Can Apple get a Virus?

tomax7

Registered
I've been hearing all the hype and TV ad's that Apple can't get a virus.

How about spyware via Safari?

My wife's iMac duo OSX Tiger just recently (within the month) began booting up slow, loading items slow, and now can not connect to the local network either via wireless or ethernet cable at all.

My first thought was: virus. Second: spyware. Third: Microsoft conspiracy

;-)

Me being a Windows guy is trying to figure out how to attack this and find what is wrong, any help appreciated.

1. Is there a "registry" or msconfig one can look around and see what is running? Can I use Linux commands like 'service network start' and other Linux commands via Terminal window to fix things, like stop jobs?


2. Is there a "chkdsk" or defrag command? Apple says it doesn't need defragmentation. Ok fine, but I want to.

3. A side question, how many times can one reload/reformat Apple without having to 'call home' to authenticate it?

cheers
tom
 

Viro

Registered
1. Is there a "registry" or msconfig one can look around and see what is running? Can I use Linux commands like 'service network start' and other Linux commands via Terminal window to fix things, like stop jobs?

There is no registry. Thank goodness for that.

ActivityMonitor lists all processes that are running on the system at any one time. This allows you to see if there is any rogue process that is hogging all the CPU time. If you want a more command line approach, you can always go to the Terminal and type "sudo ps -aux" and that does pretty much the same thing.

2. Is there a "chkdsk" or defrag command? Apple says it doesn't need defragmentation. Ok fine, but I want to.

Google a tool called iDefrag. That's a cheap defragmenter that runs on OS X.

There is no need to defrag disks on most modern Unix file systems, and Mac OS X. It is a pointless task, that doesn't improve performance, but actually brings up the possibility of losing data. For a good explanation of why Linux (and modern file systems in general) don't need to be defragmented, have a read of this.

3. A side question, how many times can one reload/reformat Apple without having to 'call home' to authenticate it?

It *never* phones home, since there isn't a unique registration key with Mac OS X. If you bought 1 copy of Mac OS X and installed it on 1 or a billion Macs, Apple wouldn't know. Guess they rely on the users being honest people :)
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
There are no known instances of spyware for OS X. There are also no known viruses that can affect the current version OS X.


Viro is right about defragmentation. In addition to whta is discussed in his link, OS X has a built-in dynamic defragmenter. It's not perfect, but it's good enough to make defragmenting utterly pointless for most people.

I'm actually a proponent of defragmenting on Macs, but even so, I have to acknowledge these facts. Defragmenting is only useful in very specific cases. There's been quite a bit of discussion/debate/name-calling (;)) about this on these forums. The search feature would probably bring up something (then again, the search feature here isn't very good...).

For general file system repair, try the command-line tool fsck. Or just use Disk Utility (preferably when booted from your OS X installation DVD).
 

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
The trick you might want to use is the free/donationware application called Yasu. Run this app and it should help you after the Mac reboots.
 

macworks

Christopher Raymond
While Safari is, by far, still my favorite browser, it is not perfect. It uses quite a bit of RAM and disk cache. If she hasn't rebooted in a while or at least restarted Safari, restarting it may help.

As far as viruses are concerned, sure it's possible to get viruses, but with UNIX under the hood, Mac OS X is much less susceptible to them due to the multiple layers of file system security.

Reinstalling OS X is not likely going to do anything other than waste more time. Its possible that the hard drive has file system damage, so checking it with a repair tool is the smarter way to go. If you're only going to buy one tool for the Mac, get Alsoft's DiskWarrior and run that.
 

Natobasso

Tech-Bot 5000
It *never* phones home, since there isn't a unique registration key with Mac OS X. If you bought 1 copy of Mac OS X and installed it on 1 or a billion Macs, Apple wouldn't know. Guess they rely on the users being honest people :)

The only system install limitation I know of right now are device-specific OS X discs.
 

Viro

Registered
The only system install limitation I know of right now are device-specific OS X discs.

