Virus message on boot after installing Mint 17 RC [SOLVED]

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runbei
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Virus message on boot after installing Mint 17 RC [SOLVED]

Post by runbei » Mon May 19, 2014 11:59 pm

On booting after installing Mint 17 RC 64-bit in a dual boot setup with Win 7 Pro, I get a warning message about a boot-sector virus:
BootSector Write !!
VIRUS: Continue (Y/N)?
The virus warning didn't appear in Mint 16 on the same PC. It showed up immediately after I installed Mint 17 RC. It appears on a desktop PC (home-built, older AMD Phenom quad processor) but not in an identical install on a ThinkPad X201 laptop.

I found the following reference to this on another forum:
The motherboard is telling you that something wants to write to the boot sector. The boot sector is rarely written to but a virus would find it very handy to do that. An example of a valid write might be when you are installing a dual boot to Linux.
So is this a Mint 17 RC bug? Haven't found a way to turn off the message.

FOLLOWUP: A bit more research suggests this is a common issue that very often only indicates something other than a virus is trying to write to the boot sector. The solution suggested is to turn off virus checking in the BIOS, which is what I did, and Mint and Win7 boot now boot normally.
Last edited by runbei on Tue May 20, 2014 2:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Derek_S
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Re: GRUB Virus message after installing Mint 17 RC

Post by Derek_S » Tue May 20, 2014 12:42 am

Hello runbel - If this message appeared immediately after you installed Mint 17, I imagine it's your current Windows anti-virus program complaining that there were changes made to the boot sector. And indeed there were. Which anti-virus are you currently using? If you install the free version of Malwarebytes and configure it to do a rootkit scan, it will scan the master boot record, the registry, what it refers to as startup objects, as well as the rest of your system. If it finds nothing, I would say that your other anti-virus software merely reacted to the fact that changes were made to the MBR, but did not actually find a virus in the MBR. The link to download Malwarebytes is here: https://www.malwarebytes.org/free/

First update the database from the dashboard , then go to Settings>Detection and Protection, and check the box "Scan for Rootkits". Then go back to the dashboard to start the scan.
"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself." - Tecumseh

runbei
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Re: GRUB Virus message after installing Mint 17 RC

Post by runbei » Tue May 20, 2014 2:50 pm

Thanks, Derek. That did it. I did a Malwarebytes scan as you suggested, and it revealed no problems. Will mark the issue solved.

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