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Access to format my HDD is blocked?

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by razor23uk, 12 Apr 2010.

  1. razor23uk

    Associate

    Joined: 1 Jan 2009

    Posts: 20

    Not sure where to put this,but here goes....
    my sons p.c has picked up a nasty,its one of the "you have a virus,click here and buy me" types.
    He only has games and the like on there,so has no worries of re-formatting the hard disk and re-building. The problem is,we have scanned with spy-bot search and destroy and found nothing then tried to formatt the hdd through windows xp but got the error message "windows unable to format". Tried to reinstall and format from the xp disk in the dvd drive and it would not let us....basicly click on install and nothing!.....the rest of the xp disk options were ok,but not install. Tried going in through disk managagement ect....nothing,it just seems that the vital click on the icons/instructions are blocked?
    I am at a loss guys...I am NOT at all p.c which doe'snt help,I just know the basics. Its a home build so the "reset to factory settings" isn't an option either.
    Is it a case of a new HDD for about 60 quid or so,or buying some virus remover programme.....that said,I am not convinced it will run it from the disk anyway??
    Any help greatly recieved...he is going through cold turkey at the moment with so long off warcraft!
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2010
  2. twitch

    Gangster

    Joined: 7 Nov 2006

    Posts: 262

    This sounds like it could be just a bit more than a virus.

    One thing you could try is Combofix.
    I have used this on various pcs that have virus's that don't want to go..
     
  3. rpstewart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 11 Mar 2003

    Posts: 10,746

    Location: Greenock, Scotland

    I'm not quite following the OP here.

    Can you start the XP installer from the CD?
    Can you get to the point where the installer lists the available disks in the machine?
    Can you delete the existing partition on the drive and create a new one?
     
  4. wonko

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,474

    Location: Outside the asylum

    ISTR that from within windows it won't let you format the system drive (the equivalent of sawing off the branch you're sitting on) so that's not a problem in itself.
    If you're having trouble booting from the windows install CD, then you may have to go into the BIOS setup (often by pressing the Del key as the pc starts up) to put CD/DVD ahead of the hard disk in the boot sequence.
     
  5. razor23uk

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    Joined: 1 Jan 2009

    Posts: 20

    Ok thanks guys.....
    rpstewart...the pc will see the xp disc in the d drive and read it. It will let me open everything on the disk except the green install button. I can browse and explore the contents of the disk as if there were no problem,but as soon as i click on "install",the cursor just stays in the same place. The green animated button can be seen to "depress" but thats all it does. I can then move the mouse to another part of the menu and that will work fine.

    wonko......I see what you mean about formatting the drive i am using...saw the branch you are sitting on is an excellent way of getting that across. I have gone into the BIOS at start up and put the cd drive as priority and tried it through the "select boot option" on start up as well. It will start to spin the disk then go straight to loading windows from the HDD.

    Not sure about the virus type,but it has disabled some of the key commands. E.G....if I try to open a programme,like Nortons or Internet explorer,it gives me the "which programme do you want to open this with" option. Alternatively, if I right click on the programme options,instead of the usual left click,it will only let me open them if I choose the "run" option. After about 5 or 10 mins of use,I get the pop ups telling me i have a virus and click here to download a fix ect.

    Thanks for your help guys.
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2010
  6. rpstewart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 11 Mar 2003

    Posts: 10,746

    Location: Greenock, Scotland

    Are you trying to install from within Windows or are you booting from the CD?

    EDIT: Just re-read the previous post. Are you getting a "Press any key to boot from CD" message at all?
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2010
  7. razor23uk

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    Joined: 1 Jan 2009

    Posts: 20

    I am trying to install from the cd. I read that if I start to install from the disk,the disk will give me the option to format the HD so as to start again. the problem is,as soon as the disk starts to spin up,the machine goes straight to the already installed Windows on the machine. Its as if the damn thing knows what i want to do!!
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2010
  8. wonko

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,474

    Location: Outside the asylum

    If you're certain there's nothing on the disk that you need to keep then I wouldn't bother trying to fix the damage - a fresh install by booting off the install cd is the way to go.

    A bit strange that it won't boot from the cd though:
    - this is a genuine install disk? As far as I know all versions including upgrade disks are bootable...
    - rpstewart beat me to this one, but some PCs show a message "Boot from CD:" (or similar) and wait a short while for the return or some other key to be pressed before doing it
    - in the bios setup does it list the cd/dvd model along with the hdd as being detected? If not the cd drive could be connected to a non-booting add-in controller card.

