Some virus infected my BIOS


J

jkewing

Hi,

I'm running XP sp3 on a Dell Dimension 4600, got "error loading
operating system" black screen. Tried to use repair disk won't
recognize CD drive. Removed battery and reinstalled, booted from
"utility partition" ran tests, everything tested ok. Changed boot
order to CD drive first, same "error loading operating system" black
screen.

I always get the "Dell loading system screen" with the progress bar
before the dreaded black screen I must add. I suspect
something .config has been compromised by a virus. I'm considering
attaching the hard drive to another machine, copying my files and
doing a fresh install. Whadaya think?

Ed
 
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D

David B.

If a virus infected your BIOS (which is highly unlikely), doing a fresh
install of Windows would have absolutely zero effect on said virus, Windows
does not install or write to the BIOS. It is more likely, if you can't boot
from CD, that you have bad installation media or a bad CD drive.
 
J

jkewing

If a virus infected your BIOS (which is highly unlikely), doing a fresh
install of Windows would have absolutely zero effect on said virus, Windows
does not install or write to the BIOS. It is more likely, if you can't boot
from CD, that you have bad installation media or a bad CD drive.

Thanks,

I suspect the registry is messed up then. It's OEM windows by the way.
The original CD drive occasionally didn't read media sometimes so I
went and bought a new one, I tried booting off the OEM disk (never
opened) again but no result. It doesn't recognize the drive. Changed
boot orders etc.... nothing. Left pins on "cable select"
Remember this is a Dell IDE drive.

Ed
 
D

David B.

Do you have more than one CD drive? if so disconnect one for testing
purposes. Also re-jumper the drives to master/slave, cable select can be
flakey. During POST hit the F12 key, this will bring up a selection menu
where you can select the CD drive as the bootable device.
Are you trying to boot from the Dell branded media or a Microsoft OEM CD?
 
J

jkewing

Yeah Dave it's the Dell branded media. One OS XP sp1a and a drivers/
utility disk.
Only one CD drive installed along with a DVD drive (could I just
disconnect it?),
If not I'll re-jumper them to master/slave and set "boot from drive **
". I've tried three different CD drives-- no joy from anyone of them.
 
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D

David B.

As I said, disconnect one and see if you can get the other to boot, if not
try the other. More than once I've run into a bad drive that causes the
other on the channel to not work properly.
 
G

Greegor

David B > More than once I've run into a bad drive that causes the
David B > other on the channel to not work properly.

I had one that worked fine but would not tolerate
any other CD drive, regardless of settings on
either drive, but the computer had an
Intel I/O controller that was found to have a
design or manufacturing defect after
being used far and wide for several years.

In any event, making sure there is not a
conflict on the IDE cable is just part
of the normal process of elimination to
find problems in this case.
 
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W

William R. Walsh

Hi!
I'm running XP sp3 on a Dell Dimension 4600, got "error loading
operating system" black screen.

Nothing has happened to your BIOS. If it did, your computer would not even
be able to start up. The BIOS is looking for something to turn control of
the computer over to and cannot find it.

The most likely cause (outside of a virus doing something much more within
its reach, like corrupting the operating system) is a bad or failing hard
disk. Make sure your hard disk is working properly. You may want to move it
to another computer temporarily, copy what you need from it, and then erase
it. Reinstall Windows at that point. If it still doesn't work, try another
hard disk.

William
 

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