Windows won't boot; running out of options
Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:56 AM
Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:14 AM
I am going to move your topic to the Computer Won't Boot - Malware Related section of the forum.
Let's check to make sure this is not rootkit related. I will prepare and post instructions as soon as possible. We will need a clean 4G USB flash drive and a clean computer to transfer files from and to one computer to the other.
Posted 26 September 2016 - 09:21 AM
Ok. Here you go... Do you have the USB flash drive and a clean computer to work from?
First of all, to protect the clean computer please do the following:
Download McShield2 to your desktop and install with default settings.
In the control center, select scanner and check unhide items on flash drives
Anytime you plug in a USB drive, McShield will scan the device.
For 64bit systems
2. Windows 7 64bit RC Sent link to W7 RC.iso in private message (PM)
3. Farbar Recovery Scan Tool x64
Insert the USB stick Then run Rufus
Select the ISO file on the desktop via the ISO icon.
Press Start Burn
Then copy FRST to the same USB
Insert the USB into the sick computer and start the computer. First ensuring that the system is set to boot from USB
Note: If you are not sure how to do that follow the instructions Here
Windows 7 and Vista screenshots
When you reboot you will see this.
Click repair my computer
Select your operating system
Select Command prompt
At the command prompt type the following :
notepad and press Enter.
The notepad opens. Under File menu select Open.
Select "Computer" and find your flash drive letter and close the notepad.
In the command window type e:\frst64.exe or e:\frst.exe dependant on system
and press Enter
Note: Replace letter e with the drive letter of your flash drive.
The tool will start to run.
When the tool opens click Yes to disclaimer.
Press Scan button.
It will make a log (FRST.txt) on the flash drive. Please copy and paste it to your reply.
Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:21 PM
Thanks very much for your quick and detailed reply!
Unfortunately, I have been unable to boot from the rescue usb. Upon booting, there is the 'Windows loading files' screen with a white loading bar; followed by the next screen with green loading bar and 'Microsoft Corporation'; followed by a black screen with cursor, on which it gets stuck. I erased the usb and tried doing the whole process again, double checking your instructions to make sure; McShield did not find any malware; Rufus is set correctly and has no errors; my laptop is most definitely booting from usb, same result. (Here's the Rufus log, just to confirm.)
Edited by ATinTeardrop, 26 September 2016 - 05:24 PM.
Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:56 PM
Are you sure your OS architecture is 64 bit? The chkdsk log shows 32 bit?
Windows version: Windows 7 SP1 32 bit
I will need to send you the 32-bit version of the RC.iso file in a PM and will need you to delete everything on the flash drive so you can redo the instructions above. Expect a PM from me shortly with the link to the 32-bit version.
Posted 26 September 2016 - 06:29 PM
I also attempted to boot from a System Repair disc made from a Windows 7 32-bit computer (forgetting that it was 32-bit). For whatever reason, this successfully loaded the System Recovery interface. Either due to being 32-bit or because of genuine errors, it was unable to recognise the existence of an operating system or C: drive, and as such System Restore cannot be performed, and the following:
I have a strong feeling your system is 32 bit and that is why the 32-bit version System Repair disc worked for you and why you were unable to boot from the rescue usb I had you made. I gave you the wrong version. Please see my last PM so you can download the 32-bit version of RC.iso then try again.
Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:22 PM
I'm afraid I can 100% guarantee that the laptop in question is 64-bit. Given the weirdness of the 32-bit repair kind of working, I will try the new download just in case something strange happens... but it's 100% 64 bit.
Posted 26 September 2016 - 07:33 PM
Yes. See if the 32 bit version of .iso works since the 32bit rescue disc did. Usually it will not work if it is not the correct architecture. You may have to use the 32 bit version of Farbar Recovery scan as well. Here's the link just in case:
For x32 (x86) bit systems download Farbar Recovery Scan Tool.
Posted 26 September 2016 - 11:02 PM
So, the 32-bit version does the exact same thing as the 64 (stuck on black screen after loading files from disc); I managed to get hold of a system repair disc from a Windows 7 64-bit computer and that did the same thing, as now does my old repair disc (when I first tried it, it showed that Toshiba error). Consistent at least, I guess.
Posted 27 September 2016 - 02:21 AM
Some current success, touch wood, I am using an Ubuntu live cd, which is showing the HDD in the filesystem most of the time (unlike anything else, although it is treating it more like an external than a harddrive), and I am managing to backup my files just by dragging and dropping onto my external (I'd rather just stick to this safe, currently working method for now, rather than getting my head around some Linux command-line tool, given my unfamiliarity with Linux and lack of success in that department so far). My intention is to complete this, and then try to run an antivirus like BitDefender or ClamAV or something in Ubuntu.. Advice is still very appreciated!
