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What does a 'hardlock driver' error message mean?

I just upgraded my Windows 2000 Pro machine with XP SP2. I am getting a strange error message when trying to update my Symantec antivirus using the Intelligent Updater download. The error message reads "HLVDD - Hardlock Virtual Device" and then says "Cannot find ///FAST Hardlock Driver." I also get an event ID 7000 referencing Hardlock service in Event Viewer. Any idea what that error means? The only time it shows up is when updating the virus definitions from Symantec.

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A hardlock driver is usually a related to a physical dongle that is attached to a USB or serial port as a arcane manner of software licensing. There is no reference to it in Microsoft's or Symantec's knowledge base, so I can only imagine it must be related to something else you're running.

This was first published in March 2005

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