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Hardware Damaging Virus

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December 25, 2008 2:31:36 AM

Yesterday, programs started crashing quickly after launching and I got numerous windows alerts saying various files (usually in the temp folder...documents and settings, somewhere in there) were corrupt and I needed to run chkdsk.

Ran that, ran a virus scan with clamwin, I think it detected a couple trojans...I manually deleted the files it picked up.
Since clamwin didn't do a good job of protecting my computer before it got infected..I uninstalled and got AVG again asap. Also put up zonealarm.

Seems it was too late..ran scans, picked up 2 more trojans, virus vaulted them. Programs continued to crash quickly.
After a restart last night, I noticed all of a sudden my SSD was totally gone, undetected by windows (though it still showed in the BIOS) and I couldn't re-initialize it in disk management.
Just no longer existed.

So I formatted my boot disc (a raptor X) and unplugged/removed my backup HDD with all my stuff on it.
All damaged files/trojans were detected on the raptor X.

The Raptor X formatted successfully, so I reinstalled windows on it. Then I formatted the SSD (patriot, 64 gb) in disk manager.
My goal was to have the SSD as my boot disc, so I restarted and attempted to install windows on the SSD/format it again.

I repeatedly got BSOD's with 1 (raptor X or SSD) or both of the drives plugged in.
I tried with no drives plugged in and had no BSOD.
BSOD's occured when booting from the windows disc at the 'starting windows' part (where you choose your partition/format, etc.).

After trying with no drives, I went back to trying each individual drive, and no more BSOD's.

Attempted to format the SSD and was told it could not be formatted and the hard drive may be damaged. I couldn't do anything else with the drive.

I then tried with the Raptor X again, had a couple random restarts, then got it to finally go through with the format (again- slow NTFS this time) and reinstall of windows.

It seemed to work..until Windows actually started up. Immediately got a error report/crash of rundll as an app (if I remember correctly).

So basically it would appear 2 of my hard drives were totally destroyed within a few hours, the SSD especially after a restart.
I didn't even know it was possible for a virus to destroy hardware, much less a trojan, and that quickly..after regular virus scans.
AVG identified a 'generic' something or other trojan.
I googled the specific name and there was nothing on it.

After all this happened I looked up what viruses could damage hardware..heard mention of the Chernobyl virus which could apparently destroy motherboards and totally remove the BIOS..but I haven't had that yet, the BIOS seems to fine..no matter how many times I format or try to though it doesn't seem to do anything.

I read also some viruses can heat up hard drives until they basically break. Noticed the SSD was a bit hot at one point (could have been normal), Raptor X..didn't notice any unusual heat.

I certainly could use some insight and help into what exactly this is and what I can do about it. Can't say I'm too happy with some a*s's christmas gift of two busted hard drives and possibly other damage.

December 25, 2008 2:51:10 AM

contact the manufacturer, see what they can do for you. it doesnt really sound good, although i dont think a virus can damage a computer like that.
December 25, 2008 3:15:52 AM

Download the manufacturer's software and zero the hdd,then fdisk and partition the sucker from dos,after you have created the primary partition,set it as active and reboot before starting to create the extended partition and logical drives,this is a saftey protocol in case of a shafu you will not have to redo everything from zero just the extended and logical,as for the ssd check again with manufacturer for guidence..:) 
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December 25, 2008 4:18:16 AM

There is no manufacturer - I built the computer from it's individual components (via newegg), or did you mean Western digital HDD/Patriot SSD software?

What do you mean by zero the hdd?

Could you elaborate on using fdisk?

All I've used so far is the XP boot/install disc, which didn't help anything.

December 25, 2008 4:25:36 AM

dokk2 said:
set it as active and reboot before starting to create the extended partition and logical drives,this is a saftey protocol in case of a shafu you will not have to redo everything from zero just the extended and logical,as for the ssd check again with manufacturer for guidence..:) 


by set it as active I assume you mean format it/install the OS to that partition?
Yes, I meant to do that originally but accidentally installed Windows to the main partition rather than the smaller one, so had to format the whole drive.
December 25, 2008 5:04:14 AM

I managed to get into windows recovery console on each hard drive individually (with the other unplugged) and ran a fixmbr command on each - both times it said the current master boot records were invalid or...something (uncommon?).

Then I did a fixboot command, just since it was listed, and got a notification of corruption on the SSD.

Attempting to format and install XP on SSD now then I'll see whats up. Seems the one or two simple commands may have helped the raptor x (didnt have any crashes when I opened a couple things on windows explorer like before).
December 25, 2008 5:58:50 AM

Erm, everything you've said points immediately to system ram, memory can suddenly fail dramatically. Run Memtest86. . I see nothing that suggests a virus or even a bad ssd drive.
December 25, 2008 6:12:17 AM

I ran memtest several times on each set of 1x2 gigs (corsair dominator 1066). Had a problem with the first set till I moved them to the '2nd two' slots, then the problem stopped.

Memtest never detected any errors.

Was planning on trying again.

The sudden corrupt files and detection of trojans as well as random crashing of programs all at the same time seems like it would be virus/hard drive related to me, but I will check the RAM again.
December 25, 2008 7:11:12 AM

Thanks for the advice, because one of those sticks of RAM that I was using when I had the problem had ~20k errors on test 1 alone.

So I took out that pair, a problem still persists - 0x0000006F stop error when I try to use my SP2 XP install/boot disc (sent from microsoft).
This error doesn't occur with the original XP disc for some reason.
Was hoping to skip the tons of updating but guess I'll have to do it.
December 25, 2008 7:13:45 AM

same error/BSOD I was getting initially..with both drives. May or may not have been from just the one disc.
December 25, 2008 8:09:59 AM


ArchosSecutor said:
Thanks for the advice, because one of those sticks of RAM that I was using when I had the problem had ~20k errors on test 1 alone.

So I took out that pair, a problem still persists - 0x0000006F stop error when I try to use my SP2 XP install/boot disc (sent from microsoft).
This error doesn't occur with the original XP disc for some reason.
Was hoping to skip the tons of updating but guess I'll have to do it.


ArchosSecutor said:
same error/BSOD I was getting initially..with both drives. May or may not have been from just the one disc.


Well, having a bad stick is a game killer right there. If you are POSITIVE the other stick is good, then use just that one for now.. The install CD may indeed be bad, try installing with the XP Gold disc, you can update with Service Packs later. Don't use a partition size greater than 130 Gigs.
December 25, 2008 5:57:24 PM

Ya, ran memtest overnight, 7 passes with no errors (on my 2 newer sticks).

Partitions are ~2 (windows/boot) and 62 gigs (for games/stuff).

XP is up, no errors...but setting up internet is a major pain, using a linksys wireless-G adapter to connect to a home network on another computer (this one) - I install the drivers, and create a connection..

Windows has a popup saying wireless networks are available at the bottom right of the desktop, so I open that and try to connect, but at the same time it says "Wireless Connection Unavailable" on network connections by the network I created and had a red X.
I didn't have this issue with SP2, so appears to have something to do with that.

When I attempt to connect to a network (typing out a password like 40 characters long, twice) it just closes the wireless network window and does nothing.

December 25, 2008 11:21:15 PM

ended up just burning SP2 updates to a disc and running that to get the network up..SP1 suxorz at internet.

All seems to be good now.
!