Virus Authors, I hate you

I was browsing the internet to a see if there was an option to run Civilization V without a DVD, since I hate having to put one in to my laptop if I want to play.

I search Google, see a likely site, and go to it.

I get to the site and I see some things that look like text links, but nothing is active. So, I start to go back to Google, and I get an error message from Adobe Reader saying it couldn't read the PDF I was trying to open.

"Huh, " I say to myself, "I didn't click on any PDFs. I'll just close that window. Hmm, now I'm getting a bunch of Virus infection notifications from some virus software I didn't install. Oh, CRAP!"

At this point I'm getting pretty worried, so I power down the system to stop the spread of what ever evil has traveled down the Inter-tubes to my poor, innocent laptop. I figure I'll just build the AVG Rescue environment on my USB key to scan and clean my infested laptop and go about my merry way.

I boot up the USB stick with no issue, and start a scan. About 1 min in, the laptop just shuts down.

I try again, same thing.

I try a few options thinking it is some kind of issue with the Linux environment the rescue stick uses. Same thing.

I boot into MemTest and start it running. Same thing.

At this point, I start to wonder if it has infected BIOS. So, I build a BIOS flash CD and boot that up. Of course, part way through the process, the system reboots.

It is at this point I begin to get really worried as a failed BIOS update usually means a bricked system. I power up the laptop again and, sure enough, no video, post or anything. I have a very expensive paperweight, or so I think.

I open up the laptop and try to search for anything that might resemble a BIOS chip and find not much of anything useful. I do see a label for something called Insyde H2O, and a quick Google leads me to some information that my laptop isn't using traditional BIOS, but a successor to BIOS called EFI.

Now, like a lot of folks, I _hate_ to call tech support. I consider myself a fairly technical person, but it was starting to look like I might have a long saga ahead of me. In a last ditch effort, I search Google for recovering bricked Insyde EFI for my poor Toshiba L305D.

After some digging, I stumble upon a forum post at The Elder Geek web site that seems very interesting. It seemed there was some folks who had found a way to reload the Insyde EFI via some magical incantations, and keyboard gesticulations. I followed the last entry of that post, except that I was able to use my USB stick, to which I copied the FD file from the extracted BIOS update I was trying to run, and called it BIOS.FD on the stick. I then held down the Fn-F chord, plugged in the stick, plugged in the laptop, and powered it on. After waiting about 10 seconds, I released the keys, and I saw the scroll lock indicator on the keyboard light up.

I then waited for a few minutes, and the system then shut itself down. I crossed my fingers, and powered it back up. And, incredibly, this process WORKED! I was able to see the Toshiba boot screen, and get back into the setup screens!

Thank you CarlosAG on The Elder Geek forums. You saved _this_ geek from the purgatory of tech support!


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