Windows 8 Bios Key

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Windows 8 Bios Key

Postby Dustin D » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:01 pm

So I have a PC in the shop that came in with Windows 8 on it and had virus problems.
We updated it to 8.1 during our order of operations and it started freaking out. It would open explorer.exe, close it, re-open, etc unless you manually ended the task. You could then work from Command Line and Task Manager. You could even open a File Explorer window and have it stay open but restarting explorer.exe would just make it keep crashing and re-opening.
We think something was corrupted so we decided to do a Refresh since it was a fairly new install and didn't have much installed on it. It had some trouble activating Windows so I had a thought for a moment that it had corrupted the key.
We are probably going to recommend they replace it anyway as it seems they upgraded it to 8 with an Atom equivalent processor and 2GB of RAM with no option to expand it.

So I guess I have two questions. Has anyone seen explorer.exe behave like that before and have any idea what might have been the problem in case we encounter this in the future.
I understand that is a broad question and it may need more info than I can really give.

Secondly, and more importantly, could it be possible for Malware of some kind to corrupt the Windows Key that's stored in the BIOS. I'm not as knowledgeable in that area as I would like to be and am not sure if that's something we should be looking out for in the future and how we might go about setting it right.
Dustin D
 
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Re: Windows 8 Bios Key

Postby laplandz » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:49 pm

Dustin D wrote:Has anyone seen explorer.exe behave like that before and have any idea what might have been the problem in case we encounter this in the future.

How is it crashing, is it 'jumping' from the desktop to start-screen? (which in my experience is a Norton problem, E.G. remove it)
if you see a message stating explorer has crashed i'd check event viewer first, then scheduled tasks in case something has set to run on execution, etc.
Does starting it as administrator do anything different?
what happens if you start explorer from an elevated cmd prompt?

With regard to the BIOS keys, I don't think that area of the BIOS can be written to easily, am fairly sure you'd need to use "special software" and cannot do from within Windows, but don't hold me to that. I would expect MS wouldn't want someone to easily change a core key into a pro key for example.
The other thing is Malware software wouldn't really benefit from changing it.

I have experienced an awkward activation when the machine was using a MS account and needed to be trusted first, have even had to set a security pin for logon, not sure why it worked but i don't question it if it works :)

Hope that helps.
.. ...
I can walk on water, but I can’t perform miracles.
laplandz
 
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Re: Windows 8 Bios Key

Postby Dustin D » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:10 pm

laplandz wrote:How is it crashing, is it 'jumping' from the desktop to start-screen? (which in my experience is a Norton problem, E.G. remove it)
if you see a message stating explorer has crashed i'd check event viewer first, then scheduled tasks in case something has set to run on execution, etc.
Does starting it as administrator do anything different?
what happens if you start explorer from an elevated cmd prompt?


The start-screen is never seen. Just opens the desktop, complete with taskbar and system tray, then closes them and all that is left is a blank pink(I'm guessing the system color that was picked during set-up) desktop. Repeats with about 10 seconds idle on each.
No crash logs that I could find but event viewer wouldn't always stay open. It would occasionally close Task Manager but I was always able to re-open it.
I didn't check scheduled tasks.
Starting as Administrator and Elevated Cmd Prompt produced the same result.

After doing the PC refresh it has yet to do it again but it didn't happen until we went from 8 to 8.1 the first time.
Dustin D
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:16 am


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