BIOS Destroyed?

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Jeff Strickland, May 15, 2010.

  1. I'm working on a new problem for me. I have a machine from a business where
    my kid works that has been infected by so many virii that it's impossible to
    determine what's bad.

    I have gone into the Setup Menu at boot-time to set the boot priority to CD,
    but the bootable CD won't start.

    I looked through my inventory and found a machine that will support a SATA
    drive, and has a working BIOS, so I'm able to clean the HDD and load Windows
    onto it.

    What I haven't seen before is a virus that goes into the BIOS.

    I think I'll be able to load Windows onto the HDD, then plug the HDD back
    into the box and get it to come up, then I can get the latest BIOS from the
    Jeff Strickland, May 15, 2010
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  2. Jeff Strickland

    Paul Guest

    Try an MSDOS floppy, with a copy of the BIOS flashing tool and a clean
    BIOS file on it. Then, slide the floppy write protect tab to the protected
    position. You can test the write protect on your working computer, before
    plugging the floppy into the infected machine. There are some machines
    now, where the BIOS is so big, it won't fit on a floppy. But older machines
    should still be small enough.

    If you really think the problem is the BIOS itself, you can replace the
    BIOS chip with one from . They have DIP and 32 PLCC chips and
    can program with a BIOS file you supply. That would be a way to reprogram the
    thing. Before turning on the machine, with that new chip present, you'd also
    clear the CMOS with the jumper (with the power disconnected). Just in case
    there is some clever way to load a virus into the CMOS RAM.

    There are also boot viruses, so it might actually be stored on the hard drive.
    Try unplugging the hard drive, then try your CD again, to see if the CD
    still won't boot. Older machines used to include a copy of TCAV
    (TREND ChipAway Virus) to detect a boot virus, but I no longer see
    that listed as a motherboard feature. Maybe that can be bypassed as

    You don't need to load Windows on the HDD in the conventional sense.
    You can use your good computer, to create two FAT32 partitions.
    The first partition becomes C:. The second partition is a small
    one, in which you copy the contents of the Windows installer CD.
    I made mine about 2GB in size, and that becomes D:. Boot
    from an MSDOS floppy, then change directory to D:\i386 and run the
    Windows installer (winnt.exe) from there. Then install into C:. That would at
    least give you an option to do an F6 driver install, if you needed
    it. That is how my current copy of WinXP ended up on C:. It was done
    with a copy of the CD loaded on D:, and booting from an MSDOS
    floppy. The order of creation of the partitions is important - I
    did them in the wrong order the first time, and WinXP ended up
    on D: . I had to do it over again. The reason I was experimenting
    with that, was to see if it affected the install speed. It does
    go a bit faster, but nowhere near as fast as I was hoping.

    Good luck, and report back how good a fight the virus puts up.

    Paul, May 15, 2010
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  3. I'm WAAAAY to dumb to say that the BIOS itself is the problem. I think the
    BIOS is but one of so many problems that my ability to count is challenged,
    and I can count way more than just fingers and toes.

    I have already pulled the HDD and moved it to a box that allows a
    Boot-From-CD, and have used a DOD-Level wipe tool to destroy all of the data
    on the HDD.

    The target machine hasn't got a floppy drive, and the CD will not boot.
    given the extensive damage that's been done, I have no idea what the
    operational status of the CD is -- maybe it doesn't work.

    In any case, I have a donor motherboard that has a good BIOS and will take
    the HDD, so I'm on my way to fixing the problems that the target machine

    When I get done with the MSoft Updates -- well in excess of 100 at last
    count -- then I will visit the Compaq Website for new BIOS.

    What I can't quite get my arms around is if the BIOS can keep me from
    connecting a newly formatted HDD from getting to the 'net. If the BIOS is so
    f---ed up that it won't allow the HDD top boot, then I'm toast. I'll have to
    find a way to download the BIOS, then getting it into the motherboard, but
    I've never crossed that bridge before.

    And, no other bridges count.
    Jeff Strickland, May 15, 2010
  4. Jeff Strickland

    Paul Guest

    I just tested with my USB floppy drive, and the MSDOS floppy
    booted from it. So the machine doesn't need a native floppy.
    All it needs, is working USB boot code. At least the "dir"
    command worked when I tried it.

    Paul, May 15, 2010
  5. I'm sorry, but I have no Floppy. I only have a CD, and the Boot Priority is
    set to boot from the CD first, but this does not happen.

    I've got some serious issues going on here. I have no network, but the NIC
    is built into the motherboard.

    The CD is not recognized, but I can Eject with a right click. It shows up,
    and if empty I am prompted to load a disc. But when the disc is in, it is
    not read. I can right-click and chooes Eject, and the tray opens.

    I need the drivers for the motherboard, and I probably need to burn the BIOS
    in again.

    This is a Work in Progress. ;-)
    Jeff Strickland, May 15, 2010
  6. Jeff Strickland

    JD Guest

    Could be a couple of things going on with the CD drive, older drives
    cant read some or all copied disc's or the drive its self could be
    faulty, you can check this by trying an original CD (if you have not
    already) also check all the jumpers are set to cable select, CD
    drives(well DVD-RW )are cheap, around £12 here so no big deal for

    Also you have made a XP slipstream disk up with all the patches &
    hotfixes ? (also your serial number, regional settings and drivers if
    you want to be really fancy) (Nlite)

    JD, May 15, 2010
  7. The CD drive does not work and there are no CD drivers. There's also no
    network drivers. I went to the Website for the BIOS, but what they offer for
    the Model Number that I input does not go in -- there's a report back that
    the BIOS being installed is not right. There are three different machines
    that come up, but none of the BIOS upgrades work.

