Mac error message: Error while installing - Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)

The "Error while installing" error after booting indicates malware on the Mac.

A few days ago, my reader Uwe wrote to me that he kept getting the following error message after booting up on his 2008 Mac Pro with OS X El Capitan:

Error while installing
Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)

Buttons: OK or CANCEL

The system works flawlessly, but the message that is thrown out again and again after booting from the Mac is quite annoying in the long run.

"Error while installing: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)" - this is reported by Uwes Mac after booting - but with the correct cancel button.

"Error while installing: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)" - this is reported by Uwes Mac after booting - but with the correct cancel button.

Third party app or malware as the cause

After a little research, I'm on one Support thread at Apple encountered. There are some messages there from people who get exactly this error message. It doesn't seem to make a difference whether you click the “OK” or “Cancel” button.

In this forum you will also find a suggestion for solving the problem: Malwarebytes Download and run as a test version. The program found malware and some adware files in the person concerned. The path to the malware was this:

/Library/ApplicationSupport/.77B8A707-D8A5-4FBA-AAB9-7475351FDC70

The malware and adware was quarantined by Malwarebytes and since then the error has not been displayed when booting.

No message when booting in safe mode

It is interesting that the malware - and thus also the error message - does not make itself noticeable if the Mac is in the safe mode boots. So it seems as if the corresponding program parts are not started in this mode when booting.

Unfortunately this is only a temporary solution, because when you boot the Mac normally again, the error message reappears.

Also interesting is that the problem is not limited to OS X El Capitan. There have also been reports from people running macOS High Sierra or macOS Sierra as their operating system.

And one more important note: If you do a clean install, the error is of course gone. However, if you then import a Time Machine backup, you bring the malware back into the system. So it's better to use Malwarebytes or other malware-tracking software to deal with the problem.

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