|Last Tuesday I was browsing the web when my Avira AntiVir gave me 3 infection notices. I usually click "deny access", maye have clicked "move to quarantine", not 100% sure. Right after that I got a small pop-up stating "permanent hard drive failure". I closed that pop-up. My PC either re-started or shut down. While trying to power-up I went through the Elitegroup screen for BIOS and Boot selection, then the black screen with the Windows XP logo. Before reaching the blue welcome screen however my PC would simply double-bleep again and go through the same process over and over. --> I believe that I have some sort of worm or virus activated be me closing the po-up screen that has now damaged my registry and/or boot files. |
After trying to unsuccessfully change my BIOS (back to default for safe measures) and choosing the HD (2TB) directly I got a black screen giving me the selection to start up normally, in safe mode, safe mode without networking, etc. Nothing worked, same loop. I then used my laptop to research the recovery and repair functions (yes, I know they are 2 separate steps). Neither worked. I went through both with my original windows XP disk in tray. I tried repair first. After all files had loaded I was supposed to get a screen that gave me the option to repair my Windows installation. I never got that option, it simply was not there and went on to the install Windows screen. I then tried the recovery console. I was supposed to get to a screen that lets me chose my windows installation, e.g. 1: C:\WIN or something like that. That option was missing, so this did not work.
I then made a big mistake: I thought that I would possibly get to the right screen by going to the next menu after clicking a "new" Windows installation, I thought before installing it new I would have some sort of option that asks "all your data will be erased, are you sure?, etc.". My PC went straight into a new installation of Windows from my disk, I panicked, and manually shut down my PC. Yes, bad move.
After doing some research I decided to see if it was a BIOS error. In December, I had used Acronis TrueImage to copy my then 500GB HD to my now defunct 2TB HD. I unhooked the SATA and power cables, used my 500GB HD, works like before. At this point I am ruling out a BIOS error.
I hooked up my 2TB HD as an external with a SATA to USB Adapter. It read 456GB used space, the rest unallocated. Funny thing is that my 500GB showed the exact amount of used space like my 2TB, kind of impossible since I have added a lot of files since last December after cloning.
I then decided to run FIXMBR and the other steps associated. Chkdsk did not work. The change that occured was a new error "NTLDR is missing". I then called Microsoft Technical Support and spent 3 hours with them. Steps we took were copying boot.ini files, copying i386, running forms of checkdisk in DOS through the Recovery Console, copying ntldr and another file from the Windows XP disk, still the same error to this day. Another change is that my 2TB has 2 partitions: a FAT32 partition with about 10MB of information (when looking at what is stored on it I have an unknown file with the Infinity symbol (!). Microsoft asked me under Disk Management to change the unallocated space to a new partition, about 1.3TB.
I have been most concerned about saving my data. I downloaded testdisk (steps are over my head), FileRestore Professional (got to recover some of my files though they now have been saved as duplicates or triplets with FR-1 or FR-2 names added, many of my photos have errors, "invalid jpeg marker". I also have Minitool Partition Wizard Home Edition. I have been able to use the latter to look at some of my files and recover some as stated above, but I honestly have no clue how to address the boot up loop with it or even come close to fix it.
The last thing I did tonight was to run checkdisk on my now external 2TB damaged C drive with both fix options checked. Just powered PC, pressed F11, selected the 2TB, same NTLDR error.
---> Has anyone run across this scenario before? My goal of course would be to fix registry or boot on my 2TB HD and power it up my PC with it - am I dreaming? I would be very grateful for some advice, good news/bad news, not a problem, my fault to start with. I am of course willing to answer any questions, provide any screenshots, documentation, etc. Are any of the tool programs I downloded useful for this problem in either solving it or running diagnostic tests? If there are any programs out there like e.g. by EASEUS, the Ultimate Boot CD, Advanced System Optimizer, etc. I am of course more than interested in trying them, would just need some advice what to actually do and which tests to run - even the Best tools are useless in the hands of people who do not know how to use them.