They are system specific, but by model only. You could buy 1 copy of the Macbook system install discs and install them on a billion Macbooks and you wouldn't have any problems.

Well, actually, you probably would warp the discs from being used so much. And you'd take a few thousand years to do all of them. And all Macbooks come with system discs anyway. But the point is, there isn't a limit on the number of machines you can install OS X on, given a set of install discs. :)
 

Viro

Registered
While Safari is, by far, still my favorite browser, it is not perfect. It uses quite a bit of RAM and disk cache. If she hasn't rebooted in a while or at least restarted Safari, restarting it may help.

He mentioned startup of the Mac being slow. I think it's a given that he has tried rebooting.

As far as viruses are concerned, sure it's possible to get viruses, but with UNIX under the hood, Mac OS X is much less susceptible to them due to the multiple layers of file system security.

There are no Mac OS X viruses out in the wild. This does *not* mean that you can forget about practicing safe computing (i.e. opening attachments from sources you know, etc). There is nothing inherently magical about Mac OS X. It just makes it more difficult for you to accidently do something that could fsck up your system.

Reinstalling OS X is not likely going to do anything other than waste more time. Its possible that the hard drive has file system damage, so checking it with a repair tool is the smarter way to go. If you're only going to buy one tool for the Mac, get Alsoft's DiskWarrior and run that.

Err... a reinstall *will* correct filesystem damage. However, it should always be a last resort as you need to make sure you back up your documents and settings, something that can be a pain to do.
 

Shookster

Registered
I find it interesting that a lot of people presume simple problems are caused by viruses (virii?) due to the media blowing them out of proportion. If you don't use file sharing networks, don't visit dubious/illegal sites and don't click on links in spam email, the only way you can get a virus is by a security flaw in your operating system or other software. Luckily, Mac OS X's protection is pretty solid so this is highly unlikely. Apple is very good at patching security flaws quickly.
 

tomax7

Registered
Yes, tried rebooting, and connecting from another computer to the Mac to see if I could find out what's wrong.

Well the Mac finally died. Comes on with the cute tada music and then to the apple logo and 'hourglass' circle, then a black screen.

Then curser in top left and the following:
disk0s2:0xE0030005 (UNDEFINED)
Sept 18 15:17:35 launchd: can't exec /bin/sh for single user: imput/output error"

Goes away and comes back.

HD Failure?

Also, isn't there a root kit issue like with Linux? The wife could have clicked on an attachment or something.

So reinstall would be wasting time then?

Oh, HD isn't grinding or making loud noises like I"m used to when working on a PC, but I can definately hear it if I listen...

Googled disk0s2:0xE0030005 and says MacBook hd failure...they wouldn't be the same for iMac desktop.
 

tomax7

Registered
Oh btw, this is a fairly new system, bought it in Feb06. Already had a pixel burnout (took it back and got this one) and now HD failure?

Hmmm...
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
If it's still under warranty, bitch and complain when taking it back this time....just make sure you don't piss anyone off while doing it. ;)

Just let them know in a polite but assertive manner that you paid good money for this system and it's unaceptable that it should have this amount of failure rate (if the issue you're describing is the problem you have).
 

tomax7

Registered
Yep Nixgeek, that is my next move, but really doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies for Apple now.

Apple only gives 90days phone support, and 1 year P&L.
I've been using PC's for 15+ years and even *gasp* Emachines, and didn't have the same amount of problems with brand new units within a year like this.

Maybe I got a bad batch of Applesauce?

DO you figure it might be smart to fork out anohter $200 for extended warrenty?
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Yep Nixgeek, that is my next move, but really doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies for Apple now.

Apple only gives 90days phone support, and 1 year P&L.
I've been using PC's for 15+ years and even *gasp* Emachines, and didn't have the same amount of problems with brand new units within a year like this.

Maybe I got a bad batch of Applesauce?

