Question Is my disk broken by a virus and I have to change it or its fixeable?

Jul 23, 2021
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Any weeks ago my nephew come home for vacations and used my PC to play some videogames, he installed many programs and after he left my PC, it stopped working and the disk missed his format. Now every time I turn on my PC I have to format the disk and reinstall windows because every time I install it corrupts itself after a while and it always says that there is an error with disk and I need to restart the PC to fix it, but every time I restart the PC it dies. Do I have to change the disk or there is another way to fix it? Because I don't the money at the moment to change it. The viruses were 2 trojans and a backdoor and even I have already tried formatting the disk with the console using diskpart and clean all but its always the same error. Thank you for your help ;)

Thats the screen that I got every time I restart my PC
 

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Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Highly unlikely there is any physical damage to your disks or PC.
Rather, however you're doing this "reinstall" is not enough.

Full wipe and reinstall.

 
Jul 23, 2021
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Highly unlikely there is any physical damage to your disks or PC.
Rather, however you're doing this "reinstall" is not enough.

Full wipe and reinstall.

But there is the posibility that the virus caused a physical damage to the disk? I dont understand to much about this, thats why I ask it
 
Jul 23, 2021
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List full specs of your system.

More likely your storage device just dying from old age.
It worked fine before my nephew installed those programs, I used to even stream league with this PC and now the little time I can play until it dies again it freezes a lot while Im playing. My specs are:
Asrock A320
Ryzen 3 2200G
16 GB 2400Mhz
1TB HDD (This is the one that not works)
 
Jul 23, 2021
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A virus can't kill an otherwise healthy drive.

But, a drive can die at any time.

If a full OS wipe and reinstall (link above) still results in that same thing happening...your drive is well on its way to dead.
One foot in the grave.
Okey, Im gonna try to do a full wipe and reinstall it again. Thanks for the help!
 
Jul 14, 2021
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I'm a newbie so I won't give you a highly technical answer. One thing I want to point out is that if your drive really is broken, a temporary replacement won't have to break the bank. You can get a 128gb SSD for as little as $18.99 with Free s/h (link below). You can then use the SSD as your primary boot drive, while retaining your old 1TB drive as an external drive to access data.

Based on your question, you merely says that it won't boot up. You did not say whether there was data loss so you should be able to access vital data. Of course, if the drive is dying, you should access it as little as possible. Indeed the first thing is do is 1) copy over any vital files over to your new SSD or external media, e.g. a thumb drive, SD card or DVD/Blu-Ray. External media is slower but preferable so that you don't transport infected files onto your new SSD. If you don't have external media, create a bunch of Dropbox, Microsoft Onedrive and Google accounts so that you can upload your files there.

2) After you've backed up your most vital files, then try to diagnose and disinfect the 1TB drive by running scans, etc. You need to do #1 first because scanning is itself a drive-intensive process so if your drive is dying, a scan might kill it.

3) Also look at your hard drive's SMART status to see if it's failing. In fact, you should probably do this before any scans (#2).


If everything looks okay and you decide that the drive is still usable, then you have two options. If you think that the drive was able to be disinfected completely, then simply use the drive as an external drive, with all the data intact. You'll probably want to delete the old copy of Windows off that drive since it was damaged. This is the easiest option since it involves minimal data loss.

But if you want to totally sure, reformat the drive completely, even the boot sectors (which a regular format may not touch). Again, if you choose to reformat, make sure to back up any files you want to keep (in addition to the vital files you had already backed up above).

If you trust the 1TB drive after all this diagnosing and fixing, you can even use it again as your primary drive by reinstalling Windows on it.

Total cost of this project: $18.99 for the SSD and about $20.99 for the external hard drive enclosure. You can find cheaper enclosures, even used ones, on eBay but I would not go any lower on an SSD, and definitely not get a used one.

BH Photo is a reputable vendor and Patriot is a reputable brand
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1594520-REG/patriot_p210s128g25_p210_128gb_sata3_2_5.html

Amazon is a reputable vendor and the reviews for this model are excellent (4.5/5 from 1400+ users). Don't forget to use the 5% coupon. Or you can spend even less by choosing the Like New one for $17. This model allows you to install both 3.5" desktop drives and 2.5" laptop drives. But if you buy another model, make sure it's for your drive size and that it uses USB 3.0 (assuming your computer has USB 3.0). Many older USB 2.0 enclosures are available at VERY cheap prices but the speeds are very slow (about 1/40th of USB 3.0). But if you're on a very tight budget, USB 2.0 is usable if you're just accessing files one at a time, e.g. for word processing, photo viewing, etc.

