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Sophos Anti-Virus associated with unresponsive systems

4935 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 1, 2010 2:48 AM by thomas_r. RSS
Graham Perrin Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 27, 2010 5:43 AM
This problem is not limited to Snow Leopard. I encountered it many times in 10.5.x.

On my laptop, and sometimes on other users' computers, an installation of Sophos Anti-Virus soon (or eventually) leads to beach balls from which there is no escape. Whenever this happens, only two actions are possible:

* force a stop (press and hold the power key); or
* force a restart (key commandcontrolpower)

— so I treat this problem as equal, in frustration/inconvenience, to a panic.

In my environment, and in some others:

1. install Sophos Anti-Virus

2. update Sophos Anti-Virus

3. restart Mac OS X

4. log in to Mac OS X

5. beach ball usually begins very soon after the Spotlight icon appears in the menu; the point at which things become unresponsive is not totally predictable, but it's never possible to use Finder or any other application

6. OS reacts only minimally to trackpad or mouse; the cursor moves, but clicks are ineffective

7. OS does not respond to normal keyboard input

8. OS does not respond to command-alt-escape; the +Force Quit Applications+ dialogue will not present

9. remote log in is enabled, but there is no response to ssh from remote computers

10. beach ball is endless; I have left computers for hours, sometimes overnight.

Consistently: if I start in safe mode to use the uninstaller at
/Library /Sophos Anti-Virus
then without Sophos Anti-Virus, the system is stable.

Attempts to resolve the issue with help from Sophos were not conclusive. In fairness I do have some input managers and debatable things installed, but it concerns me that any combination of software can bring the operating system to its knees, so I'm posting to Apple Discussions.

Maybe worth mentioning that I use FileVault.

Additional notes to follow.
Intel and PowerPC desktops and laptops, Intel and G4 Xserves, Xserve RAIDs, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Mac OS X 10.5.8 and 10.6.2, Mac OS X Server 10.5.8 and 10.6.2
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,850 points)
    Thanks for that report -- sounds like it's best to avoid that app.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • raimattern Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
    I'm using Sophos on my MacBook and on Windows XP machines. Without any flaws !!

    Regards
    Rainer Mattern
    iMac20 , iPodtouch 3.0, MacBook late 2008, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Mac OS X 10.5.8 Server, Apple Certified System Administrator
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)
    Whilst my situation causes me to avoid Sophos Anti-Virus on my laptop (I install it only rarely, to see whether I'm still bugged), there's no immediate reason for other people to avoid it.


    Of course there is! There aren't any Mac viruses, and Snow Leopard includes protection for the few Mac trojans, so what purpose does anti-virus software serve?
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,850 points)
    there's no immediate reason for other people to avoid it.


    Thanks for that clarification, I misunderstood the purpose of your post, which I thought was some kind of warning. Instead I gather you are trying to see if anyone can help you figure out what other stuff you might have on your machine which causes problems with Sophos. Perhaps it would be good to provide more detail about the "input managers and other debatable things" you have installed. Also you might want to consider whether the "account and login" forum is really the best place to ask.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2010 2:48 AM (in response to Graham Perrin)
    What discussion? I'm simply stating a fact.
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)

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