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January 10, 1990

PC AIDS VIRUS FIX AVAILABLE

By CBR Staff Writer

For those still worried about the so-called AIDS virus that circulated in allegedly vast numbers of copies shortly before Christmas, the suggestion that the thing strikes after a fixed number of times that the IBM or compatible personal computer is rebooted is misleading: it works by creating an empty file in a new directory that does not show up on the master directory and then nests that directory in a new one every time the machine is booted up, so that the time it strikes – by ultimately completely filling the disk with nested directories – depends entirely on how much free space there is on the disk; PC Business World, whose mailing list was purloined to circulate the thing, has a fix that identifies the phantom directories and enables them to be deleted.

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