Question Formatting/ Force Delete a HDD without using DISKPART

Dec 7, 2018
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So i have been Googling for a few hours and i just CANt find any info on it, which surprises me :s Im wondering if there is any way to Format a HDD (Doesnt really matter if it is a conventional format or a "forceful" one) WITHOUT using DISKPART? Thank You
 

britechguy

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Jul 2, 2019
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There are scads of third party utilities for (re)initializing/reformatting a disk drive. Virtually any partition manager you can name can do it.

Why are you avoiding diskpart?
 
Dec 7, 2018
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There are scads of third party utilities for (re)initializing/reformatting a disk drive. Virtually any partition manager you can name can do it.

Why are you avoiding diskpart?
Because the virus that hit me has disabled all access or entry to anything DISKPART :\ i tried formatting in cmd after going straight there after reboot. That also failed :S Im really lost on this haha
 

britechguy

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Jul 2, 2019
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What exactly are you trying to do?

If you are doing a completely clean install of Windows 10, and have booted off the USB or optical install media, that virus has no power or access.

There are scads of third party tools that allow you to do disc reinitialization, though:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=reinitialize+HDD

You'd have to connect it as an external drive to a different machine, but reinitializing it should not be difficult.
 
Dec 7, 2018
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i AM on a different computer, And i have already installed Win10 on my mainstation. Im just trying to save some important work i have laying on the infected external drive by formatting it and then doing a file recovery on it. I`ll see if one of the 3rd party programs can help me.
 

britechguy

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Were I you, I would consider going to Bleeping Computer and starting a topic in their Virus/Malware Removal Help Forum.

If data recovery is paramount, then that should be your starting point, and the expertise is very, very deep there.
 

Ketchup79

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Aug 7, 2019
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So is the fear that the files being retreived are infected with something? Do you have a general idea of what the infection is (randomware, virus, adware, etc)? Most of the time, even a known virus will get flagged when being pulled over from another drive, so you would have to have something pretty nasty (ransomware, for example) to not be able to pull it back from an external drive, assuming your host machine has good virus protection (and the default Windows 10 AV would be included in that group).
 

britechguy

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What? ........ Im already using it......
If you are already registered at Bleeping Computer, and have a topic open in their Virus/Malware Removal Help forum, then please don't ask anything further here until that topic is done and over with.

It is a recipe for disaster to be trying to engage assistance on multiple sites for potentially sensitive data recovery secondary to viruses, rootkits, malware, etc. Deal with one site at a time.

If you have not, since you have already stated that all this started with some sort of nasty infection, that is the angle I would be coming at this from.

I love TH, but for deep dives into malware and virus removal I believe that BC is a better resource. I refer people to where I believe they can get the best help when I don't believe it's on TH (and I do the same elsewhere - it's the responsible thing to do and it is not a denigration of the site I'm directing away from for a specific issue).
 
Im just trying to save some important work i have laying on the infected external drive by formatting it and then doing a file recovery on it.
And you'll make an already difficult task even more difficult (or impossible).

What makes you believe that formatting and then recovering won't return the viruses you're trying to get away from?

If I was you: I'd boot a PC with Live CD Linux (immune against Windows virures), connect two drives (one damaged, another one for backups), and backup your files. Then (still in Linux) - there are Linux anti-virus apps which can target Windows malware, I'd re-scan the backup.
 
Dec 7, 2018
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Ok here is the story. I got a virus on one of my external disks. That virus created a new partition that i could not access and im guessing that was the virus` homebase to operate from. The virus will deny me ANY access to disk management or diskpart both in win10 or cmd. I have 17 years of music that i have produced myself on that external disk that i would like to recover or rescue. Does that help?
 
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And you'll make an already difficult task even more difficult (or impossible).

What makes you believe that formatting and then recovering won't return the viruses you're trying to get away from?

If I was you: I'd boot a PC with Live CD Linux (immune against Windows virures), connect two drives (one damaged, another one for backups), and backup your files. Then (still in Linux) - there are Linux anti-virus apps which can target Windows malware, I'd re-scan the backup.
I`ve never tried or even seen Linux, is it a likely case that i will be able to operate it at all, after some read ups ofc...if so..i might try that
 

Barty1884

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Using a Linux boot environment may well assist in what you want to do here, as has been mentioned.

To be clear, you do not want to "format" the drive - which is what you originally indicated. While you can potentially recover data from a formatted drive, recovering the data before formatting is much easier - and cheaper in most instances (vs going to professional recovery specialists).

While not what you want to hear, make sure this is a learning experience & implement a backup plan (preferably automated) for any data you cannot afford to lose.
 

Ketchup79

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Aug 7, 2019
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I would recommend trying FRST, which is a replacement for ComboFix that is compatible with Windows 10. I haven't tried it personally, but I have used ComboFix on issues such as yours and it is a great program.

 

britechguy

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Not that FRST is not a great tool, but I would NEVER use it as the first one in this case.

The question is whether the root issue here is ransomware, which is one thing, or a virus that essentially "deleted" these files.

If it's the former, then I'd suggest turning to Bleeping Computer's Ransomware Help forum.

If it's the latter, you could take a look at the Test Disk and Photo Rec (the latter of which works on far more than photos, and should only be used if Test Disk can't do the job) utilities here:
TestDisk - Partition Recovery and File Undelete

We (or at least I) still have far less information that I'd need to give any sort of even semi-definitive advice. This is why I suggest engaging resources that can ask you exactly the right additional questions based on your having given them as thorough a description as you can at the outset, which it seems you've now got all the parts of.
 
Dec 7, 2018
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Using a Linux boot environment may well assist in what you want to do here, as has been mentioned.

To be clear, you do not want to "format" the drive - which is what you originally indicated. While you can potentially recover data from a formatted drive, recovering the data before formatting is much easier - and cheaper in most instances (vs going to professional recovery specialists).

While not what you want to hear, make sure this is a learning experience & implement a backup plan (preferably automated) for any data you cannot afford to lose.
I have made backups after the crash happened. You arent the first one to say that u know :p
 
Dec 7, 2018
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No
Not that FRST is not a great tool, but I would NEVER use it as the first one in this case.

The question is whether the root issue here is ransomware, which is one thing, or a virus that essentially "deleted" these files.

If it's the former, then I'd suggest turning to Bleeping Computer's Ransomware Help forum.

If it's the latter, you could take a look at the Test Disk and Photo Rec (the latter of which works on far more than photos, and should only be used if Test Disk can't do the job) utilities here:
TestDisk - Partition Recovery and File Undelete

We (or at least I) still have far less information that I'd need to give any sort of even semi-definitive advice. This is why I suggest engaging resources that can ask you exactly the right additional questions based on your having given them as thorough a description as you can at the outset, which it seems you've now got all the parts of.
No files have been deleted. Not that i could see the last time i was able to boot that drive. It DID create a 500 MB drive on my pc that took 100% cpu and100% everything really... So maybe thats "ransomware" then?
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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No


No files have been deleted. Not that i could see the last time i was able to boot that drive. It DID create a 500 MB drive on my pc that took 100% cpu and100% everything really... So maybe thats "ransomware" then?
So far, we still have a very incomplete description of:
What happened
What you did so far
What you're actually trying to do.

It seems that you're trying to recover files from a possibly virus infected OS drive?
Which may or may not be the result of a ransomware attack?
 

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