Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Can't erase hard drive


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 reaching

reaching

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:02 PM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 04:04 PM

Can anyone explain this? I was running D-scrubber in my computer to clean the drive and reinstall windows. I set it to run one pass and to work backwards(I usually do 7 but didn't feel like waiting). I selected the disc I wanted wiped and left it to do it's job.

When I came back a while later, the computer was off. This is weird because usually when D-scrubber is done, it gives a screen to let you know the job was completed. I bought D scrubber at best buy.

When I turned on the computer, I got the following. I couldn't print so I wrote out so you can get an idea. This is what it said.

This is a free software that comes with Absolutely no warranty. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the free software foundation; either version 2 or (at your option) any later version.

C:HD1, Pri[4] , CHS=38900-4-17,
Start =305141MB, Size =103MB

Himem-Always on A20 method used.

QDMA v3.1 8-16-2004(or some year)
No ultra DMA controller; QDM A not loaded

Turbodsk 2.1- Drive D Sector size 512
Size 2048Kbytes Root entries 256
Memory: Extended xms Sectors/cluster 2 2036 clusters Fat 4

Kernal:allocated 41 disk buffers=21812 bytes in HMA

FreeCom Version 0.82 pl 3ak
xms_SWAP [Aug 11 23:00:54 2004]

CuteMouse v1.9.1 alpha 1 [FreeDos]
Installed at PS/2

Error Reading from drive C: dos area: general failure.

After that, I was given options: abort, retry,

I clicked A to abort and then it said, "Error reading from drive A: Dos area: write- protection violation attempted."

Then I turn off computer and I try to go in Bios and make sure I have boot order with internal cd first . When I turn on computer I get a screen that tells me, "THE boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible."

It does give me the option to start windows normally. Drive C is there. Where Drive D was,the recovery partition, it says local host(D:) but I was unable to access it. When I click on it, it says "D drive does not contain a recognizable file system."

Computer will not let me boot from cd and I am pretty sure dscrubber had started to clean the drive so...why is it accessible?

If you understand any of this, please let me know. If I'm posting in the wrong please let me know where to go.

Thanks .

I have windows 7 home premium.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,265 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:07:02 AM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 04:10 PM

How did you plan on installing Windows 7 if you cannot boot from CD/DVD? Did the problem of not booting a CD/DVD start after using Dscrubber? Can you boot from a USB flash drive?



#3 reaching

reaching
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:02 PM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 04:23 PM

When I started D-Scrubber, I did it by booting from disc drive. Booting from drive always worked until this incident. I do not have a flash drive copy.of windows. It is an oem.version.

#4 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,265 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:07:02 AM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 05:02 PM

What is the make and model of the computer?

 

When you said you booted from Dscrubber from the disk drive, did you mean the optical drive and not the hard disk drive?  My question regarding the flash drive is you can use Rufus with the bootable version of Partition Wizard to wipe the drive competely. This would get around your problem of not being able to boot from the CD/DVD drive.

 

Run Rufus and select MBR partition. In the dropdown box that lists FreeDos select iso image. Click on the folder icon and browse to the Partition Wizard iso you downloaded. Press Start. Any data on the USB flash drive would have to be backed up. You would need to make sure USB is the first boot device in BIOS or select the USB flash drive using the Boot Menu option on some computers.

 

Once you boot the USB flash drive you can wipe the disk Quick zero fill.

 

Another question: You said you purchased Dscrubber but in the log posted it is noted as free software.



#5 reaching

reaching
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:02 PM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 06:57 PM

I'm sorry for not being clear. This is all like learning a new language.

I was booting from the cd/dvd drive to get D-scrubber to start. It was working fine. I selected the drives I wanted to erase and it seemed okay at first. When I went back a little while later to check how much longer I had, it led me to the screen saying the things I wrote above.

I bought D-scrubber from Best Buy. D Scrubber has never given me that screen. I noticed that it said Free version and that's what makes this so weird. That's why I was hoping someone could decode the things I wrote.

