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Virus Question

By vassil3427
Mar 21, 2004
  1. I saw this story here about a new virus called "witty" They claim in the article that it causes hard drives to fail. I was just curious, does it cause the drive to physically fail, as in a head crash, or does it merely corrupt the OS? Because in the story they talk about the virus as if its something that totally destroys a pc..reinstalling an OS on a few hundred computers at a single company might be time consuming, but its not a total loss as the article claims it is....
     
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Nowhere in the article was it mentioned (or that I noticed) that hard disks fail physically. It looks just like a corrupted file system, which is common enough without a virus. :)

    Software cannot damage hardware physically, with the exception of rewriting firmware.. Which is still technically software related. :)
     
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    While the elusive "HDD destroying Virus" makes for interesting hoaxes and generates tons of forwarded emails that are entertaining to laugh at, it just ain't so. I agree with Rick on this, filesystem corruption is what that sounds like to me.

    On a similar note, I reveived a few emails last week telling of a new virus that could physically destroy a HDD, making it unwritable. It was interesting and probably believable to many, but it was a fairly obvious work of pure fiction.
    Below is the text from one of them:
     
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    It's interesting they mentioned "sector 0". That made me think of something that used be a true (heresay) awhile back..

    If you attempted to "low level" format a drive without using the proper utility, you would also erase the commands it needs to function (firmware, I suppose).

    However, this is no longer valid. "Low-level" formatting these days simply erases the user data area of the disk.

    Again, this is just heresay.. I've never actually destoyed a drive by erasing the firmware.. But from what I understand, this used to be true.
     
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