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Thread: What to do about a persistent virus?

  1. #11
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    Ran the live-boot CD AV and scanned everything: nothing found. Removed all cards except video and uninstalled / replaced the Tenda adapter with another (Netis WF-2109) brand. Re-ran WD defs update, failed (pic below), then downloaded manual update of defs, failed as soon as invoked (pic below).

    I will re-flash the BIOS next and if that doesn't solve the problem I will switch HDs to one that has never been attached to this machine.

    Thanks again for all your suggestions.

    -CH-

    4.jpg 5.jpg

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by clh333 View Post
    I will re-flash the BIOS next and if that doesn't solve the problem I will switch HDs to one that has never been attached to this machine.
    Based on system priorities, I would perform these two functions in the reverse order.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Based on system priorities, I would perform these two functions in the reverse order.
    Looks like I will have to do that anyway: I am unable to flash the BIOS.

    First problem is that the manufacturer, Abit, a Taiwanese company, is out of business. Their web site has been archived but my board and BIOS are not listed. I located and downloaded drivers, supposedly for my board, from third-party sites and attempted to update the BIOS, but ran into an "Insufficient memory" error (pic below).

    The procedure I followed was to download the .exe file on this Win7 machine and transfer the .exe (about 256k) to a 1.4 Mb FD which had been pre-formatted on a DOS machine. I started the Abit from the FreeDOS v.1 live CD and booted to an A: prompt. With my 1.4 FD in place I switched to B: where I extracted the archived files, a couple of BAT files, the .BIN file, the flash executable and a readme file. Following the readme I ran the "RUNME.bat" file which executed but finished with the "insufficient memory" message (pic below).

    I have the Abit Drivers CD that came with the original board. In a folder there is the original Award flash utility, but no BIOS image. I tried that utility with the same results.

    Pictured below is the BIOS chip and the system info highlighting the BIOS version. I'm not sure whether I have the wrong version of the BIOS update (I tried V15 and V11 for the KW7). It may be that the later versions were for a larger BIOS IC. Alternately I may be following the wrong procedure. A third possibility is that the .BIN file, which appears to be compressed, can not be extracted on the floppy.

    So after all of this I guess I try another drive.

    Thanks again,

    -CH-

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    Last edited by clh333; February 5th, 2018 at 06:50 AM.

  4. #14

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    Here's my overall opinion in a nutshell:

    1) You can't hurt your machine by switching the HD. Additionally, you might even learn something.

    2) You can surely brick it by screwing around with the BIOS, especially if that's not something you are very familiar with.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #15
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    If you have not already done so, RUN MEMTEST! Flashing a BIOS while you have faulty RAM can result in an unbootable system!

    How much memory does Freedos report as available? I am not familiar with their live CD, but it probably loads extra drivers that may eat up memory. Does it have an option for a minimal boot? That is odd, as Freedos almost lives for BIOS flashing.

    How about instead just hunting down a normal MS-DOS 6.x or Win9x 1.44m boot floppy, open it in WinImage, delete all files except IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM and HIMEM.SYS. Create a CONFIG.SYS text file with just the line "DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS", then copy in your BIOS flash tools. Write that image to a floppy and boot from it. If it does the same thing then there is something horribly wrong with that board.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    ...Flashing a BIOS while you have faulty RAM can result in an unbootable system!...
    That's one way and there are many others.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    1) You can't hurt your machine by switching the HD. Additionally, you might even learn something.
    It's all about learning something. I don't need the machine; I just want to find out what's going on. That's why I'm grateful for others' input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    2) You can surely brick it by screwing around with the BIOS, especially if that's not something you are very familiar with.
    Always a risk, and wouldn't be the first time I've rendered something useless. But I do have the original board with the identical BIOS and presumably can fall back on that.

    -CH-

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    RUN MEMTEST!
    Will do.

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    How much memory does Freedos report as available? I am not familiar with their live CD, but it probably loads extra drivers that may eat up memory. Does it have an option for a minimal boot? That is odd, as Freedos almost lives for BIOS flashing.
    The Award BIOS reports 3 Gb (3144704) as a result of a memory test on boot. FreeDOS' 1.0 MEM command reports 3144280k total memory, divided as follows: 634k conventional, 48k upper, reserved 342k, extended 3,143,256k, with FreeDos resident in high memory. A screen shot is shown below. I have five options when the live CD boots, one of which is to install to the HD, one to run from the CD with drivers for extended / expanded memory and another one is to run from the CD with no drivers installed at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    How about instead just hunting down a normal MS-DOS 6.x or Win9x 1.44m boot floppy, open it in WinImage, delete all files except IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM and HIMEM.SYS. Create a CONFIG.SYS text file with just the line "DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS", then copy in your BIOS flash tools. Write that image to a floppy and boot from it. If it does the same thing then there is something horribly wrong with that board.
    I will try that and let you know what happens. Thanks for your suggestions.

    -CH-

    10.jpg 11.jpg

  9. #19
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    As others have said, I'd suspect bad RAM is way more likely than a BIOS-resident virus. My vote is also for memtest86+

  10. #20
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    One pass through memtest86, no errors:

    12.jpg

    -CH-

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