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Will a virus infected hdd, that won't boot, be slaved w/o harm to mast

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 24, 2011 8:14:52 AM

I recently got a rogue virus on my computer, which runs Win XP Home sp3. It was that kind of virus that acts like a security scanner and tells you your infected. Anyway, I was able to boot to safe mode and run Malwarebytes and Windows Security Essentials, to remove the virus. Those two programs have been on my computer for a long time and are used often. All was good, then four days later I ran another full scan with Security Essentials and it showed that it had found and removed a virus. I googled the name of this virus as it had a different name than the one from before. What I discovered was that this one was listed as an alias to the previous virus that I thought had been removed. So, I shutdown the computer to restart it in safe mode, to once again try to remove this virus, only it won't boot this time.

It boots as far as the first screen, where I can only access setup, where I can specify boot order etc. F8 for safe mode and F10 for console, do not work. When trying to get to either of those the screen goes black with a flashing white line/cursor and hangs up there. Unfortunately I do not have a Win XP CD to boot from so what do I do to fix or remove this virus?

I was thinking that I would slave it in another pc that also runs Win XP, but this one is Media Center version, don't know if that matters. I'm thinking if slaved I can do the virus removal etc. and once its clean I can put it back where it belongs. I am concerned if I do this that it will corrupt the master in the working computer.

Can anybody please tell me if this possible, without harming the master? or better yet, Can anybody tell me how to workaround my bootup issue so that I can get into safe mode and take care of as it usual?

Please help

January 24, 2011 11:00:06 PM

install the drive as a second drive on a working computer, backup your personal files, this will not damage the existing (corrupt) operating system.
after you save your files, reinstall the bad drive, reformat the entire drive and install a freshy OS. Then you can return your saved files to the computer.
You could also try to run the repair install of XP, although you need an OS disk. See the directions for a repair install, sixth post from the top, in this forum.
February 1, 2011 12:36:38 AM

Soundguruman, Thanks for the reply

Just to clarify things.
1. The hdd is unable to boot due to, I believe, a virus. Therefore, I can't get to safe mode to scan or do any sort of troubleshooting.

2. You are saying....If the unbootable drive has a virus and I install it as a second drive on a working computer, that the virus "will not" be able to get to and infect the working computers hdd? (I've read somewhere that it should only be slaved in an external enclosure to prevent infecting the good hdd.)

3. If I go through the steps above and reformat the hdd then how will I be able to do a fresh install of the OS if I do not have any XP OS disks?

Related resources
February 1, 2011 1:01:52 AM

Update: Still can't boot but tried a couple of things.

I downloaded and created an AVG Recovery disk. With this disk I was able to boot (into Linux, I believe) with AVG scanner and some other test functions.

I updated the definitions and ran the scanner, which took over 2 hours. The scan reported 4 errors and 7 infections found. It deleted/removed the 7 infections and I'm not sure what the 4 errors were.

The AVG disk also has a registy editor tool. I have in the past been able to fix registry problems but only when I knew exactly what it was that needed to be done. With my current situation, I don't even know what to be looking for in the registry, so I'm leary about doing that. Any suggestions?

I also downloaded and created a Ubuntu Live CD (Linux). With this disk I was able to boot and see everything that is on my Windows (C:)  drive. All of my files are there and good so I am able to transfer my personal data to another computer via flash drive. Although that is a very very slow going process, as I have a lot of stuff there to transfer.

I don't know anything about Linux. Therefore, I'm not sure if there is more that I can do with the Ubuntu disk in order to try and remedy the problem I'm having.

In the end.......when I was done using each disk and upon rebooting the computer....with high hopes that the AVG scanner worked......disappointment is all I got. Each time, the same black screen with blinking curser appears just after the Compaq splash screen.

Could the virus be hiding the desktops display of Windows, somehow?

I appreciate everyone for taking the time to read and reply.

Help Please!

February 1, 2011 5:27:29 AM



Download and run the Microsoft Malicious Software removal tool on the drive, with the drive in another computer as slave or spare data drive. (in your case the only option).

Get it from Microsoft free,
HERE.
!