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Cannot boot from Hard Drive

By KenBrown2
Jan 2, 2011
  1. Hello,

    When I was running a weekly virus scan today with malwarebytes, it found 1 virus and I selected to fix it. I then decided to run TLC to clear all of my temporary internet files. However, when the computer restarted, the computer displayed a black screen after the windows loading screen finished. I entered safe mode successfully and attempted to follow the 6 step process to obtain the necessary logs to post on your site. However, after a reboot caused by GMER, my computer did not seem to recognize my hard drive anymore: It would display the message: unable to boot from disk - insert cd. I then removed the hard drive to put into an enclosure kit in order to troubleshoot the hd when it is not the main os. When I hooked up the hd to my laptop, the laptop recognized it and installed the necessary software. However, when I then went under my computer, it displayed 2 removable volumes that could not be opened.

    I would also like to mention that I had to perform similar actions a couple months back, and you guys were able to help me clean up my system after I was able to get into it...but when I hooked up the hd to my laptop last time, I was able to fix the registry keys and boot back into it...this time I'm not so lucky.

    So that is where I am now, and I don't know what to do. If you have any suggestions, I would be very thankful! I guess as a last resort, I could always reformat, but I am trying to avoid that at all costs.

    Thank you in advance!
    Ken
     
  2. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

    What software would that be?
     
  3. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Well, the enclosure kit is made by rocket fish. It did not state exactly what "software" it was installing, it just displayed a message in the bottom right indicating that the necessary software was installed.

    As a side note, my hard drive is xp professional, while the laptop I was plugging into is vista...home edition I believe.
     
  4. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

    Let's see, if we can look at your computer booting from an external source.

    Please download OTLPE (filesize 120,9 MB)

    • When downloaded double click on OTLPENet.exe and make sure there is a blank CD in your CD drive. This will automatically create a bootable CD.
    • Reboot your system using the boot CD you just created.
      • Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD follow the steps HERE
    • Your system should now display a REATOGO-X-PE desktop.
    • Depending on your type of internet connection, you should be able to get online as well so you can access this topic more easily.
    • Double-click on the OTLPE icon.
    • When asked Do you wish to load the remote registry, select Yes
    • When asked Do you wish to load remote user profile(s) for scanning, select Yes
    • Ensure the box Automatically Load All Remaining Users" is checked and press OK
    • OTL should now start.
    • Press Run Scan to start the scan.
    • When finished, the file will be saved in drive C:\OTL.txt
    • Copy this file to your USB drive if you do not have internet connection on this system
    • Please post the contents of the OTL.txt file in your reply.
     
  5. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    I took the HD out of the enclosure kit and I put it back into my machine. I downloaded and burned OTLPE to a disk and I was able to successfully load my "infected" computer via the disk. However, when I double click OTLPE on the desktop, a window displays: Browse for Folder -- Choose Windows Directory. When I browse My Computer, I can't seem to find the Hard Drive. I went into device manager, brought up the infected/broken hd properties, and selected to populate data. This screen shows these values:

    Disk -- Disk 0
    Type -- Unknown
    Status -- Not Initialized
    Partition sytle -- Not Applicable
    Capacity -- 76317 MB (It is an 80 Gb HD)
    Unallocated space -- 76317 MB
    Reserved space -- 0 MB
    Volume -- (This is blank)

    As a reference point, here is the data from my data storage HD that is working properly:

    Disk -- Disk 1
    Type -- Basic
    Status -- Online
    Partition sytle -- Master Boot Record (MBR)
    Capacity -- 305243 MB (It is an 320 GB HD)
    Unallocated space -- 0 MB
    Reserved space -- 0 MB
    Volume -- Other (C: )


    My uneducated guess is that the HD is bad. But what do I know...Do you think that is the case? I may try putting the HD back into the enclosure just to see if it is a bad cable, but my hopes are definitely not high.

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  6. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

    Yeah, it looks like a bad drive.

    You can....

    Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=28744&hl=hard+drive+diagnostic)
    Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
    Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
    If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.
    For Toshiba hard drives, see here: http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Pa...rivesUSandCanada/SoftwareUtilities#diagnostic

    Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD follow the steps HERE
     
  7. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    I downloaded the Diagnostics for Windows for my Western Digital Hard Drive. When I ran the program, both the quick and the extended test indicated that the drive passed.

    Does this mean that the drive is software related? Or do you believe that the tests just weren't comprehensive enough to find the issue?

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  8. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

    I think, my wording was not accurate.
    The drive may be not bad, but something happened to your Windows installation:

    This:
    ...looks like an info from a totally blank unformatted drive

    ...or, maybe, maybe MBR is missing.

    Which Windows version did you have installed there?
     
  9. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    I have xp professional installed on the bad drive.
     
