Want to reformat without anything being left over

Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
I'm planning to do a reformat soon and I want to do it in a way where nothing gets left behind. Specifically I'm talking about trojans/malware which unfortunately got on my computer because I left my password laying around and company hopped on my Macbook. I know I can zero out the hard drive, but would would any trojans/malware be able to survive that? Would they be able to infect the bios?
 

Slydude

Well-known member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Messages
17,664
Reaction score
1,120
Points
113
Location
North Louisiana, USA
Your Mac's Specs
M1 MacMini 16 GB - Ventura, iPhone 14 Pro Max, 2015 iMac 16 GB Monterey
Zeroing should get rid of everything. If you try one of the multi pass options be prepared for it to take a long time.

Just out of curiosity what behavior are you seeing that convinces you that you have picked up malware/trojans?
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Messages
4,695
Reaction score
73
Points
48
Location
houston texas
Your Mac's Specs
09 MBP 8GB ram 500GB HD OS 10.9 32B iPad 4 32GB iPhone 5 iOs7 2TB TC Apple TV3
Zeroing should get rid of everything. If you try one of the multi pass options be prepared for it to take a long time.

Just out of curiosity what behavior are you seeing that convinces you that you have picked up malware/trojans?

+2 it has my curiosity as well.
 
OP
N
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Company was over yesterday and they brought their kids. They asked if they could use the computer and I said yes figuring 20 something year olds should be smart enough with using the computer and also thinking it would be ok since Macs are more secure. Now I realize I shouldn't have done this but I keep my password written down close to the computer in case I forget it. They ended up going on a website which they say they can't remember the name of (which I still highly doubt) and then came to me saying they couldn't get a video to load even though they installed a codec for it. I asked how they installed a codec and after hounding them for the answer they admitted they found and used my password. I was livid to say the least, especially after using the DNS remover tool from Securmac which found something. I learned a lesson the hard way about how stupid of me it is to keep my password so close to the computer and about trust. I just decided to reformat because who knows what else they messed with. And trust me, I don't plan on letting anyone else use my Mac again, or keeping the password written down.

So as I said I did do a reformat, but do I have anything to worry about now? On windows there are viruses which can infect the bios so even doing a reformat won't get rid of this. Supposedly there aren't any viruses on the Mac but could trojans or anything else have infected my Mac bios? Do I have anything to worry about (besides who I let use my Mac)?
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
3,308
Reaction score
58
Points
48
Location
Whangarei NZ
Your Mac's Specs
27 iMac+Thunderbolt, iMac 21,
With Snow Leopard and Leopard you have the choice of Guest Account for any visitors. Set that up as well as Fast User switching ahead of time and then you can allow others to use your computer but keep Admin for yourself.
The 20 y-olds would be smart enough to be dangerous IMHO
 
C

chas_m

Guest
1. Chances are your machine is completely uninfected with anything. There are no Mac viruses, but there IS one bit of malware that could be gotten by trying to download a "video codec" that claims to allow you to watch free porn. I wouldn't (obviously) put this past immature 20-something-year-olds, but they'd have REALLY had to have been on the hunt for this ONE SPECIFIC MALWARE TRICK and worked REALLY fast to get it on your Mac, so again I think the odds are against it (though that would explain why they "can't remember" the site they went to).

2. Nothing has infected your Mac BIOS, mainly because the Mac doesn't have BIOS to infect (but also because no trojan/malware/virus exists for the Mac that can affect the deeper levels of the system).

3. You know, this is exactly WHY there's a "Guest Account" available in Leopard and Snow Leopard, though I guess that may not have stopped them in this case ... anyway, next time, use the "Guest Account" option, it's safe and disposable.
 
OP
N
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
From now on if I do let anyone else use my Mac...and after this ordeal that's a big if, I'll make them use a guest account.

I did something which I'm sure people will say is unnecessary, but after this I'm just paranoid. I downloaded and installed iAntivirus. I got it off of Cnet's website, but there are 2 things that happened which I'd like to ask if they seem normal for you. When installing iAntivirus it didn't ask me where I wanted to install it but said it would be installed for all users. Does that seem normal? Also, after using it and messing around in 1 pane it sort of locked up and wouldn't go back to the iantivirus home screen. I restarted the computer and it seems to be fine, but are chances that it was just a glitch/freeze, or could it be something bad?

Also, what can I do for sure to know I'm safe. I have some online banking to do but after this I'm a nervous wreck. I feel like I'd almost rather die than for identity theft to occur.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
5,658
Reaction score
159
Points
63
Location
*Brisvegas*
Your Mac's Specs
17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3
I think it's best to remove the iAntivirus from your computer. There are no virii for OS X and hence no virii definitions for the antivirus to look up. It'll just be a process on your mac acting as a recource hog. Just delete iAntivirus. And get this instead.

Onyx - for your version of OS X.
Titanium Software

Read the documentation for it well. But that is one of the best things to keep your mac healthy these days. it's a Mac maintanance application. And in my opinion that's all you need.
 

dtravis7


Retired Staff
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
30,133
Reaction score
703
Points
113
Location
Modesto, Ca.
Your Mac's Specs
MacMini M-1 MacOS Monterey, iMac 2010 27"Quad I7 , MBPLate2011, iPad Pro10.5", iPhoneSE
That codec is usually found on a PORN video site! It's a DNS redirector which will redirect you to a different web sight URL then the one you typed in.

Never leave your Admin password where people can steal it. Even on OSX.

I think the guest account is a great idea for your friends. :D
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top