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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I started the day on a high note, before turning on the computer that is, thinking I was going to get some things done. This was not to be: So we start at:

FAIR:
After XP loaded it said that it had recovered from a serious error Product ID _251... so I did some digging around and got some info from microsoft's web pages complete with registry fixes (deleting bad entries, etc.)

I did a quick scan with malwarebytes and it found some stuff that I deleted and when I did a restart it didn't come up correctly.

Went into safe mode and it came up.
(made a HUGE mistake here. Did not copy files I wanted to save when I had the opportunity)
Closed out of safe mode and let it start normally.
Would not boot normally.
Tried to boot in to safe mode and now its recycling back to POST, we have gone to...
BAD:
Hmmm. So I thought how about putting the XP disk in and then do an install leaving file system intact.
When I got to the point of doing the install I chickened out because it said that it might delete the My Documents folder (had some things in there I didn't want to lose) I've done this procedure before and perhaps I should have taken the second opportunity to recover gracefully but I did not.

I hit F3 to cancel out of the install to try and boot from my other HD that has XP (but with some driver issues that I had yet fixed.)

I went into the CMOS to change boot order and notice that the hard drive (the one that I was trying to boot into is not showing MAXTOR(model and size) anymore, it is just listing the drive with one single letter: "M". Now, we have gone to...
WORSE:
Seeing that single letter M is not good news.

I changed the boot device to the other HD. To my surprise it came up (I was getting BSOD's before because it has incorrect nvida versions installed for the MOBO and Vid card).
This is where it becomes:
MUCH WORSE:
Now, I have successfully booted up and I thought OK great! I can copy the files I need.

But first, I want to check the Disk Manager because that quirky little "M" is still bothering me and what do i see?
have moved into...
HORRIBLE:
(C:)
134.91 GB
Healthy

(H:)
152.66 GB NTFS
Healthy (System)

C: is a 40GB IDE Drive that was working just fine yesterday with XP installed. The fact that's showing 100GB more space than the drive physically has is not a good sign.

H: (the drive I am booted to) is a 160GB SATA with XP and as I said earlier, soem some wrong drivers that I need to correct. But its working good for the moment.

Now I have gone to...
FLAT LINE:
When I open up Explorer it list the drive (in the tree) Removable Disk (C:)
When I try to peek into it "

The disk in drive C isn not formatted.

This obviously means that the file system is now trashed.

Each time I turned the machine off and on during this sequence of events it got progressively worse.

This is the second drive that I have had this happen to in the last few weeks.

The other drive; I attributed to just being 10 years old and just failing.

So now, I've come to the very painful conclusion that I had some very bad virus that's kind of like a sleeper. It lies dormant for awhile and then kills the file system and is not detected by malewarebytes.

When things start to go bad they go bad very quickly.

Anybody got any suggestions?
 

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Test the HDD with the drive manufacturers disk tools (preferably using a different PC). Run the short and long tests. If either test fails or has errors, the drive is faulty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that.

I was able to get some data (becaues of limited free space on other hard drives) off using Ontrack's Recovery.

I am working out some options to get the rest then I'll do the tests you recommended.
 

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Team Manager - Networking, Moderator - Hardware
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If the HDD is still good, there is no real reason to move all of your data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If the HDD is still good, there is no real reason to move all of your data.
Unfortunately that is not correct.

Windows and Chkdsk does not recognize the disk as having an ntfs file system. This means (obviously) that a) Windows can't display anything because it thinks the drive is not formatted and b) Chckdsk and repair anything if it percieves that there is no NTFS file system.

If you try to CD to the drive it it wants to format

If you try to view the contents in Explorer it wants to format the drive.

If you go to the command line and try to inititate chkdsk it fails.

The ONLY way I am able to get any data off of the drive is becaues Kroll's Ontrack Recovery is sophisticated enough to rebuild the file system; present it in a tree view with check boxes to I can select which items that I want to restore.
Unfortunately I have less free space than what I want to recover.

Once I can everything I want to save then I can go from there.

I asked the folks at Ontrack why they don't have a utility to fix it and they said that they used to but decided to drop that functionality and become like physicians with the premis of "Do no harm"
 
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