DO you figure it might be smart to fork out anohter $200 for extended warrenty?

The extended warranty is actually recommended by everyone here. I didn't get it for my iMac G5 that I bought last year, but so far (thank God) it's been running smoothly. I know that these cases of QA issues with Apple are feew and far between, but they still exist often enough to still be a problem for the people affected. This is one of the reasons that I might hold off before buying another Apple comptuer for a while. I love Macs, but the latest strain of issues with the Intel Macs have had me concerned about spending money on them until they have matured enough as a hardware platform. I've used the iMac Core Duo and I loved it, but the worry of it having problems so soon after purchase has me quite concerned. I've been burned by Apple before (remember the Performas?) so it's not like I don't have the experience of a bad Apple. I just hope that they square away the majority of these problems soon. :(
 

barhar

Registered
'Can Apple get a Virus?' - potentially ... yes.

Does there exist even a single MacOS X virus, 'in the wild', creating havoc among hundred of thousands, or millions, of Macintosh'es? - no.
 

tomax7

Registered
Too bad, have to take the Mac to a repair shop. So much easier to do a PC, crack it open, change the HD and away I go.

I understand the Mini can't be open by normal means, need a special flat blade or something.
 

tomax7

Registered
Well nixgeek, I don't think it is Apple's fault totally, so don't blame the duo.

If the HD crashed, then it is a third party issue. Nevertheless, me thinks the units don't cool properly or enough and would tend to overhead due to no fans being installed.

I will however admit it was sure nice walking into my office and not hearing the fans on the old PC's anymore.



The extended warranty is actually recommended by everyone here. I didn't get it for my iMac G5 that I bought last year, but so far (thank God) it's been running smoothly. I know that these cases of QA issues with Apple are feew and far between, but they still exist often enough to still be a problem for the people affected. This is one of the reasons that I might hold off before buying another Apple comptuer for a while. I love Macs, but the latest strain of issues with the Intel Macs have had me concerned about spending money on them until they have matured enough as a hardware platform. I've used the iMac Core Duo and I loved it, but the worry of it having problems so soon after purchase has me quite concerned. I've been burned by Apple before (remember the Performas?) so it's not like I don't have the experience of a bad Apple. I just hope that they square away the majority of these problems soon. :(
 

Viro

Registered
The iMacs and the Mac Mini do have fans installed. If you are concerned with temperatures, download something like CoreDuoTemp to measure the temperature in your laptop. It'll show you that it's no hotter than other PC laptops.

As for the hard drive, do what nixgeek says and take it back to Apple. Complain assertively (but not rudely), and insist that you get a replacement for it.
 

tomax7

Registered
Stupid question, I'm hearing "complain assertively" from a couple of you now, does that mean Apple may not replace my HD?

Seeing this unit is hardly over 6 months old and the HD craps out, Apple should be replacing it without a whimper.
 

dmetzcher

Metzcher.com
Stupid question, I'm hearing "complain assertively" from a couple of you now, does that mean Apple may not replace my HD?

Seeing this unit is hardly over 6 months old and the HD craps out, Apple should be replacing it without a whimper.

I think you can be fairly certain that Apple will take care of the bad hard drive for you. What you are hearing from everyone is preemptive, more than anything else. People tend to come in here from time to time and scream and yell that Apple sucks when something fails (not you, but others). I think some people have been burned by dead pixels, as well, and being assertive, but polite, when asking for a replacement is recommended, because Apple, according to a buried policy on their Web site, doesn't really have to replace a machine because of a dead pixel or three. I had no problems getting my original iBook replaced after a pixel died less than a week into ownership, however.

Just ask them to replace the machine, or the hard drive, whichever is causing the problem. I think that it's up to them to either repair or replace, but, if you are assertive, as everyone suggests, and are also very nice to the manager of your local Apple store, you MAY be able to get the whole machine replaced. This is not terribly likely, however, if it's just a bad hard drive. They will probably want to send it back for repair.
 
Top