Hard drive not being recognised!

  Del 09:44 15 Feb 06


Girlfriends PC had been acting strangely lately i.e. crashing, trying to dial-up when on broadband. The PC had to be switched off by holding in the on/off button for 5 seconds to get it to switch off. (possibly causing damage to the hardware)
Limewire had been getting used to download music WITHOUT anti-virus software.

Now the PC won't boot up!!
It tries to boot but says on black screen


Then says boot failure, insert system disk, then retry.

I have went into the BIOS set-up to make sure that it automatically searches for the hard drives. Still no joy.

Does anyone think it is a boot sector virus? Or is the hard drive physically broken.

  Devil Fish 09:52 15 Feb 06

its not detecting the disk which would suggest faulty hardware

it may be worth checking the power cable and
the ribbon are inserted properly may also be worth trying a different ribbon

  Shortstop 09:53 15 Feb 06

Limewire + no V = potential problems.

Almost certainly a virus and, as you cannot access the hard drive I would guess that a full format is needed.

If your G/F can access the web to download copyright music, she can download & install free AV such as AVG [ ww.grisoft.com] or Avast [ click here ].

Personally, I think there may be so many virus infections on the PC tht it is not worth wasting time in trying to recover - if that is even possible and would do a full format [losing all files on the PC, probably the music as well] and install an AVG first before anything else.



  Del 09:54 15 Feb 06

The last time she used the PC it came up with a warning that a virus was found and recommended doing a system restore to some time in December.

She did not do this as she thought this would delete docs she had created since then.

Any ideas?

  Devil Fish 09:59 15 Feb 06

without appearing to be rude

how do you format a drive that is not detected?

  Del 09:59 15 Feb 06

I will try the ribbon (that was my first thought)
I didn't open up the case as my girlfriend wanted to phone iQon's helpline and it says the warranty will be void if case seal is burst.

What about inserting a new hard drive, installing an OS onto it and trying to see the drive that way?

  Devil Fish 10:07 15 Feb 06

that would be an option but if it is still under warrenty i would go the helpline route first as it could well be a faulty drive

when she gets back on install antivirus as well

AVG and AVast are free

Avast click here

AVG click here

  Shortstop 10:08 15 Feb 06

Aahhh yes ;o) read over that piece!

I would install the drive as a slave on another system & reformat from there as it is almost certainly a boot-sector virus. This way, the drive doesn't need to be bootable & should then be formatted via DOS ....

  Devil Fish 10:23 15 Feb 06

i still tend to go for loose cables or faulty drive if it were a boot sector virus the disk would still be detected in the bios the machine just would not boot

  Del 10:36 15 Feb 06


An engineer has been called (to look at PC through warranty) and should be able to come out within 5-10 days!!

Hopefully it is just loose cables however I think I would be very lucky if it is just that and not the hard drive knackered.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:13 15 Feb 06

While waiting for the Engineer!

Boot to BIOS (Esc, F2 or whatever key your machine uses) and check that the IDE controllers are enabled.

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