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BIOS detects HD wrong size - reset CMOS?

Posted on 1998-12-14
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I recently had the w96.cih.1075 virus, it caused some weird crashed and problems with the ntkern.vxd and other files.  I am still getting a lot of invalid page faults, but I noticed that my hard drive is being detected wrong, and despite changing it at each bootup it will not save as the 4.3 gig LBA that it is.  I had understood that this virus effected the BIOS, and now I'm looking to reset the CMOS.  Do I need to replace the chip?  It is a pentium II 300 440lx.  An answer would be greatly appreciated, thanks.  
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Question by:chas186
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Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 1131022
If you specify certain values at BIOS setup, and those values can not be stored into CMOS circuitry, the most probable is motherboard's battery is dead.

Try to change the battery and let BIOS will detect your disk again. If fixed, bingo !!; if not, let me know.
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by:frache
ID: 1131023
a virus can't destroy hardware - only data - try fdisk /mbr -

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by:frache
ID: 1131024
a virus can't destroy hardware - only data - try fdisk /mbr -

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by:rmarotta
ID: 1131025
What happens when you allow the BIOS to auto-detect the hard drive?
Are the correct parameters then listed for Drive C: on the setup screen?

Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1131026
Before cleaning the MBR, try this: get the most updated BIOS update you can. Then open up your computer and look for a jumper on the motherboard that is used for clearing the BIOS (check with the manual on clearing it, some MoBo's have wierd ways of doing it). Next, reflash your system with the most updated BIOS. Reboot, and set the system to the optimal performance. Check the HD.

One thing about this proceedure to keep in mind is how you have to reflash. I know that IBM machines have to have a progressive flash - meaning that you would have to download older versions of the flash to get up to the current.

At any rate, give this a try, and let me know what happens.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1131027
Since you have the name of the virus, have you removed it or are you simply trying to start over?  Starting over won't always be successful with certain memory-resident strains.

Please post the make/model number of your motherboard and hard drive.  We may be able to help you find info about them on the web.

Ralph
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Author Comment

by:chas186
ID: 1131028
Wow, you guys and gals are much, much betterv than the crappy tech support at the place I bought my machine.

Anyhow, the info:  The virus was completely cleaned, and is also not currently memory resident (I downloaded a program called kill_cih from sarc that ensures this).  When I go into the bios it tells me that C: is size 495, cly 480, head 32, landz 9829, sect 63 LBA, but when I autodetect the hard drive again, the proper config is size 4318, 525, 255, (precomp 0 is same), 8929, 63, LBA.  So, I check the standard CMOS setup and the drive has changed.  I save and exit.  But when I restart the machine, it has reverted to the original, incorrect drive specs.  

fdisk did not correct this problem (I made sure it was from a clean boot), and supposedly this virus can effect hardware since it flashes the BIOS.  I have not changed the battery, but it is a consideration, perhaps the next step after I try the CMOS reset.  My hard drive is a maxtor 4.3 gig IDE, my motherboard is a GA-686lx.  Thanks for the response.  Also, I seem to have lost 100 points without asking a question (that's why I could only afford 50 for this doosey), I guess I should contact the site manager.  Thanks again, responses are appreciated.

chas    
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Expert Comment

by:demarb
ID: 1131029
If that virus flashes your BIOS, which I know can happen, then j_powers has the correct solution, you will need to flash your BIOS with the current version. If, however, the virus flashed your BIOS with an incorrect BIOS version (which is most likely) it is possible that your BIOS has been damaged and would need to be replaced. This isn't likely but you might want to keep it in mind.
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1131030
Go to the first page of the CMOS setup program. (Press Del key during memory count after power-on)
Under the hard drive TYPE column for primary master (Drive C:), scroll the list and select "AUTO".
Select AUTO in the "MODE" column also.
Save & exit.
Is the drive's name and model now displayed on-screen when booting?
If so, drive parameters should then be correctly set in BIOS for the drive.
The next step would be to partiton it with FDISK.

If you want the newest, you can download your BIOS flash file (6LX169.zip) here:

http://www.giga-byte.com/swLX1.html

Read and follow all directions carefully!

Let me know what you find.
Regards,
Ralph
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by:vikiing
ID: 1131031
A single word to Frache: there exist some viruses which can affect hardware devices. In fact, some of them can vary monitor frequency, putting it in such an unstable state that, after a long period, some internal circuits can get burned.

Some others access, continuosly, a certain sector on a diskette drive, thus diminishing head (and diskette) life, and there are others which overload FPU processor to force overheat; if fanning system is not OK, main processor can burn out.

It's an error to think that a virus can affect data only.

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Author Comment

by:chas186
ID: 1131032
Well, I downloaded the BIOS flash and updated it, and it seemed to fix the problem.  The BIOS now correctly detects the hard drive, and after reinstalling all my software, I haven't hit a major glitch yet.  Thanks much you guys, I guess j_powers "wins", but everyone was quite helpful.  I must say, this site is truely incredible.

Just a note:  it seems that the w95.cih virus, even when "cleaned" by norton, still screws up self-extracting zip archives.  No big deal.  I'm just glad I caught it before the 26th of the month, when it is supposed to drop it's payload and reformat the hard drive.  Ralph was correct on the location of the BIOS flash, thanks, but I got to it before I recieved the email update.  So, the news is good, another disaster averted...though I think it's time to update my virus checker every month...

Chas
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1131033
I'm glad you got it going!
Ralph
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Accepted Solution

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j_powers earned 100 total points
ID: 1131034
Glad I could help.

If you did find a hiccup in Norton, let them know @ www.norton.com/us . They always welcome comments.

Good Luck
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