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  1. #1
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    Hard Disk Problem :

    Hi,

    Pls. Help!!

    My home PC started behaving in a bizzarre way.
    Explorer was very slow. Then simple things like notepad didn't work.
    Then some bad language appeared ontop of a normal webpage I visit regularly.

    I smelled a virus. Rebooted. Gave error as if floppy was in drive, even though it was empty.
    Refused to boot. Then used Win98 boot floppy & tried to execute WIN.EXE

    Now 2nd hard disk is visible in the BIOS & is visible under System Properties (My Computer on desktop, Right Click "Properties") - but I cannot see it in Explorer?!

    Did some wierd virus make it detectable, but not readable?

    Pls. help.

    Thanks,

    m.q.

  2. #2
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    I think we would need more information than you have given to determine what the problem is. It could be a virus, or it could be corruption on your HD.

    There are several sources of information and online scanners available:

    F-Secure

    Accept Family Virus was set to trigger on Dec. 20th . . . . .

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    Thanks for that. I have now setup Win98 on another hard-disk & am using this one as a Slave.
    BIOS can see it & Win98 reports "This device is working properly"

    Only Explorer cannot see it.

    When I make it Master & try booting from it the DOS error "DISK BOOT FAILIURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER"

    Problem is that I just can't access this hard disk even with a boot disk 'cause DOS doesn't give it a drive letter.

    Could it be a Master Boot Virus? If so, how can I fix it?
    If not, what're the other options?

    I just want to salvage my data from it.

    Thanks,

    m.q.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    Definitely it was a virus.
    To fix master boot record, connect your hard drive as primary master (it would be better if you'll disconnect your good hard drive), boot from your Win98 Installation or Repair floppy and at the DOS prompt type:
    FDISK /MBR
    To check your partition(s), type FDISK and select option 4 (show information). Make sure your first partition is Primary (not Extended) and Active (marked "A"). ANY CHANGES YOU MAKE USING FDISK PROGRAM (except "Make partition active") WILL IMMEDIATELY DESTROY DATA ON YOUR HARD DRIVE.
    To make your primary partition bootable, type at the DOS prompt:
    SYS C:
    (make sure that sys.com is on your floppy).
    To check your partition for errors, at the DOS prompt type:
    SCANDISK C:
    (make sure that scandisk.exe is on your floppy).

    Warning! If you want to access your files, clean the virus first!

    To do this, connect your good hard drive and disconnect problem one. Boot to WIndows, install Antivirus (if you don't install it yet) and UPDATE YOUR VIRUS DEFINITIONS FILES to most recent ones (see Antivirus help how to do it). Then connect your problem drive as slave and perform full scan of the drive (check ALL files). Only after all that operations you can try to access your files. To be completely safe, perform full system scan once again.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    Hi,

    Thanks, I'll try that.

    Below I have composed a more detailed description of what happened incase it gives any more clues:

    >>>

    Explorer.exe on my Win98 PC was a bit sluggish some days back.
    Then some of the desktop icons, files & office's shortcut links seemed to disappear.

    So I reboot the PC & it didn't bootup.
    I reboot with a Win98 bootdisk & went into c:windows & tried to execute win.exe

    PC rebooted itself & produced error: DISK BOOT FAILIURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER

    I gave up & used a fresh hard disk to get working & made this hard disk "Slave"
    Not what's strange is that BIOS detects it & Windows98's System Properties reports it as "working properly" but doesn't allocate it a drive letter.

    So Windows recognizes it, but doesn't allow me to access it.

    Pls. help

  6. #6
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    Once you've removed the virus, and have followed the previous excellent advice, and you still can't get at you data, consider Drive Rescue <A target="_blank" HREF=http://home.arcor.de/christian_grau/rescue/>here</A>

  7. #7
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    I know this is a little late in the thread but .......

    Is it possible that the poster is using software to break the 2.1GB barrier? If the software is used and you attempt to boot the machine with a standard boot disk, the masking software does not execute .... thus the drive information is not recognized.

    I remember having this kind of problem when the 540MB limitation for DOS was broken .... "shows my age" ... LOL

    Just a thought .....
    RDH
    Ricky Hicks
    Microsoft MVP
    Birmingham, Alabama USA

  8. #8
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    You might try Tweakui/My Computer to see if all the drive letters you need are active.

  9. #9
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    Dear Ricky,

    Windows 98, that we are discussing now, has DOS 7.1 base (or, if you like, Win98 *is* DOS 7.1) that supports FAT32 (32-bit File Allocation Table). For FAT32 partition limit is 8 GB.

    FAT16 (or FAT), used by DOS 6.x (Win3.x) and 7.0 (first two editions of Win95) limits partition size to 2 GB (2047 MB exactly).
    Windows 95 version "B" (the third edition of Win95) supports FAT32, another words, it "broke" 2 GB barrier in 1997.

    Use any boot diskette created with Win95 "B" or later to see lager partitions. If you will type FDISK, on the first screen it will ask you, do you want to enable large partition support. If you type "Y", support for FAT32 will be enabled and you're in.
    By the way, to check DOS version, at the DOS prompt type VER. If output will be "MS-DOS version 5.0" , you will stuck with partitions not larger than 540 MB...

  10. #10
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    LOL ... I was just using the "Old" DOS limitations as an example.

    What I was referring to was the "BIOS limitations" of the motherboard.

    It hasn't been too long ago that this "limitation" was that the motherboard could not recognize a HardDrive with a Partition larger than 2.1GB. For those older motherboards you had two choices. Partition the larger drive into multiple partitions 2.1GB or smaller .... or install software to coax the BIOS into accepting the larger drive. Sure .... Fat 32 will handle up to 2 Terabyte .... but an older motherboard could not see over 2.1GB.

    RDH
    Ricky Hicks
    Microsoft MVP
    Birmingham, Alabama USA

  11. #11
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    Re: Hard Disk Problem :

    You are right - my fault: FAT32 has 2 TB limit; 8 GB is WinNT limit. I forgot about old BIOS, that need to be patched with programs like EZ DRIVE or EZ S.M.A.R.T. from Procomm (I was spoiled with modern technology - even kindergardens refuse to accept Pentium75 computers donation.) Sorry.

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