Solved

Please anyone?

Posted on 2000-03-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
If you can resolve mine, can you resolve my friend's: he think he had a Virus. But more importantly he is trying to wipe the hard drive completely:

Scandisk is showing a BAD cluster and his PC is doing strange things like:
- Randomly reboots during a programme setup or install.
- Frequently freezes when there is no keyboard input for a minute or two.
- Frequently freezes when he tries to setup Win 95, Win 3.1 and F-prot Anti-virus software.
- Frequently freezes when he tries to 'edit' files like config.sys, autoexec.bat etc.
- Frequently freezes when he runs MSD and other programmes.

When his PC 'freezes' he is unable to ctrl-alt-delete to reboot. He said that he has to switch off for a few hours before it can be used again.

During format c: /u, the following message appears "trying to recover allocation unit...etc" The BAD cluster is still there and hasn't moved or deleted.

Since he cannot install Windows, I am unable to run the low level format programme for his Quantum Fireball hard drive. His BIOS does not have low level format option either.

I've also tried a debug routine that 'supposedly' wipes his hard drive and CMOS to no avail.

Would REALLY appeciate some expert advice before he throw his PC out the window. I said I'll try his prob. here.
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Question by:fireques12
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18 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:TokeMUp
ID: 2609405
Fireques12,

Is there no dos utility from quantum, if so start with a dos boot disk and then run the dos util to low level format the disk.

I also have a bad cluster and i resolved it with leving 7.8 Mb unused space on the disk.

You can do that with fdisk, insted of taking the max space you enter the size -7.8 Mb.

good luck
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2609498
Thorough Scandisk options to read/write test and mark sectors no help either?  Installing OS 3.1 and W95 ???
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2609506
Hope these links help you:
------
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q127/0/55.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

How to Cause ScanDisk for Windows to Retest Bad Clusters
The information in this article applies to: Microsoft Windows 95 Microsoft Windows 98


----
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q103/9/56.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

How ScanDisk Fixes Bad Sectors
----
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q103/5/48.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

MS-DOS FORMAT Does Not Preserve Clusters Marked Bad
Microsoft MS-DOS operating system versions 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, 6.0, 6.2, 6.22
Microsoft Windows 95
Microsoft Windows 95 OEM Service Release version 2

---------------
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q111/0/50.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

ScanDisk Does Not Correct Clusters Marked as Bad
---------------


Asta

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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bobinmad
ID: 2609684
I am quite sure that you will not be able to format the drive with FAT32 if a bad cluster is reported :(

bobinmad
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 2610050
bobinmad: Any version of the FAT file system (12, 16, or 32) has the ability to mark a cluster as unusable, so it should be possible to format a hard disk with a bad cluster UNLESS this bad cluster falls within the area which would be occupied by the boot block or the FAT itself. Under FAT32 the FAT does not have to be in a fixed location, so this may not be a problem either.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:bobinmad
ID: 2610126
pjknibbs

thanks for the info - - I know that the 5 times I have confronted the situations for Windows98, I have not been able to have FAT32 - - perhaps not using the install that formats the drive in the setup routine would invalidate this.

bobinmad
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:trekie1
ID: 2610650
I dont personaly recommend low level format utilities, I consider them to be a make or break utitlity,it will eather fix or turn it into a fishing weight.....but sometimes its the only route to go.....its your call,and it can be had at this site,The one for Maxtor will work on most HD's.....James
http://www.ddidynex.com/download/hddutil.htm

after you run this program you will have to f-disk and repartition,and then format/s
P.S when you fdisk,select large disk support for fat32 file system

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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2610777
fire, aside from the issue of fdisking and formatting the drive, I do not believe that the drive has anything to do with the problem at all.

This looks like it could be either a memory problem, motherboard voltage regulator problem, CPU overheat, a bad case power supply, a Bios chipset problem or even a CMOS virus problem (but this is a maybe). The problems you have posted point to any one of these.

I would start with the power supply and work my way through the motherboard issues into the individual components.

