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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 16, 2008
For the first time in my life I think my Macbook got infected.
It happened this way: I downloaded a pdf file ( about programming) from the internet, and once I opened it, my macbook got into a restarting loop, I was unable to boot. I was not able to boot not even from the hidden partition. I inserted an old OSX cd, repaired file permissions, then booted in single user mode and deleted that file, then I booted and scanned my macbook with clamav.

I dont want to post the file here, but I could send a link in private with the address I downloaded it from.
I'm not comfortable if I dont find out what actually happened.

Today I created a Windows virtual machine and downloaded the same file, scanned it with Clamwin, it didnt find any malware, then I tried to open it with Foxit reader and it was not possible to open the file, was corrupted. Even if the file does not have a virus, it might have some javascript to download malware ?!
Then I uploaded the file to a website to scan it again and it didnt find any virus, I just googled "upload file scan for virus".


macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2015
No, I'm fairly sure most of us here don't wish to download a file that clearly is causing havoc.. whether or not it's malware. The fact that you've already scanned it with several resources and found nothing doesn't inspire a different result if one of us were to try. Either way.. you indicated that the file can't be opened in a Windows based PDF reader either.. clearly the file itself is worthless for its purpose.. find another source for the information you require.

If you suspect a hidden piece of malware on your Mac, Erase and Reinstall


macrumors member
Aug 24, 2015
It doesn't sound like your Mac was infected. There's no malware for the Mac that would prevent booting from the recovery partition.

If something is preventing you from starting up from the recovery partition, it's likely to be a hardware issue. The most likely possibility would be a failing hard drive, which would also explain why that PDF file appears to be corrupt now. Booting from another disk and repairing the drive probably fixed the immediate problem, but if the drive is failing, you'll have more problems soon. I'd recommend maintaining and regularly updating a good set of backups.
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