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No boot device found/available error message- Hard drive, Windows, or Trojan?

Posted on 2014-10-27
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Toshiba Satellite C655 laptop with Win7 home premium that I was asked to scan, and was told it had been a little slow lately and maybe with some popups coming on in IE. As I was looking at the laptop, I was told of her ISP tech coming by a week or so before me on a service call about it being slow and maybe or not doing any good by resetting her Internet to default, and somehow out of the deal she lost her Internet Favorites.
      So I turn off a few small startup items in MSConfig, clean out the temp IE files, uninstall a toolbar or two, installed MalwareBytes, updated, rebooted, and turned a scan loose on it. MSSecEssentials came back clean, then I ran MalwareBytes. It came back with a handful of results each on the Search.conduit, Mindspark crapware files and folders, so I let it clean up and rebooted. Scanned again and it came up clean (few cookies), but the machine was still kinda slow with webpages. So then I ran the Malwarebytes Rootkit scanner, let it scan and it came back with three hits on the Trojan.Siredef.(yourletterhere) Rootkit......I let it clean them out and rebooted, gave it an extra minute or two with Task Manager before I hit the Internet, but pages opened up much better and quicker when I did. Folders and other stuff were a little quicker to open, so I let her have it back, helped setup Google Chrome to use GoogleCast, rebooted again, etc., and she was ok. GoogleCast was a little slow or had a drag or something but she said not to worry about it.

       The next week she calls me about it slowing to a crawl again with the Internet, slow mail, slow apps and maybe a hard reboot or two. By the time I get back over there the next day and boot it up, the message is "Check cable connection, PXE MOF: exiting Intel PXE ROM, No boot device available." The hard drive is a Toshiba 320gb mk3265gsxn.
       I get the same message when I try to boot into Safe Mode (all 3 options) or use the "0" button for the recovery console. It also doesn't show up in the Bios. Reset Bios to defaults, still no help.
      I pulled the hard drive to try a data transfer, and connected to an external adapter, but it does not show up in My Computer or Disk Mgmt. Also can hear small clicking noise while it's connected externally. You put your ear near it to hear, but I know this maybe doesn't sound good.
      Part of the error message said "Check cable connection" so instead of tearing the laptop apart, I switched hard drives with another Toshiba Sat with Vista, but got the same error when I tried the sick hard drive in the second laptop. I put the Vista drive in the first laptop to see how it could boot, and it went immediately into a
Startup Repair, gave me the "could not repair" message after several minutes, so I rebooted and it threw a BSOD with a 0x0000007b error. Rebooted. I ran the Startup Repair again, same message......

       I searched the blue screen error message and found where it was associated with errors with partitions, and also compatibility errors with graphics cards and AHCI/SATA hd bios settings. So I set it to SATA(compatability), rebooted, and it boots into Vista.
      So then I shut down, and replace the original hard drive in original laptop, boot up, but still "No boot device available" message, but NOW it shows up in the Bios.

 
      The only install disk I have is Win7 Pro from a Dell Inspiron, but I throw it in anyway, and it takes forever, but finally get into the Recovery Console. There's no operating system listed to choose to repair, and I don't have a system image, but I click to Load Drivers, and the Open window shows:
            1) Under Hard Drives (1) a Boot(X:) drive, only 33mb. I can browse it.
            2) Under Devices with Removable Storage (2), it shows Removable Disk (C:) w/ no size
                                        and CD Drive (D:) Win7_Pro 4gb
 I double click on Disk (C:) and Windows asks "Please insert a disk into Removable Disk (C:). Same if I click in dropdown list, Libraries and System folders are empty.
       I cancel that and go back to Recovery Options, and the command prompt says "The device is not ready" if I try to change to the c: drive.
       So I try a Startup Repair now.......and it takes forever and does not do any good either, just  the same "can't repair" message.  
I boot the disk again and go to command prompt in the Recovery Console and try to run sfc and get the message "There is a system repair pending which requires reboot to complete. Restart Windows and run sfc again."
      I tried Diskpart and got the message "Diskpart was unable to process the parameters." By now it doesn't show up in the Bios anymore.


