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Thread: Mac virus

  1. #1


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    Mac virus
    I have a macbook air, and I think it might have a virus. The computer seemed to be working just fine, but all my desktop icons had disappeared. I found them in the trash, and when I went to drag them back to the desktop, the computer began to open every file on the harddrive. I held down the power button and turned it off. I tried turning it back on, but it started opening more files, at which point I turned it off for good. Has anyone heard of such a thing? I have almost all my files backed up, but am worried about the hard-drive. Will take it to the genius bar tomorrow...

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwcecon View Post
    I have a macbook air, and I think it might have a virus.
    I doubt it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwcecon View Post
    Has anyone heard of such a thing?
    Nope. Probably an individual situation issue.

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  3. #3

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judith1314 View Post
    I also guess it is not the virus problem,but the hard drive's problem. Since you have backed up everything in your disk, you can try to format your hard drive and then recover it, but you need to think twice if you do like that. I'm also not sure whether it is the hard drive problem or not. Good luck!
    What you're suggesting is akin to telling someone whose car won't start to go ahead and rip out the motor and drivetrain and replace it. While I'm sure that would do the job, it isn't exactly practical.

    Please make sure you understand the problem before you make suggestions on how to correct it.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  4. #4

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwcecon View Post
    I have a macbook air, and I think it might have a virus. The computer seemed to be working just fine, but all my desktop icons had disappeared. I found them in the trash, and when I went to drag them back to the desktop, the computer began to open every file on the harddrive. I held down the power button and turned it off. I tried turning it back on, but it started opening more files, at which point I turned it off for good. Has anyone heard of such a thing? I have almost all my files backed up, but am worried about the hard-drive. Will take it to the genius bar tomorrow...
    Have you changed anything on the computer recently? Installed any new software, added any new hardware (like a new mouse)? Does anyone else have physical access to the machine?

    Once we understand those questions, we can probably give you some better direction.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  5. #5

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Let us know what the Genius bar folks end up doing. That's a very strange problem.

  6. #6

    CPulsar's Avatar
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    I know of someone a few years back that had a similar problem and he said it ended up being a virus of some sort. But since you are using a Macbook Air and I am new to Macs I really have no suggestion for you. As other members have said it also could be power supply, memory, or hard drive. When I was using my last PC I had an issue where my computer would shut off unexpectedly. After I checked all my software and knew for sure my computer had no virus then I started checking the hardware. I eventually figured out that one of my memory chips was bad.

  7. #7

    cwa107's Avatar
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    It could easily be a RAT (Remote Administration Tool) - which is not actually a virus, but a Trojan - either way, it's just as mischievous. Unfortunately, without the answers to my questions above, it's going to be hard for us to tell. However, RATs do exist for OS X and there is a culture of hackers who exploit them and this is sometimes evidenced by the hacker messing around with the user.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  8. #8


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    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    It could easily be a RAT (Remote Administration Tool) - which is not actually a virus, but a Trojan - either way, it's just as mischievous. Unfortunately, without the answers to my questions above, it's going to be hard for us to tell. However, RATs do exist for OS X and there is a culture of hackers who exploit them and this is sometimes evidenced by the hacker messing around with the user.
    That should be easy to confirm by disconnecting from the wireless network or powering down the router to see if the problems cease.
    Steve
    UK

  9. #9

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    The OP was going to go to the Genius bar today, so at this point further suggestions could wait, but one thing to do is to open in either the Recovery mode or Safe mode, or even Single User mode. From there he/she could try to figure out what's going on, or to restore from a good backup. It will be interesting to see what the Genius says/does.

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by rwcecon View Post
    I found them in the trash, and when I went to drag them back to the desktop, the computer began to open every file on the harddrive.
    This sounds EXACTLY like what might happen when someone who is not very good at mousing tries to throw something away but accidentally selects all and thus moves everything into the trash.

    Subsequently when trying to "drag them back to the desktop" (there's your problem right there -- NOTHING BELONGS ON THE DESKTOP BUT YOUR HARD DRIVE ICON) he double-clicked on them (or pressed command-o) and since everything was selected, everything began to open.

    I've seen this many times, mostly with people who don't have good mouse skills.

    So no, you don't have a virus. What you do have (most likely) is a "selection" issue.

  11. #11


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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post

    (there's your problem right there -- NOTHING BELONGS ON THE DESKTOP BUT YOUR HARD DRIVE ICON)
    Gosh, I must have missed that very important rule on how to use my computer...thanks so much for the enlightenment.

    [/sarcasm]

    I guess someone should tell Apple....

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2472
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  12. #12

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Just a note, just because apple shows icons on the desktop does not mean you have to follow that example. The more junk on the desktop the slower it will load. ask any GOOD windows tech and they will tell you the same thing.

    Do what you want but what Chas said although maybe a bit much is a good rule to follow if you can. A few things will not hurt you but if you do what my late friend did and have 1000's of things there it BOGS down the system and the load times also.

  13. #13


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    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    Just a note, just because apple shows icons on the desktop does not mean you have to follow that example. The more junk on the desktop the slower it will load. ask any GOOD windows tech and they will tell you the same thing.

    Do what you want but what Chas said although maybe a bit much is a good rule to follow if you can. A few things will not hurt you but if you do what my late friend did and have 1000's of things there it BOGS down the system and the load times also.
    Yes, I plan on putting thousands of files on my desktop.....

    [/sarcasm]
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  14. #14

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Watch the Tude. Was just trying to help as was Chas. 100 files can slow it down. Used my friend as an example. Have a great day.

  15. #15


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    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    Watch the Tude. Was just trying to help as was Chas. 100 files can slow it down. Used my friend as an example. Have a great day.
    Lets put some real world to work here shall we.

    I just put 651 folders, containing over 20,000 items, 7.7 gbs of data, on the desktop of my 2012 mini.

    I ran xbench before and after...

    The scores were identical.

    Shall we try again?

    Added on edit.

    So I ran the test again, same number of files and folders on the desktop.

    Fresh boot, nothing on the desktop 1min, 35 seconds to boot. Xbench score of 211

    Fresh boot , all the folders on the desktop 1min, 43 seconds to boot. Xbench score of 212.
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