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Computer Help
8/4/2012 | raybbr

Posted on 08/04/2012 7:24:14 AM PDT by raybbr

Sigh!

I have an older Toshiba laptop running W7. The other day my wife called me at work to tell me the Windows Repair program came up. It was too late to tell her to shut it down.

Now, every boot comes up with the repair screen. I cannot even boot into Safe modes or command prompt.

I downloaded and ran the AVG bootable CD with the anti-virus program on it. It came back negative.

I now have the hard drive plugged into my desktop via a USB adapter and have tried several times to scan it with Malwarebytes. I suspect a rootkit because a couple of User folders come up as empty while others are okay. I have noticed this before with a rootkit.

What I would like to do is run TDSSKiller from my PC on the hard drive plugged into the USB port.

It tried running chkdsk on it. It came back with errors and would not continue. (I did not log the errors).

I could be the hard drive is bad but I have not received any errors from Windows while using it over the last few weeks. There is very little info on it that I need except for some files as my wife and sons use it.

Thanks in advance for the help.

I will be in and out today so I may not reply quickly to suggestions.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS:
Looking forward to the many posts regarding logging in, my sister the moose, the cheese eating dogs, aliens and, of course, the shower scene in "Psycho".
1 posted on 08/04/2012 7:24:16 AM PDT by raybbr
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To: raybbr

I had a similar problem, in a similar system, and it actually was a failed hard drive. Unfortunately, it sometimes happens. If it is failed, you may still be able to install it as a second drive, or as a usb drive, in another computer and recover some of the files.


2 posted on 08/04/2012 7:28:20 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: raybbr
I'm a rank amateur...with the emphasis on “rank”...when it comes to PC’s but I have succeeded,twice,in retrieving vital files from the hard drive of a relative’s dead computer (turns out to have been a niece both times).It sounds like you'd know how to do that as well and if so perhaps an imperfect solution for you would be to retrieve your important files,buy a new HD and reinstall your applications Office,etc,etc.
3 posted on 08/04/2012 7:30:38 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Poor Barack.If He's Reelected,Think Of The Mess He'll Inherit!)
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To: raybbr

I just went through this. Get a new hard drive and start over. You can get a Bootable Linux cd (just download Knoppix and burn ISO image to a CD)that will run from the cd, allowing you to access the broken HD and transfer your needed files to a thumb drive.

I went with a full Linux install and don’t miss the Win systems at all.


4 posted on 08/04/2012 7:33:25 AM PDT by wrench
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To: raybbr

I would offer one other bit of advice. The new HD is necessary, but if this is a laptop over five years old...I’d just go and find myself a decent $500 laptop and start fresh...and buy the small $20 cabling kit to hook up the old HD via USB to the new laptop, and try to recover my data that way. In any fashion...your old HD is finished at the end of this episode.


5 posted on 08/04/2012 7:45:21 AM PDT by pepsionice
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To: pepsionice

Good advice. Look for laptops to get real cheap end of summer/fall as the new version of Windows is due out shortly.

A new battery, hard drive and memory upgrade for a 5 year old laptop puts you at 50% of the cost of a new one.


6 posted on 08/04/2012 7:51:10 AM PDT by wrench
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To: ShadowAce

tech help ping


7 posted on 08/04/2012 8:08:10 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: raybbr

As a couple people have mentioned, you can try using a bootable usb/cd for knoppiz or ubuntu. But being as how you already took it out and used a usb adapter, you shouldn’t need those to get your files off that you need. Just scan them first, just in case.

Which User folders are empty? I only have one account on my computer, but ‘Public’ and ‘Default’ are still user accounts, both with empty folders in ‘em.

After getting that stuff off, you can try reformatting the hard drive, see if it actually was a virus of some sort or if it failed.


8 posted on 08/04/2012 8:19:05 AM PDT by Svartalfiar
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To: wrench
A new battery, hard drive and memory upgrade for a 5 year old laptop puts you at 50% of the cost of a new one.