      I search on the Siredef trojan and find a Panda scanner that can be run from the USB, so I set that up and start the scan and it throws an "ABRT ERR Emask 0x1 device error" and "Buffer I/O error device sdc logical block 00" and went no further.


     I setup a USB with Ubuntu Desktop to boot from, tested it on my laptop, and it booted fine and I could see my folders. I tried it on the sick Toshiba and it hung with a dull white screen with a cursor top left after I chose "Install to run from USB" option in the install window.Will try to setup a Ultimate Boot CD to try and run a hard disk test........in the meantime....

     Is there any hope for this drive? Thanks,

Sam
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Question by:SamK04
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by:
Bill Shaffer earned 250 total points
ID: 40406920
It can still be recovered from someone who does data recovery, but don't play with the drive anymore or you might make it worse. The clicking is basically death.

In the end you will still need a new HD for the machine, whether you chose to do the data recovery or not. So you have to decide if the computer is worth putting the money into or if you want to think about a new PC.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 40407050
SamK04 --
Any backups?
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by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 250 total points
ID: 40407123
Get the UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

Download one of the ISO files and burn it to CD.  Boot from it and run the appropriate manufacturer's util for the hard disk and test it that way.  Run the quick test.  I suspect it will fail and you'll have your answer as to it's health there and then.
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by:Don Thomson
ID: 40407207
An old trick we still use is to put the Drive in a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer overnight.

You can try cloning it but if it's clicking sounds like a damaged

If you can see it - there are some very good recovery programs that can get your data back even after a format.
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Author Comment

by:SamK04
ID: 40407571
Bill - how loud should the clicking be and how much head movement when it boots?

jcmarron - she has backed up some data but of course she wants to recover all. Torn up about Outlook mail

dbrunton - I made the boot cd, ran the HD Diagnostics "Disk Info" on my laptop to test it out and it's just sitting after the list of unpacks, how do I get out of this program? Also I don't see a hd diag for a Toshiba hard drive......

DTH - too cold for me but will clone if possible
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by:jcimarron
ID: 40407582
SamK04--
"of course she wants to recover all"
Forgive me I have not re-read your initial post.  If a Repair Install can be done, it will not affect installed programs or personal data.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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by:SamK04
ID: 40407630
Yes but I haven't been able to see the disk but for a moment down the troubleshooting road.
How do I kill that Disk Info program with UBCD?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40407756
>>   how do I get out of this program?

Reboot.

Use the IBM/Hitachi diagnostic.
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by:SamK04
ID: 40407771
There's nothing but a flashing cursor after the unpack list shows up and I have no reply from the keyboard. All keys no reply. Should I do a hard shutdown with that program sitting open?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40407773
Yep.  No problem.
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by:SamK04
ID: 40407815
Well I got the ubcd in the sick Toshiba and when I run the IBM/Hitachi diag and it hangs at loading DFT....
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by:nobus
ID: 40407846
what file did you download?, an UBCD**.iso?  and you burned it with an iso buirning tool ?

look here for more info :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD

go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, eg ubcd527.iso - so you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
 
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

**  you can make a bootable cd - or bootable usb stick
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40407908
Try the Powermax one next.  One of them is version 4.09 and one is 4.23

Try the version 4.09 which is supposed to be generic and handle a range of disks.

The IBM\HItachi is supposed to handle Toshiba as well but seems to have not liked your disk.
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by:Bill Shaffer
ID: 40408361
I don't know why you're really considering running diagnostics or other checking utilities on the hard drive.

1 - clicking noise
2 - not showing up in bios at one point or reporting incorrect size
3 - several sources reporting I/O errors, even on other machines

Any one of these problems should take you into stop what you're doing and look into data recovery phase. You're going to end up costing the client even more money on the inevitable data recovery.

Forget Windows repair. You don't want to use a proven unreliable HD anyways, and even if you -could- salvage a Windows repair sticking a client with a unreliable HD is a sure fire way to lose a client.

Forget about the virus. It's just coincidence. You'll be able to easily block/remove the virus files on the transfer of the data anyways.

This is one of those cases where if you are in over your head on data recovery, you need to explain it to them that this is beyond your level of expertise and it has to go offsite. There is no shame in doing that, and you'll actually look like a -better- technician by doing so.

