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When to Do It:

  • Whenever you get a warning message from your anti-virus utility that a virus attack has occurred.

  • If you have frequent and unpredictable system crashes.

  • When you replace an apparently corrupted file and it soon becomes damaged again.

  • If the Macintosh system beep, or any other sound, occurs at unusual times and for no discernible reason.

  • If files have been inexplicably erased from your disk.

  • If a strange or nonsensical alert message unexpectedly appears on your screen.

  • If you have just installed an anti-virus utility for the first time or are using a new disk that has not been previously checked for viruses.

  • When any of an assortment of system-level problems occur, such as: applications take unusually long to open, documents do not print from all (or almost all) applications, cursor movement is erratic, or windows refuse to open or close. These symptoms have several possible causes, as covered in other Fix-Its. The probability that a virus is the cause increases if you have recently engaged an activity that is a high risk for virus infections (see "TAKE NOTE — How to Catch a Virus" later in this Fix-It).

These are just some of the more general symptoms associated with various viruses. For more specifics, see "TECHNICALLY SPEAKING — Viruses at the Millennium."


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