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My  backup hard drive failed-- it had some file system corruption; when I asked the repair guy about my laptop then crashing when I tried to run Carbon Copy Cloner (to create a backup on a new HD to replace the possibly lost one), he suspected malware and recommended Malwarebytes. My big trouble is that, for the moment at least, I'm holding on to a very old OS (10.6.8) and even downloading the installer for Malwarebytes failed; I got it to install on a MacBook Air running something a bit later (10.11 or 12), but didn't see any way to scan anything but its local drive. My question is: is there any hope for me? Any way to find an old Malwarebytes compatible with 10.6.8 but run it with new malware database? Or any way to scan the laptop with Malwarebytes on the MacBook Air using file sharing? Or to scan it from another Mac that has Firewire, using target disk mode, or any advice?
 

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Unfortunately, no, there is no version of Malwarebytes for Mac capable of running on Mac OS X 10.6, and all versions only scan the current boot drive. So there wouldn't be any way to scan that with Malwarebytes.

However, it's important to note that system crashes are not a typical symptom of malware on the Mac. To be honest, malware would be one of the last things I'd think of in such a case.

If I'm understanding correctly, you're having system crashes when trying to make backups with Carbon Copy Cloner... is that correct? If so, my concern is that this is more likely to be caused by something like system or disk corruption on the boot drive, which would be very concerning given that your existing backup drive just failed. On a machine old enough to run Snow Leopard, that's a distinct possibility. Do you know the approximate age of that hard drive?

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On 1/23/2019 at 12:18 PM, treed said:

Unfortunately, no, there is no version of Malwarebytes for Mac capable of running on Mac OS X 10.6, and all versions only scan the current boot drive. So there wouldn't be any way to scan that with Malwarebytes.

However, it's important to note that system crashes are not a typical symptom of malware on the Mac. To be honest, malware would be one of the last things I'd think of in such a case.

If I'm understanding correctly, you're having system crashes when trying to make backups with Carbon Copy Cloner... is that correct? If so, my concern is that this is more likely to be caused by something like system or disk corruption on the boot drive, which would be very concerning given that your existing backup drive just failed. On a machine old enough to run Snow Leopard, that's a distinct possibility. Do you know the approximate age of that hard drive?

Thank you so much for this very helpful information. Yes, it's an old computer, exactly nine years old.

Using a different Mac, Carbon Copy Cloner also failed to clone my computer's drive (in target disk mode) onto another drive, saying that "an error occurred while trying to access [computer name]/.symAVx86QSFile, which although I have no idea what that is, it sounds consistent with your suspicion.  I've had a succession of hard drives that I use for back up (and for use by Photoshop as a scratch disk) go bad on me in the last year and a half and I just had one of them checked-- it's a damaged file system. Could  there be something on my computer that isn't affecting its behavior (it works fine, and until recently used Carbon Copy Cloner without incident) but is creating all this other havoc?

My latest backup disk, with the bad file system, may be completely retrievable; I'll find out in the next two days, but in any case I have dragged everything possible off my computer onto the newest external drive, the one that CCC was unsuccessful with, so I'm not in that much danger of losing data.

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3 hours ago, paul-bklyn said:

Could  there be something on my computer that isn't affecting its behavior (it works fine, and until recently used Carbon Copy Cloner without incident) but is creating all this other havoc?

In all the decades of using a Mac and helping hundreds of others troubleshoot their issues, I have never run across even a hint of such a thing.

Hard drive quality these days vary greatly, with an average mean time before failure around three years. SDD's appear to last longer, but haven't been around long enough to make solid predictions, yet.

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