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It was really easy to erase or damage files, completely destroy the data on a disk and, on an Apple II, cause misalignment of the Disk II disk by repeatedly crashing the head against the drive armature. On a PC with an CGA/MDA you could damage the monitor power supply by putting the CRTC in a mode incompatible with the video input. Legend says you could make smoke go out of an MDA monitor.

At that time, it was also much harder for viruses to propagate - they would have to infect files and disks. Also, most IIs were booted from the application floppy and were thus completely stateless: whatever the virus did in the last session would have no effect on the next one.

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