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Thread: Strange malware

  1. #1
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    Default Strange malware

    Please forgive me for stepping outside of this forum's boundaries.

    A friend just called me about a strange result he got from a client's non-booting hard drive. Connecting only that drive to one of his desktops he tried booting what is supposed to be a Windows system. It did not boot. When he replaced the drive with one of his own, the machine would not boot, but repeatedly turned on and off (the power). Suspecting that his motherboard may have failed at that point he switched to another desktop repeated the process and got exactly the same result. He reset his BIOS...no change. He now has two non functioning desktops and called me in a panic for assistance.

    If anyone has heard of such a problem please let me know. It's beyond my comprehension.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Strange malware

    The problem drive is an SSD, so power supply failure (twice) is not a likely cause as power consumption is low.

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    Default Re: Strange malware

    Quote Originally Posted by ionmich View Post
    The problem drive is an SSD, so power supply failure (twice) is not a likely cause as power consumption is low.
    Hi
    Not if the drive has a short across the 5v or 12v power rails feeding the hard drives... needs to check the power connector voltages. All depends on how the power supply is configured as may be getting enough for the motherboard(s).
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
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    Default Re: Strange malware

    Understood, but even when the drive is removed? You mean it damaged two power supplies?

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    Default Re: Strange malware

    By the way, many thanks for the speedy response and suggestion.

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    Default Re: Strange malware

    Quote Originally Posted by ionmich View Post
    Understood, but even when the drive is removed? You mean it damaged two power supplies?
    Hi
    Yes, just the part that powers the drives... get out a multimeter and check..
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Strange malware

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmlewis View Post
    Hi
    Yes, just the part that powers the drives... get out a multimeter and check..
    My friend reports that both desktops have recovered with the following message...

    "The Main BIOS is corrupted. The system will be recovered from the Backup BIOS. Please DO NOT turn off power or reset the system. This may take a few minutes. Updating the Main BIOS...14%"

    It's all strange to me having only old equipment. Thanks again.

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    Default Re: Strange malware

    Quote Originally Posted by ionmich View Post
    "The Main BIOS is corrupted. The system will be recovered from the Backup BIOS."
    Were there thunder storms in the area?
    • Was there a lightning strike near the premises?
    • Does the system have surge protection on the 110 V / 230 V power sockets supplying the system?

    If the system doesn't have a fast DSL network connection, consider also fitting surge protection to the network connection to the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

    If the area is often affected by thunder storms, consider installing surge protection rated at 20 000 A (yes, twenty thousand ampere).

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    Default Re: Strange malware

    Quote Originally Posted by dcurtisfra View Post
    Were there thunder storms in the area?
    • Was there a lightning strike near the premises?
    • Does the system have surge protection on the 110 V / 230 V power sockets supplying the system?

    If the system doesn't have a fast DSL network connection, consider also fitting surge protection to the network connection to the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

    If the area is often affected by thunder storms, consider installing surge protection rated at 20 000 A (yes, twenty thousand ampere).
    No lightning. Good surge protection.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Strange malware

    My guess is that your friend just really doesn't know what his system was doing and somehow initiated a BIOS Flash upgrade... which was interrupted.
    Of course, a system's BIOS upgrade should never be interrupted.
    On bootup, the system probably recognized an incomplete flash upgrade (ie "corrupted")

    I don't know that a backup BIOS normally exists, but when in the middle of a flash upgrade today's utilities normally create a backup of the existing BIOS in case the flash fails so the system isn't bricked.

    So,
    I highly recommend that your friend look again into any updates from the motherboard's (or system) manufacturer, and if a BIOS upgrade is available to do the backup again... This time don't interrupt the flash upgrade which will involve at least one reboot.

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