    Failing this I'm struggling to think of reasons other than a hardware fault or an esoteric bios virus... let us know how you're getting on.
     
  9. razor23uk

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    Posts: 20

    rpstewart.....yes i am getting the "press any key to boot from cd" message.The cd then spins up for about a second,then windows starts up from the machine....not the cd.

    wonko...yes a genuine cd with key code ect. The bios set up DOES list the make/model ect of both the dvd drive and the HDD.

    I can remember the dark old days of windows 98 when it was possible to format through dos before inserting the windows disk?? Could this be an option?
     
  10. rpstewart

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 11 Mar 2003

    Posts: 10,746

    Location: Greenock, Scotland

    I assume you're pressing a key at the boot from cd message?

    If you're using a USB keyboard the prompt may not recognise any input unless Legacy USB support is enabled in the system BIOS.
     
  11. razor23uk

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    Joined: 1 Jan 2009

    Posts: 20

    Yes i am pressing a key.....the cd starts to spin up and the green indicator light on the dvd unit flashes.

    Realy appreiciate all the help guys by the way.
     
  12. UKDTweak

    Soldato

    Joined: 2 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,592

    Location: N.Ireland

    Download the Gparted Live CD, burn it to disc and try to boot from it, if it works you can then delete the hard drive partition and then try installing XP again by rebooting from the XP CD.
     
  13. rpstewart

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    Joined: 11 Mar 2003

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    Location: Greenock, Scotland

    Have you checked the BIOS setting? Checked whether the CD is bootable in another PC?
     
  14. wonko

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    Joined: 21 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,474

    Location: Outside the asylum

    The thing is that even if you manage to format the hdd, then you'd still need to boot off the cd to install windows again.

    Could you try with a different keyboard with a ps/2 connector?

    Also, could you test your xp disk by booting from it in another pc? (obviously don't proceed with the install!)
     
  15. razor23uk

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    Posts: 20

    The cd IS working from another machine as I have tried that.
    I will try the different key board option,although the current one appears to be ok as i can navigate through the bios pages fine,and as I mentioned earlier,it recognises when I "press any key to boot from the cd".
    What should i be checking in the bios settings rpstewart??
     
  16. razor23uk

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    is there any software worth buying??
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2010
  17. wonko

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jul 2008

    Posts: 1,474

    Location: Outside the asylum

    OK thanks... as you can navigate the bios menus and if the cd is accessed in response to pressing the 'any' key then I'd agree the keyboard is an unlikely cause, but maybe worth ruling out if it's an easy thing to try. I suspect rpstewart was asking you to check that 'legacy usb keyboard' was enabled in the bios.
    I can't really see that there could be anything on the hdd that could prevent it booting from the cd, but I'd next try booting from a different cd (gparted will do). If that fails to boot, then I'd switch the pc off and remove the power connector to the hdd and try booting from cd again - this would prove one way or another whether the hdd or what's on it was involved.
    I wouldn't buy anything at this stage, especially from where you mentioned (p.s. references to competitors aren't allowed so I'd edit your post)
     
  18. razor23uk

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    Thanks wonko.
    if I disconnect the hdd power lead and try booting from the cd what or how far can I expect to get?? I am guessing i will get to the part where the xp disk will want to "look" at the hdd drive and check its ok to continue?? if thats the case then that will be a step or two further than WITH the hdd connected. I will try that tonight first.
     
  19. wonko

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    Joined: 21 Jul 2008

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    Maybe i'm being a bit slow here... when xp installs a reboot is involved but it boots from the hdd even though the cd is still in the drive, i.e. I'd guess the first thing the boot from cd does is to check the hdd to see if it's mid-install, and if so transfer the boot to it. So I'm wondering whether it has been starting to boot successfully from the xp cd after all, and that this is just a 'feature' of the malware.

    If that's the case, then try gparted or some other hdd partition tool which should boot from cd (or usb, or floppy drive), and delete all the partitions etc. off the hard disk. I'd try that first before disconnecting the hdd (which would ony help work out what was going on, not directly solve the problem).
     
    Last edited: 12 Apr 2010
  20. razor23uk

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    Joined: 1 Jan 2009

    Posts: 20

    I think I see where you are coming from but i getting confused a bit now!...like i said,not at all p.c compared to you guys...
    I tried the cd on another machine and it looked ok to go on installing but obviously I stopped it.
    I will try the downloaded software gparted and try to srub the hdd with that.
    off home now so will let you know how i get on tomorrow.....
    Many,many thanks again all.