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Need Guidelines To Reformat A Hard Drive


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#1 jackiemarie

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 08:52 PM

I have an HP Pavilion dv6135nr laptop -Windows XP Pro Media Center Edition, CPU: Intel Centrino Duo Core 2 T5500, 2048MB DDR2 System Memory (2 DIMM), 120GB 5400RPM (SATA), NFTS file system that is 14 months old. It's never been to repair. All suggestions have come to me through phone conversations with HP case managers for escalated service. There were issues with performance and slowness after I surveyed what was available in the Media Center (start>all programs>media center), and HP told me to do a recovery using the d:\Recovery Partition which is standard on this notebook (this model did not have recovery disks with it). This was supposed to put the system back to factory settings; this was done 11/21, but it did not put the system back to factory settings. (On 12/1, I had an incident with a performanceoptimizer error,changes to my home page, freezes, shutdowns, etc., so I worked with BC for many days on this; it has been resolved, and there was no malware or infection). Because the recovery partition reformat failed, HP sent me two disks to do a destructive recovery. This was done on 1/16. After 12+ hours of recovery, there are still problems - and some I've never had before; a few are:

1) I still do not have the ability to do a system restore - start>all programs>accessories>system tools>system restore (this laptop has never been able to do this).

2) In the Event Viewer, the Application section goes from 1/16 to 1/18 and hasn't had an entry since that time; I've refreshed it, but it doesn't change. There are multiple application hang, userenv, and MsiInstaller errors in the 1/16-1/18 period. There is no warning/error around the time this section quit functioning.

3) In the Event Viewer, the System section is correct as to time and date (today is 1/27); there are multiple Dhcp, lost IP address, lost network status errors. There is no warning or error around the time the Application section quit functioning.

4) The Help and Support Center on the start menu does not seem to have all the information it should have; it has always seemed incomplete.

5) I am still getting DEP Data Execution Prevention shutdowns just in normal activity.

6) There is instability with the icons in the system tray.

I myself did a diskcheck on 1/19; after an hour or so, the result was "clean"; I did a BIOS check before the first recovery on 11/21 and it was fine. I do maintenance and defrag regularly. I went to the HP website and ran the diagnostic tests for this laptop. Every test (processor,cd rom,audio,USB bus,video adaptor,battery,modem,IDE hard disk,LAN,memory,monitor,PCI bus) came back "passed" and "OK". I have every Windows update and every HP update. 66% of my 2 GB memory is free; I do not do gaming.

I do not have enough technical proficiency to know what to do. HP sent the new HD I guess because they extended the warranty in October 2007 so it is covered through 11/30/08. I am not comfortable returning my present HD to them as I'm not skilled enough to know if I'm compromising my info - even if I use killdisk (as HP suggested). Plus, HP says the reformat of a new hard drive will take 24-48 hours, then extra time for the updates etc.

What would you do? Thanks in advance for some expert advice (before this thing turns into a long running mini-series).
Jackiemarie :thumbsup:

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#2 RandomUser

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:50 PM

Let's start over from the beginning just a bit.

Addressing the specific complaints you have about the Event Viewer, Hanging programs, etc

There a a few things I would suspect from the get go.

1) Virus or RootKit
Not likely if you've worked with the HJT team here this and found nothing, we won't approach this possibility

2) Corrupted Filesystem
This is possible and could cause the problems you speak of, and this is the best place to start

3) Bad Memory
For this we'll need a copy of Memtest86+ or whatever HP has in it's tool box

4) CPU Errata, Bios Issues, or Defective Controllers on the MotherBoard.
I don't suspect bios or Controller Issues as of yet, but the CPU Errata errors are a possibility
We'll look at this last.

As far as the Personal Info on Your hard drive, we'll shoot for good enough deletion of Data
which I'll explain toward the end of my Rant.

Please Download and burn a Copy of memtest86+ by searching for it on google
Also, if you can find out who the manufacturer of the Hard drive is, this would be helpful
as we could download specific tools for testing the Hard drive you have. For Example
Seagate's Diag software is referred to as Seatools.

