I've been running my computer for a little over 7 years now and I've gone through a number of reformats to get rid of viruses, but it seems that with each reformat the computer still runs slower and slower than it used to. While I'm aware that a portion of this could be due to wear and tear on the hardware, it is also true to my understanding that it's impossible to get rid of all the spyware and junk on your hard drive even after you reformat (as to my knowledge reformatting doesn't actually delete anything from the hard drive, it just sets all the values of everything to 0).
So in an effort to give my computer a fresh start, I'm going to buy a new hard drive (my old one is pretty small anyway, and has suffered a substantial ammount of data loss through reformatting, partitioning, mispartitioning, etc.). I just wanted to double-check with the community that it is impossible for any virus, spyware, trojan, etc. to infect or attach itself in any way to anything other than the hard drive or (in some cases) the BIOS?
Assuming this is correct, I was thinking that I would download a BIOS update and burn it to a cd. Remove my internal Hard Drive. Boot the CD through my current BIOS and install the new BIOS. Then plug in the new Hard Drive, format and install windows, etc. etc.
I just wanted to double-check a couple of things.
1. That I won't have any problems installing the BIOS off a cd with no hard drive in my computer.
2. That it's safe to trust a bios update from a download website (ex. softpedia.com) as I can't find anything on ASUS' website (I've got an ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe)
3. The bios update file is called C18E1013.BIN do I copy that file onto a CD then boot from the CD? If so, does the bios install automatically or does a command prompt appear where I have to type: IFLASH/PF D:\C18E1013.BIN
Thank you for taking the time to read. Any help or suggestions are appreciated.
I would use a floppy or usb drive. Floppy drives are still sold in some computer shops and goodwill computer centers cheap. Asus includes a crashfree bios recovery program on some of it's motherboard cd's, but I don't know if yours has it. I wouldn't flash the bios on such an old board; it won't improve the speed of your system, unless you want to change the cpu, which is also a bad idea, since dual core 939's cost more than am2's.
I was more concerned about the possibility of the bios being infected, or that some malicious software could have attached itself to the bios and might infect the new hard drive. Any reason not to use a CD? I could go out and buy a usb key.