I recently plugged an external HDD from a friend into my desktop, he's not very pc literate and always picking up nasty crap on his computer.
Shortly afterwards (say 15 mins) my computer starts showing weird artefacts on the display, becomes unresponsive and then crashes - this now repeats every time I boot up. Artefacts include, black/missing pixels, checker boxing etc.
To me this screams on GFX card failure and is more suspect given I have been overclocking it using ntune so that I can play BF3 at reasonable rates. But, not having experienced a card failure before, I'm also worried that it could be something I've picked up off my friends HDD.
Just wanted to get people's opinion as to the problem?
What did you do exactly on your friend's HDD? Inspect if there are any .inf files in the root directory, and if not, did you run any executable files that behaved strangely (not launching, or launching entirely not what you wanted)?
If answer is no to both of the above questions, then it's probably not a virus.
Can't check for the inf as I don't have a functional comp any more but didn't run any exe. Was just copying some files onto the HDD. Didn't take anything off and didn't run windows "autorun" on anything.
I feel more like its a gfx issue and just an unhappy coincidence with the HDD but wanted to get people's opinions as I've not experienced either situation before so don't know what to expect.
Wouldn't it be easiest to plug the gfx into another computer to test if its faulty or not?
Also in theory its very possible to pickup a rootkit/malware by connecting the HDD from your friends computer.
I find this tool extremely helpful for checking for rootkits (for when its up and running again ofc)
Well most malware might aim at running undetected but with all the different hardware and systems out there its usually not the case . F.ex. if it infects the video card driver to try and stay in stealth, this might lead to driver malfunction.
But I agree that this is an unusual case so it could be hardware failure. However if you don't find any hardware faults I would recommend going to majorgeeks or techguy forums and request a manual malware removal. These guys are experts in cleaning computers and its free (might be some time before they respond to requests as they are usually loaded).