BIOS may have been compromised. How to fix it?

The motherboard is an ASUS P4P800.

I "inherited" a computer that had a "cracked" version of Vista on it. I have a legitimate version of Vista and wanted to install it.

I installed it and had it format the hard drive. During the installation it never asked for the product code and installed using the cracked product code, which I verified after it installed because there was a product code already there. I believe the code somehow got hard coded into the BIOS.

I have tried to flash the BIOS with the rom from the ASUS website and reinstalling, but no luck. Still keeps installing with the cracked product code. I put in a new hard drive and reinstalled again. No luck.

I can't figure out what else to do.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks.
3 answers Last reply
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  1. You don't have to worry about the BIOS, an OS install can't affect it.

    Did you format the drive from within the Windows install/setup program? If so then what's probably happened is that the setup program read the old key from the disk before formatting and then applied it to the new system - I've seen this sort of thing happen with XP installs.

    Here's what I'd do: Boot into the setup program, delete all of the partitions, then shut down before it can copy any files onto the disk. Then start the setup over again - now that the disk is blank the install program will be forced to install from scratch with no leftovers from the old system.
  2. Thanks. I'll give it a try.
  3. Well, I have tried just about everything. I cannot get Vista to install. I am now thinking it must be an issue with the motherboard, so the next thing I will try is replacing that.
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