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Formatting a Windows XP machine


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#1
vettegofast

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Hey guys. I really dont do PC repair work anymore, but I am reformatting a Windows XP home edition PC for a friend. It had like 10 trojans and I could not do anything previously so i used the Dell windows XP cd, deleted the partition, re-created, formatted full with NTFS. Now when the PC turns on, the HD LED just goes crazy for 20 minutes, like the PC never finishes loading. I ran HD diagnostics and they all pass. So i have a q:

1. If you reformat a PC, does that erase the boot sector as well?
2. Could a virus cause physical damage to a HD?

Please help!

Thanks
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#2
The Skeptic

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At what stage does the computer stop functioning? After you format it should start loading files then reboot then start installing files (windows screen shows up, 39 minutes left etc..).

If the disk passed all diagnostic tests then it doesn't seem to be a hard disk problem. However you may try low level format which zeros every bit on the hard disk, erasing all sectors and clusters. After that you go to "normal" ntfs formatting. Sometimes this is needed when simple format doesn't get good results.
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#3
vettegofast

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thanks for the reply. It seems that right from the bootup process, its just doesnt run well. Everything is slow (clicking on stuff, opening programs). The HD LED just keeps blinking, its almost solid. i had put avg on it tho. It has never been connected to the internet since the format.

Someone in the chat room told me to try memtest86.com so i downloaded the iso version and used Nero to burn it to a cd, but its not booting from the cd. Any ideas?

Thanks again
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#4
The Skeptic

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AVG, by default, starts to scan the computer after bootup. At the same time windows updates kicks in. If your computer is oldish and have limited resources this can slow it trmendously. You can cancel automatic scan by AVG in it's control center by going into "scheduler". Also, in windows control panel > security center, try to disable automatic windows updates. See if it's better now.

Regarding the memory test: make sure your cd drive is set in the BIOS to be first priority boot device.
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#5
vettegofast

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i got the mem test to work. I burned it again on a new cd thanks.
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