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URGENT! PLEASE HELP!

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November 14, 2012 1:05:15 PM

Hey fellas, I need your help. Not sure if this is the right category to ask in, but could't find any troubleshooting category.

Something's wrong with my computer :( 

Symptoms:
1) I was browsing away, suddenly the computer started freezing and not responding. I restarted the computer.
2) On boot-up, the BIOS splash screen shows and I can go through the BIOS. After going past BIOS, no response, just blank screen. After a long while, options to choose safe mode appears, I click safe-mode. DOS screen shows up, loading files, but VERY slow.

I took it to one guy, described symptoms, he says its a virus and needs to be formatted...

HELP PLEASE??? If it has to be formatted, can you tell me how to do it myself??? I already have my own copy of Windows 7 I can use.

More about : urgent

November 14, 2012 1:07:35 PM

To reformat yourself you just need to boot from your windows 7 disk and follow the instructions. It's very simple. Heres a youtube video explaining it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mME9VLT7-xw

Could be an issue with a virus. Could be something else too. If it doesn't fix it let us know with a new thread and we can help troubleshoot.

Also after you format make sure to update all the drivers etc. If you don't know how to do that. Again start a new thread ;)  Or just ask here after your done. Good Luck!
November 14, 2012 1:09:52 PM

well. give us your specs. if its a fking virus, go clear and formatt the *** out of your disc immediately. you cannot recover files as it does not load. formatt it completely and install windows 7
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November 14, 2012 1:10:46 PM

Use hiren to back up your files then reimage.
November 14, 2012 1:15:02 PM

Just an update:

I reset the BIOS and changed the RAM slot... nothing.

How can I be sure that formatting is the solution? So if I simply re-install Windows 7, that is basically formatting and will delete the virus including everything I have? Is there any way I can recover my files?

What other processes should I go through for troubleshooting to check if its anything else?
November 14, 2012 1:30:03 PM

Reformatting is going to wipe the hard drive clean. Any file recovery should be attempted before you do this. If you watch the video you'll see that there is a step before installing windows that your going to format the disk. Thats going to clean everything off (including the virus if there is one). If you need to recover files I'd do what Squirrel said and use Hiren.
November 14, 2012 1:37:19 PM

If it is a virus at all... It could be a simple hard disk failure.

I would acquire another hard drive and install a clean copy of windows onto it. Then, I would attempt to recover my important files from the current HDD onto the fresh one. THEN I would format the old drive and run it through diagnostic checks.
November 14, 2012 2:20:05 PM

unoriginal1 said:
To reformat yourself you just need to boot from your windows 7 disk and follow the instructions. It's very simple. Heres a youtube video explaining it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mME9VLT7-xw

Could be an issue with a virus. Could be something else too. If it doesn't fix it let us know with a new thread and we can help troubleshoot.

Also after you format make sure to update all the drivers etc. If you don't know how to do that. Again start a new thread ;)  Or just ask here after your done. Good Luck!


Thanks! I've built my computer myself so I'm familiar with how to install Windows 7. I don't really have anything important on the computer, just some games. I already have the game CDs so I can simply re-install them again.
November 14, 2012 3:19:15 PM

I agree with @americanbrian. If the HDD is having difficulty accessing a sector, it might retry the sector repeatedly until it either times out or pulls off what it thinks is the correct data. This can take several seconds.

A family member's laptop did something like what you describe, and was about to be thrown away. I did as americanbrian says, installing a new SSD and upgrading from Vista to 7, and now the laptop works even better than it did new (no longer having bloatware, etc.). Almost all data files were successfully retrieved from the old disk, and now it's sitting on a shelf waiting for a hammer.

(edit: corrected mistake caused by horrible spell-checker "auto-correcting")
November 14, 2012 4:16:36 PM

TeraMedia said:
I agree with @americanbrian. If the HDD is having difficulty accessing a sector, it might retry the sector repeatedly until it either times out or pulls off what it thinks is the correct data. This can take several seconds.

A family member's laptop did something like what you describe, and was about to be thrown away. I did as americanbrian says, installing a new SSD and upgrading from Vista to 7, and now the laptop works even better than it did new (no longer having bloatware, etc.). Almost all data files were successfully retrieved from the old disk, and now it's sitting on a shelf waiting for a hammer.

(edit: corrected mistake caused by horrible spell-checker "auto-correcting")


Guys the thing is this desktop is still quite new... I only built it 5 months ago, HDD is a Western Digital Caviar Blue... could it really have busted itself in that very short time-span?

Now as I start the installation process and get to the window showing my drives, I have 2 options: System reserved and primary hard-drive. I have proceeded to format the primary hard-drive... should I also format system reserved or leave that alone?
November 14, 2012 5:16:10 PM

normally you leave that alone, though it won't hurt to delete both partitions and re-format from scratch.

And btw, I had a WD drive bought during the thailand flood thing that conked out after 2 months. Motor blew out. I think that they were forced to buy some really suspect components when the drives were in short supply...
November 14, 2012 5:26:01 PM

Yes, a drive can fail in 5 months. I had a WD RE4 (enterprise-edition SATA) drive fail in 5 weeks. It happens.

If you are worried about viruses, then you absolutely need to format the whole drive. That System Reserved partition is where the boot loader and boot code sit. That's where the "choose an operating system" page comes from if you have multi-boot, and it's where the page with "startup windows normally" and other startup options comes from when you have a bad shutdown. A virus can hide there just as well as anywhere else, and because it could get loaded *before* the O/S, it could potentially control everything on your PC including your O/S.

If possible, connect to that drive using a working installation (or the Windows 7 repair tools on the install DVD), and use something like DiskPart to reset the master boot record on the drive. I can't give you specifics so you'll have to explore the MSFT site to learn about DiskPart.exe, but if you are going to use that drive as a boot drive and you are concerned about viruses, you need to do this. If you are using GUID partition and not the other kind, you still need to ensure a clean boot record.
November 14, 2012 5:42:14 PM

Or... you can download the Kaspersky Recovery Disk for free, boot from that, and scan for viruses before you go out and nuke your Windows install.
November 14, 2012 5:42:54 PM

You could have used Parted Magic to see if your HDD is failing and Kaspersky Rescue Disk to see if it's a nasty virus. If the installation fails then definitely check the HDD with Parted Magic. PM and KRD are both bootable CD's, so they bypass Windows entirely.
November 14, 2012 5:44:57 PM

When booting off the Windows 7 disc, have it DELETE ALL partitions, whatever it finds on the hard drive. Delete them one at a time until there is just one large unpartitioned space left. Then click Next and Windows 7 will automatically create whatever partitions it needs and begin installing itself.
November 15, 2012 12:11:34 AM

Hi fellas, I'm back! Desktop formatted! So far, working like a charm, no problems yet. I suspect it also might be a HDD problem... however, even if the thing does fail, it does come with a 1 year warranty... should have it replaced free of charge?

Just downloading all my Windows updates and latest drivers at the moment. Once done, I'll proceed to a disk check. Once that's done, I think I'll do a few stress tests to make sure all is alright (Prime95, Furmark and so on). What do you recommend?

Help and suggestions are welcome Thanks
November 15, 2012 5:41:49 PM

Use a disk drive test utility. Western Digital has one called "lifeguard" or something like that (WLG is the acronym they use). Not sure you can run it on the system volume though, so you might need to boot off of something else. At the least it can tell you what is in the SMART data.

Glad to hear things are running well again.
!