Not really. I have a hard drive from a previous dead laptop. I could use it. I just would like to find out what's wrong with this one...

9 posted on 08/04/2012 8:21:48 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: pepsionice

Tigerdirect is running a special on laptops (last 24-hours in progress now).

I have bought several desktop and laptops from them. Their prices are nearly unbeatable.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/sectors/campaigns/laptopweek/index.asp


10 posted on 08/04/2012 8:23:41 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Svartalfiar
Two different User folders, (my wife's and another one) scan as empty. Not the sub folders but the entire User folder.

As a couple people have mentioned, you can try using a bootable usb/cd for knoppiz or ubuntu.

Are there utilities I can use to diagnose the disk?

11 posted on 08/04/2012 8:23:55 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: raybbr

Go to the HD manufacturer’s site and download a diagnostic for the HD (or get one by searching). CHKDSK can only do so much.

If it’s OK Toshiba has a recovery partition you can get to by pressing zero when booting.


12 posted on 08/04/2012 8:29:37 AM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: mrsmith

http://www.csd.toshiba.com/cgi-bin/tais/support/home.jsp


13 posted on 08/04/2012 8:32:21 AM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: raybbr

Run a chkdsk -r -f
This will repair corruptions in the file system. If this doesn’t work you will need a windows 7 install disk to run the repair console when you boot from the DVD.


14 posted on 08/04/2012 8:36:02 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: raybbr

http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287#toshiba

HDD diagnostics.


15 posted on 08/04/2012 8:40:57 AM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: raybbr

Ditto post 2. Damaged hard drive.

Cheap trick: Unplug the HD, give it a shake and put it in the freezer for 2 hours. That could get you a good boot from which you can perform a backup to external device, add a Restore point and clone the drive for re-installation on a new drive.


16 posted on 08/04/2012 8:41:30 AM PDT by Justa
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To: raybbr
Are there utilities I can use to diagnose the disk?

You can try this :

Seatools for Windows

Instructions

17 posted on 08/04/2012 8:46:51 AM PDT by TheCipher (Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself- Mark Twain)
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To: raybbr
There are Windows 7 Repair uninstall programs available such as How to remove Windows 7 Repair .
Look down the page for different downloads, manual instructions, etc.
I don't know if you can run programs from one PC to another.

18 posted on 08/04/2012 8:47:28 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: raybbr

On the above link, click Downloads.


19 posted on 08/04/2012 8:49:11 AM PDT by TheCipher (Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself- Mark Twain)
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To: raybbr

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/what-is-windows-defender-offline/

Here is another option to look into

Windows Defender Offline can help remove such hard to find malicious and potentially unwanted programs using definitions that recognize threats


20 posted on 08/04/2012 9:18:29 AM PDT by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: raybbr; TheCipher; oh8eleven; Justa; mrsmith; miliantnutcase; TomGuy; Svartalfiar; wrench; ...
I have no computer savvy at all, but this exact thing happened to me. Allow me to relate my sad tale of woe.

Brand new Dell XPS15, i7 processor, all the fancy trimmings. 4 months old, the same thing that happened to you happened to me. I called dell and got a series of increasing obnoxious foreigners. Eventually they sent a repair guy (the computer was under warranty), and he replaced the hard drive and motherboard, with refurb parts because thats all the 200$ warranty would allow for. He also said dell should be giving me a new damn computer.

Fast forward 3 months, exact same thing happened with exact same result.

Fast forward 1.5 days, exact same thing happened. I called dell multiple times, yelling at the arrogant turd at the other end, demanding a new computer. They reluctantly agreed to set me sent the thing in to dell for repair, although they claimed it was outside my warranty.

It comes back a week later, tagged "hard drive replaced." See, I send it in and they do less than the repair guy. Nice.

So far, its worked ok for the past 3 months, but I don't trust it at all and am just waiting for the day it craps out, and this time I'll sell it on ebay or something for its weight in scrap. I'll NEVER do business with dell again. Ever.

