8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 18, 2008 7:47 PM by Topher Kessler
Schmactor Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
I am running McAfee VirusScan and it locates and cleans virus infected files just fine on my computer, but when it finds infected files on my Time Machine backup drive it says "Repair Failed". Is there a way to clean infected files on my Time Machine backup drive?

Related question: Is this because the actual files are saved in a central hidden location and the files I see when I open the backup disk with finder are actually just alias links?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Hark Johnny Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    you don't have a virus
  • Barry Hemphill Level 8 Level 8 (36,970 points)
    Hello sch:

    If I were you, I would get rid of the AV software. At a minimum, it consumes resources.

    There are NO documented viruses that affect a Mac running OS X - none. The package undoubtedly found a Windows virus.

    Related answer. TM creates hard links (whatever that means) when it does its backup.

  • Schmactor Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    Oh, wow, gee, thanx. You are oh so helpful.
  • Schmactor Level 2 Level 2 (175 points)
    Thanx. I know you are right, but I still don't want to have files with Windows viruses on them. I don't want to accidentally give them to my Windows-using friends.
  • Barry Hemphill Level 8 Level 8 (36,970 points)
    HI sch:

    I have lots of friends too - some run Windows (I forgive them...chuckle).

    If someone runs a Windows box more than five minutes without robust AV software, firewalls, and a moat, they will not be running much longer. None of my Windows friends ask me to run AV software on my Macs to protect them from Windows software deficiencies.

    In answer to your original question, no.

    An additional footnote - if you scan these forums you will find more than one post that is resolved by removing AV software.

  • Scott Radloff Level 6 Level 6 (14,490 points)

    First, it is unlikely that your software is actually finding a virus of any kind. Many supposed reports of a virus will, in fact, be perfectly legitimate (and harmless) files. While it is possible that you'll receive a virus, it is still unlikely. Most ISPs run anti-virus software on their email servers; if a virus is sent to you in an email, it is usually removed before you download it.

    Even if you have downloaded an email, it is even less likely that you're going to send it to a Windows-using friend. Since any Windows virus is going to do absolutely nothing on your Mac, you most likely will just delete it. Are you in the habit of forwarding random emails that have unidentifiable attachments to your friends?

    Keep in mind that it is always in the best interest of the developers of anti-virus software titles that the software constantly "finds" things, even when nothing exists. If you were to purchase anti-virus software, only to find that it does absolutely nothing for months at a time, you will not pay for further updates. I have been using a Mac for many, many years, and I have never run any kind of anti-virus software. I have also never sent a virus to someone else.

  • Shane Ferguson Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Scott an others,

    Here is an example of where a virus can infect an Mac- the Melissa Virus which is a Word Macro Virus,
    though this is harmless to mac users this virus will infect the normal.dot file and then other word documents from then on. It will not harm a mac but will delete files on a windows machine.
    It is possible to be infected with this virus and not know about it.

    How do I know about this - I am currently removing this virus from my companies mac's as documents which been emailed to clients have been bounced back to us with the virus notification.

    On scanning multiple machines using clamav I have found infected files- I have also confirmed that the virus can be spread on the mac platform.

    Though our individual risk of damage to our machines is minimal we can spread viruses
  • Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,790 points)
    There are Mac viruses out there, and most Mac antivirus software can detect windows viruses, so it's definitely worth it to clean them out when they're found. You might be limited from fixing the files on the TM drive if you're not running antivirus as root. If there's a way to provide the AV software with an administrator password then you should be able to fix the problems. I'd recommend trying another AV solution as well, such as ClamXav, but keep in mind that users have had problems with Time Machine and AV software.