My theory is that someone had access to my computer and when I try to load or reinstall windows cleanly, some kind of script pushes it away from my disc and unto someone else's computer so they could install windows in a compromised way. If you look at what I wrote, it says something about a swap. Is that even possible? Or maybe it tries to add a script to whatever media is inserted on drive to change what's on it or replicate itself. I once had a musical cd with settings on it that I did not put there. I found it by a command prompt for showing hidden files.

Something was off with the computer but I'm not sure what. I found windows vista.files on there(if you're interested,, the post is in the "Am I infected" forum under "strange duplicate files")....that's why I was trying to do a clean install.

Your instructions are new to me and I'm not technically savvy. I have to look at your advice a bit more to wrap my head around what needs to be done. It's a bit vague now and I'm not sure what questions to ask yet.

I do have access to Bios and I can set boot order however I want. It's set to boot from cd/dvd drive but it won't. If I set it to run from usb, I do not know if it will.

I'm guessing the things you mention should be downloaded from the internet?

I really appreciate your response.

I'm in the process of reading the links you provided. It's not clear yet but one question: would it be possible to flash the bios from DOS -I mean before running windows?

#6 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,265 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:07:02 AM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 07:15 PM

I would not be flashing BIOS. I do not think this is a BIOS issue. I would wipe the hard drive first. Try creating a bootable flash drive first. 

 

Edit: Yes, you need to download the Partition Wizard iso and Rufus from the internet.

 

You need to download the Partition Wizard iso I linked to. Download Rufus and run that. Follow the instructions I posted to create the bootable USB flash drive using the Partition Wizard iso. Attach the USB flash drive to the computer then use the boot menu to boot the USB flash drive.

 

The bootable version of Partition Wizard is based on linux. After wiping the drive (see link) there would be no way for somebody to compromise the install. If you do get USB flash drive to boot, we can also do the same thing for the Windows 7 install disk, convert it to a USB install but hopefully the install disk will boot after you wipe the drive with Partition Wizard. 

 

What is the make and model of the computer.

 

You did not have to purchase Dscrubber. The Windows 7 install disk can be used to wipe the hard drive. 

 

Edit: If you can return the software for some kind of store credit at Best Buy I would do that but I am not sure of Best Buy's software return policy.


Edited by JohnC_21, 13 June 2015 - 07:23 PM.


#7 reaching

reaching
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:02 PM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 09:02 PM

Hey again,
I'm getting the instructions a little better. The link you gave for partition manager shows how to clean drive IN windows. It doesn't show what it looks like in DOS.

The reason why I thought of flashing Bios is because I read about Bios virus. Apparently, even if you clean hard drive and do a clean install of windows, Bios virus can infect it again. If you flash bios IN windows, windows will reinfect bios.


I had cleaned this computer a little more than a month ago. I did 7 passes
With D-scrubber. It took a couple days and I'm still having problems. I thought flashing bios, and cleaning drive would eliminate everything.

I'm not sure when Exactly I can follow your instructions because I want to download the Rufus and partition manager from a clean computer. I'm not sure if my whole system is compromised.

For example, I have another laptop I'm updating. When I turn it on it automatically tells me what updates I need and I'm not even connected to the internet. That seems strange to me cause I thought one had to connect to internet first. Does that seem stange to you or is it me? I've never seen it do that. I wonder if windows updater can be compromised so you download bogus stuff.

I've had D scrubber awhile. I can't return it. **smile**

#8 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,265 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:07:02 AM

Posted 13 June 2015 - 09:26 PM

The process is the same for the bootable version as it is for the windows version of Partition Wizard. The bootable version is not a dos disk but a linux disk. The UI looks like the Windows version. If you create a bootable CD or Partition Wizard instead of a USB flash drive, it may boot where the other failed. In Windows 7 you would simply right click the iso file and select Burn Disk Image. 

 

BIOS malware is very rare. I don't think that would be your issue. Also for a OS reinstall it is not necessary to do 7 passes. One pass is more than enough. 

 

If you were connected to the internet at any time and Windows detected needed updates then I believe Windows would warn you of updates even if the laptop was not connected especially if you selected the option to download updates and let me decide when to install

 

You can find out your option by typing Windows Update in the Search Box then selecting Change Settings in the left pane.

 

I don't think you need to worry about it transfering an infection as you will be wiping the drive. 