Dennis
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Expert Comment

by:rcastledine
ID: 2617756
Before you start replacing components your friend might try checking to see if he actually has a virus. You said that he thinks he had a virus.  He either did or he didn't.  Low level formats will remove a virus from the hard drive but if your boot disk is infected you just start your problems again.  You can scan your system for viruses online at Mcafee.com or download a trial version of their software.  I would try to ascertain that the system is virus free before going any further.  Now if your friend can come up with $100 or so dollars have him get a new hard drive.  Most bad clusters are caused by either a head crash or bad media.  If the hard drive media is failing a low level format can seemingly fix the problem only to have more clusters go bad and therefor loosing critical data and files. If you want to see if it is a hard drive problem lend him yours for a day.  If it continues to crash then Dennis is most likely correct.  If now, replace the HDD and be happy.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:harnal
ID: 2626241
The best way to fix a bad cluster is to either do a low level format (CMOS/BIOS)
or get a copy of software called wipe disk it will set the entire HD back to 0's as long as the bad cluster is not physical damage.

or go to the MSDOS prompt and type
"FORMAT /C" this will test the clusters marked bad.


To low level format restart and Hit delete to enter BIOS then go to section with the HD parameters and select low level format.

Viola!

Happy St. Patties Day! Cheers!
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2626644
harnal, you are new to this site, and with that, welcome. However, unlike Newsgroups and Usenets, we observe a protocol or policy at this site with which you should become familiar. Experts do not post proposed answers that are incomplete or that are speculative, nor do they post proposed answers that incorporate the comments of others that have preceded you. By doing so, you block the question from the view of another expert who may have a solution to the problem. Since questioners can accept comments as answers, it is beneficial to the questioner that speculative answers be posted as comments, especially when the issue involves further troubleshooting. Hopefully you will cooperate with us in the future.

Dennis
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Expert Comment

by:rcastledine
ID: 2628535
Thanks for your polite and informative comment, Dennis.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:harnal
ID: 2628966
dew_associates,

Thank you for the welcome, and your "expert-advice", I will be more conscientious in the future.  But, I do not see how my post was in any way "Incomplete" or "Speculative".  He [fireques12] was reporting a problem specifically a bad cluster, a problem that either of the two of my suggestions would solve.  On that note I will once again apologize to everyone that I may have "blocked" from answering or commenting on this question.

Harnal
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 2630632
Not a problem harnal, but I do believe someone suggested a low level format before you. So, in the interest of fairness, how about withdrawing the proposed answer? TIA
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2637811
It would be appropriate, harnal, for you to withdraw your answer, no?  

From my experience, if you do not withdraw your answer and it is rejected instead; then when it becomes decision time by our client to pay for the best COMMENT, any "rejected" items will not qualify for direct acceptance as the answer.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:harnal
ID: 2638070
harnal changed the proposed answer to a comment
0
 
LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 2701788
Thanks, fireques12, for getting us all involved with you and your issue.

Also, thanks for updating us.....

listening for more to ensure we've not all wasted our time ........



;)


Asta
0
 
LVL 27

Accepted Solution

by:
Asta Cu earned 5 total points
ID: 2701795
Fireques12.... if this does not help you or did not help you, please reject and advise the rest of us as to your issue today so that we can help and close this deal.

Asta

Hope these links help you:
------
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q127/0/55.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

How to Cause ScanDisk for Windows to Retest Bad Clusters
The information in this article applies to: Microsoft Windows 95 Microsoft Windows 98


----
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q103/9/56.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

How ScanDisk Fixes Bad Sectors
----
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q103/5/48.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

MS-DOS FORMAT Does Not Preserve Clusters Marked Bad
Microsoft MS-DOS operating system versions 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, 6.0, 6.2, 6.22
Microsoft Windows 95
Microsoft Windows 95 OEM Service Release version 2

---------------
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q111/0/50.asp?LNG=ENG&SA=ALLKB&FR=0

ScanDisk Does Not Correct Clusters Marked as Bad
---------------


Asta



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