These instructions are for people who have noticed a problem with the automatic eUpdate in McAfee Virex. These problems are largely corrected in the successor product, VirusScan for the Mac, but the tips below may still apply in some cases.

Checking when you last updated

Sometimes Virex eUpdate will give an error message when it has in fact updated properly. To reliably find out the last time you updated Virex, do not automatically trust what eUpdate tells you, but instead open Virex, go to the Virex (or VirusScan) menu at the top of your screen and choose About Virex (or About VirusScan). You will see text similar to this:

Engine version: 4.4.00
DAT version: 4703
Created on: 2/22/06

and can find out the date of the last successful update that way.

Check your version of Virex

Make sure you are running the most recent version of the Virex program that your version of the Mac OS allows.

You can check for your version number (as an example, “McAfee Virex version 7.7 – build 163″) by opening Virex, going to the Virex menu and choosing About Virex. In this case we are looking not for the DAT or Engine versions but for the actual version of Virex, located immediately under the word “Virex” or “VirusScan” in the About box.

You can then check to see if this version matches the most recommended version at www.bu.edu/software/antivirus/mac.html and download the newer version if not.

If you download and install a newer version, see if it updates correctly. If so, you have solved the problem.

If update problems continue…

If you still have a problem with eUpdate, you can do a manual download of the virus definitions, by going to http://www.mcafee.com/apps/downloads/security_updates/dat.asp/ (say “yes” you do have a Service agreement, if prompted). Click on the Virex tab on the update page and look on that page for DAT File for Virex 7.x. Click to download this and save it to your Desktop or somewhere else where you can find it easily.

The file that is first downloaded will end with .gz, and you may need to double-click that file to uncompress it after download, or it may uncompress automatically, depending on your version of OS X. The .gz file will uncompress into a file ending with .pkg. After that, double-click the installer (the .pkg file) and follow the prompts. The installer will overwrite your existing Virex and DAT files, so you do not need to remove those first.

Doing this once may jump-start your Virex back to normalcy, with updates happening correctly after that.

If not, if you find that you are stuck with manually installing the DATs like this, we recommend checking for new updates on the McAfee site about once every week, more often if you wish.