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Terrible 3rd world service

Created: 25 Feb 2013 | 9 comments

Today I just spent 45 minutes trying to obtain the cleanwipe utility.  First I was told I had to go to your site to enter a case.  I went to your site to enter a case but as I am not a customer (I was evaluating the product) I did not have a customer ID.  Then I got the runaround when I tried to call back and finally got someone in India who could barely speak English.  I will never do business with Symantec again and will advise everyone I speak to about your horrible business practices that rely on 3rd world quality technicians.


Greg Tompkins

Operating Systems:

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Mithun Sanghavi's picture

Hello Greg,

I sincerely apologize what you have been through. I would request you to PM your concerns and I would put forward your concerns to the correct authority.

Please note that Symantec only recommends using the CleanWipe tool as the final solution for removal of our product, the proper uninstallation steps should always be tried first.

Support Support  -

If you are not able to open a case, there are manual removal documents available that can help you with removing all traces of the SAV/SEP product.

Methods for uninstalling Symantec Endpoint Protection

Manual uninstallation documents for Symantec Client Security products

The reason Symantec requests that people engage technical support to get this utility is because of the potential to remove more than intended (for example, all AV from an entire environment).  As a best practice, we have recommended that users as well as partners consult with tech support to ensure that it is being used in the best way for that specific situation and environment.

After thoughtful consideration and conversation we have determined that Symantec’s best practice recommendation for the availability and usage of CleanWipe remains for users and/or partners to engage Technical Support prior to using this tool.  We kept this recommendation because of the security risks to users and environments beyond what may be initially intended. 

CleanWipe has a specific use.  Generally speaking, users should be able to use Add/Remove Programs to uninstall SEP.  CleanWipe exists for those situations where Add/Remove programs may not solve the users problems.  CleanWipe used by an inexperienced technician can result in loss of functionality beyond what is intended which could cause severe customer dissatisfaction.  By working with Support we can ensure that the CleanWipe tool is being used appropriately and with full understanding of the situation that can help mitigate potential misapplication. 

We do periodically review our recommendations about tools and their availability.  Because of your input, we are discussing whether we can make CleanWipe more accessible.  Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

Check this Article:

How to get the CleanWipe tool (Endpoint Removal)

Hope that helps!!

Mithun Sanghavi
Associate Security Architect


Don't forget to mark your thread as 'SOLVED' with the answer that best helped you.

John Santana's picture

Hi, is there any reason why Cleanwipe is not available for everyone freely ?

Kind regards,

John Santana
IT Professional


Please be nice to me as I'm newbie in this forum.

Brɨan's picture

My understanding was that because it is a powerful tool it could cause problems if in the wrong hands.

Please click the "Mark as solution" link at bottom left on the post that best answers your question. This will benefit admins looking for a solution to the same problem.

John Santana's picture

Hm.. yes that does make sense after all.

Kind regards,

John Santana
IT Professional


Please be nice to me as I'm newbie in this forum.

sandra.g's picture

Additionally, if there are problems that are so great that regular methods of uninstalling don't work and a removal tool like Cleanwipe is required, Support wants to know what they are. If Cleanwipe was freely available, we might not know certain problems are occurring because customers would just zap the installation. Consequently, they wouldn't get fixed.


Symantec, Senior Information Developer
Enterprise Security, Mobility, and Management - Endpoint Protection

Don't forget to mark your thread as 'solved' with the answer that best helps you!

John Santana's picture

Ah ok, thanks for the clarification Sandra. Now I'm enlightened

Kind regards,

John Santana
IT Professional


Please be nice to me as I'm newbie in this forum.

andrewparkes's picture

Judging by the support case I still have open, they wont get fixed anyway. Having this tool available would allow us to "Zap the installation" ourselves and deal with it instead of having to contact the pathetic support that is available anyway.

The lies we have so far been fed from support is nothing short of disgraceful, I have asked them for their reasons for these lies, they just avoid answering them, or just ignore it completely. But its ok, we'll just accept the bluescreens and blame software that is not installed...

hforman's picture

Also, imagine if all your end users could get a copy of cleanwipe.  Passing it from user to user they MIGHT be able to uninstall SEP depending on what rights they have.  I know some execs who don't like SEP and have tried uninstalling it but tamper protection stopped them and notified me.  Cleanwipe can get past that.

P_K_'s picture

Hey Greg, I can understand your concern and frustration about the issue. You may have a bad experience with an Individual for that you cannot blame the company or country for such instance.

There is reason why Cleanwipe is not available easily and it has been explained in detail to you.
A good technician would use clean wipe as his last resort , he would try n number of things before that.

MCT MCSE-2012 Symantec Technical Specialist (SCTS)