I'm new to the forum. I've been searching around the internet for advice and looking for troubleshooting guides. Also, I have come across this site rather much. I applaud all of the members as well as the administrators for how much assistance goes on in here. I have a few questions of my own and would appreciate any help that I can get.
I work in the I.T. Dept at my job but still learning some ins and outs of the field. I work on friends computers here and there as well as my own. I have also built a few that are actually still running virus/malware/spyware free. Although I have SOME experience in dealing with virus removal I am just caught off guard with this one in particular.
A friend of mine stated that she thinks she has a boot virus and was able to boot it in safe mode. I received the system and started it up no problem. It WAS in safe mode. So I put some antivirus progs on it and did some scans. I installed Micro$oft $ecurity Essentials, Malwarebytes and Avira. Ran all three and seen there were a few viruses. I know some of them were the same because I am aware that each antivirus vendor labels virus' under different names. The apparent, one was a "BOO/TDss.m" . I was able to "remove" it, or so I thought. After a few scans and reboots in safe mode. I was confident that I had removed everything and was ready for a "Normal Boot". But first, I went ahead and installed CCleaner and cleaned ELEVEN GB'S OF CRAP off the system... I mean really.... this must have NEVER been done. Any way, I "Run" 'msconfig' and boot in a "Normal Startup".
Upon restart, POST goes flawlessly and Windows boots AGAIN in "Safe Mode". I was boggled by this so, once more, opened "msconfig" and made sure the "General" tab was on "Normal Startup" and the under the "Boot" tab the O.S.'s "Boot Options - Safe Boot" box was UNCHECKED. I hit "Apply" and then "Okay" and, again, am prompted to reboot. So I do, to make sure all changes are implemented. Upon the VERY NEXT boot up. POST runs fine and then this appears:
"NOTICE - Hard Drive SELF MONITORING SYSTEM has reported that a parameter has exceeded its normal operating range. Dell recommends that you back up your data regularly. A parameter out of range may or may not indicate a potential hard.
Press F1 to continue, F2 to enter SETUP"
I have called DELL and they say the HDD is crap and all is lost.. I don't, WILL NOT believe this. I remove HDD and use a SATA/IDE to USB bridge and am able to connect to my HP ENVY m6 laptop with 64 bit Windows 8 ONE TIME. I states that it needs to "Scan for errors and Fix" So I do and it freezes half way through.. Now I am unable to access at all. Either it prompts an "I/O error" or "Can't access disk".
I use the Vista Home Premium disc to try and repair the HDD but it will recognize it sometimes and sometimes it wont. Just wondering if it is a boot sector malfunction or a virus.. Not sure what to do at this point. I sure hope the HDD is not a goner, If I can recover ANY of this girls data or what to do.. She states she wouldn't mind if I did just a fresh install of Vista Home Premium and loose everything but I am trying every conceivable action to save this data. But im not even sure if the disc will recognize the HDD or even be able to do a fresh Install..
I'm sorry if this is confusing, any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time in reading this post and I hope to hear from some of you soon. I have faith that there is someone that would be able to assist me in this unfortunate situation. Again, Thank you in advance and have a great day!