After downloading a copy of memtest86, please boot the PC from the Optical Drive with Memtest in the
drive. Let it make about ten passes which could take a considerable amount of time. Errors will be listed in
red highlighted colors. If you have bad memory, you can ask HP to replace it.

You should do the same with the Hard drive software of course and run the most thorough tests to check for
problems with sectors on the drive as well as testing the controller. If it is bad, ask HP to replace this under warranty.


I know I said to start at the File System, but we're going to work up to that from RAM.
If neither of these things provide any solution, let us know here. BTW you'll need some CD Burning software
for Memtest and the Harddrive Tools and this should be done from a working computer.

Good Luck and Let us know what you find.
We'll go over deleting your information if it's appropriate.

#3 jackiemarie

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 12:01 AM

Thank you for your reply, RandomUser. I admit to being overwhelmed because I am such a newbie and completely unfamiliar with these processes, tests etc., that you outlined. Am I correct that you believe these tests should be done first on the current hard drive rather than just reformatting the hard drive HP sent me (using the disks they sent early this month). If I replace and reformat this new drive they sent me, would that solve any problems there may be with a file system, with the memory, with controllers etc

I do not understand what you mean by "boot the PC from the Optical Drive". There is Sonic on the laptop that came installed already so I can burn cds (it was used to backup data before the two recoveries). I have never downloaded tools for testing and I am not familiar with the terms you are using.

The laptop is working just fine 98% of the time and that is why them sending me a new hard drive to reformat is so confusing.

Do you believe we can proceed with my extremely limited tech knowledge and ability? Papakid told me to post in the Hardware forum but maybe I'm in the wrong pew.

Thanks again,
Jackiemarie

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HP g7-1310 - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - Intel i3 - 6 GB Ram

What you value is your reward.


#4 rigacci

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:09 AM

You might as well use the drive that HP sent you.

And you should do most of those tests that randomuser suggests. You need to rule out the hardware, at the very least. Then you can address the software issue, if there really is one. Being an industrial engineer and computer tech, I have learned that 80% or more of your problems are mechanical in nature.

As far as your old HD. You could put it back in and using the UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD) utilities, you can destroy most of the data on there.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Good luck.

DR

#5 RandomUser

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 12:02 PM

I'm terrribly sorry, sometimes I get carried away with technical Jargon.

If you want an easy way to Eliminate the Current hard drive as a problem, do as rigacci says and use the one HP
Sent you. Also, the test that i was referring should be done maybe by HP if the laptop is under warranty.
This way you don't have to spend a lot of money trying to get your laptop fixed somewhere that
will charge you an arm and a leg. More importantly, you won't have to get to know all of the technichal junk
that I threw out the other day.


If you'd like to try some of these things on your own we'll be glad to assist.

#6 jackiemarie

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 02:50 PM

If you want an easy way to Eliminate the Current hard drive as a problem, do as rigacci says and use the one HP
Sent you. Also, the test that i was referring should be done maybe by HP if the laptop is under warranty.
This way you don't have to spend a lot of money trying to get your laptop fixed somewhere that
will charge you an arm and a leg. More importantly, you won't have to get to know all of the technichal junk
that I threw out the other day.


If you'd like to try some of these things on your own we'll be glad to assist.


Thank you, rigacci and randomuser.

I will not/cannot take this laptop to an HP shop or send it to a regional HP repair place; maybe I'm goofy but I just don't trust it.
I don't mind running any tests that I can on the original hard drive that is still in.
This morning, I ran the advanced diagnostics on the HP website; here are the results:
Memory test (took about an hour) = passed.
IDE Hard disk = passed.
CD ROM = passed.
The HP Health Scan says there are no critical errors or warnings but that "your computer may be running slower than usual". This is not true at all as far as I'm concerned; I am careful to delete temp files, defrag, etc. and as I said, 66% of memory is free; I have only the minimal on Startup at msconfig.
I downloaded the Memtest86+Pre-complied bootable ISO(.gz) and burned it, but it won't open. What can I download to make it open and run as you outlined?
I found that my disk drive is FUJITSU MHV2120BH PL version 5.1.2535.0; is this the info you need?

I guess the point is I don't want to spend 2+ days reformatting the new HD that HP sent if this one is OK.
I should also say I have Norton AV, Webroot Spy Sweeper, and Zone Alarm free.

