Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

BIOS virus or broken hard drive?

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
March 4, 2008 7:12:17 PM

Hello

I am trying to determine if I have a BIOS virus or just a broken hard drive?

Timeline of what happened.

February 25 - Windows starts freezing and crashing

February 29 - Windows crashes, and will not start up. It crashes while entering safe mode and gets stuck at loading screen

March 1 - Smurf formats hard drive and reinstalls windows, but gets an hard drive error message. On the first attempt to format hard drive, it says that my hard drive is too corrupt to install windows. Although, formatting it a second time windows was able to install.

March 2 - Windows crashes the same way it did on February 29. I reinstalled windows, but got the exact problem as I did on march 1.

March 4 - Computer crashes again and windows will not start.

I'm hesitant to flash my BIOS. But I might have to flash it and see what happens after reinstalling windows for a third time.

So does this sound like a BIOS virus or do I need a new hard drive.

System Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB
March 4, 2008 7:25:47 PM

Have you any other systems you could try the hard drive on? Or maybe a spare hard drive lying around you could try in the same SATA port
March 4, 2008 7:43:02 PM

you can run the seagate diags and do a full surface scan. they are avail on seagates site.
Related resources
a c 239 V Motherboard
March 4, 2008 7:56:30 PM

Try running memtest. A failed memory module can cause similar symptoms. Or, try loading windows with only one stick.

See if you can get the seagate diagnostics to run. Do a full surface scan.

I doubt that it is a bios virus. Don't flash unless it fixes a problem that you have. With a flaky machine, you can render your mobo useless if the flash fails.
March 4, 2008 8:07:37 PM

geofelt said:
Try running memtest. A failed memory module can cause similar symptoms. Or, try loading windows with only one stick.

See if you can get the seagate diagnostics to run. Do a full surface scan.

I doubt that it is a bios virus. Don't flash unless it fixes a problem that you have. With a flaky machine, you can render your mobo useless if the flash fails.

That is a spot on answer right there.
a b V Motherboard
March 4, 2008 8:24:31 PM

^ Yup. A BIOS virus is very rare. Any one care to tell me when the last BIOS virus came out?
March 4, 2008 8:54:36 PM

CIH, circa 1999 if memory serves...
March 4, 2008 9:24:57 PM

Shadow703793 said:
^ Yup. A BIOS virus is very rare. Any one care to tell me when the last BIOS virus came out?


Last time I suffered a BIOS virus was around 1996. Haven't seen any since, though that doesn't mean that none have been made.
March 4, 2008 10:10:09 PM

Yeah, I second the memtest and use one stick for install. Had near identicle symtoms when a stick failed on me. B*tch of a thing to diagnose the first time around, just remember this. If theres something wrong, START WITH THE RAM FIRST! :) 


On a side note, how would one get a bios virus? I am under the impression it cant be altered in windows, is that correct?
March 4, 2008 10:23:39 PM

4 things can cause this in order of possibility:

1) hd building bad sectors/electronics failing
2) possible ram failure
3) power supply - can cause instability, system crashes,shutdowns,restarts just before they die.
4) motherboard has bad caps- do a visual inspection.

Start with a surface scan http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
then ram test using memtest
then if all else fails examine your motherboard for leaking caps if not try a good power supply.

BAD


Good ones a flat with no residue on them.
March 4, 2008 10:25:57 PM

eric54 said:
On a side note, how would one get a bios virus? I am under the impression it cant be altered in windows, is that correct?


The easy answer is that someone has to write it. :??: 

A more compilcated answer is that BIOS viruses had their beginning in the days of DOS and Win 1 and 2.1, when loading and upgrading the DOS was commonplace. As Windows 95 and later versions came out, it was vastly harder to write a BIOS virus, but has remained possible because of the use of DOS at least being in the background. In theory, at least as I understand it, such a virus could still be implimented by piggy backing it on some other application and having it work similar to when we "Flash" a BIOS to a more recent copy. This has become increasingly difficult as Win 95 gave way to Win 98 and then XP.

I really don't know how hard it is at the moment, but there are any number of ways for a virus writer to attack the computer systems that are far easier and more effective in today's world. All this said, its based on my understanding and someone else may have a better or more up to date understanding.
March 6, 2008 11:36:11 PM

Hello all

Thanks for all your replies.

Heres my responses to your answers.

I already ran memtest and it says threes no errors.

I have a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L (rev 2.0) all solid state cap motherboard. So I hope its not bad a bad mobo :( . But I'll check the motherbord and all the other stuff connected to it.

I just got segate utility, so it can check the hard drive for bad sectors. I'm going to run that soon.

Thanks again, I'll keep posted.
March 7, 2008 12:32:03 AM

still. try using only one stick of ram, and if you get a problem swap that one out for the other. I really think you have a ram issue.
March 7, 2008 3:39:06 PM

Eric you could be right.

I got windows working on my system. Running video games and applications, I cant help to feel that the ram is performing poorly. I'm probably going to try booting with one stick.
a c 239 V Motherboard
March 7, 2008 3:58:25 PM

Run Prime95 to really exercise the memory under load. Memtest can't check for some type of errors. Be certain to specify that you want rounding error checking. If prime95 shows an error, the ram is suspect. If it runs perfectly for an hour or two, then the memory is good.

Run cpu-z to see what speed the ram is running at. The mobo may select a lower speed in the bios if it had problems booting.
March 9, 2008 3:27:07 PM

I removed one stip of memeory (1 gig) and my computer is now working perfectly.

So I guess it was the one strip causing the problems.

Thanks for the advice all.
!