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Question about a virus and a new hard drive

dognuts

Active Member
Hi all

I am almost certain my pc has a virus,tried for hours on end to sort it and just end up going in circles.I cant boot the Windows XP CD from start up even when I change BIOS settings to boot from CD,so I cant format the HD.
I have decided to buy a new HD,but my question is,if I have a virus will the motherboard/processor/whatever else be infected as well or just the HD?Obviously if more than the HD will be infected I have a bigger problem.
Running on XP.

Thanks
 

KraGorn

Active Member
Don't blame a virus. :)

What happens when you try to boot the CD?

I've never seen mention of a virus that can cause that. It's far more likely your CD drive has developed a fault, or maybe the IDE interface. To prove the point simply disconnect the hard drive and try to boot.

There are rare BIOS viruses about which I know little, but right now I'd be discounting that possibility and looking for a far more mundane hardware glitch before forking out for a new hard drive.
 

dognuts

Active Member
Well,the reason I think its a virus is that when I try to do a scan with Adaware my pc restarts every time at about 41 seconds.Pretty much the same with AVG free,I can however do a full scan with Avast! and no viruses are detected,same with Spbot.
I have tried a system restore,gets right to the end,reboots and then says it was unable to restore.
Every time I turn on the PC I get the "System has recovered from a serious error" message,and also it reboots at any random time.
Installs are proving a problem,I could go on,its just not acting like it should.

I changed the BIOS to start from CD but it simply doesnt,it starts from the HD.When I get onto Windows I can then access the CD and do an install of Windows,but I dont want that,Iwant to format and then do a full fresh install.

If I disconnect the HD surely nothing will start?
 

Old_Biker_John

Active Member
. . . I changed the BIOS to start from CD but it simply doesnt,it starts from the HD.When I get onto Windows I can then access the CD and do an install of Windows,but I dont want that,Iwant to format and then do a full fresh install.

If I disconnect the HD surely nothing will start?

Hi dognuts,:)

Sorry to see you have a booting problem.

The PC should still boot from a CD/DVD with no HD connected, if the BIOS is set to boot from CD/DVD drive.

BIOS settings menus vary, but some show a generic 'CDROM' boot device choice as well as listing the specific drive by manufacturer when you scroll through the list of choices.

Is your BIOS one with the multiple choices and if so, have you chosen the specific drive rather than the generic option?

The manual for your motherboard should help to clarify the settings.

Try again without the HD.

John.
 

dognuts

Active Member
I have chosen the generic CDROM option, I dont think there is any other option.Im doing this from work so cant check at the mo,considering how many times Ive changed settings you would think id remember:rolleyes:

Dont think ive got the manual anymore.The computer is about 7 years old,I have upgraded various bits however,RAM,Graphics card.I had thought it could be the internal battery,but then again I have thought it could be all sorts of things.Im just going from one idea to another and not solving anything...

Ta.
 

funkyspider

Well-known Member
or you could try one of the linux bootable distro's such as Ubuntu. This would verify that your machine can boot OK off CD.
 

dognuts

Active Member
Right,despite my ramblings about not being able to boot from CD I have now done it,I think I was selecting the wrong device to boot from....dont ask:rolleyes:

Formatted the drive,reinstalled loads of programs,all ok,found LOADS of dust and dirt in all of the fans,cleaned and thought maybe it had been overheating,then....."The system has recovered from a serious fault"...blah blah.

Im at a loss.Ive wasted about 20 hours or so now,done everything I can think of.Probably time for a new pc.

Thanks for the answers all.
 
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T

Tribe2k

Guest
I hope the first thing you put on was a decent AV and then updated it before installing anything else?!?
Also running memtest+ in DOS overnight is one of the first port of call when system is chucking out errors imo!
 

Old_Biker_John

Active Member
. . . Im at a loss.Ive wasted about 20 hours or so now,done everything I can think of.Probably time for a new pc. . . .

Hi dognuts,

If you still want to check what processes your system runs from boot-up onwards, try Process Monitor (Freeware).

The link takes you to a Microsoft web page.

Microsoft took over the Sysinternals operation when it realised how useful and stable their utility software was!

John.
 

dognuts

Active Member
I hope the first thing you put on was a decent AV and then updated it before installing anything else?!?
Also running memtest+ in DOS overnight is one of the first port of call when system is chucking out errors imo!

Yeah I have downloaded and updated Avast!4.8.Any opinions on Avast?I used to use AVG free but decided to change to Avast after these problems.
I installed ADAware first though.
I had already downloaded Memtest+ but I dont know how to run it.

Thanks
 

Old_Biker_John

Active Member
. . . I had already downloaded Memtest+ but I dont know how to run it. . .

Hello again dognuts,:)

The freeware version of Memtest runs in Windows and can't test the memory that the operating system is using. There is a pay-for version that you can run from cd at boot-up time to test all of the RAM.

I think you may have downloaded the freeware memory tester Memtest86+.The latest version (2.01) is available here as a zipped .iso file that you burn to a CD to run at boot-up. USB and floppy disk boot-up versions are also available.

Memtest86+ will test all of your memory for free!

Hope you sort your system soon.:)

John.
 

dognuts

Active Member
Hello again dognuts,:)

The freeware version of Memtest runs in Windows and can't test the memory that the operating system is using. There is a pay-for version that you can run from cd at boot-up time to test all of the RAM.

I think you may have downloaded the freeware memory tester Memtest86+.The latest version (2.01) is available here as a zipped .iso file that you burn to a CD to run at boot-up. USB and floppy disk boot-up versions are also available.

Memtest86+ will test all of your memory for free!

Hope you sort your system soon.:)

John.


Thanks.
That is the version I downloaded.I unzipped it and put it on a disc but Ive no idea how to use it/what to do with it?
 

Old_Biker_John

Active Member
Thanks.
That is the version I downloaded.I unzipped it and put it on a disc but Ive no idea how to use it/what to do with it?

Hi dognuts,:)

BlkKnight is correct. You need to burn a CD with the .iso image file, using Nero or similar software.

If you haven't got Nero, a free version of DeepBurner is available here and there are some screenshots to illustrate the process.

All the best,

John.
 

dognuts

Active Member
I have burned the file to CD using Nero already but Im not sure how to run the program.When the CD loads the program I open it and then dont know what to do.
Should I load the CD from boot up ,ie;Boot my PC from CDROM first with the disk in?And if so does it then run automatically?
 

Old_Biker_John

Active Member
. . . Should I load the CD from boot up ,ie;Boot my PC from CDROM first with the disk in?And if so does it then run automatically?

Hi dognuts,:)

Quite right. Boot from the CDROM with the newly burned CD in it.:thumbsup:

John.
 

dognuts

Active Member
Right then,think Ive sorted it:rolleyes:

Finally managed to run Memtest.(I was not burning it from Nero correctly,a new one on me but its all a learning curve eh?)
Two of my sticks were fine but the oldest(256MB) had 4 faults with it after 60% so I stopped the test and have binned it:thumbsup:
I am now still reinstalling things and just hope it stays fine,if not I am definately buying a new machine,I think after 7 years or so Ive had my moneys worth!

Thanks to all who have helped!Would still be tearing my hair out without it:)
 

BlkKnight

Active Member
Glad you've got it sorted.

Memory is a cheap component to replace in money terms - but difficult to diagnose unless you know what you are doing.

Seems that you now have that skill under your hat :)
 

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