Asustek Computer's Japanese arm has alerted owners of its new Eee Box low-cost desktop PC that the machine shipped with a virus.
The D drive of the Eee Box B202, which launched in Japan last week, contains a virus file named "recycled.exe," Asustek said in a statement. When the drive is opened, the virus begins copying itself to the main C drive on the machine and to any other removable drives or USB memory connected to the computer.
Despite repeated attempts to get more information from Asustek, the company has not confirmed that the problem is limited to only Japanese Eee Box PCs. The company also didn't explain how the virus got into the computers.
The Eee Box is Asustek's expansion into the desktop space of its hit Eee lineup of computers. The original Eee PC basically launched the entire category of low-cost or mini-laptops when it was introduced in mid-2007 at Taiwan's Computex hardware show. In the last year the range has grown to include a handful of models with different screen sizes and hard-disk drives as Asustek attempts to make the most of its popularity.
Brisk sales of the machines haven't gone unnoticed by other companies, and many major laptop vendors are now offering computers in the same space to compete with the Eee PC. Most recently Japan's Toshiba launched its first offering in the category, following other vendors including Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu and Acer.