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Can mods potentially harm your computer?


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#1
SunderedChaos

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I'm just curious. I have over 100 of them, and for the first time today, my computer blue screened randomly. It starting saying things about a full system dump, and it told me to turn it off, so I did. Luckily, when I turned it back on, I can't notice anything wrong. All my files are still here. Internet is still running quickly. Games are still performing as awesomely as ever. Still, it has me kind of shaken. I spent a lot of money for this computer, and the whole reason I bought it doesn't even come out until April of next year(The Old Republic). I'm hoping this is just a one time freak chance, and that this won't start happening more often.

#2
SavageArtistry

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Try scanning for malware. I had a similar problem recently and found I'd gotten a malware from an ad and the bluescreening was caused by my AVG preventing the malware from taking over the computer. Using Malware Bytes fixed the issue.

#3
Tomlong54210

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They are not really harmful, not inherently. You can think of a modded game as an expanded game. Some mods have errors that can cause crashes, but the cause is not mod-specific. It could be something as simple as dividing by zero. A user can damage their computer with them by overloading the system (i.e., graphics card overheating) but they are otherwise fairly safe. OBSE plugins are a different story because they can use library files. They are not regular mods, but most of those are build well and/or do not do anything crazy.

Do not worry about it, BSODs happen from time to time. If the issue persists, look for similarities in what you were doing as the crashes occurred, but also check they your hardware specs are good for what you are running.


Edit: I forgot to mention that one. However, it recommended that anti-virus programs and other background processes that are not vital be turned off while playing. Process interactions can cause BSODs too.

#4
SunderedChaos

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Try scanning for malware. I had a similar problem recently and found I'd gotten a malware from an ad and the bluescreening was caused by my AVG preventing the malware from taking over the computer. Using Malware Bytes fixed the issue.

ya, ran both malware bytes, and AVG, and my computer is in pristine condition. Neither detected anything. I take 0 risks with this computer. I'm hoping this is nothing. As I said, when I turned it back on, I didn't notice anything wrong at all. I still have all my files, I still only have to wait a total of 1 second for a page to load, games still run just as smoothly. I don't notice anything different. I'm hoping that was just a freak occurrence that will likely not happen again. I remember when it happened, I had just clicked on a link to youtube. Just to see if it would do it again, I went back to that exact same link after I turned it back on, and nothing happened. It was just a parody of some old nazi movie depicting hitler as a WoW player and crying because the release of TOR is going to cause a mass exodus from the game.

#5
David Brasher

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I have heard that viruses cannot be inserted into mods, because they are just composed of data the computer refers to and are not executable. A person could write a mod designed to cause a CTD, mess with the game dynamics, or corrupt a savegame, but a mod like this would not really be a virus. It could not spread beyond the savegame using it, and could be eradicated by simply deleting the mod and playing an old savegame from right before the damage was done.

So if your computer has a virus or malware, you probably got it from the Internet rather than from an Oblivion mod.

#6
strike105x

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If you wanna play it safe just look for endorsed mods and at the comments ;). Though i don't think there's any malware mods at least not on nexus.

#7
ub3rman123

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I imagine someone wish too much time on their hands could make a Gamemode script with qqq in it, but getting rid of it is as simple as unticking it.

Other than that, I don't think they can, unless you count the fact that some take an atrocious amount of space. Well, not that much.

#8
LHammonds

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The most "damage" mods can do is either cause your game to crash (commonly called Crash-To-Desktop or CTD for short) or corrupt your savegame due to bloat issues where your savegame becomes too large. Typically, it is not the fault of a mod as much as it is how you install it or make it work with other mods that try to modify the same things. To avoid common mistakes, I strongly recommend you read Oblivion Mods FAQ.

I have not heard of any mod that can cause a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) because that would be an instability in the Operating System (OS) or your hardware...not the game.

OS crashes can be caused by many things such as virus/malware, failing hardware, buggy hardware drivers and overclocking beyond the limits that the hardware can handle, corrupted registry values, etc. There are many more reasons but the 1st thing you should try to rule out is malware by using various programs to scan your system. Typically, when you start seeing BSODs, you tend to have a general idea as to what's happened recently that might be causing it such as installing a new program recently, updating hardware drivers, inserting a friend's USB stick into your computer to look at some files (which might be infected), cruzing the web using Internet Explorer (the platform of most infections on the net), etc. The cases where you are caught by surprise would be failing hardware which may happen at any point no matter what you are doing.

You did not mention what OS you are using but if it is Windows 7, crashes should be very rare. Since I have had Windows 7 installed on my home PC and at work, I have not seen a BSOD...but then again, the Windows XP that I had did not have many BSODs either unless a piece of hardware was failing...such as a hard drive.

I protect my PC by using Firefox as my web browser with handy add-ons called No Script, Adblock Plus and WOT. I also use a program called Comodo Internet Security which is a combination of several security products that have yet to let me down. And as mentioned already, MalwareBytes is a great program. I also avoid places on the net that attract malware such as Facebook, MySpace, crack/serial sites, porn sites, etc.

Article: How To Protect Your PC
Article: Backup Your Data

LHammonds

#9
VileTouch

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BSOD or BSOSOB (Blue Screen of sunabub bleach) are often a signal that your videocard just went overboard.

either you need to tone down the details, or the resolution, or both.
or you could uninstall some GPU intensive mods, such as most LOD mesh mods.

in rare cases an outdated soundcard driver, or an old sound card integrated into the motherboard even with the latest drivers.
(for instance most SIS mother boards will crash if you push their integrated soundcard too much)

in that case you will need to edit the number of concurrent voices in your oblivion.ini (google for guide on that one)

finally the best you can do is buy yourself a better video card, a pci-e soundcard, a better processor, and ooodles of... no! not noodles!, ram memory! that will stop BSOD

oh, and don't think your system is clean just because AVG tells you so... get yourself Kaspersky antivirus...

#10
AltreU

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Also personally check each file you download from wherever you're downloading it from. I've never had any issues from the Nexus and many other people could vouch for it after downloading hundreds of mods. Maybe you get free 3rd party music (lets say you have a friend in another country is a musician) downloads and they give you albums of your "friends" songs. Make sure to check each file and package for unusual size, missing parts, strange names, etc. Someone mentioned script disablers and ad blockers, very useful. I use Google Chrome and it has such plug-ins.

I'm running my game on Vista and have had the PC for about 2 years now with no BSOD occurrence at all. I frequently delve into my core files for maintenance (time consuming, but so is mod managing), so I have constant view on what's in my system.




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