Malware/Boot Disc Damage

February 2, 2012 at 00:51:07
Specs: Windows 7 Home Editrion, DDRSDRAM
Can Malware physically damage your hard drive?

Can Malware destroy your cpu?

Can a boot disc send instructions to your cpu to make it never work again?


See More: Malware/Boot Disc Damage

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#1
February 2, 2012 at 01:07:30
Google "Boot sector virus"

It is unlikely that malware could corrupt the bios of a PC in such a way it would prevent it booting or cause physical damage.

What has prompted this question? If you have a system displaying problems please describe it and the problem in detail and maybe we can assist you to resolve it.
What kind of bootdisk are you talking about? Was it by any chance a BIOS update?

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)


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#2
February 2, 2012 at 01:09:59

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#3
February 2, 2012 at 01:29:32
Possible, but unlikely. It used to be possible to destroy a CRT monitor with the appropriate program, by making it work beyond its specifications, so never say never. But I have not heard of any malware that does actually damage chips.

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#4
February 2, 2012 at 02:25:24
Thanks for the information!

Our hard drive of our Samsung RV510 was physically damaged. I changed the hard drive and now the computer is working. I think the hard drive was faulty from the factory or I damaged it with static electricity from my body when I took the computer apart. Would static electricity damage a hard drive if you touched the circuit board of a hard drive and you weren't wearing a anti-static wrist strap?

I just wanted to check if it was possible for your hard drive to be damaged by malware because I have also found malware on our computer in the past.

Regards John


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#5
February 2, 2012 at 03:23:00
"Would static electricity damage a hard drive if you touched the circuit board of a hard drive and you weren't wearing a anti-static wrist strap?"

A distinct possibility. Safer to only touch the casing of a hard drive. I always touch the chassis of my PC before handling components to discharge any static; that works as well as an anti-static strip IMO.


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#6
February 2, 2012 at 05:40:16
If you use the 'touch the case' method, do this before you unplug as this allows the static to go somewhere. Also touching a screw on a wall switch plate or a water faucet would also dissipate the static, but avoid walking on carpet after that as this could generate more static.
Hard drives do fail for a number of reasons which is why we need back ups of our data.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
February 2, 2012 at 07:53:38
Yes, I did mean while the computer was earthed. On the other hand, if the computer isn't earthed then this will put you at the same potential as the rest of the computer, i.e. the circuit board you are about to handle. So, a better strategy if you are removing a part from a computer (zero potential might not be ideal in this case).

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#8
February 2, 2012 at 12:58:36
Yes,
Yes,
Yes,

However it is highly highly unlikely that could happen.

A Pit Bull is like a gun you can pet. And there is no safety on it.


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#9
February 2, 2012 at 13:57:28
"Our hard drive of our Samsung RV510 was physically damaged. I changed the hard drive and now the computer is working. I think the hard drive was faulty from the factory or I damaged it with static electricity from my body when I took the computer apart."

When I search on the web using Samsung RV510, I'm finding it's a notebook model that was probably first released in 2011, possibly June.
If you suspect the hard drive was faulty, it's quite likely your probable one year warranty covers replacing it.
In any case, all laptop hard drives have a three year warranty, however you often must get the brand name, not the hard drive manufacturer to replace it if it came with the computer.

How was it "physically damaged" ?

However, it's not covered if you damaged the hard drive yourself, e,g. you dropped the notebook or spilled liquid on it. unless you bought additional warranty coverage that covers accidental damage when you bought the computer, or in some cases if you bought it within a short time of when you bought the computer. .

A static electricity discharge can damage electronic circuits, but in the real world whether it's likely the environment has that risk depends on the circumstances.
E.g.
- if you have a synthetic wall to wall carpet in the same room and it's winter and the humidity inside the room is very low, you ARE at risk of discharging static electricity from your environment or that has built up on your body to something unless you take anti-static precautions

- in my case, it's winter but the humidity in the room is always at least 50%, where my computers are the floor has vinyl floor tiles and area rugs containing cotton - cotton dissipates static electricity naturally before it has a chance to build up - and I usually am wearing clothes that all contain cotton. I never have a static electricity problem, winter or summer, in that room, as long as I keep the humidity high enough in the winter.

By the way, DO NOT use a regular vacuum cleaner to clean the inside of your computer ! ! They produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when they're running and can discharge that from anything connected to the vacuum cleaner or from your body when you're using it !

