The current situation is that I have a .ddrescue image from PartedMagic that won't mount. I was in virus/malware removal, and the person helping me has been stumped. He referred me here; the following is a link to the thread:
(It may be more beneficial to work your way back from the end...it's a little long:
I recently posted a summary of what I can remember happening...things were pretty quick, and I don't remember the exact sequence down to the last detail, but I have given a general timeline of how things went:
This whole thing happened pretty quickly and I wish I could remember the sequence of events better; I think windows stopped booting on its own before I tried any of the boot repair programs on it, which is what prompted them in the first place. That may be due to the failing drive, but I myself am not so sure that's the case. I'm not the best at diagnosing problems (especially hardware related), but I know the very first thing that set this off was a virus/bad program of some kind. The symptoms of that involved the computer not responding for significant periods of time allowing only brief moments of use. Following that, repeated attempts at doing things before windows booted (but not boot repair related; antivirus related) resulted in the computer not booting up at all. THEN came attempts at boot repair, followed by complete black screen/flashing underscore at bios. I think before that, DELL diagnostic at least said there was a hard drive attached. After the attempts at boot repair, I think it stopped recognizing the hard drive completely. But, not Ubuntu. Ubuntu saw it, and I could see files, but when I tried to access the drive it froze (I'm assuming it attempted to mount it when I clicked on the files...maybe it was mounted before that, in order to see the files in the first place? I get the concept, but don't know the process), eventually to the point where I had to power down out of Live Ubuntu.
"doing things before windows booted" = running pre-windows virus removal tools; AVG rescue disk, windows defender, sophos, tried to find means to scan the hard drive from ubuntu.
I'm only thinking that it was a virus because the initial problem with freezing happened before; when I received help here for it, nothing worked until the person instructing me had me run combofix. The one helping me with the hard drive said this is only hardware related, but would combofix repair hardware related symptoms? If so, then I'm wrong in what I think happened, which is entirely possible.
I will gladly provide any necessary information that I can.
Edited by Nick10213, 07 September 2013 - 05:18 PM.