21 posted on 08/04/2012 9:19:09 AM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: Celtic Cross
I have no computer savvy at all, but this exact thing happened to me. I'll NEVER do business with dell again.
How is it Dell's fault your HD got hosed by some kind of virus or malware?
And why did they replace the motherboard?
I've owned three Dells over the last 10 years w/ zero problems.

22 posted on 08/04/2012 9:36:33 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Celtic Cross

I would make sure you don’t have a dirty power condition at your house. Make sure you’re plugged into a battery backup UPS when using the AC power. If they really replaced the motherboard and hard drive the first time that’s practically a new computer itself...


23 posted on 08/04/2012 9:38:31 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: raybbr

Download Knoppix and see if the laptop will operate without the HD. If so, your HD is toast.

Even the HD manufacturers will tell you once a HD starts failing, move your data off of it and get a new one.

Laptop drives are more prone to damage than desk top drives mainly because desktops are very rarely subjected to rough handling or dropped.

Do not trust a “repaired” hard drive.


24 posted on 08/04/2012 9:57:20 AM PDT by wrench
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To: Celtic Cross

I’ve had exactly the opposite experience with Dell. I’ve now bought 5 Dell “refurbished” computers, each for less than $100. They all work great. They came with Windows XP Certificates which alone would cost $100. On two of them I’ve put in new hard drives, just to get more capacity, and then I also loaded Windows 7.


25 posted on 08/04/2012 10:03:37 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: norwaypinesavage

I too have had good service from Dell. Currently own 5 running Dells. Four laptops and one desktop. Did have a hard drive failure on an Inspiron 6000. Replaced the drive and completely installed the OS and applications. Runs like new.


26 posted on 08/04/2012 10:14:49 AM PDT by bytesmith
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To: Justa
Cheap trick: Unplug the HD, give it a shake and put it in the freezer for 2 hours.

Done this many times myself. Though I usually start with a slap on the desktop instead of just a shake.

Once out of the freezer you have to work fast. You won't have time to search the drive looking for files you need. Try to remember first where they are at as that drive will thaw fast.

The good thing is this may work two or three times before the drive goes completely tango uniform.

If you've already run CHKDSK with /f then you may be out of luck anyhow. If it found orphans of the files you're looking for and "fixed" them, those lost chains were converted to files at the root of the drive. If you haven't deleted them then you may want to copy those files as part of your recovery and peruse them for any data you can get out of them.

27 posted on 08/04/2012 10:39:59 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Congrats to Ted Kennedy! He's been sober for two years now!!)
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To: Justa
Cheap trick: Unplug the HD, give it a shake and put it in the freezer for 2 hours.

Done this many times myself. Though I usually start with a slap on the desktop instead of just a shake.

Once out of the freezer you have to work fast. You won't have time to search the drive looking for files you need. Try to remember first where they are at as that drive will thaw fast.

The good thing is this may work two or three times before the drive goes completely tango uniform.

If you've already run CHKDSK with /f then you may be out of luck anyhow. If it found orphans of the files you're looking for and "fixed" them, those lost chains were converted to files at the root of the drive. If you haven't deleted them then you may want to copy those files as part of your recovery and peruse them for any data you can get out of them.

28 posted on 08/04/2012 10:43:45 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Congrats to Ted Kennedy! He's been sober for two years now!!)
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To: raybbr
Here's what you do.

teg a wen retupmoc. Ta tsael taht si tahw I dluow od.

You probably understood that as well as I understood what you are talking about. I know nothing about computers. :-(

29 posted on 08/04/2012 11:41:37 AM PDT by Spunky (Those)
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To: Spunky
teg a wen retupmoc. Ta tsael taht si tahw I dluow od.

I don't need a new computer, dang it....!

30 posted on 08/04/2012 12:27:51 PM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: raybbr; rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

31 posted on 08/04/2012 6:54:24 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: wrench; raybbr

At least guide him to a user friendly (Win user, user friendly) version of Linux.. and that would be Linux Mint (probably MATE now)..

ray.. so many ideas running through my head (been in the same situation as you so many times) but, been up about 22 hours and can’t collect my thoughts well, atm :p

I am sure there is someone who has already read my mind, or has given better advice, but will come back here as soon as I wake up to see if you still have a problem.

