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Old Feb 26, 2012, 10:09 AM   #1
blobberson
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Strange Undeletable File

An XLS file appeared magically on my desktop; the name is just a bunch of letters and numbers.

I can't delete it, and I'm scared it's a virus or something nefarious.

I tried using the terminal to delete it by typing in sudo rm filename, then typing in my password, but it says the file doesn't exist. When I view the dekstop in finder, the file doesn't show up.

If I right click it and select "get info" nothing happens.

What's the deal?
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 10:13 AM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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Can you make a screenshot and attach it to your next post?
There are currently no viruses for Mac OS X in public circulation, only a handful of trojans and other malware, which have to be installed manually via entering the administrator password.
The only anti-virus you need to protect your Mac is education and common sense.
Also know, that the term "virus" is often used to refer to other kinds of malware, but there are differences, which you can find out by reading the following:

Mac Virus/Malware Info by GGJstudios
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 10:54 AM   #3
fisherking
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u did try rebooting then deleting it?
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 11:00 AM   #4
hobbbz
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Could someone have pranked you with a screenshot background? Does terminal ls -a reveal it?
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 11:53 AM   #5
Murgatroyd314
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This sounds like it isn't a file, just a picture of a file. Try changing your desktop background and see if it vanishes.
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Old Feb 26, 2012, 04:08 PM   #6
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blobberson View Post
An XLS file appeared magically on my desktop; the name is just a bunch of letters and numbers.
First, restart your computer. Then look to see if the file is still there. If it is, try again to drag it to the trash. It's just an Excel spreadsheet file. It cannot harm your Mac in any way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by blobberson View Post
I can't delete it, and I'm scared it's a virus or something nefarious.
It's not a virus, since none exist that can run on your Mac. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. You cannot infect your Mac simply by visiting a website, unzipping a file, opening an email attachment or joining a network. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which cannot infect your Mac unless you actively install them, and they can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
Mac Virus/Malware FAQ
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