Of note, the Amazon Q&A for this model has a comment about using it to recover from a crashed drive. It might be applicable to you.

https://www.amazon.com/RSHTECH-Enclosure-External-Docking-Station/dp/B076HNWDMX

I personally like drive docks like this one, which can hold two drives, whether they be 3.5" or 2.5", physical hard drives or SSD. The drives are plug and play. You can insert or remove drives like cartridges. Search online for the best price.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/383621684764
 
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Jul 14, 2021
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Any weeks ago my nephew come home for vacations and used my PC to play some videogames, he installed many programs and after he left my PC, it stopped working and the disk missed his format. Now every time I turn on my PC I have to format the disk and reinstall windows because every time I install it corrupts itself after a while and it always says that there is an error with disk and I need to restart the PC to fix it, but every time I restart the PC it dies. Do I have to change the disk or there is another way to fix it? Because I don't the money at the moment to change it. The viruses were 2 trojans and a backdoor and even I have already tried formatting the disk with the console using diskpart and clean all but its always the same error. Thank you for your help ;)

Thats the screen that I got every time I restart my PC
Read this excellent article on whether malware can physically destroy your drive. Spoiler: in theory, yes, but it's highly unlikely for many reasons

It also explains why boot sector viruses may not be fixable by just reformatting. The second article goes in depth and tells you how to remove them.

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/can-computer-virus-completely-disable-hard-drive-75075.html

https://www.thewindowsclub.com/what-are-boot-sector-viruses
 
Jul 14, 2021
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A 128GB SSD is a waste of time, money, and effort.
Not if you're on a very tight budget as the OP claims, and you need storage pronto. Furthermore, the SSD can later be converted into a USB-powered external drive so it has a useful life beyond this rescue project. Not bad for about $18.99 (and about $3 for a generic 2.5" external enclosure). How do I know this? I've been where the OP is: broke but desperate for reliable relatively-fast storage. Unlike SD cards and thumb drives, most SSDs, including this $18.99 one, has SMART protection.

128gb may seem low but many entry level notebooks including Surface Pros come with that amount of drive space so it's certainly doable. Especially if you're only using it as a boot drive and store data elsewhere. For example, I have a Surface Pro 5 with a 128gb SSD. I put in a $26 256gb microSD card for data and media storage. Might get a 512gb card soon when one goes on sale. I would, of course, prefer an SSD, but the microSD card sits unobtrusively in its slot whereas an external SSD would be dangling on a cable.

Regardless, I've been where the OP is, and 4 years later, I'm still using my 128gb SSD (with a $3 enclosure) daily as an external drive to move files between computers. I've also used it to store large databases and multimedia presentations for work. And I've used it to play videos on my home projector. It certainly hasn't been a waste of money for me. And I paid more than $18.99 4 years ago. At $18.99, considering its usefulness after this recovery project, I think it's a steal.
 
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USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Not if you're on a very tight budget as the OP claims, and you need storage pronto. Furthermore, the SSD can later be converted into a USB-powered external drive so it has a useful life beyond this rescue project. Not bad for about $18.99 (and about $3 for a generic 2.5" external enclosure). How do I know this? I've been where the OP is: broke but desperate for reliable relatively-fast storage. Unlike SD cards and thumb drives, most SSDs, including this $18.99 one, has SMART protection.

128gb may seem low but many every level notebooks including Surface Pros come with that amount of drive space so it's certainly doable. Especially if you're only using it as a boot drive and store data elsewhere.

Regardless, I've been where the OP, and 4 years later, I'm still using my 128gb SSD (with a $3 enclosure) daily as an external drive to move files between computers. I've also used it to store large databases and multimedia presentations for work. And I've used it to play videos on my home projector. It certainly hasn't been a waste of money for me. And I paid more than $18.99 4 years ago. At $18.99, considering its usefulness after this recovery project, I think it's a steal.
I've been there as well with the small SSDs.
And I completely understand 'budget'.

Lets discover the actual problem, before suggesting a replacement something that will be a problem before too long.
A 120ishGB SSD can work, sort of.
Only if you are very careful.
 
Jul 14, 2021
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3
45
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Any weeks ago my nephew come home for vacations and used my PC to play some videogames, he installed many programs and after he left my PC, it stopped working and the disk missed his format. Now every time I turn on my PC I have to format the disk and reinstall windows because every time I install it corrupts itself after a while and it always says that there is an error with disk and I need to restart the PC to fix it, but every time I restart the PC it dies. Do I have to change the disk or there is another way to fix it? Because I don't the money at the moment to change it. The viruses were 2 trojans and a backdoor and even I have already tried formatting the disk with the console using diskpart and clean all but its always the same error. Thank you for your help ;)

Thats the screen that I got every time I restart my PC
If your nephew is old enough to install software then he's probably old enough to afford the $18.99 to buy you the SSD I mentioned in a previous post.
 

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