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Hard Drive Shows Zero Bytes

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Old 05-03-2011, 09:35 PM   #1
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I'm currently working on a laptop that got hit by a virus.

Symptoms:

1) Hard drive is readable by Disk Management as Disk 1/Unknown/Not Initialized. Tried to initialized the drive but is an error showing “Device Not Ready”. Meaning that it doesn’t allow me to format because the MBR or a sector in the drive got affected by the bug.

2) Since we need it the laptop asap. We purchased a 2nd drive and installed Win XP. All seem to be fine. Suddenly the 2nd drive got killed. Same symptoms as the 1st drive.

3) My assumption is that there is a virus in the BIOS. One problem, the laptop manufacturer doesn’t have the BIOS for Win XP so I may not be able to flash the BIOS and clear it. But the manufacturer said that they have the one for Win Vista. After starting the laptop I realized that the Win Vista BIOS version number is the same as the current installed BIOS.

4) I used all sort of DATA RECOVERY tools to see if we can recover the files. Unfortunately none of them see the drive. The ones that sees the drive, it shows as “0” bytes and therefore the scan is technically none existence.

5) Also, I tried to format the 2nd drive (no important files in it) using Western Digital’s Data Life Diagnostics… Some of the test returns as failure but unfortunately nothing works. The worst result is that I cannot low format the drive at all.

Questions 1) Is it possible to format the drive even thought that it’s showing with “0” bytes?

Question 2) Is it any software that will be able to kill the virus that possibly is located in the BIOS?

Question 3) Any software that may be able to bypass the “0” bytes issue and may allow me to recover some files?

Question 4) Should I install the BIOS for Win Vista even though that I will be running Win XP? Will it cause some conflict? Remember, the BIOS version is the same and something else to think about it…the laptop has a sticker that says, Win Vista ready…that could be the reason why the manufacturer installed the Vista BIOS from the beginning even though that they install the OS Win XP Version….

Thank you in advance for your help and input….

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Old 05-04-2011, 07:10 AM   #2
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The BIOS is OS independent. I doubt very much there is viral code in the BIOS. The 0 byte issue and the other symptoms sound like a physical failure. There could be an issue on the HD's power supply, or perhaps on the data line. Is the drive ID'd correctly by model and capacity in the BIOS setup screen?

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Old 05-04-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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raptor_pa... thanks for the input... where xcatly i can find the drive ID'd?

Under the BIOS setup reads: IDE 0 Master 0 MB
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:18 AM   #4
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I just recovered data from a laptop showing 0 bytes, the drive would show up as RAW format, and a Blue Screen: Session3_Initialization_Failed leading me to what I believe is a trashed Master File Table, the owner my have selected dynamic disk or the ready boost feature in Vista. I tried recovering with TestDisk, Spin Rite, R-Studio recovery, none would work, and would get a I/O error, until I formatted the C:\ partition I was able to recover his Document folder.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:47 PM   #5
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thank you alpenadiver...will try that and let you know.....
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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alpenadiver.....tried your suggestion....no luck....
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:26 PM   #7
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If BIOS is showing 0 bytes, then the drive is not IDing, At the BIOS level this indicates a physical failure of the disk since the BIOS doesn't know or care about formatting. Make sure the drive is properly seated just to be certain. What are the makes and models of the drives?
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:48 PM   #8
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rapto_pa thanks for the input.....the brand of the drive is Hitachi Travelstar IDE 100 Gb... Tested the drive again...did assure that the connection is 100 %... so far no luck....
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpenadiver View Post
I just recovered data from a laptop showing 0 bytes, the drive would show up as RAW format, and a Blue Screen: Session3_Initialization_Failed leading me to what I believe is a trashed Master File Table, the owner my have selected dynamic disk or the ready boost feature in Vista. I tried recovering with TestDisk, Spin Rite, R-Studio recovery, none would work, and would get a I/O error, until I formatted the C:\ partition I was able to recover his Document folder.

Thanks for the input... I tried to format the drive but have no acces at all... It reads "the device is not ready" not allowing me to format the drive whatsoever... Disk Management reads " Disk 2 Unknown" "Not Initialized"...and none of the options work like formating, etc
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:18 PM   #10
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Have you to initialize the disk? after it is initialized it will ask if you want to create a partition, choose Simple Partition then you should be able to format. Once that is done you will be able to recover the data. Just don't write anything to the drive ie; install windows.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpenadiver View Post
Have you to initialize the disk? after it is initialized it will ask if you want to create a partition, choose Simple Partition then you should be able to format. Once that is done you will be able to recover the data. Just don't write anything to the drive ie; install windows.
We've tried. It doesnt give me the option to initialize..... Any suggestions...? thanks
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:02 AM   #12
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If this is a new drive I would RMA it, also I would suspect the laptop is the cause of your drive failures.

The drive I worked on took hours of messing with, using a USB Adapter finally windows recognized the drive and I got it initialized, and formatted then recovered the customers data.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:03 AM   #13
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That doesn't sound at all like a virus and no one has heard of a bios virus in over 10 years. I think you have to accept the inevitable where the 2nd hard drives is blown the same way as the first is there is a short in the board that will continue to kill drives. It could be a bad power supply but on a laptop the board is more likely.

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