Which virus scanner scans the BIOS?
Viruses that attack the BIO are possible, but they are very rare. Are you having issues with the BIOS, or are you just trying to protect your system? BIOS viruses were much more common in the early days of DOS and Win 1. With Windows 95 and later systems, BIOS viruses became harder to develop, although they can still be made by having the virus piggyback on another system and can become harmful if you flash the BIOS to a more recent copy without getting rid of it on the hard drive first.
If you think that you might have a boot sector virus, you can use the fixmbr command in the Recovery Console in Windows XP. You will usually see symptoms of a boot sector virus - you will probably unable to start the operating system and will usually see error messages. If you want to use the fixmbr command, follow these steps:
- Put the Windows Setup CD in the CD ROM.
- Make sure that your computer starts from the CD.
- Press R to start the Recovery Console.
- You will need to select the installation that you want to repair - usually it is 1 if you only have one installation on your machine.
- Enter the Administrative Password. If you don't have one, leave it blank and press Enter.
- At the prompt, type in: fixmbr. The program will run and fix your master boot record.
Flash the BIOS
You can flash the BIOS to an updated version and that should get rid of any nasties that are residing in your BIOS. This is a rather involved process that requires that you reinstall your operating system, so don't do this if you only suspect you have a problem. If you need information about your BIOS system, you can download BIOS Agent from the web. You want to make sure that you disconnect your hard drive when you do this so that it doesn't simply overwrite any viruses onto the new BIOS version. Follow these steps:
- Scan your system for viruses using your standard antivirus procedures.
- Back up your data to a disk or USB drive.
- Shut down the affected computer.
- Find a clean computer and go to the website for the motherboard for a desktop, or the laptop manufacturer and find the BIOS update on the site. Download this to the disk or USB drive.
- On the affected computer, open the case and disconnect the hard drive. You don't have to remove it completely.
- Insert the CD or flash drive and make sure it is booting from that device.
- Reboot the system and wait for the reboot to finish completely - interrupting the process can be deadly for your computer.
- Once the computer has finished the process, you can reconnect the hard drive and reboot the computer.
- You can then reformat the hard drive and reinstall your operating system.
- It should now run normally once again.
Unless you are experiencing major computer problems, you are probably not infected with a BIOS virus. Running your normal virus scans and antimalware programs should keep you well protected.