When it comes to data recovery, I basically put it to people like this; here's the companies that do data recovery, realistically speaking you're looking at at least a couple hundred dollars, is your data worth that to proceed and get a quote? Right there some people will stop you and say the data isn't worth the money. Now you're in the situation where you've established an expectation and proceed to quotes, or they decline the service and you just look towards getting them into a working PC.

This is also the perfect time to explain to them why they are in this situation if there is no backup and how you can teach them to get better about that.
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by:nobus
ID: 40408752
this can indicate motherboard problems  >>    I setup a USB with Ubuntu Desktop to boot from, tested it on my laptop, and it booted fine and I could see my folders. I tried it on the sick Toshiba and it hung with a dull white screen <<

what i would try - is to hook the original toshiba drive to a working PC, and start disk management
then look if the restore partition is there; if so - copy it to a new disk drive, and restore the toshiba from it

Here's how :, turn off the power, hold the zero (0) key and turn on the power - then release the zero key when you see the recovery program loaded and follow screen
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by:SamK04
ID: 40409005
nobus - I got the cd burned ok, I just right-clicked on it after download and chose "burn disc image".......I already tried it in a working pc also but same "no boot device" message

dbrunton - Thanks, I tried both diags you suggested and they both come back with "Primary Master no device found"

Bill - I had to run some diagnostics, even though it doesn't look good. All I want off this drive is the data if possible, we have a 2 new drives available and recovery software ordered. The drive still spins, if it's something mechanical inside, I'm willing to pursue further to at least narrow it down, they're aware if it's physical it's dangerous. I told them data recovery could get expensive. They backed stuff to the USB stick every so often, but just couldn't get it all before the crash.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40409131
At this stage I'd say it's time for the data recovery specialists.

I wouldn't try the freezer bag trick as it seems to have stopped being recognized by the BIOS.
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by:nobus
ID: 40410093
>>  already tried it in a working pc also but same "no boot device" message  <<  if the cd does not work in a good PC - you clearly did something wrong, or have a bad download
you can remake one -follow my guide above

in the meantime, look in the bios if the disk is seen correct
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by:SamK04
ID: 40411112
nobus - I'm sorry, I mean the sick hard drive gave the same "no boot device" message when I tried to plug it into another 2nd working Toshiba with Vista

I got the ubcd disk going and tested a couple of small utilities on my laptop. When I tried the disk in the sick Toshiba it could test the mem and others, but it didn't detect a device with the IBM/Hitachi utility or the two Powermax utilities.
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by:nobus
ID: 40411232
sam - that's normal, since the problem is ON THE DISK
on the other hand - it is a bad practice to boot from a disk - coming from another PC or system
you should hook it up as 2nd drive

if the disk is not seen with the UBCD  -then look in the bios if it sees the drive
if it does not see it, test with a known good drive if it sees that one!
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Author Comment

by:SamK04
ID: 40412587
Unfortunately I don't have the setup to connect it as a second drive. The  bios still doesn't see it and neither did the ubcd boot disc. The good test drive with Vista eventually booted out of the Startup Repair.....
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by:nobus
ID: 40412648
>>  . The  bios still doesn't see it   <<   on both systems?
if you don't have another pc to connect it to - look for a friend who has one where 2 drives can be connected, or use an usb adapter
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Author Comment

by:SamK04
ID: 40439266
Ended up with new WD 500gb HD and recovery discs, setup Win7, updated and copied what saved data there was. Will split points, thanks to all, and ask one more question - are there hard drive utilities to test the components?
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by:dbrunton
ID: 40439310
First, if the disk isn't recognized by the BIOS then no software is going to recognize the disk.

Second, if the disk is recognized then the UBCD with its range of various DOS based HD utils (most were produced by the disk manufacturer) is the best generic hard disk tester around.  Doesn't mean they will always work.  If the disk is flaky then sometimes they can't do much with it.

The two major manufacturers have their own Windows utils.

Seagate SeaTools http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-win-master/

Western Digital DataGuard http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=612&sid=3

Again the disk must be recognized by the BIOS for these to work.
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