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If the Oxford Sophos Antivirus Installer fails to install Sophos for Windows it will display a red shield and the message Install Failed. There can be a number of reasons why the installation fails but the most common reason is that you already have another antivirus software product installed such as a product from Norton, Mc Afee, AVG and others.
If you already have up to date antivirus software installed and protecting your computer then you don't need to install Sophos as well.
On Windows and OS X systems the shield may occasionally disappear for a short time while Sophos is installing updates.
Normally however it will reappear within a few minutes.
NB on Windows 7 the blue shield may not be visible. Solid grey shield This icon is used by Sophos for OS X version 7 and means that on-access scanning is disabled so that Sophos will not automatically be checking for viruses when you open files on your computer. It indicates some sort of problem or action that you need to take. Outline black shield with cross in the centre On OS X systems running Sophos version 8 then if updating fails then you'll see a black shield with a cross in the middle of it. This is used only to notify you of major changes or updates to Sophos.
To view the shield on Windows 7 see the answer to the question Why can't I see the Sophos shield in the Windows system tray (near the clock)? Blue and white shield This icon is used by Sophos for OS X version 8 and means that on-access scanning is disabled so that Sophos will not automatically be checking for viruses when you open files on your computer. This indicates a problem which needs to be investigated and fixed. The most common reason is that Sophos needs you to restart the computer, but it may also indicate a different problem such as on-access scanning disabled. This can happen for a number of reasons, but usually it is because the Sophos client cannot connect to the Sophos servers to update itself. The most common reason is if Sophos tries to update itself before your computer has connected to the internet.
If your computer is not connected to the internet you should expect to see updating fail.
This is normal and should correct itself within an hour of connecting your computer to the Internet.
The Oxford Sophos Antivirus Installer window will display instructions together with an email address.This indicates a problem which needs to be investigated and fixed. Sophos will normally also display a message box to show you what the problem is as shown below. Blue and white shield with red circle and white cross If you see a red cross (some may notice that it's really a white cross on a red background) on the shield it means that the last time that Sophos tried to check for updates, it failed for some reason, perhaps because it does not currently have the required network connection. This is often seen if you are using a USB modem for your broadband connection.