Personally I've never encountered a situation where any hard drive was damaged by a static electricity discharge.


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#10
February 2, 2012 at 21:36:43
Thanks for all the information everyone!

I suspected my hard drive was faulty before I took the computer apart. I do have a warranty however I think the warranty states if anyone works on the computer while it is under warranty, you loose the warranty. The only way I can think that I might of done that wiped the hard drive is that I touched the hard drive with a screwdriver by accident which contained static electricity or I touched the hard drive with my fingers and I wasn't earthed. I didn't try to break the hard drive or I didn't put a magnet near the hard drive, I didn't put water on the hard drive. I didn't do anything in my mind that would make the hard drive become physically faulty. I did have the Samsung RV510 notebook on my bedroom floor for a while, could dust of got into the hard drive and damaged it?

Before I took our computer apart, defrag ran very slow so I suspect the hard drive was faulty before I took the computer apart.

Regards John


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#11
February 3, 2012 at 05:06:05
If you already replaced the hard drive and reloaded Windows on it and your back up data, then that part is done. You still may be able to get the manufacturer to warranty the hard drive if you first contact their tech support, preferably speak to one of their representatives and get an RMA for the hard drive. You will not be able to get them to pay for the one you already purchased but you can get an external hard drive case and use the replacement hard drive for external back ups and/or additional storage.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#12
February 4, 2012 at 08:36:50
People often think there's something wrong with a hard drive when the problem is actually (a) software problem(s).

"Before I took our computer apart, defrag ran very slow so I suspect the hard drive was faulty before I took the computer apart."

When you load Windows normally and run Defrag, there are often programs running that cause Defrag to stop and re-start many times, resulting in it taking a lot longer for Defrag to completely finish. That's COMMON.
If you load Windows in Safe mode rather than loading it normally, in most cases those programs that cause Defrag to stop and re-start are NOT running when Windows is in Safe mode, and Defrag will take the minimum amount of time to complete.
......

Side notes...

Defrag was a very useful program in the past when computers were A LOT slower than they are now, but for modern computers, running Defrag yields you no more than a 10% performance improvement, and that's a temporary improvement - your Windows partition will have fragmented data again in a short time, how much time that takes depending on how much free space is left on the partition Windows itself was installed on - the less free space left, the faster it gets fragmented again.
If running Defrag doesn't improve the performance of Windows much, there are zillions of OTHER things that can cause Windows to run much slower than it once did, and it's those causes you need to find and fix.
E.g. if the partition Windows itself was installed on has less than about 10% free space on it, that alone will cause Windows to run much slower than it is otherwise capable of.

Running Defrag on partitions other than the one Windows was installed on has very little if any affect on the performance of Windows.

How long it takes Defrag to finish running is directly dependent on how much data is on the partition(s) you are running it on.
E.g.if your C partition is 1 tb and 60% full, it will take a lot longer than when your C partition is 500 mb and 60% full, perhaps twice as long.
.....

Were there OTHER symptoms BEFORE you took the laptop apart ?
If yes, what were they ?
.....

You claim the original hard drive was "physically damaged".
What symptoms led you to believe that was the case ?
(Defrag taking a long time to complete does NOT necessarily indicate there's a physical problem with the drive.)
.....

The original hard drive can easily be tested if you install it in the laptop again.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
http://www.computing.net/windows95/...

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

E.g.
Seagate's Seatools will test (almost) any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.j...

The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

OR - SeaTools for Windows can be used to test the hard drive if you install it in an external drive enclosure and connect it to a working computer (Dos Seatools versions cannot find hard drives in external enclosures).
......

"I do have a warranty however I think the warranty states if anyone works on the computer while it is under warranty, you loose the warranty."

It is not allowed for anyone who is not authorized to work on your brand of computer by the brand name to work on it during the warranty period, but if you live in a reasonably sized place, there are probably local places that repair computers that ARE authorized to work on it. If whatever is wrong is covered by the warranty, then it costs you nothing, other than possibly a small fee - you have nothing to lose getting it repaired by a local place if you actually DO have something about it that is defective, rather than you just having (a) software problem(s), which is not covered by the warranty and you would have to pay for if you had them fix that.

You are supposed to unplug your AC adapter from AND remove the main battery from the laptop whenever you fiddle with the ram, hard drive, or anything inside of the laptop.
If you did that, then it's extremely unlikely you damaged the hard drive further, even if you DO have it in an environment where static electricity is a problem.



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