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Apple today apologised for selling a "small number" of video iPods infected with the RavMone.exe virus. Pox-ridden ipods accounted for less than one per cent of the video iPods hitting the streets after September 12.

The company says it has seen "less than 25 reports" concerning this problem. Well, we've had one from Reg reader Richard, who by Apple's calculation represents slightly more at four per cent of victims. He bought his 30gig vPod from Argos, the UK mass market retailer, on 7 October.

Then there is 'dctrjons', another four per center, who shared his RavMone.exe problems with Apple's own forums on 22 September.

JUST bought a 30Gig video Ipod. I connected it, downloaded the Itunes software and then sync'd my music and Podcasts. After which I changed the settings to use the Ipod as a drive. Instructed I would have to manually eject the drive.

Well I told ITunes to do so - "Cannot drive is still in use" Closed ITunes and tried to eject it from Windows explorer and was given the same error. Closed all programs, taskbar, disconnected from the internet, still no luck.

Finally opened task manager and being very familiar with all processes that are legal on my machine I found 3 RavMonE.exe's running. Googled it and I have found several references but 99% of them are in foreign language and many relate to IPods...but did not bother to translate myself.

So my question is, anyone else JUST get an Ipod and see encounter this. I see someone else stating there computer was locked up...I noticed severe slowdown when I went through trouble-shooting. I forcibly closed the RavMonE.exe processes and my IPod started working fine.

Of course, as Apple notes, only Windows PCs are affected by RavMone - so Apple computer owners will neither know nor care if their iPods are infected. Apple also aims at boot at the unnamed contract manufacturer which supplied the dodgy iPods.

But let's face it, the company has messed up a little and has to show some contrition, not an act that comes naturally to this secretive, paranoid company. Here's its mea culpa: "As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it."

And here, for vPod owner Richard and the other four per centers, is a link to the Apple advisory, complete with disinfection routines. ®

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