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Unable to access BIOS, Boot Menu, or anything else!!!


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#1 Atombomb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:18 PM

Mother Board: Gigabyte 3.2GHZ

HDD: SATA 1 TB

OS: Windows 8.1

 

Problem: When the computer is powered on it boots normally. However, all function keys or cmd keys to get into BIOS (F2), BOOT Menu (F8), Set up menu (F12) are disabled.

 

Possible Cause: Ransomware, I know for a fact my son installed a .exe file that put ransomware on his computer due to the HDD being locked and inaccessible. Also, when logging into his user he is prompted with the ransom log on by GoTLINKS.

 

Attempted Fixes: I've tried removing the HDD cables and booting in hopes of getting forced into the boot menu. However, no drives are detected and I am prompted to insert the OS Disk and hitting ENTER. Upon doing so all KBoard keys are disabled and computer must be restarted. At this point the computer will boot from the OS Disk and allow for a install of windows or windows repair. Upon trying to reinstall the OS (after plugging the HDD back in) the OS Key states it is not retrievable, even though it is on the tower of his desktop. This happens after the key is inserted. (The key has been registered prior to this all happening). When going into windows repair from the disk I am given 3 options. System Refresh, System Reset, and Advanced Options.

 

System Refresh: Error: A Valid OS must be selected. Please select a valid OS and restart your system. 

 

System Reset: Error: The disk drive is locked. Please unlock the disk drive in order to proceed.

 

Advanced Options: CMD prompt is available but will not allow access into C:/ only into default X:/. System Restore pulls up the same error as system refresh and so on.

 

Hitman Pro: Put it on a USB drive, but the BIOS loads and ignores any function command going straight to user log on. For example, the F8, Shift+F8, or even Ctrl+Alt+S commands are ignored completely and brings me back to square one.

 

Jumper Switching (Tried) and Battery Removal <- (Not an Option): Tried them both to no avail.

 

USB Bootable Flash Drive: Attempting this now, but I'm almost certain the same problems will occur.

 

CMD Prompt: Tried DEBUG to force the BIOS back to default but cannot obtain the specific drive. Tried DISM.... ScanHealth Online/Offline but same problem occurs with the specific drive.

 

At this point I am all out of ideas, which is why I have come here. I'm assuming Windows quickstart option is preventing the use of functions through the reboot of BIOS. However a shutdown or restart (from user logon) should put windows back into a long restart, but it doesn't.

 

End Note* If the HDD is plugged in during booting of the system then no user options or function commands work. I am just directed to the user log on. CMD Prompt is unavailable, and so are any options to restore/reset/ or refresh the system.



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#2 Atombomb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:24 PM

I forgot to add something.

 

Restarting system: I can restart the system while holding the Shift Key which brings me to the boot menu options. However, any key is disabled and the computer must be hard restarted in order to do anything. All function keys (F1-F9) do not work, keys 1-9 do not work, and even ENTER to restart the system does not work.


Edited by Atombomb, 29 June 2014 - 04:25 PM.


#3 wpgwpg

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:33 PM

 If there's data on the hard drive you want to save, you can boot from a live disc like Ubuntu or Mint Linux and copy it.  You could also format the hard drive from there, then reinstall Windows.  Be sure you have all the drivers from Gigabyte prior to installing.

If you don't have a live disc, you can download Ubuntu from here:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download .  In addition to downloading the .ISO file for burning to a DVD, you can also create a bootable flash drive.  Instructions for that are here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

 

Good luck.


Everyone with a computer should back his system up to an external hard drive regularly.  :thumbsup:

#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:34 PM

I am not sure this will work as you are unable to access BIOS. If you are sure it is Ransomware download the Kaspersky Rescue Disk (linux based), Burn the iso file and see if you can get the disk to boot. Then you can use the WindowsUnlocker Option to remove the Ransomware and then do a scan. Even with Ransomeware, I have not seen it where it would not let you access the BIOS. If the CD does not boot, maybe the USB will. You can use Rufus with the downloaded iso file to create a bootable USB flash drive or Kaspersky's own utility.

 

http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/disinfection/8005

 

Edit: Kasperksy has it's own File Manager which can be used to copy files but it's possible the files are encrypted. Windows 8.1 encrypts files by default if the computer came preinstalled with 8.1 and you set up Login with a Windows Live Account.


Edited by JohnC_21, 29 June 2014 - 04:38 PM.


#5 Atombomb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:40 PM

 If there's data on the hard drive you want to save, you can boot from a live disc like Ubuntu or Mint Linux and copy it.  You could also format the hard drive from there, then reinstall Windows.  Be sure you have all the drivers from Gigabyte prior to installing.

