This post made me remember on a strange occurence I noticed somewhen back in 2008. At that time I had alot IT-problems I wasn't able to technically accurate fix, where I nowaday do, but that one still leaves me clueless.
It appeared to me I had a kind of virus on my pc, I couldn't get rid off. So I decided to reinstall windows (That time it was still windows XP, what probably is important). But something prevented doing so. after rebooting to check the system it occured that a lot of folders contained (some places with even tens to hundreds) empty folders with rubbish names. Similiar to the temporary windows update folders, but obvisious diferent in something (can't remember anymore what it was).
So after configuring some settings, which I assumed to be the cause of failure to reinstall windows, I restarted again and it wasn't even possible anymore to boot from that HDD nor to reinstall windows on it. So I decided to mark that HDD with a big red cross and bought a new HDD.
I succesfully installed windows on it without any complications, begun to install1 some lcoal updates and drivers where I had to reboot in that process ofcourse. And after the second or third reboot that drive had the same strange folders all over its system- and data- folders. One more reboot and that factorynew HDD which was never in contact with my homenetwork, had the same failure as the old one.
Since I hadn't the knowledge/availability of tools to wipe the HDD's at that time, I wasn't able to pin the source of error down by doing try and error tests, but I remember it appeared to me like it might be caused by the mainboard.(What from today I still think would be the most plausible).
I decided to buy a new pc, since I had no idea how to fix this, and so I closed that mysterious case.
But today I'm curious about it again.
Was there a virus behaving like this around at about that time? And if so, what exactly was its purpose and how did it work?
1Note: the old HDD was unpluged and allready archived in a cupboard. The internet wasn't even plugged at that time!