I have a Dell Inspiron one computer running Windows 7. I got it in March of 2010. Never really had any problems before, but starting on Thursday or Friday, I started getting warnings from Norton telling me that it had been blocking malacious toolkits, Blackholes, etc. -- mainly from one site I frequent (a forum) but I think it happened at other sites, as well.
Scared that I had been infected with something, I reinstalled everything on my computer back to the factory state. The Norton blocks did not go away. It was still blocking malacious toolkits and such. At one point, my mouse froze for a few seconds (after an Adobe Reader popup came up asking me to accept a warranty - I wasn't sure why it popped up so randomly, but I had been restarting the computer a lot for Windows Updates to take effect.)
I ran Dell Support Center's PC Checkup and found that it failed the Targeted Read Test and the SMART Short Self Test. I had just recently tested the computer before reinstalling everything and it completely passed all tests. I hit F12 during the boot and ran diagnostics. I have one bad sector (86838101). I got error codes 2000-0146 and error code 0F00:1344 and error code 0F00:065D on different tests. The computer passes all other tests (but not the Confidence Test in diagnostics.) I've never taken on something like this before.
Curious about what it might do, I reinstalled everything on my computer back to factory condition again. Then I noticed that a folder from my computer the way it was before I even started reinstalling things was on the computer (in my Users folder on Windows) under the name my Windows account had at the time. It contained files from a program I had used then (Realplayer) - nothing else. The date of creation was June 2011, which was around the time I last had to reinstall everything on the computer (I had a virus, I don't remember what, but it went away after reinstall.) Shouldn't everything be gone after you do a reinstall/reformat?
Again, curious I did a reinstall/reformat yet again to see if the folder would remain. It did not - but I did delete it before I reinstalled again. Hard disc is still getting the same error, still failing tests, bad sector. An odd thing my Windows seems to be doing is I was setting the theme to something like "United States" or "Nature", etc. -- the sounds for that theme do not play when I shut down or turn off the computer. They do, however, play, when I added a second user to Windows (a test account). And they play the sounds for the other events while using the computer, but they don't play the correct startup and shutdown sounds. Never had that problem before.
Virus Scanners (Norton and I've even tried Malwarebytes) turn up nothing. Is this just a hard drive problem due to the failure or do I have some kind of weird virus? Does anything like this sound familiar to anyone? I am confused and don't know what to do or what's really going on. I'm suspicious of this bad sector on the hard drive and the other stuff. Otherwise, the computer seems to be working fine, but I fear only more weird/bad things will reveal themselves to me soon. Oh, and I have noticed that Windows has done the "Preparing your Desktop" thing a bit more often -- where all the icons suddenly go away and you have to start with a blank, fresh new desktop. One time, though, after the first reinstall, it brought up a window telling me it couldn't find the desktop, and the desktop looked like an older version of Windows or something. It was fine after I rebooted.
Thanks for any help,
Edited by RockyBalboa, 12 December 2011 - 06:57 PM.