View Full Version : Don't forget the simple things...

03-18-2001, 06:00 PM
I started getting bus errors yesterday. Error type 10, bus error, illegal instruction, all happening on startup. I did all the normal things, PRAM, extensions of, CD, swapping Hard Drives, System installs, PCI card removal, RAM removal, CUDA reset, dip switches, all to no avail.

After trying my 6th hard drive, I was struck by a thought:

And virus it was. MBDF A/B has come back to haunt me, and it came in a Bare Bones BBEdit updater!

The moral of this diatribe:
It may look like a hardware problem, feel like a hardware problem, sound like a hardware problem, lock you in your office on St. Patty's day when you should be drinking, but really be a simple little virus which you've not heard a peep from in years!

03-18-2001, 07:56 PM
Since most virus targets are PeeCee's we get lax. What vius protection do you use?

03-18-2001, 10:30 PM
Here's another simple one.

My 8.6 machine all of sudden stopped appearing on the Chooser. You couldn't get to it (http/ftp/Appletalk) from any computer INSIDE my lab LAN, but it could go out on the Internet via TCP/IP. You could conversely, get to it from outside my lab's LAN. Checked everything - Appletalk -> set to Ethernet; TCP/IP - set correctly. nothing had changed - the machine was fine one minute, the next it was "gone".
Much gnashing of teeth...rebooting,, etc.. NOTHING - even booting from Norton CD's and checking the chooser didn't work.

Finally - zapped the PRAM.. and ta da - now all is well..



03-19-2001, 03:46 AM

Since I haven't had a viral problem on a Mac in 6+ years, I use little. Primarily it's TechTool 3.0.1 doing a pre shutdown scan, but as I never use the shutdown command (cmd-opt-power), it's of little use. Seeing as I have Beaster (my primary 9500 [to be 9600 on Weds]) hooked up to about 30 drives on 4 busses, I primarily have SCSI chain problems which lock the box.

I paid for it with 8 hours of repair yesterday, but if I weigh that against the countless lost processor cycles over the last many years, or the three hours that TechTool uses to wade through the maze, I figure I'm still ahead!


03-19-2001, 12:11 PM

This is a good wake up call to start thinking about virus protection once again. As Mac folks, we get lazy when it comes to virus protection since its a rare occassion that virus hits us hard. So better safe than sorry.

Last year, I had a scare with the "I love you" virus that infected Virtual PC" and crashed the application. I ran Nortons, but I still had to reinstall of the Virtual PC and my PC programs all over again. What a pain. Luckily since the files only affect the exe extensions, my Mac files were unharmed. But if this had been a virus that effected both PC and Mac platforms, it would have been a disaster. Now it makes me paranoid accessing the net from Virtual PC.

Thanks for sharing.


03-19-2001, 12:42 PM
Yup... had a friend get hit with a variant of the Navidad virus - but was able to rescue her machine by calling up the Symantec site which outlined in detail how to make the registry changes so that we didn't have to reinstall everything from scratch. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to save an undergraduate's laptop that got hit with the same virus. In that case, she didn't check in with me before she went ahead and reinstalled everything.

It's unlikely that you'll find a virus that can infect both platforms simultaneously. Macs can transfer PC viruses through attachments but since most of the viruses tend to be of the Visual Basic registry trashing form (at least the less sophisticated ones) and they go after Windows-specific directories (i.e. C:\Windows\etc..) it's unlikely that they will get very far on your Mac. The Mac ones are out there but Norton is pretty good about screening them

This is why I warn / plead with my students to NOT download any attachments or install software on the lab computers - they should use their own laptops so at least that way I can minimize damage - we've been good so far but always vigilent is my motto


03-19-2001, 01:55 PM
Hi ChrisYip,

I learned the hard way from using emulation software that you have to keep the "windoz" drive backed-up at all times so if the files are damaged or a virus hits you can just delete the damaged one and replace with the backup copy. At the time that I experienced the problem with Virtual PC, I didn't have a drive large enough to store a backup copy and a zip was way too small. I solved the problem by utilizing an 9 gig external drive. Microsoft software seems to have so many glitches in it that you spend more time with the OS disk reinstalling than actually using the program. Mac OS is so stable in comparison. It is mandatory in Virtual PC to have Nortons running at all times and have a back up copy to make sure all virus forms are eradicated. That "I love you" virus was so nasty that it had imbedded itself everywhere and I had to research virus alerts to get rid of the virus pockets. I still felt like the virus was hiding somewhere after all of my efforts.

I agree with you that downloading attachments is a "no, no" and especially on a network. But even downloading on personal equipment, there should be precautions taken such as using virus scan software first. Also, it is a bad idea downloading attachments when you dont know the source. Viruses that attack the address books and automactically forward seem to be a major problem. I feel that no matter what the source of the attachments, you should read each email to look for strange indicators, such as the email doesn't address your name in the body of the email and the information is too formal. Its a good idea to verify from the source that they actually sent you this email and find out what it is that they sent before opening it up. If at all possible, it is better to send a link than an attachment. But you have to be careful about links as well since links can access your email address and you end up subscribing to junk mail without your knowledge. Lastly, keep your virus protection updated regularly just in case an emergency arises. You can never be too careful!!!

P.S. Thanks for all your help with networking. I spent the weekend configuring IPNetRouter to work on a single IP with 2 nubus machine with the Macpoet module when Sustworks tech said it could not be done. According to them, IPNetRouter works with PCI Macs and NICs, not nubus. They are working on solving the nubus/MacPoet issue. They want to know how I did it. Now they want me to share my "newbie" network info with them. I am happy with my accomplishment--I never liked "cant be done". I plan to contact them again to discuss this further. Right now I am happy sharing the connection on both nubus machines.


[This message has been edited by angela (edited 19 March 2001).]