Hope you're available to reply.
jackiemarie

EAM, MBAM Pro, MB Anti-Exploit 

HP g7-1310 - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - Intel i3 - 6 GB Ram

What you value is your reward.


#7 rigacci

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 03:23 PM

Memtest needs to boot up all by itself. Set your BIOS to CD-rom as the first boot item and it should load from there.

DR

#8 RLI

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 03:43 PM

well, welcome to using a modified and bloated version of Windows. I normally never use the key on the laptop and get them to refund me to current cost of the OS, and I buy a full copy of it instead and totally wipe out all partitions and install Windows how I want.

I'd not use System Restore and the help feature has always been sparse on real help, welcome to learning how to goggle for help instead.

#9 jackiemarie

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 03:50 PM

Memtest needs to boot up all by itself. Set your BIOS to CD-rom as the first boot item and it should load from there.

DR


You may not be in the teaching mood today, but I'll ask anyway...how do I set BIOS to CD-rom as first boot?
jm

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#10 jackiemarie

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 03:54 PM

well, welcome to using a modified and bloated version of Windows. I normally never use the key on the laptop and get them to refund me to current cost of the OS, and I buy a full copy of it instead and totally wipe out all partitions and install Windows how I want.

I'd not use System Restore and the help feature has always been sparse on real help, welcome to learning how to goggle for help instead.



You are so right...going through 28+ days of BC help and Hijack This logs only to find that the system was clean was a learning experience to the max...do you mean you ask HP to refund the cost of the OS and then buy my own CDs and install from there? Don't think I could pull that off...I don't mean there's little help on the Help Center, I mean parts of it are actually missing or won't load.
jackiemarie

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HP g7-1310 - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - Intel i3 - 6 GB Ram

What you value is your reward.


#11 rigacci

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:16 PM

To set the unit to boot to the CD-rom, you need to enter BIOS. You do that usually by hitting the Delete or F2 or F10 key. They often give you a flash of the different keys that can be pushed and what they do.

So, once into BIOS, you need to look for Boot Order or Boot Options. Enter that subfolder and you should see a Floppy listed as well as CD-rom and Hard Drive and with newer units USB as well. Select CD-Rom as first and the hard drive as second. Then exit, saving the changes.

It should then boot from the CD. If it doesn't see anything in the CD-rom, it will next try the hard drive.

DR

#12 RandomUser

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:36 PM

well, welcome to using a modified and bloated version of Windows. I normally never use the key on the laptop and get them to refund me to current cost of the OS, and I buy a full copy of it instead and totally wipe out all partitions and install Windows how I want.

I'd not use System Restore and the help feature has always been sparse on real help, welcome to learning how to goggle for help instead.


Ok, despite that this may be an option, it's more work than it's worth for most people who already are comfortable or
integrated into the Current setup they have.


I will not/cannot take this laptop to an HP shop or send it to a regional HP repair place; maybe I'm goofy but I just don't trust it.
I don't mind running any tests that I can on the original hard drive that is still in.


Unless you've something to hide or serious anxiety, there are no issues with sending your laptop in for repair as HP warranty work is done
at HP unless you have a BIG BOX warranty in effect from a major retailer in which case, I understand your concerns completely.

The online utilities are usually show up as fine as they are limited in their abilities to provide hardware results and Bios settings errors
for the very fact that they run Online. The Bios by the way controls the behaviour of your computer and it's operating system and certain
Key functions of your hardware. The ability to change the boot order is generally pretty easy.

Again follow rigacci's advice on booting to Memtest86+

And Kudos to you for learning the processes.

#13 jackiemarie

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:16 PM

Again follow rigacci's advice on booting to Memtest86+

And Kudos to you for learning the processes.
[/quote]

OK, RandomUser, rigacci, and RLI....

The BIOS is cd enabled for boot but I can't make it do it, so I can't use the MemTest. Is there any use in testing the Fijitsu disk drive?
jackiemarie

EAM, MBAM Pro, MB Anti-Exploit 

HP g7-1310 - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - Intel i3 - 6 GB Ram

What you value is your reward.





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