On the Microsoft Surface Pro, but actually any Windows 8 computer, Symantec may not install correctly. If you are using an unattended or silent installer, you won’t be given any error message, just that SEP didn’t install and isn’t running in the system tray. If you go searching in the event log for clues, there doesn’t appear to be anything concrete. One entry with Event 11708 for MsiInstaller simply says “Installation failed.”
Part of the problem is that Symantec may install just fine some times but not at all other times. It seems inconsistent but it all comes down to timing. If Windows Updates were able to run before you tried to install Symantec, the install will likely fail. Particularly KB2781197, which updates Windows Defender, will get in the way.
In order to install Symantec Endpoint Protection, remove KB2781197. You can do this by going to the Control Panel and choosing Uninstall a Program. From there, click on ‘View installed updates’ on the left column. Scroll through the list or use the search for ‘kb2781197’ and choose to uninstall it. You will likely have to reboot and then you will be able to install the SEP client.
In a Symantec support thread, it is recommended to take these two steps:
+Disable Windows Defender before installing the SEP client
+Remove KB2781197 before installing the SEP client
From my experience, just removing the Windows Update was sufficient and I was able to get SEP installed. In some instances, it took a few cycles of removing the update and restarting before Symantec would take. I would sometimes disable automatic updates to keep it from reapplying and that seemed to help. If you install Symantec first thing, it tends to beat the Windows Update and work just fine. Since I’m installing Symantec and not using Windows Defender (the rebranded Microsoft Security Essentials), I feel KB2781197’s update to Windows Defender is less important and am considering declining it through WSUS.