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Ask Max: Mac Won't Wake Up After Symantec Antivirus Install

Asked on 01/29/2009:

Hello Jacob-

I can't wake up my Mac Power PC G5 ver 10.4.11 dual 2.5 GHz after I put it to sleep. When this happens, the the hard drive begins to gradually spin faster and faster until I turn the computer off manually.

I purchased the computer from PowerMax in September, and replaced the hard drive about 2 weeks ago. The problem did not begin until after I'd been using the computer with the new hard drive, but may have begun after installing Symantec Antivirus.

A couple more questions:
1.) What antivirus software for Mac do you recommend? TekServe here in New York City recommends Intego. do you agree?

2.) If I'm using Mac Virtual PC on my G5, do I need any Microsoft antivirus software for the XP environment created by the XP?



In my experience, most Mac antivirus programs cause more problems than they prevent. Removing your recent installation of Symantec would be a good first step in troubleshooting this problem. You may also have to do an Archive and Install of the Mac OS after you remove Symantec Antivirus. If the problem continues after you do these two repairs, then I would next look at your PRAM battery. A low voltage PRAM battery will cause many sleep and waking issues. Also you could notice other problems starting up but that is not always a symptom.

In some rare instances, a Power Mac G5 can have problems with SATA drives. I have seen some Seagate drives cause booting and other issues in G5s. These drives were of the Barracuda 7200.10 family. This has not been a problem for many years but it is worth a look if all else fails to solve your problem.

I honestly recommend running a Mac without any Antivirus software. Most times placing a Mac behind a NAT Router is sufficient to protect you from attack. It is a good idea to have a router in between your ISP's modem and your computer, even if you are the only user of the connection. A NAT Router will take one public IP address and translate that into another internal group of secret IP addresses. This translation makes it very difficult for malicious people to see your computer on the internet and that makes you more safe than having protective software on your system.

You may consider having Antivirus Software installed in your Windows XP virtual machine to protect it from attack but as long as you only use it for a select group of websites you trust and non-networked software, it will probably be safe.

Hope that helps,

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