/download.html

As the warning there says:

-----------------
Incompatibility warning: Norton Antivirus 2000 can cause blue screen crashes on Windows 98 when a function in the os.popen*() family is invoked. To prevent this problem, disable Norton Antivirus when using Python. (Confirmed on Windows 98 Second Edition with Norton Antivirus version 6.10.20. The same Norton Antivirus version doesn't have this
problem on Windows 2000. Norton Antivirus version 5 on Windows 98SE doesn't have this problem either.) 
-----------------

ActiveState is seeing the same problem with their derivative work ActivePython, as is PythonWare with their derivative work PythonWorks. So this affects a lot of people. A recent change to the implementation of a popular library module has made it acutely visible recently (didn't use to use popen, but does now).

A workaround would be nice. More importantly, how can I *detect* whether an affected version of NAV is in use, so that we can shut down Python gracefully with an appropriate message before executing any of the popen functions that throw NAV into blue-screen territory? We try to be a very user-friendly language, and we'll do anything to prevent a crash. Alas, right now I don't know how to stop it.

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Date: 2000-Sep-19 02:21
By: tim_one

Comment:
1. Sent Guido a small self-contained C program in the hope that it's enough to provoke the problem by itself.  Reassigned this bug to Guido since he has to tell me what happens with that next (then assign back to me).

2. That's because Symantec is being no help at all.  They suggest upgrading to NAV 2001(!).  If I can post a tiny C program, maybe it will embarrass then into doing something.  You can follow this soap opera at:

http://servicenews.symantec.com/cgi-bin/displayArticle.cgi?group=symantec.support.win9x.nortonantivirus2000.general&article=57765

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Date: 2000-Sep-19 09:06
By: gvanrossum

Comment:
Tim's little C program crashes in the same way as Python when NAV2000 is enabled. back to Tim...
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Date: 2000-Sep-21 11:32
By: tim_one

Comment:
I cranked up my obnoxiousness level on the Symantec board (URL two comments down), and they may be on the edge of taking this seriously now.
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Date: 2000-Sep-22 20:46
By: tim_one

Comment:
Reduced the priority a notch.  The biggest trigger here was IDLE's use of os.popen (indirectly via webbrowser.py) to launch the Python HTML docs.  I put in a new Windows function (os.startfile) that uses Win32 ShellExecute instead, and changed webbrowser.py to use that.  IDLE now lives peacefully with NAV 6.10.20.

This was all Guido's idea, and he suggested that the priority of this bug should be dropped now.
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Date: 2000-Oct-06 12:23
By: gvanrossum

Comment:
Reduced priority even more. There's not much else we can do about this, it seems, except yell at Norton. :-(
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Date: 2000-Oct-06 16:23
By: tim_one

Comment:
Indeed, I can detect whether AutoProtect is loaded at system startup, but not whether it's currently running.  Just left another nag on the Symantec board but don't expect a useful response.
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Date: 2000-Nov-20 11:13
By: tim_one

Comment:
Assigned to Guido cuz there's something I want him to try:

My new desktop box is running Win98SE and has NAV 2000 version 6.10.20.  But I don't have any problem running os.popen with autoprotect engaged.

Could you try using the NAV LiveUpdate facility to make sure all your NAV components are up to date, and try this again?  The virus defs on my box are dated 11/13/2000.

Perhaps also use Windows Update to make sure your OS components are up to date too.
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For detailed info, follow this link:
http://sourceforge.net/bugs/?func=detailbug&bug_id=114598&group_id=5470