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A fundamental definition of a virus is a program or unsolicited program that changes data on a computer without consent.

Parasitic viruses – known as file viruses – attach to computer programs known as executable files such as .exe, .dat, .com, and hundreds of other names called file extensions such as .doc, .xls., .swf, .fla and many hundreds of others. Parasitic viruses start or run computer programs that perform an activity for processing data or data processing. One of the activities could be to erase and reformat the disk drive such as (next). A parasitic virus can start a program such as Microsoft DOS FORMAT C: and perform a high-level disk format, erasing all the data on the disk or corrupting the disk – making it unusable.

Note: Format prepares the disk to load an operating system such as Windows, Linux, or MacOS, and builds an organizational structure to read/write data files, the FAT [File Allocation Table] or table of contents and other functions. The term DOS [Disk Operating System] comes from the use of the Disk drive to load or start the Operating System for the PC. Advanced viruses can also attack the BIOS [Basic Input Output System] software and hardware.

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[tags]bios,parasitic viruses,file viruses,file extension,dos[/tags]