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Clean Install with virus? Bios Flash?

berk

New Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
3
OK, I have a huge mess. Didn't create a restore to factory settings media disk. (now I know to do that!). This was a refurbished system M15x system that was upgraded to a M17x system. Then this M17xR3 had to be wiped 2 weeks after receiving with a bios flash and clean install with help from CS. We are out of warranty now.

Pretty sure my son had an ugly virus, could barely get it to boot into safe mode, system restore was turned off (even though I know I'd turned it on just 2 weeks early, after knowing it was on 2 months ago). He's running Trend Antivirus, but downloads tons of hacks he shouldn't.

I've done a clean install, but still getting a Warning message when I first boot up system saying Hard Drive Failure Imminent, back up files or remind me later (with a big red circle and white X in the middle in the icon tray). It won't go away unless you click on it. Also when I did the install, the resources DVD it's seeing our nVidia graphics card - has us installing a nvidia 3D internal stereo driver and nothing else.

Do you think a bios flash and a clean install will help and if so what version of bios is the most stable? Just did another install, but allowed internet to be active during update and pretty sure that is keeping the virus here based on research. Going to try another install turning off internet and see what happens.

At this point, I'm thinking it's beyond my ability to correct the problem, but hate to have to ship it back to Alienware. And not sure that Geek Squad wouldn't mess it up more?

In the 16 months we've had an Alienware... we've had a major sound glitch, traded for another M15, still had sound glitch (think it was an Nvidia card issue based on posts here), traded up to a M17xR3 system (very nice, but), and had to do a complete reinstall within 2 weeks. It's always been glitchy, but that could be from the crap my son has downloaded. Oh, and our service tag with Dell somehow put the specs for the M15, not our current M17 so I can't even look up what the system actually has. We do have the M17xR3 Resource DVD thankfully.

Any suggestions on getting this back to the best usable state?
 

MattyB

Moderator
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,917
I like using Spybot S&D and Malwarebytes for looking up little nasties on my machine. I used to have Trend on an old laptop but I felt it wasn't doing the job.

Install your Nvidia drivers from www.nvidia.com and get the most recent drivers and BIOS for your machine from the Dell website. Just look up M17x R3 and it will give you all the general ones you need. Sounds like a new hard drive may be a good way to go too. They're usually not too expensive these days. You can use your resource disc to install the drivers to start with before updating them all from Dell. Make sure you do it in the right order too. There is a thread here for that.
I would definitely suggest a new HDD with a clean install though. That one sounds a bit dodgy!
 

berk

New Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
3
Still working on it... got the driver order down pat... now to just find the right software you need installed for nvidia to do system analysis. Downloaded most recent Java, closed and cleared cache and it still says I need updated Java. MattyB, you don't happen to be in the market for a M17xR3 cheap do you? LOL
 

MattyB

Moderator
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,917
Sorry, just sold mine to a mate. I have been thinking of picking up an old R2 though. I want a red one for some reason. Either that or a red M15x or red M11x R3.

Keep asking questions here and you'll have that one purring nicely in no time.
 

berk

New Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
3
I like using Spybot S&D and Malwarebytes for looking up little nasties on my machine. I used to have Trend on an old laptop but I felt it wasn't doing the job.

Install your Nvidia drivers from www.nvidia.com and get the most recent drivers and BIOS for your machine from the Dell website. Just look up M17x R3 and it will give you all the general ones you need. Sounds like a new hard drive may be a good way to go too. They're usually not too expensive these days. You can use your resource disc to install the drivers to start with before updating them all from Dell. Make sure you do it in the right order too. There is a thread here for that.
I would definitely suggest a new HDD with a clean install though. That one sounds a bit dodgy!


Thanks MattyB... running free malwarebytes right now. Also Nvidia detected my Geoforce GTX 580m video card. Downloading the 314.07 driver as I type. Did get the hard drive failure pop up message again, but read something about turning something off in Sata's or something like that. Just taking it one slow step at a time. 16 hours later and still trying to get this system right. I swear I'll beat my son if he messes up this fresh install AGAIN!
 
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