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virus physically damamaging h/w

Posted on 2002-04-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-17
Hi,
I heard about a virus which destroys sector 0 on the hard drive. I was curious on how an application can actually physically damage hardware.

I am not planning anything in particular myself but I don't understand how these things can happen.

Is it really possible.

Thanks in advance
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Question by:adam8
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:CJ_S
ID: 6910027
Sure it is possible. You can use assembler to point to a certain part of your harddisk. Same thing is being done with programs like FDisk. At the first sector there is information about your harddrives (you know when you partition them). After having partitioned your harddisks the operating systems knows from where to where the hd is. Same can be done with a virus. you just have to overwrite sector 0 to make the harddisk malfunction.

Code won't be given for this question ;-)

CJ
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Accepted Solution

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gbentley earned 50 total points
ID: 6912166
Altering the content of a sector on a hard disk is not generally considered "physical damage". It is (or at least used to be) possible to damage certain parts of a computer from software, but the details depend on the hardware. In the very early days of PCs graphics adapters where particularly vulnerable to this.

I also offer no code!

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by:adam8
ID: 6912288
I don't want code, but I am sure there is plenty of this crap on the internet.

If sector 0 is overwritten can't this be repaired with a format or something.
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Expert Comment

by:gbentley
ID: 6912327
adam8 - That was my point. Overwriting IS NOT physical damage. It can generally be fixed by formatting as you say.
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