boot virus


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Related to boot virus: Macro virus

boot virus

[′büt ‚vī·rəs]
(computer science)
A virus that infects the boot records on floppy diskettes and hard drives and is designed to self-replicate from one disk to another.

boot virus

An MS-DOS virus that infects the boot record program on hard disks and floppy disks or the master boot record on hard disks. The virus gets loaded into memory before MS-DOS and takes control of the computer, infecting any floppy disks subsequently accessed. An infected boot disk may stop the computer starting up at all.

boot virus

A virus written into the boot sectors of a floppy disk. A popular way to spread a virus when floppy disks were widely used, the boot virus relied on people forgetting to remove the last floppy they inserted when they turned the machine off. When turned back on, the machine read the boot sector program, which normally loads the operating system, but ran the infected program instead. Once infected, the boot virus replicated itself onto all subsequent floppies used in the machine.

The Michelangelo virus was a famous boot virus that infected DOS computers on March 6th, Michelangelo's birthday. However, there has always been doubt whether the date was really on account of the celebrated artist and sculptor. See virus.