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Dumb Computer Question Regarding Viruses/hardware  
User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1416 times:

Greetings all,

I was wondering where computer viruses actually "hide". Are they in just the hard drives? Or can they be in other components of the computer?

Thanks.

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1406 times:

Anywhere there is optical space mate, most of the time hard drive. Some hardcore viruses can actually implant themselves in memory (RAM)

User currently offlineDaleaholic From UK - England, joined Oct 2005, 3208 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1401 times:

Depends on the type of virus really, most viruses which are the simple "I'll go in and delete some files" type are on the hard drive, which is why they can be detected and delted by anti-virus software. I'm not too sure about other components but I've heard stories of people getting a virus which infected the motherboard thus making the computer useless. It did get sorted though, needed a Professional though.


Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
User currently offlineMalmoaviation From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 385 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1388 times:

Infected or burned motherboards and components are rare these days. A year ago i heard about some kind of virus that burned your sound card, scary. If a virus is in the RAM memory and you have erased your hard-drive its only to remove the RAM memory and place it in again. The memory will be erased and the virus (that actually are 1 and 0 ) is erased.

User currently offlineAndessmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1380 times:

There are two hardware component where a virus will stay, that is the hard drive or RAM, there are no other places. They may hide in different parts of the hard drive to avoid anti-virus program detection, normally the boot sector. If the virus is hiding in the boot sector, it is normally activated during startup, and will essentially stop your a/v program. There was a horrible virus that I had to clean up in our office last year, and I was surprised of not seeing any news stories about it.

This is how it worked, you received an infected e-mail, and you got the virus if your programs werent all updated. You didnt even have to open the e-mail, you just had to receive it. After a couple of tries, the only way that we could restart the machines was by wiping out the entire hard drive via a format.


User currently offlineBoeing Nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1375 times:

Good info guys, thanks. I've been wondering if I should just format the hard drives and then replace the operating system. Then try to find the best anti whatever software there is. I've just about had it with my machine right now.

User currently offlineAndessmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1364 times:

Yes, re-format. From my last post, that was the only solution I found to my problem, it was impossible to clean up.

If I had more time in my schedule, I would probably reformat and reinstall every computer every year or so. There is so much crap most people install, or the computers also usually come with several programs, that the best way to get good performance is to install an operating system and the install only the programs that you actually use.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1353 times:

Quoting Andessmf (Reply 6):
If I had more time in my schedule, I would probably reformat and reinstall every computer every year or so. There is so much crap most people install, or the computers also usually come with several programs, that the best way to get good performance is to install an operating system and the install only the programs that you actually use.

Truth. My test mule IBM has very little on board in the way of applications and it is surprising how well it works, even with W98SE issuing the orders.


User currently offlineKilljoy From Finland, joined Dec 1999, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1328 times:

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 1):
Some hardcore viruses can actually implant themselves in memory (RAM)



Quoting Malmoaviation (Reply 3):
If a virus is in the RAM memory and you have erased your hard-drive its only to remove the RAM memory and place it in again.

You won't actually have to refit your RAM if you find the small switch on your motherboard labeled "magic" and flip it to "more magic".

Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 2):
I've heard stories of people getting a virus which infected the motherboard thus making the computer useless.

I'm 99% sure it didn't actually infect the motherboard. Some viruses try to reflash BIOSes with crap, but that's completely different.

In the future, that may actually happen, though. Anything that can execute instructions can execute malicious programs (duh).

Quoting Andessmf (Reply 4):
There are two hardware component where a virus will stay, that is the hard drive or RAM, there are no other places.

Saying a virus stays in RAM is meaningless. And why just hard drives? How about anything that can store data?


User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1312 times:

Quoting Killjoy (Reply 8):
Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 1):
Some hardcore viruses can actually implant themselves in memory (RAM)

Well, that means that they stay resident (ready for action, if you like) in the machine's RAM, as long as the system is up and running. When it's powered down, the bug will naturally disappear as do the contents of RAM. A reinfection will occur once the system is started again, because some of the files that will get executed at boot-up have been infected. Thereafter, the chain of events will reiterate.

Sound cards do not get "burnt" by any virus. That's not even a theoretical possibility. It's, however, possible for a virus to clear the contents of the EEPROM memory chip that contains the fundamental startup program a.k.a. BIOS. Some these components used to be soldered onto the motherboard, and the whole board had to be junked, since reprogramming of the chip was not possible.


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2407 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 1311 times:

isn't it also possible for a virus to hide in the cpu?

User currently offlineEilennaei From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1299 times:

No, although the typical CPU contains some registers that can be used for some minimal tasks as RAM. (A PC computer will be able to go "beep-beep" even without any installed RAM, for instance.) Running practically any program will upset the registers so a virus would not be able to survive.

User currently offlineKilljoy From Finland, joined Dec 1999, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1290 times:

Quoting Eilennaei (Reply 9):
Well, that means that they stay resident (ready for action, if you like) in the machine's RAM, as long as the system is up and running.

Yes, but I got the feeling that's not what he meant.


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2407 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1285 times:

Quoting Eilennaei (Reply 11):
No, although the typical CPU contains some registers that can be used for some minimal tasks as RAM. (A PC computer will be able to go "beep-beep" even without any installed RAM, for instance.) Running practically any program will upset the registers so a virus would not be able to survive.

thanks!


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