(BTW, Toshiba’s were the worst laptops I ever had.. and the tech support was awful, of course it was here in Japan with Japanese only support :/ ... and I equate that with Sony tech support here too :p)

anyway, I hope you get it fixed before I wake up ;^)


32 posted on 08/04/2012 8:58:20 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Choose, a communist, socialist, or Patriot)
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To: raybbr

Hmmm.. that does seem odd, especially if you usually have stuff in there. Have you directly browsed to those folders? (open “my computer”, go to the hard drive they’re installed on [D:/ likely, if you’re using the usb adapter], then go to Users/Wife ? ) What program is scanning those as empty? Be sure your folder options are set to show hidden folders!

If they show as empty when you directly access them as I mentioned, do they also show as empty when you try the same when booted into Ubuntu? The following link will guide you in creating a bootable drive, when you open it on the bad computer, be sure to select BOOT from the menu when you start your computer, NOT INSTALL.

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

If they’re still showing as empty under the Linux access, sounds like you do have a problem. :p If you really need some of those files, you may need a deleted file recovery program to re-access them. If they aren’t that important, I’d suggest reformatting it. (Something you should do every year or so anyway.) In which case, don’t worry about diagnosing as the drive’ll be wiped anyway.

Diagnosing the disk:
There are several programs you can use to try to find something wrong, here’s a list of a couple. Most of these can be run off of your usb drive via ubuntu once you boot into there, or can be run on your other computer while the bad drive is mounted via usb as an external drive.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: decent, free program, you should have/use this every week or so anyway. Easy Google search.
CCleaner: general comp cleaning, not anti-virus or anything
Defraggler: Piriform product as above, not anti-anything, but a decent defragmentation product anyway. Use ~once/week.
Spybot S&D: decent, free for basic spyware removal.
CleanUp!: good for basic file cleaning
PC-Doctor: Used to be decent problem-finding program, but looking through their site right now looks more like pay-for-service than I remember.
TDSSKiller: can run to remove certain rootkit viruses.
ComboFix: powerful program, you can run it but don’t do more with it without help from bleepingcomputer.com. I’m not an expert or even amateur with it.

ComboFix:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix
TDSS rootkit killer:
http://support.kaspersky.com/faq/?qid=208283363


33 posted on 08/05/2012 12:08:15 AM PDT by Svartalfiar
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To: Justa
Cheap trick: Unplug the HD, give it a shake and put it in the freezer for 2 hours. That could get you a good boot from which you can perform a backup to external device, add a Restore point and clone the drive for re-installation on a new drive.
< br />This'll work if your issue has to do with bad ball bearings on your hard drive, or related overheating issues. In which case, after the freezer for a bit, put it in a zip-loc bag then submerge half of that in ice-water, be sure cables coming out of the bag aren't getting wet. You'll have plenty of time to access your stuff.
34 posted on 08/05/2012 12:18:10 AM PDT by Svartalfiar
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To: raybbr
Not that it will help now, but when you get it fixed, invest in Norton Ghost, and keep your computer backed up at home.
You might consider a paid version of a security system.
Currently, I'm using Comodo Internet Security Complete 2012, but I think I like Online Armor and Emsisoft Internet Security Pack better.
Also, as soon as you can, buy an I-Mac.
35 posted on 08/05/2012 12:20:43 AM PDT by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die!)
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To: oh8eleven
I don't think its malware, because I have norton360 installed and run scans regularly.

I have a dell desktop, 11 years old and running strong, so thats why I went with dell for this laptop. But like I said, its crap (I guess they cut corners now), and the customer service I got wasn't so hot either.

Maybe I got a lemon, but either way I'm not getting another dell. Everyone else in my family uses HP, and they've never had any problems (at least that they've admitted to.)

36 posted on 08/05/2012 1:19:58 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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