It’s been a trying week, computer-wise. A few weeks ago my hard drive died, as I’ve written about in earlier posts. I bought an external hard drive and used RSyncX to make incremental backups. I gradually reinstalled all my software.
This worked well until about last Wednesday when my Powerbook suffered a kernel panic during backup. Subsequent attempts to backup also led to kernel panics. This, of course, was not good. I Googled much and it didn’t seem to be a common problem with RSyncX. I tried turning off things which could have been interrupting the update — desktop picture changes, auto-sensing screen and keyboard brightness. I tried all kinds of things, Googled more, finally reformatted the external drive and started again. No luck. It would reach about 82% done and then kernel panic. Meanwhile I still had work to do.
Googling brought me to the discovery that there’s a panic log inside the Logs folder in /Library. A little study suggested that Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus software may be implicated:
Kernel loadable modules in backtrace (with dependencies):
I tried turning off Norton AV (after checking it was quite up-to-date), and no luck. A check of the Symantec site found mention of kernel panics (though not in this context) and offered an uninstall utility. Download, uninstall, backup complete.
Of course, I now have a dim memory of finally installing Norton’s about the time the problems started, but it just wasn’t in my mind at the time.
The Mac may not have any viruses at the moment, but I don’t like to be without anti-virus software. I receive many Word and other documents and files, some of which I pass on to others. As a professional I can’t afford and wouldn’t tolerate passing on infected files just because I couldn’t be bothered to check them. There’s always going to be that first Mac OS X virus too.
It looks as though Norton’s won’t do it for me any longer if it prevents a full backup. I’m happy to accept suggestions for new anti-virus software.