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Symantec AntiVirus LiveUpdate for Macintosh failure - "There was an error performing the update"

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The error "There was an error performing the update" occurred on a Mac OS X client workstation running Symantec AntiVirus for Mac - the Enterprise product version, not the consumer-oriented Norton AntiVirus for Mac.

The message itself is not very helpful... In order to see a more helpful error message, you'd need to look at the log file : "/Library/Application Support/Symantec/LiveUpdate/liveupdt.log" where you'll find the more descriptive: verifyCertPath():  objCertJ.buildCertPath failed to get cert path.

When I saw the above error message, it occurred to me right away that communication between the Symantec client and their servers was failing. Perhaps I might need to update a certificate by manually installing it ? The fix is easier, in fact. Update the Symantec LiveUpdate itself, which is a 4.6 MB .dmg file.

See Symantec's article here: http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH154634

If you are managing your Macs centrally with Apple Remote Desktop (aka "ARD"), you can use "Send Unix command…" to verify the LiveUpdate version on the client workstations using the following:
defaults read /Applications/Symantec\ Solutions/LiveUpdate.app/Contents/Info CFBundleGetInfoString

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Using ARD, you can centrally push/distribute the updated LiveUpdate by mounting the .dmg download from Symantec, and using the package installer within. After that, use the below command to get the client workstations to update. I suggest updating everything, rather than just (virus) definitions. All on one line:
/Applications/Symantec\ Solutions/LiveUpdate.app/Contents/MacOS/LiveUpdate -liveupdatequiet YES -liveupdateautoquit YES -update LUal

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The command to update definitions only (again, all one one line) is:
/Applications/Symantec\ Solutions/LiveUpdate.app/Contents/MacOS/LiveUpdate -liveupdatequiet YES -liveupdateautoquit YES -update LUdf

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You can monitor some information about the update process by watching the log file (via ssh access, for example):
tail -f /Library/Application Support/Symantec/LiveUpdate/liveupdt.log

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Please note that after repairing the problem (updating applying the LiveUpdate package/updating LiveUpdate itself), the update process can take a very long time ! Just let it do its thing.

Also note that this problem can also occur on a Windows client where - for example -you might be trying to run LiveUpdate from a batch file or other script. See: http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH167145 . You will notice that the specific error message is the same ("verifyCertPath():  objCertJ.buildCertPath failed to get cert path")

The most likely cause of this problem on either platform (Mac or Windows) is that the software is installed without then updating all components right away. And/or updating only virus definitions over a long period of time, without updating the program components - the the extent that the client falls too far out of date to communicate with the update server(s) correctly.

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