  10. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

    If you have Windows CD...(if you don't have Windows CD, scroll down)

    1. Insert your Windows XP CD into your CD and assure that your CD-ROM drive is capable of booting the CD.
    2. Once you have booted from CD, do NOT select the option that states: Press F2 to initiate the Automated System Recovery (ASR) tool.
    You’re going to proceed until you see the following screen, at which point you will press the “R” key to enter the recovery console:

    [​IMG]

    3. After you have selected the appropriate option from step two, you will be prompted to select a valid Windows installation (typically number 1).
    Select the installation number, and hit Enter.
    If there is an administrator password for the administrator account, enter it and hit Enter (if asked for the password, and you don't know it, you're out of luck).
    You will be greeted with this screen, which indicates a recovery console at the ready:

    [​IMG]

    4. There are eight commands you must enter in sequence to repair your problem..
    NOTE. Make sure, you press Enter after each command. Make sure, all commands are exact, including "spaces".
    These commands are as follows:

    CD..
    ATTRIB -H C:\boot.ini
    ATTRIB -S C:\boot.ini
    ATTRIB -R C:\boot.ini
    del boot.ini
    BOOTCFG /Rebuild


    Note about the above command.
    BOOTCFG /REBUILD command which searches for pre-existing installations of Windows XP and rebuilds sundry essential components of the Windows operating system, recompiles the BOOT.INI file and corrects a litany of common Windows errors.
    It is very important that you do one or both of the following two things:
    A.) Every Windows XP owner must use /FASTDETECT as OS Load Option when the rebuild process is finalizing.
    B.) If you are the owner of a CPU featuring Intel’s XD or AMD’s NX buffer overflow protection, you must also use /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN as an OS Load Option.
    For the Enter Load Identifier portion of this command, you should enter the name of the operating system you have installed.
    If, for example, you are using Windows XP Home, you could type Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition for the identifier (it's not crucial, however what the name is, as long, as it's meaningful).
    Here is your computer screen:

    [​IMG]

    5. Following command verifies the integrity of the hard drive containing the Windows XP installation. While this step is not an essential function in our process, it’s still good to be sure that the drive is physically capable of running windows, in that it contains no bad sectors or other corruptions that might be the culprit:

    CHKDSK /R

    6. This last command writes a new boot sector to the hard drive and cleans up all the loose ends we created by rebuilding the BOOT.INI file and the system files. When the Windows Recovery Console asks you if you are Sure you want to write a new bootsector to the partition C: ? just hit “Y”, then Enter to confirm your decision:

    FIXBOOT

    7. It’s time to reboot your PC by typing
    EXIT
    and pressing Enter.

    With any luck, your PC will boot successfully into Windows XP as if your various DLL, Hive, EXE and NTLDR errors never existed.



    If you don't have Windows CD...
    Download Windows Recovery Console: http://www.thecomputerparamedic.com/files/rc.iso
    Download, and install free Imgburn: http://www.imgburn.com/index.php?act=download
    Using Imgburn, burn rc.iso to a CD.
    Boot to the CD...let it finish loading.
    When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
    Then, follow instructions from Step #3 above.
     
  11. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    I successfully created the recovery console disk and successfully booted from it. When I got into the dos screen, I couldn't cd into the windows folder. I thought that maybe it was not directly under C:, so I tried to make it show me a list of the folders under C...but when I put in the command, dir, it stated: "An error occured during directory enumeration."

    I looked into it, thinking that maybe I did something wrong...and I have seen various people running a disk check, chkdsk....would that be my best option right now?

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  12. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    I decided to put in the command: chkdsk /p /r,and it returned the following statement: "The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems."

    Also, when I enter into RC, it displays that I am on xp home edition. I'm not sure if it means that I am running Windows XP Home edition on my hard drive (which I really thought I was running professional) or the link you gave me was for xp home edition. Or does it even matter?

    Thanks again!
     
  13. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

    It looks like you may have hard drive problem...

    Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=28744&hl=hard+drive+diagnostic)
    Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
    Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
    If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), to make the CD bootable.
    For Toshiba hard drives, see here: http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Pa...rivesUSandCanada/SoftwareUtilities#diagnostic

    Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD follow the steps HERE
     
  14. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    I had tried that yesterday, and the tests had passed....not sure what to do now:

     
  15. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

    I'm pretty much out of options here.
    Unfortunately, it looks like you'll have to reinstall Windows, since the drive appears to be OK.
    I'm sorry :(
     
  16. KenBrown2

    KenBrown2 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 60

    Okay, thank you very much for all of your help though!

    I just purchased a copy of Windows 7, and I was hoping to use the same drive. What is the best way to clear the contents of the corrupt drive? Or do you advise getting a new hard drive and installing windows 7 on that?

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
  17. Broni

    Broni Malware Annihilator Posts: 52,897   +344

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