Posted 27 September 2016 - 07:40 PM
In the mean time, if you would keep trying to get the USB to work. From my own personal experience when playing around with this technique, I know how easy it is to overlook something very simple either when creating the bootable with the iso or executing the instructions.
Try booting into the rescue USB on your good computer to see if we can eliminate if this is user error or computer issue.
Posted 28 September 2016 - 06:30 AM
I tried the rescue USB on the clean computer and it worked fine. I tried it and the x64 repair disc again, with the same old result of not booting; interestingly, the 32-bit repair disc that had previously (and surprisingly) booted but been unable to see the drive, now is unable to boot in the same fashion as the others. And the Windows Defender Offline rescue disc does exactly the same. Seems like anything Windows can't get far.
I have managed to back up almost all of my files to an external via Ubuntu. An attempt to run a dd image (for completion's sake, I guess?) failed once it reached a bad sector on the hard drive.
I also began to run the BitDefender rescue CD, and was having more success with that than previous attempts at antivirus boot CDs, but then my laptop shut itself off in the middle of a scan (it had discovered about 100 input/output errors and one infection so far), and wouldn't turn on again for five minutes... a problem that seems nearly completely unrelated to anything else that's happened, and which I suspect might be due to overheating, though why on earth it would be bad enough to do that now and not during all the previous things I've been trying to do with it over the past few days I don't know.
Anyway, say I recover my final personal files, and BitDefender (or another antivirus) runs but fails to solve the problem.. what then? Without Windows solutions, would I be able to repair the boot partition (if that is the problem) and save my system? And if not, then it would probably be down to destructively restoring the HDD to factory settings (there are Toshiba tools at startup to do that, which may or may not work, else it could be wiped and clean installed), and then if tests show that there are still errors, replacing the HDD?
Posted 28 September 2016 - 04:29 PM
Personally, I would continue to collect and save all the files you on the computer that you cam not live without, then see if you can access the Toshiba folder on the C:\ drive and navigate to the Utilities > Diagnostic tool to see if you can check the hard drive, if it is even installed on that computer. Even one bad sector can be a problem.
I was hoping you would be able to use the Recovery USB I had you to create to access the command prompt and run chkdsk /r. Are you able to boot the computer into the Advanced Boot Options menu and choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt to run chkdsk /r? You could also burn a seatools disc to check the hard drive as well. Instructions can be found SeaTools for DOS
No sense in running any security software till you found out if the drive is healthy. Further stress could even send it over the edge. I'll contact one of our expert hardware gurus to see if he will have a look at this topic. He may have some ideas on how to check the hard drive as well.
Posted 29 September 2016 - 04:13 AM
- The topic I found that associated F3-F100-0003 with rootkits was here: http://forums.toshib...p/315880/page/2 That said, I haven't encountered that error when trying to boot from a Windows disc for days- now it just hangs after loading the files, as previously described.
- I've recovered all personal files
- I can't use the Toshiba diagnostic tools because I'm only getting this far/able to navigate the drive in Linux environments
- I'm not able to boot into safe mode with command prompt
- SeaTools for DOS either freezes shortly after the GUI appears, or it says "No Hard Drives Found; if you believe this to be incorrect, check cables, drive power connection and jumper settings, and then try again."
- In my defense, I thought I had already recovered all personal files when I began the BitDefender scan (knowing that it could possibly cause more problems- though so could many of these scans and things in theory), and was thus prepared that if things were made worse, I could always wipe/return to factory settings/replace HDD which seems increasingly likely to be the outcome anyway. But yes, since that antivirus scan interrupted by a shutdown, the frequency with which Ubuntu can see and read the HDD has dropped significantly. Yes, an unhealthy drive seems awfully likely, though on the other hand almost every error that looks like corruption/bad sectors turn about to be inconsistent, and may work/copy fine after a restart. Worth mentioning that the HDD still shows up in BIOS.
Thanks for your continued help!
Posted 29 September 2016 - 06:05 PM
I also asked one of our expert hardware techs to have a look and he is willing to have a look from the faulty hardware viewpoint.
Intuition tells me that if you try accessing the hidden recovery partition to restore back to factory condition, the process might fail. It's worth a try since there is nothing to lose.
I can easily move your topic back to the Vista/W7 forums so Phillpower2 can have a go at it. The choice is yours. Let me know what you would like to do.
Thanks for your continued help!
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