#9 reaching

reaching
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:02 PM

Posted 14 June 2015 - 11:43 AM

Hey, some news to report.

So, first I decided to try the D Scrubber disc on my other laptop to see what would happen. It booted from the CD. It showed the the Screen I copied in the original post for about 3 seconds if that, and then took me to iolo drive scrubber (d scrubber) menu.

I then took the cd back to the laptop that wouldn't boot but it was stuck on the same screen as in original post. At the bottom, it had the option to abort, retry, and fail(I think there was another one but I can't remember). I hit retry repeatedly and it kept saying can't read drive. Abort didn't work either.Then I hit F for failure and it took me to the iolo drive scrubber page where I'm given the option of which drives I want to scrub.

It's now scrubbing...at 15%...

It had starting working when I had the problem yesterday, let's see if it goes all the way through.

Do you think it's possible D scrubber got script written on it that directs it to that free version software page thing?

One more question. It's 320 gb drive but drive scrubber only shows cleaning 298 GB. Is that normal? It has always done that.

#10 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,265 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:07:02 AM

Posted 14 June 2015 - 02:45 PM

I am not sure why it worked today and not yesterday. As far as the 320GB drive being read as 298GB that is normal because the drive manufactures use 1,000,000,000 but the OS reads it as 1,073,741,824 bytes.  1,000,000,000 / 1,073,741,824 = .93    .93 * 320 = 298

 

1,073,741,824 bytes being derived from 1024 bytes to a kilobyte. 1024 kilobytes = 1MB. 1028MB = 1GB  

 

1024 being a binary value.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Gigabyte



#11 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 55,559 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:06:02 AM

Posted 14 June 2015 - 04:21 PM

FWIW:  http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/615

 

Louis



#12 Platypus

Platypus

  • Moderator
  • 14,224 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Australia
  • Local time:09:02 PM

Posted 14 June 2015 - 07:25 PM

I usually do 7
 

Also FWIW, this is of no value and a complete waste of time, unless you need to certify to some authority that the drive has been processed to this standard. In fact if all that is required is a fresh Windows installation, not even a full format is necessary. If you wish to overwrite previous data and precipitate reallocation of any pending faulty sectors, a single pass zero fill is quite sufficient.


Top 5 things that never get done:

1.


#13 reaching

reaching
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:02 PM

Posted 14 June 2015 - 09:15 PM

Thanks for your help JohnC-21

So the drive did erase all the way. I clicked F for fail and that worked. Wish I knew why.

Your time wasn't wasted, by the way; I still need to learn how to create bootable usb drives. And I still have to learn how to flash bios in dos.
Oh, I appreciate the info about the drive.

As for the 2nd comp, it said I had 7 updates, I downloaded updates then disconnected from the internet. I then installed updates, windows restarted the computer, and as soon as I signed back on (didn't even connect to internet yet), it told me I had 181 updates! When did it have time to look for them?

My setting for windows explorer is to "check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install
them."


Then I was trying to do a system restore cause kept getting a black screen periodically saying -can't find drive (hard drive) -and when I looked at programs that would be deleted, it said windows installer(!)...which it said was recently installed. Anyway, that's why I was panicking a little or a lot.

I'm a bit on edge with computers now anyway. So I really appreciated your help and input. Thank you.

Thank you Hamluis for the link.

Thank you Platypus for reiterating that seven passes are not necessary.

I appreciate all the help...truly.

#14 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,265 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:07:02 AM

Posted 14 June 2015 - 09:31 PM

So you can now boot to Windows. If you can, I would download Seatools for Windows and do a disk diagnostic. 

 

Seatools User Guide

 

Most BIOS updates can only be done in Windows. A bad BIOS update can brick your computer.  What is the make and model of the computer? 



#15 reaching

reaching
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 70 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:02 PM

Posted 16 June 2015 - 04:56 PM

Thanks John C. Sorry I took so long to respond. I'll look into seatools.

Yes, I remember reading that most bios can only be flashed in windows. I had hoped something would have changed with all the new technology.

It's an hp laptop.

I did a factory recovery and the rogue updates followed me...haven't seen the bluescreen yet.

I haven't reinstalled windows on the drive I erased yet.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users