Chrome Bug, Not Avid Software, Causes Damage to MacOS File Systems

Users scrambled to find a fix for the problem and eventually Google took responsibility for the issue.

Researchers have tracked a problem that caused corruption to the file systems of macOS users to a bug in a Google Chrome update after users originally feared it was a problem with Avid Media Composer.

People using the Avid software for video editing on macOS platforms posted warnings Tuesday on Facebook and other social media to fellow users not to shut down their computers because of file-system corruption and the inability to recover some files after shutdown.

“Apparently something is corrupting one of the UNIX root level folders,” Avid users MarcusPun Tweeted, reposting a warning from a Facebook group called Avid Editors of Facebook. “Back up everything, not just on the servers [if] you are in a connected environment.”

Avid offers professional media and video editing tools that many professional editors in the film and media industry use. Pro versions of Apple’s systems are often the choice for these users, who depend on high-performance hardware and software to perform their jobs.

While panicked users scrambled to find a fix for the problem, eventually Google took responsibility for the issue. The company posted a statement on its Google Chrome Help site Wednesday blaming the file corruption issue on a Chrome update.

“We recently discovered that a Chrome update may have shipped with a bug that damages the file system on macOS machines with System Integrity Protection (SIP) disabled, including machines that do not support SIP,” the company said. “We’ve paused the release while we finalize a new update that addresses the problem.”

Google advised affected users to boot their machines in recovery mode and offered commands to remove the affected version of the Google Software Update as well as to restore the damaged part of the file system.

The company also assured users running OS X 10.11 or later and who have not disabled SIP should remain unaffected by the issue.

Avid, too, on Wednesday posted a video and related statement on its website to exonerate the company from blame and acknowledge that the problem lies with the Chrome update.

“Today, Avid is confirming that the root cause for a reboot issue encountered by some of our customers has been identified and is unrelated to Avid and its creative tools,” the company said.

No Avid customers reported data loss to the company, according to the statement, which attributed this to a swift response by all parties involved.

“We are proud of the coordinated response by Avid, Apple and our partners and we jointly thank our customers for their patience, support and assistance as we worked to quickly resolve this issue,” according to Avid.

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