How long does it take to scan 350 GB of files?

  • 21 June 2015
  • 5 replies

It is running on a (mid-09) MacBook Pro, 8 GB RAM, 2,53 GHz Core 2 Duo.  It has been running/scanning now for over 29 hours, and has scanned over 11.5 million files.  It is scanning a Mac "Time Machine" back-up disk, which is 5 GB from being full (i.e. 345 GB of data files).
I'm wondering if it got caught in a circular loop or something, and can't get out!  Has anyone had experience trying to scan a disk of such a size?  Did it take you so much time?  Or less?
Any words of experience or knowledge would be appreciated.

Best answer by McThomas 23 June 2015, 14:03

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Userlevel 7
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Hello @
Welcome to the Webroot Community,
I have a Mac, with a 500GB HD and my Time Machine is a 1 TB. (used 267GB). You have 350GB being scanned. I don't think it would take 29 hours to scan that drive. To scan my TM it took 5 hours
This is a good question for @ to answer. He is our Mac threat Reseacher and he can answer this tomorrow for you. If it was me I'd do a quick scan.
Please have a look here
Kind Regards,
Hello Sherry - 
Thanks for your response.  At over 31.5 hours, and still scanning, this does seem excessive to me.  I hate to stop it prematurely, however, because Webroot registered a "threat" - but in a problematic way - and I wanted to run a full scan to see if that was a false positive (which I suspect it was).  The initial "threat" alert came while scanning the TM yesterday - but at about only 1 hour of scanning (so I ought to be beyond that place by now).  Also, yesterday's alert came immediately after the TM popped up a window telling me that it had deleted some files to make more room for future back-ups. (I had forgotted to turn off the TM while I was scanning it, and it did a back-up unnoticed by me).  So at about the same time, I got a TM notice of deleted files, and a "Threat alert" on the scan.
After that alert, I selected "Remove threats" - but the page that then opened listed no threats, however the "Block/Allow" page did list a file to watch.
So I concluded a false positive because of the TM actions - but Webroot was then frozen and unresponsive.  I restarted the Mac, which unfroze Webroot, and initiated a new scan - including a full scan of the TM drive, hoping to thereby clear the RED "Threat Detected" warning on the Webroot page.  After I passed the one hour, with no threats detected, I thought maybe I was OK - and still after all these hours, still no "new" threats or "Total detections" register - the number remains 0 (zero) indicated in the Scan Window.  But still the RED warning "Threat Detected" with the white hand on a red circle remains on the main Webroot window.
Maybe all of this can help [user=17149][/user] answer the post.
Thank you.
Userlevel 7
Badge +62
Hello @,
This really sounds like alot of hours to scan that Time Machine. This will be great information.
Thank you so much for the further details. I've never been in this position with my IMac before. So I cannot honestly say what you should do here.I just know if the threat is active Webroot will stop it in its tracks. It's highly possible that you may have a false positive.
Please read this because it might give you more insight concerning the Time Machine. : by Wanderingbug
But as I said we can both wait for Wanderingbug to help us with this because I would like to understand this as well. Mac does take longer to scan then a PC. I do know that. But 31 hours is a long long time to scan a Mac computer external drive.
Kind Regards,
Userlevel 7
Hello McThomas,
Scanning Time Machine backups can take an extremely long time due to the way that apple backs up the information.  We have certain kinds of traces that will open every single binary on the disk to make sure it is safe, this however can take a really long time on Time Machine.  I would recommend changing your settings so that you do not scan mounted drives with WSA. In some cases, Webroot will detect a threat that is located on your backup, such as Time Machine. If the file are in the backup, then they cannot hurt your system. You would have to restore the files from the backup to get them on the system, and at that point the Real Time Shield in Webroot would find and remove them. Even though Webroot cannot remove these files, as space for newer backups is needed the older backups will be deleted. This will delete the threats from the backup as well.  Another option available to Time Machine users is to exclude the files and folders from being backed up by the Time Machine. You can add them to the exclusion list which will permanently block the files/folders from being backed up in the future. By doing this, the infected file will eventually be deleted from the backup over time and prevent it from ever getting re-introduced to the drive should it be installed on the computer again.  Please let me know if you have anymore questions or concerns.
Thank you for the additional information - that helps me feel comfortable with the steps I took.  
For the sake of "closure" - here's the note I left for the Webroot Technical Support team after our dialogue on the issue:
I think the problem was a "false positive" caused when my Time Machine deleted some back-up files automatically to make room on the disk, just as Webroot was scanning that disk. Webroot froze, giving contradictory messages about whether it had found a threat. I restarted my Mac, which unfroze Webroot. I started a re-scan of the Time Machine disk, to check on the possible (?) threat and hopefully Webroot would find none and all would be well. 

What happened was an unexpectedly long scanning process. It scanned for about 35 hours (finding no threats) before I finally canceled it. I uninstalled that Webroot app, and re-installed a fresh copy, and rescanned my Mac. Then I did a quick scan of the TimeMachine disk. No threats were found.  

I think all is well now. Thank you.