Symantec Sonar Errors

By Peter Mitchell

SONAR, or Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response, comes with the latest versions of Symantec's Norton Antivirus software. The tool helps the software determine which applications might harm your computer based on their behaviors. Symantec SONAR errors can result in problems running Norton Antivirus or issues with blocked "safe" programs.


SONAR first appeared as a built-in feature of Norton Antivirus in 2010. At the time of publication, Symantec includes SONAR 4 as part of the Norton Antivirus 2012 package. If SONAR regularly causes errors in your system or blocks the wrong programs, you can turn it off. This option lies under "Settings" and "Real-time Protection" in the Norton program.

Error 3039,1

The Symantec support forums list examples of users hit with an error known as SONAR advanced protection error or Error 3039,1. In particular, the error appears to affect Norton 2009 products not upgraded to 2010. In this case, running LiveUpdate, an automatic update function turned on in the Norton console, fixes the issue.


Symantec's Norton Antivirus website lists a solution to the 3039,1 error if found in Norton 2012. It suggests downloading the Norton Removal and Reinstall tool from the website. The tool deletes all Norton files on your machine and then installs the most current version of the software. This should fix the 3039,1 error commonly associated with SONAR.

False Positives

Known Symantec SONAR errors also include false positives. Because the software uses an algorithm to decide if an application is safe or a threat, occasionally harmless software is accidentally blocked. Symantec offers an online security-risk dispute form. Complete this if you believe your software has been blocked in error, and Symantec will remove it from the SONAR blacklist.