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Hi, my friend tells me that no program can harm hardware, is this true

Last response: in Overclocking
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August 30, 2012 9:32:54 PM

(this may not be the most appropriate section but I haven't found a better one to put this in, motherboard section? idk, I'm more concerned about the GPU, then the rest of the hardware, in this question of course)

I sent him links of msi afterburner (burn gpu from voltage), that intel overclocking thing that let you modify RAM timings and the voltage of everything related to the ram and cpu, well most of them, directly related. I also found another tool. by Gigabyte I think, that can do it. And OCCT, that uses every component in your computer 100%, potentially killing your psu and possibly your motherboard and other components if it gets fried, if it doesn't have protection and takes everything else from it. Well, that is, if you were foolish enough to buy something like a 200w PSU and have high end cards in crossfire/sli or an OC'd cpu. Oh, and I've also heard of a program that uses the freakin' HDD to create music, uses the sound the mechanic arm does to create some sort of... primitive music, I've forgot the name. I'm not sure about it. Wouldn't that be able to harm the HDD in some way? maybe scratch the surface or make it more vulnerable to physical shocks? So, is this real? Or is this fantasy?
August 30, 2012 9:53:05 PM

"Hi, my friend tells me that no program can harm hardware, is this true"

You've pretty much described (to some extent) why this is not true, and is why overclocking, for example, can void some warranties.....if you don't know what you are doing --> don't do it!
August 31, 2012 4:02:54 PM

mesab66 said:
"Hi, my friend tells me that no program can harm hardware, is this true"

You've pretty much described (to some extent) why this is not true, and is why overclocking, for example, can void some warranties.....if you don't know what you are doing --> don't do it!

exactly, I fail to see why most people still say that software can't damage hardware, of course it can. And even if your CPU or GPU can defend from overheating, a giant voltage going up their asses will fry them before they can realize they should shut themselves up. We started this argument after he said that no virus could damage a computer. Couldn't a virus copy an overclocking tool and modify voltage of different computer components and cause them to die faster or kill them right away?
September 1, 2012 10:03:12 AM

Most hardware devices in your computer do have safety overrides built in. I'm talking about pushing your PC close to these overrides as possible - without the override cutting in. The net effect is that 'wear & tear + breaching operational safety zones' could (if you're not carefull!) fry components / shorten their lifespan.

This is why overclocking takes some skill to do correctly.
a b U Graphics card
a c 239 K Overclocking
September 1, 2012 11:08:10 AM

Any GPU software overclocking utility that allows manipulating the card voltages can damage your card instantly if you use too high a voltage with improper cooling.

a c 87 U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 1, 2012 11:24:10 AM

If by no program can harm hardware, you're not referring to overclocking programs, then it'd still be wrong because some malware can actually harm a computer. Overclocking isn't really a program IMO if you do it through the BIOS (albeit I suppose that programs that you use for overclocking would count as what you ask), but it can damage the computer if done improperly. I wouldn't call getting an insufficient PSU a program that is causing damage as much as a hardware issue.

Some malware programs (specifically a viruses or viri, whatever is the accurate plural for it) can damage hardware such as a hard drive by causing it to do things that it isn't supposed to do. There was a demonstration shown that printers can in fact be destroyed by malware, but I don't know if any malware was actually written that takes advantage of that. Some malware can damage a laptop's battery. Some malware can probably cause other issues too, especially if they can work with modded overclocking utilities, although I don't know if this is being exploited by any malware yet.

Theoretically, malware can cause havoc with drivers and such. Some video cards might be able to be destroyed by malware if that malware can get control of the fan speed and bring it down to zero during intensive use (such as a game) and this is plausible, although again, I don't know if it is exploited. Like others have said, if a malware program was written that could change voltage settings on any hardware, such as graphics cards, it could destroy them quite quickly. I do know that some malware is already out there that exploits problems with hard drives and some other hardware that can damage the hardware beyond repair.

However, hardware damaging malware seems to be very rare, especially nowadays. Most malware is more of the spy/steal data/bot net thing rather than destroy the machine.
a b U Graphics card
a b K Overclocking
September 1, 2012 6:31:40 PM

I can use software to turn down/off the fans on my computer. I can also use software to fully load my cpu.

If a virus is written that does both at the same time, bad things can happen to my hardware.
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