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When defragging a hard disk, some files in use by Windows can't be moved; in the defragging tool, they appear as green bars. But don't worry - they're not viruses.
My local advisor tells me I have a virus in my BIOS, which cannot be removed; at least, not by Norton. Proof of the virus, he insists, is that I have two green columns in the dialog box of my disc defragmenter. He further insists that the green will continue to expand until my PC fails completely. A second advisor insisted the second green column could be eliminated by going to Systems, Performance, Virtual Memory and clicking "No page file". I tried several times. As soon as I restore the page file, the second green column reappears. Then, he suggested Page Dfrag.zip. It also failed to eliminate the second green column. At that point, his confidence failed and he too leaned to the virus as the most probable explanation. Is this a situation which should worry me? My PC is five years old and is running fine. I have Norton 360 v4 on Windows XP. My C: drive has 290 GB cap and 280 GB free space at present.
I think it's time to find new advisors.
Those green bars are normal and expected. They don't indicate a virus at all, BIOS or otherwise. And the advisor who suggested that they do is just plain wrong.
I'll show you what they do indicate.
To make sure that we're all talking about the same thing, here's an example of green bars in the Windows XP defragging program:
This happens to show one large bar, but, in fact, it could be several green bars or lines throughout the display.
Green lines do not indicate a virus.
As the legend at the bottom of that very window tells you, the green bars indicate "Unmovable files"; nothing more, nothing less.
So, what's an unmovable file?
Well, your second advisor was at least on the right track. Unmovable files include things like the system paging or virtual memory file, the registry and other files that Windows has locked for exclusive use while it's running. If Windows has them locked, then the defragging utility can't defrag them.
Sure, removing your paging file may well make some of the green bars go away. By not having a paging file at all, there's nothing for Windows to lock. But that's rarely the correct solution. Most machines need a paging file configured to run properly.
Besides, getting rid of green bars isn't really a useful goal. As I said, they just represent a few files which the defragger can't move.
Running Page Defrag could certainly reduce the number of green bars. It does so by defragging the paging file and other files before Windows actually runs.
Remember that defragging is all about taking the various parts of a file that might be scattered all over your hard disk and moving those parts so that they are all right next to each other. This helps speed up disk access.
Defragging the paging file might move two or more of those green bars next to each other so that they then appear as a slightly larger single green bar.
A BIOS virus is highly unlikely.
BIOS viruses exist, but they're very rare. They're not of great value to hackers who can typically infect many more machines with much less work using a more traditional virus.
At this point, I'm afraid that I can't trust the judgment of your first advisor who seemed to think you have a virus simply because the defragger showed some unmovable files.
As I've said, they're completely unrelated.
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