I've just fixed a really annoying problem, and I thought I'd do a quick post to potentially save others some grief if they run into the same problem.

I recently purchased a new PowerBook. Have spent about a week loading it up with software and getting my settigns the way I like them. Along the way everything seemed fine until I went to a friend's place yesterday and tried to connect to the internet via the dial-up modem (I have a broadband connection at home). My PowerBook suffered an urecoverable crash. Nothing would respond at all. No force quit, no nothing. I had to hold down the power key to turn the machine off and then reboot.

Once the machine rebooted I tried again. Same problem. I tried to connect on several occassions, but every time I tried my Mac crashed. This is before any dialing happened, just when I attempted to dial from Internet Connect or the staus bar.

I then tried to send a fax to see if my modem was working and whether the problem was just with Internet Connect. Got the same crash.

Being scared that the modem in my new laptop may have died I booted the PowerBook from another drive. All worked fine.

Knowing that it was a software problem I did a quick search on the web, but found nothing. Consequently I ended up doing an Archive & Install. Modem worked again. Reinstalled some software that wasn't happy about the reinstall of the OS, and the modem crashing problem reappeared.

After tearing out some hair and being about to do a clean install I found some posts in Apple's discussion forums abut the problem. The problem is Virex 7.5.1. Removing Virex appears to have fixed the problem. This can be done by using a script that is available in the disk image file that Virex comes in.

I hope this tale of woe is of use to anyone else who experiences similar problems. Unfortunately my very nice install of OS and software on my powerbook is now a bit of a mess. I feel I should do a clean install anyway, but I'm going overseas in a couple of days and it took me a week to install everything in the first place, so at the moment I just don't have the time.

As for anti-virus software, I might think about Norton Antivirus. I have it on my desktop Mac and haven't ever had any problems. I don't think I could be convinced to touch Virex again.