PC user needs help with mac

Morannon

Registered
Hi!

I'm pretty good with PCs but I'm clueless when it comes to mac. Everything was going good for me despite me not knowing anything about macs. Then my mother got a G4 powerbook about 3 years ago and now the lack of maintenance on the computer is really starting to show. Frequent crashes, error messages etc. It's also infected with a virus. Sience my mother isn't very good with computers it's up to me to fix it.

If it was a PC I would immediately format the sorry thing and reinstall. How do you do that on a mac? Also how do you install drivers? Is there like a pack of drivers for a G4?

If that isn't the way you do it on a mac please tell me what I should do. I do not have the time and energy to learn a million new things so just tell me something easy I can do that also will be very effective. I don't care bout optimising here.
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
The Mac is not infected with a virus. There are no Mac OS X - specific viruses, so it's next to impossible unless it's a virus no one has heard of yet.

Lack of maintenance also will not typically lead to crashes and instability.

Drivers are a thing of the past -- they're all included with OS X when you install it, with exceptions for a few rare cases like the odd printer or Palm Pilot or something.

To reformat and reinstall, simply pop in the OS X Install CD that either a) came with the computer, or b) you purchased separately, and reboot while holding down the "c" key. When the computer begins to boot from the CD/DVD, it's safe to release the "c" key.

Next, simply choose to do a "Clean Installation" by clicking the "Options" button when presented with the type of installation to do. This will wipe out the current operating system and place a fresh copy on the disk.
 

MisterMe

Registered
Before you take the drastic step of reformatting your harddrive, you should first do some routine maintenance on your computer. Open Disk Utilities and run Disk First Aid. Download OnyX, MacJanitor, or Yasu and run the maintenance tasks provided. If those don't brighten your day, reboot into single-user mode and run fsck from the command prompt. These are the things that you should have done over the years, but have not done.
 

Rocket Boy

Registered
Don't forget to backup her "stuff" before you format her drive.
 

jbarley

One more, for the road!
All of the responses till now are "assuming" her 4 year old mac with no maintenance is running "OS X".
Do these suggestions all still apply "verbatim"?
 

elocin

Registered
jbarley said:
All of the responses till now are "assuming" her 4 year old mac with no maintenance is running "OS X".
Do these suggestions all still apply "verbatim"?

Well, he's on "macosx.com" in the "Mac OS X system & Mac Software".. so it's quite probable.

To a lot of people "virus" can mean anything that makes your computer not work properly..
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Yes, but it helps to specify which version of X. There have been FOUR major versions out after the release if the initial 10.0, and each of these have minor maintenance updates. Each of the major versions do have features and issues that previous versions might or might not have, which is why it's important to include the OS version number in the posting.

And as far as a "virus" is concerned, from your definition of "virus" I could install an update that might change the way something works in the system but that doesn't make it a virus. Even a corruption in the OS or in a system file can't be written off as a "virus" as sometimes it's a user error that's caused the problem.

A virus is something that can be maliscious to your system, whatever the intention might be (modify/delete files, remote access, tracking, key logging, etc.). While not impossible, a UNIX system like Mac OS X isn't easily affected by virus types that you would find on Windows. There are rootkits that can affect Mac OS X, but those mainly have to be activated by the user. to this date, however, I have not yet heard of a virus that required the Mac OS to use a virus scanner, not since the days of System 7 and prior....and even then they were few and far between.
 

jason.sellers

Registered
Just a couple of things that may help,
have you installed the regular updates and security updates?
If so, (or indeed if not), then regularly fixing the permissions on the volume through disk utility may help improve things.
Too many fonts installed can slow a system down, as can placing too many files on the desktop. It's better to put folders into the dock, so you can navigate your files there without clogging up the desktop database and trim back the number of fonts, as apart from graphics professionals, most users only need a handful of fonts.

Hope this helps.
 

Murdock

Registered
I know that Virus' are very few and far between on a Mac, but what about Spyware? Is this a PC only problem too? I do a lot of internet banking and shopping and am always a bit paranoid about this ;)
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
So far, spyware has been an issue on the Windows platform. Most of the reason for this is because of the fact that Windows holds a large portion of the desktop share, so they do take advantage of this. A more technical reason would be the ActiveX controls that Internet Explorer makes use of. Since most typical Windows users use Internet Explorer for their web browsing, Active X becomes the Achilles' heel to the system.

The default settings for ActiveX in Internet Explorer allow for installations over the web to take place automatically. Spyware creators use this to their advantage and are able to force many of their spyware apps into the system through this "backdoor" if you will. If you use Firefox on Windows, you'll notice that it's not as easy to have such programs installed, although probably not impossible since Firefox does also have a built-in installer for plug-ins and such. However, Firefox isn't as integrated into the operating system as IE is, which doesn't make it as critical to the privacy of the operating system.

Mind you, when Dashboard was first introduced their was a major flaw that would have allowed for someone to create a maliscious widget that would easily install on the Mac, compromising the whole system. Thankfully, Apple listened to their users (as well as the tech journalists when they reported the issue ;)) and fixed the problem quickly. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't seem to take it so seriously, which is obviously seen in the continued exploits on that platform.
 

jaybird

Registered
I'm pretty good with PCs but I'm clueless when it comes to mac. Everything was going good for me despite me not knowing anything about macs. Then my mother got a G4 powerbook about 3 years ago and now the lack of maintenance on the computer is really starting to show. Frequent crashes, error messages etc.
>First: What system 9 or X? Should be X unless the system was purchased used.

>Second: What error messages? Try typing these into Google. The terms will not be identical to PC, but should be close enough you can figure out what the problem is.

It's also infected with a virus. Sience my mother isn't very good with computers it's up to me to fix it.

>Third: There has not been a Mac OS X virus yet. System 9 was also pretty much immune, if there is a virus it would amost have to be in SoftWindows or Virtual PC, not the Mac itself.

If it was a PC I would immediately format the sorry thing and reinstall. How do you do that on a mac? Also how do you install drivers? Is there like a pack of drivers for a G4?

>Fourth: If the unit was new, it should have come with 2 or 3 CDs. OS X CDs are Grey (I think). Instert the CD, turn the computer off, turn the computer on, hold down the 'c' key and off you go...
If you do not have the CDs, www.smalldog.com can sell you OS 9 or OS X CDs or try eBay.
You can find most of this on Apple's web site unber 'suport' or in their Knowlege Base under the PowerBook.
 

dmetzcher

Metzcher.com
Coming from the PC side myself, I can tell you that (if you are installing OS X on this machine), you will find it to be an absolute breeze compared to a reinstall of Win XP, for example. It takes a fraction of the time and even looks more pleasing than the Win XP installation screen. I know it's off-topic in this thread, but I'd be interested to know how you felt about the experience compared to a reinstall of Windows.
 
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