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Thread: extreme instability

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Minnetonka, MN, USA
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    extreme instability

    ok...so i went to an "innapropriate" website and and mistakenly downloaded a file. ever since then, it kept asking me if i wanted to open the file (.exe) , every time i booted up windows, and i always hit cancel. i tried searching for the file but failed to find it. Then, my computer started becoming really unstable at random, and my screen would blink on and off. So, finally i decided to reformat. however, even after formatting, there were still the same weird little dots at the top of my screen as my computer POSTs. And now, these symptoms are recurring at random even after my format. I did a mcaffee free scan but it didn't find anything. i don't have any virus software. is it possible for a virus/worm/trojan to live through a format?

    btw im running windows xp home
    barton 2800+ cpu
    1 gig pc3200 ram
    geforce 3 ti 500

    i don't know that much about this type of stuff...please help

    thanks a lot

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Boot sector viruses, for example, work outside any partition structures and so would be unaffected by any formatting. Zeroing one's drive is one recommended way of cleaning-up any such infection as well as ensuring you cold boot before formatting, zeroing, partitioning.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Northern California
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    Yes, it is possible but not common.

    A re-format loses the computer's ability to find the file but it may still be there until somehow activated. Also there are viruses that can write to the boot sector of a drive.

    I would suggest one of two things:
    1) run a HDD manufacturer's utility and "zero-fill" the hard drive, which will overwrite the drive and any files and data on it. Then reinstall the OS.
    2) Download and run Eraser 5.7, which will repeatedly wipe the hard disk with ones and zeros which will kill anything there.

    More will comment I am sure, Hi Paul, didn't see you there.

  4. #4
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    He he - great minds not only think alike but post at the same time
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Minnetonka, MN, USA
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    thanks a lot for the advice but i don't know how to do any of that
    "This is the finest weed in the south valley."
    -The Lord of The Rings

  6. #6
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    Go to the website of whoever made your hdd and download the diagnostic utility. This will need to be copied to a floppy diskette. You would then boot to this floppy and run the software to diagnose faults or to zero your drive. If this is still unclear then post back for more help.
    Take nice care of yourselves - Paul - ♪ -
    Help to start using BiNG. Some stuff about Boot CDs & Data Recovery Basics & Back-up using Knoppix.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    What brand of hard drive do you have?

    Belarc Advisor can tell you what brand I believe.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Minnetonka, MN, USA
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    Unhappy

    I've got a seagate -- i performed a zero fill on my HDD, reinstalled xp and im still experiencing the same difficulties. I also tried different RAM, and tried the RAM in different slots -- no difference. Every time i boot up, i see the same 4 or 5 vertical lines traversing the windows XP home logo.

    what to do .. ?
    "This is the finest weed in the south valley."
    -The Lord of The Rings

  9. #9
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    Just out of curiosity, see if you can get another video card and try it, and test your monitor on another computer or another monitor on your machine.

    I thought this was boot sector virus too, but if the drive has been zero filled...

    One question though, did you make sure and UNPLUG the machine for a couple of minutes before running the diagnostics? If not, you need to back up and start over.

    OK two questions...

    Did you make the diagnostics floppy on the same machine? If yes, start over, the floppy is infected. Download and make the diagnostics floppy on a known clean computer and write protect it. Sometimes your diagnostics will display an error message if the disk is write protected, you can change it back, but be absolutely sure it is write protected when you boot with it.

    Note: The small square holes in the corners of the floppy should both be OPEN to write protect.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
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    ok ill try that...thanks for the clarification
    "This is the finest weed in the south valley."
    -The Lord of The Rings

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Minnetonka, MN, USA
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    ok i did what u told me to do, put the disks in, one of the files failed a CRC so it was obviously corrupted. i turned off my computer, pulled out the power cord for a couple minutes, started it back up, and everything is fine. lol ? computers...
    "This is the finest weed in the south valley."
    -The Lord of The Rings

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