from a major manufacturer (Say HP/Acer/ et al) it is unlikely in the extreme BUT possible. A year + ago, a major Asian HD manufacturer who supplies OEM HDs, found his factory production computer was infected w/ a trojan and many 10's of 1000's of finished computers were infected before they even got in the box for shipping. They were shipped and none the wiser until users protectors started flagging Trojan & prompting the hulabaloo.

What is more likely, is the restore disk (if you get one these days)of
OEM manufacturers (as above) will have "customized" the OS disk and added all kinds of crapware (free trial versions of all kinds of programs) along with a few real functioning ones and likely some of the crapware would show up on scans as malware or containing suspicious files(spyware/call home/ sales pitches etc.) Is this what your worrying about??

It is possible that a HD disk/Restore disk could be physically made or encoded defectively but not that common and the machine would be behaving bizarrely right from start.

This would be grounds for returning for refund or replacement but that would stop me from buying that brand for sure.

Give us more info about machine & programs & WHAT/WHY you're prompted to ask the question?? Thanks! Happy