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Hardware level virus

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Last response: in CPUs
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September 28, 2009 2:55:37 AM

My system is messed up.... and now I think I know what's wrong, and it's scary. I've been reading about viruses that mess with firmware and the bios. Here's some background:

A long time ago, about a year, I had a problem with my Dell laptop. My system was suddenly slow after booting in to windows, using it for a while, and then returning to a live CD of linux. The slowness remained despite returning to Linux. It was like the crippling virus was stored somewhere else.

For some reason everything just slowed right down. I'm almost 100% ( as in 95% ) sure it was not a typical case of viri or malware.

When I bought a new laptop, I vowed to use Ubuntu exclusively, as I was sick of windows vulnerabilities. It ran flawlessly for about a year until for some stupid reason I decided to boot into windows. The same thing happened to my new laptop, that happened to my Dell. The system got slow in Windows, and after rebooting to Linux, the problem remained.

I'm convinced something, somehow, messed with my hardware ( again ). Is there any way to diagnose this problem? Check the Bios, and hardware settings or something? Anyway to reset everything?

Given the thing's I've read on:
http://invisiblethingslab.com/
and other security sites. Hardware level problems. Like things that affect the CPU. It's scary. How do I fix this problem ( besides buying a new computer and never going into Windows )? I'd like to fix this.

Please Note: I'm using a laptop. It's and HP 6730s.

More about : hardware level virus

September 28, 2009 3:00:37 AM

I highly doubt it's a "hardware level virus". I've worked in IT repairing computers for quite a while and I've never seen that before.
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September 28, 2009 3:03:29 AM

You could see if HP has a BIOS update for your HP.
Flash the BIOS, see if it fixes everything.

Normal windows users don't have dramas like that unless they're installing lots of crack software, using IE6 and downloading dodgy free porn and cracks, or borrowing CDs from people who hate them, or having lots of other dodgy PCs on their network and using old versions of Windows.

SO my point there is, if it does turn out to be a virus, find out where it came from! (and install a copy of AVG on Windows).

Edit: I'm with TC, never seen a BIOS virus ever, and the BIOS is the only thing that could store software besides hard discs. So it's probably something unrelated.

It could also be a total fluke, make sure the laptops vents are clear and not blocked with dust etc.
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September 28, 2009 5:04:01 PM

Well technically a BIOS virus is possible, although very rare, and would still be classed as a software virus. The easiest way to resolve that is to flash the BIOS. If it still doesn't work then it's either a virus on the hard drive or it's not a virus issue at all.
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September 28, 2009 5:11:40 PM

yeah there used to be such threat to the bios but as the others have said, it rare and it not as much of a threat anymore.
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September 28, 2009 5:13:29 PM

Boot virus most likely. Follow what people have been saying:

1. Flash the Bios
2. Completely zero the HD and reinstall
3. Could be something else
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September 28, 2009 11:05:33 PM

defintiely 100% NOT a virus.

The reason being is no-one has ever written a virus that can simultaneously infect a windows AND linux install at the same time.

Much more likely is that booting in windows has changed some hardware setting or even something to do with the boot secotrs on you HDD.

Hardware virus - they dont exist and if they did, nobody would bother writing one specifically for the few thousand HP6370s users out there unless they had a really big grudge.
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