Virus or harddrive failure

Yesterday morning my harddrive began to fail...initially i had a single message from windows about a delayed write failure. My event viewer had multiple (dozens of) messages saying 'An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\C during a paging operation'. When I ran the virus check i noticed norton had flagged 3 files but the system rebooted itself before the scan finished so I don't know any more specifics about that. After that, any attempt to re-run a scan would blow up the same way...a system re-start.

Attempts to copy files from the hardware produced increasingly frequent 'delayed write failure' messages.
{Delayed Write Failed} Windows was unable to save all the data for the file . The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.
Booting to safe mode showed same behavior both for virus scans and disk access.

Attempting the Checkdsk utility would start the scan but would immediately cancel the scan.

After picking up a new harddrive and re-installing windows I plugged the old drive in as D: hoping to run the scan and pick up a couple non-backedup files. I got the same 'error detected' events dumped to event viewer pointing to that older drive.

The fact that on a fresh install i get this same error suggests to me that this _is a hardware failure. OTOH i can't discount the 3 files norton flagged.

Is any specific virus indicated by this behavior?

The last time I tried to boot to that original drive it failed to boot but it's still in hte could swap cables and try again...i _know I want to see Norton's logs...anything else to take a peek at?
Who is Participating?
Hi juststeve,

try downloading harddisk diagnostics:

the way you indicated seems to be a harddisk failure. Nonetheless, try doing virus scan if you want:

Hi again,

It'll be better if you give me the brand of the harddisk, I can give you a suitable diagnostic tool :)
but from your reaction on the other query sounds like Maxtor :P

Rich RumbleSecurity SamuraiCommented:
What you will want to do is stop using the HD, and diagnostic tools for the time being. See if you can put your HD in a friends PC (as a secondary drive not the boot drive)or ask one of the IT folks at you place of business put it in a nother pc and back up the data you have. Your HD could be physically damaged, and the more you use it the more damage your going to do. This is worst case, but always better to assume worst case. Get your data backed up if you can, then try to run diagnostics on it.
Adding the drive as a secondary will pose no threat to the other PC's, as long as you do not run any of the programs on the second (your) HD. Viri can only spread through interaction, and copying the files to back them up is not the interaction a viri can use to spread. Once the data is backed up, see if you can scan the HD with the AV on the pc that is backing up your data.
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hi rich =)

Seems users harddisk is dead already, shifting might not help.. he's expressed that in another question... On professional recovery =)

Best thing now is making sure you get the data off it ASAP. Since its damaged, you can never tell how long till its blown its last breath. Follow rich his idea anyway and plug it into another PC as the slave harddrive. see it it can still detect it as a harddrive, and if so, copy the data

Since it sounds like your drive is "toast" - this wouldn't hurt.
Take the drive out and put it in a plastic zip-lock freezer bag.
Put it in a freezer for a few hours - overnight - a couple of days.
Take it out slave it into your computer.
See if you can get the data off it - work quickly.
This is as a last resort!!
I've done this several times with a good amount of success.
(I've got a drive in the freezer right now - died about a year ago - can still get into it!)

Good luck!

juststeveAuthor Commented:
all these food-oriented suggestions have made hungry...still frozen toast has limited appeal.


You might also do well to take a look at SpinRite, which has a tremendous reputation for recovering and extending the life of hard drives.  It's not free, but it's definitely worth a look.

The link is:

Hope this helps,

Charlie T.
1. Since you had a fresh install, I count out the virus issue.

2. Contact your HD dealer for help. It may be under warranty.

3. At boot up, do you see "SMART ACTIVE: HARDDRIVE STATUS BAD"? - If so, your HD board is hosed, you need a new drive. If you had this issue, make sure that your PC is grounded, I have an acrylic case and forgot to ground and 3 drives fried when I shocked myself on the power button fromt eh static built up by the carpet.
nader alkahtaniNetwork EngineerCommented:
Use Recovery Consol and fixmbr , chkdsk /p command
If it were the MBR, the PC would not boot. Hence, "Master Boot Record".
I mean, would not have booted at all. He stated the drive failed, showing a hardware deficiency.
What is the brand of your harddrive? Maxtor or not, i want definate answers, make and model please.

i had really bad experiences with IBM deskstar 40g ones. i tried 3 of them all of them failed with in 3-4 month of use. tried every thing mentional above and then some... only able to get parcial of each xls files and doc files back. and belive me i know how to recovyer files by hand...
You can also try getting an external HDD enclosure and perform 3 or 4 chkdsk's on it using a different PC.
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