If you don't have a live disc, you can download Ubuntu from here:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download .  In addition to downloading the .ISO file for burning to a DVD, you can also create a bootable flash drive.  Instructions for that are here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/create-a-usb-stick-on-windows

 

Good luck.

Trying this now. I have moved my post to the Malware section seeing how Malware is involved. Thank you for the quick response. I will report the outcome on the Malware section.



#6 Atombomb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:42 PM

I am not sure this will work as you are unable to access BIOS. If you are sure it is Ransomware download the Kaspersky Rescue Disk (linux based), Burn the iso file and see if you can get the disk to boot. Then you can use the WindowsUnlocker Option to remove the Ransomware and then do a scan. Even with Ransomeware, I have not seen it where it would not let you access the BIOS. If the CD does not boot, maybe the USB will. You can use Rufus with the downloaded iso file to create a bootable USB flash drive or Kaspersky's own utility.

 

http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/disinfection/8005

 

Edit: Kasperksy has it's own File Manager which can be used to copy files but it's possible the files are encrypted. Windows 8.1 encrypts files by default if the computer came preinstalled with 8.1 and you set up Login with a Windows Live Account.

Tried but did not work because the USB does not read through the loading of the BIOS.

 

I am 100% sure it is ransomware. I have also moved this post to the Malware section as it has to do with Malware. Forgive me for posting it in this section.



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 05:41 PM

I can't respond to your posts in the other forum. I believe you could not format the drive because you are not root. You need to run the sudo command in terminal.  If you can boot to Ubuntu you should be able to boot the Kaspersky disk.

 

If you format the drive, do you have the Windows 8.1 install disk? If you do, and still want to format the drive, you can download Puppy Linux that has Gparted included. Or, if you can access the internet on the live Ubuntu CD you can install Gparted and use it to delete the partitions and reformat the drive. But, In am not sure how thisn would help the inability to access BIOS.

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Format-a-Hard-Drive-Using-Ubuntu

 

Another option is to download the bootable version of Partition Wizard. Then you can wipe the disk (Quick) to make sure all malware is removed then partition and format or use the Windows 8 install disk to partition and format the drive..



#8 Atombomb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:16 PM

I can't respond to your posts in the other forum. I believe you could not format the drive because you are not root. You need to run the sudo command in terminal.  If you can boot to Ubuntu you should be able to boot the Kaspersky disk.

 

If you format the drive, do you have the Windows 8.1 install disk? If you do, and still want to format the drive, you can download Puppy Linux that has Gparted included. Or, if you can access the internet on the live Ubuntu CD you can install Gparted and use it to delete the partitions and reformat the drive. But, In am not sure how thisn would help the inability to access BIOS.

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Format-a-Hard-Drive-Using-Ubuntu

 

Another option is to download the bootable version of Partition Wizard. Then you can wipe the disk (Quick) to make sure all malware is removed then partition and format or use the Windows 8 install disk to partition and format the drive..

The main problem was getting into the BIOS in order to change the first boot option to CDROM or to USB. The first preset was to boot from the HDD so even with the discs it would automatically boot to the HDD. I unplugged the HDD in order to force boot through CDROM. However, neither program would pick up the HDD after it was plugged back in.

 

I did however finally find a solution to get into BIOS. I booted the Kaspersky disk without the HDD connected and was able to get into the graphics mode. I used the windowunlocker under terminal with the HDD still disconnected. This freed up my ability to get into the BIOS while the HDD was connected. I rebooted the computer with the HDD connected and the function keys now worked. Using F2 (Which did not work previously, I tried for a day and a half) I was able to finally get into the BIOS. I changed the boot order to CDROM and now I was able to boot Kaspersky with the HDD connected.

 

I went into terminal and used Windowsunlocker again to unlock the HDD. I am now running a full scan with Kaspersky rescue disk which has already picked out the ransomware. I am waiting for it to complete and I will restart the CPU and see if it removed everything.



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:28 PM

I think with UEFI and Windows 8 there is a connection between BIOS and the EFI bootloader in the EFI system partition used on a GPT disk. If that gets corrupted somehow, you cannot access BIOS. Glad you got Kaspersky to work out. Not sure how WindowsUnlocker was able to let you access the F2 function because it supposed to access the registry on the infected hard drive. Hopefully it will boot normally after the scan.

 

See this thread on repairing the EFI bootloader in Windows 8 using the diskpart command.



#10 Atombomb

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:35 PM

Not sure either, but it somehow unlocked the ability to use my function keys and everything has worked out from there.



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:37 PM

Okay, post back when the scan is finished. Good Luck

 

Edit: I see from your other post in the Malware Removal Forum everything worked out for you. Nice step through on the solution. Glad you are back up and running.


Edited by JohnC_21, 29 June 2014 - 06:59 PM.





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