    I think I have a bad motherboard on my hands. The only way I can think of to
    isolate it is to get the original CD with the drivers and stuff for it, but
    I seriously do not think it is available.

    I think I'll be buying a new motherboard for this one.
    Jeff Strickland, May 15, 2010
  8. Jeff Strickland

    Paul Guest

    If you have the tool to burn a BIOS, start by archiving the existing
    BIOS. Then, take a hex editor, and look for a version string for the
    BIOS. Perhaps by comparing versions, you can figure out what *should*
    be working.

    The burner program, usually starts by comparing the identity info
    in the current BIOS contents, before allowing the new BIOS to be
    programmed. Sometimes you can override that. In some cases, it
    actually required downloading an older version of the BIOS flashing

    Using bypasses that issue entirely, as long as the
    BIOS chip is socketed and can be replaced.

    Paul, May 15, 2010
  9. I don't know how to do that, or what to do.

    The machine is a corporate-build Compaq. I have another machine with the
    EXACT SAME case and all of the same holes for memory sticks and those sorts
    of things. You would think the two machines are identical, but they are not.
    Once you get past the paint scheme, there is nothing about them that's the
    same. I went to the Compaq Website to download BIOS, but the machine I have
    isn't one of the options, and the three options that come up by entering the
    model number have a BIOS upgrades that do not work on my machine.

    I don't know enough about this stuff, but since I am having so many
    different problems AND I know there was a serious virus infection, I don't
    know that reading the current BIOS would be very helpful. I suppose if you
    knew what you were doing, it could help.
    Jeff Strickland, May 15, 2010

  10. I have a USB-based CD that reads on another machine, but not this one. I
    have not taken the drive from this machine and plugged it in to a different
    machine, but that's a good test that I ought to do. The CDs themselves read
    fine, except on this machine.

    The drive "works" in that it reports as empty in Explorer when there is no
    CD, it ejects on command, and when there is a CD, it shows in Explorer, but
    there are no files listed. Basically, it does everything but read the disc.
    The USB-based CD drive behaves the same way. And, after all of that, the
    Network hardware (built-in NIC) is not recognized.

    I plugged the Model Number into the Compaq Website for Driver Downloads, and
    the machine does not come up as a supported product, so I can't get drivers
    for the motherboard.
    Jeff Strickland, May 15, 2010
  11. Jeff Strickland

    Baron Guest

    Jeff Strickland Inscribed thus:
    Run "SIW" and locate the drivers that way.
    Baron, May 15, 2010

  12. Run what? And from where?

    This sounds like something I don't know.

    I went to START>RUN and typed in siw, but got an error message. Tell me
    Jeff Strickland, May 16, 2010
  13. Jeff Strickland

    Paul Guest

    "SIW - System Information for Windows"

    It's another tool like an Everest, or a Belarc Advisor.

    Paul, May 16, 2010
  14. Jeff Strickland

    JD Guest

    JD, May 16, 2010
  15. Jeff Strickland

    Baron Guest

    Jeff Strickland Inscribed thus:
    Looks like other beat me to it and gave you some good answers. :)
    Baron, May 16, 2010
  16. Jeff Strickland

    - Bobb - Guest

    What is the model number / system type ?
    I used to work there and might have something around here for it - no
    promises though.
    - Bobb -, May 17, 2010
  17. Thanks, the model number is TS-XN0102RS

    The only sticker on the front is one of those little square one that says
    AMD Sempron. Well, there's another one that's the same shape that says
    developed for Windows XP ...

    There are some large letters on the motherboard -- ABMZN-LA. This sequence
    matches the structure for the motherboard designation of one of the other
    models of Compaq computer, but the BIOS for that sequence does not work in
    this machine.
    Jeff Strickland, May 17, 2010
  18. Jeff Strickland

    Paul Guest

    Perhaps the motherboard is A8M2N-LA ? If you spell TS-XN0102RS backwards,
    you get SR2010NX.

    (One of them, has more components soldered to it than the other. The
    PCB label remains the same. The PCBA or PCB assembly would be different,
    and perhaps that is the difference between "Naos" and "NodusM".)

    Does the case look like this one ? This has a Sempron in it.

    Judging by comments I see in my search engine, it looks like the BIOS
    situation is pretty messed up. Good luck finding a file!

    Paul, May 17, 2010
  19. I tired the bios for the A8M ... and it did not work. I didn't spell the
    model number backwards, but the three Compaq models that come up with the
    number I did use have bios files that don't work.

    The link you gave to the debranded HP is accurate. And spooky. If my
    daughter does not have the drivers that came from the builder, then I say
    this one is toast. Even if she has the original drivers for the motherboard,
    it might be toast because the odds are strongly against the original drivers
    not playing well with SP3.
    Jeff Strickland, May 17, 2010
  20. Jeff Strickland

    - Bobb - Guest

    So that I can start with the right section .... what System TYPE ? Is it a
    Deskpro, Presario ? etc
    - Bobb -, May 18, 2010
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