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Solved: Boot Sector Virus but can't boot to optical drive

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by bubblz, Oct 19, 2009.

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  1. bubblz

    bubblz Account Closed Thread Starter

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    I have a Gateway PC that has been stuck in a Windows Update loop....installing 3 of 3.....for several days now. I am unable to change the boot device order due to the following error: "Failed w/ user password to Load Boot Menu. Press F1 to Resume."

    Safe mode failed.....auto repair failed....last known good failed.....safe mode w/ command prompt failed. Upon hitting F1 the system goes back into the update loop.

    I contacted Gateway support and they gave me instructions for doing a "Restore from Factory Default" using ALT+F10. I am immediately presented with this error: "BootSector Write!! VIRUS: Continue (Y/N)?"

    I'm at a loss. I know how to clean boot sector viruses; however, I don't have a clue what to do if I can't boot to an optical drive. :confused: Any ideas??

    Thanks!! :)

    System Specs: Vista Home Premium 64-bit w/SP1
    Gateway desktop DX4300
    Norton Antivirus 2009
     
  2. joeten

    joeten

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  3. bubblz

    bubblz Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Thanks joeten. I was actually debating between 3 different forums when i posted this. I was thinking perhaps it should go in hardware....and i also thought about the security but wasn't sure since the system won't boot.

    I'll try asking in security & hjt -- how do I get this moved over? I don't see the flag to notify a moderator.
     
  4. joeten

    joeten

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    use the report button and ask for it to be moved
     
  5. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    How to recover from the 3 of 3 reboot loop.

    If you can boot from your Vista DVD and get to the recovery environment command prompt, (enter the bios setup and make your CD drive first boot device)
    http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/tutorial147.html

    When at the vista recovery environment cmd prompt, type the following command in and hit enter, then exit recovery environment and let it boot normally, it will show the 3 of 3 screen, but be patient, it will eventually load your desktop. Create a restore point and Turn off Automatic updates until you can figure out which update caused the loop.

    Del C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml
     
  6. joeten

    joeten

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    Mumbodog hi i was abit concerned with the boot sector virus mentioned in the op's original post it seems a bit strange
     
  7. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Its not a virus, just a warning that something is trying to write to the boot sector, since it is during the bios using F10, it would not be a virus. imho.
     
  8. bubblz

    bubblz Account Closed Thread Starter

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    joeten and Mumbodog -- thanks to both of you for the info. I was wondering the same thing about it simply being because something is trying to write to the boot sector...in this case restore; however, the virus checking is turned off in the BIOS. This PC has 2 BIOS menus....DEL for setup and F12 for boot menu setup. Boot menu setup is returning the error "Failed w/ user password to Load Boot Menu. Press F1 to Resume".

    The only solution i've come up with is to slave the drive and low-level format; however, i don't have another SATA drive to do this with.

    It's been my experience that boot sector viruses (BSV) can trash the hardware, but i haven't seen a BSV for awhile now. When I receive this error "BootSector Write!! VIRUS: Continue (Y/N)?" i've tried hitting N and Y to no avail. The system won't move past this point. I've run out of options on how to boot to recovery partition OR CD (since I can't change the boot order). Am I just SOL?
     
  9. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    Unplug the PC and open the case, remove the cmos battery for 15 minutes, reinsert it and close up and power up, see if the behavior changes.
     
  10. bubblz

    bubblz Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Hi Mumbodog -- I have already done that. I removed the CMOS battery and also cleared the CMOS using the jumper and then rebooted.....same problem. I then tried leaving the battery out 30 minutes....desperate women do strange things. lol I have read that sometimes you have to short the jumpers?? i've never done that b4....whatcha' think?
     
  11. joeten

    joeten

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    Hi thanks Mumbodog another little piece of info to store away for the future. Unless mumbodog has something else he can suggest I would lean towards fresh install and monitor the updates so you can try to avoid the issue recurring
     
  12. bubblz

    bubblz Account Closed Thread Starter

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    hi joeten :) I would love to do a fresh install....that's not the problem....i can't boot from the CD drive....and I can't change it in the BIOS to boot to optical....*that's* the problem
     
  13. joeten

    joeten

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    Hi could you borrow a usb dvd drive and try using it
     
  14. bubblz

    bubblz Account Closed Thread Starter

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    Hi joeten and thank you sooooo very much for all your help (you too Mumbodog)!!! I had tried the USB boot option, as I have multiple USB external drives. It didn't work either. BUT I'm totally *thrilled* to report that i finally have the blasted system up and running. This is what finally fixed it.

    I removed the CMOS battery and left it out overnight, shorted the CMOS jumper, turned the PC on, then off, jumped the CMOS jumper again. When I booted the system, i got beep codes from hades. I finally got into the BIOS and adjusted the date/time and rebooted. Then I received a STOP error with several instances of 0X00000000. When I turned the PC back on, a black screen instructed me to disconnect and reconnect all boot devices?? I did that and was FINALLY able to get into the Boot Menu Setup and run the Gateway Recovery Management using ALT+F10 at boot.

    I can't thank you guys enough for all your help!! I had never run into a system with an issue where i couldn't change boot order and shorting the CMOS jumper/removing the CMOS battery didn't reset everything.

    Do you have any suggestions to keep this from happening in the future?? The PC was running Norton Antivirus 2009 which should have prevented boot sector viruses I thought.

    Thanks again!!
     
  15. joeten

    joeten

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    Hi Iam glad your up and running and thanks for posting your fix,In fact you repeated the suggestion from Mumbodog more or less obviously with a little bit of a twist, and your system is a real sweetheart lol why it did'nt work the first time is a puzzle,I'am unsure you could anything to avoid this maybe Mumbodog will have some idea,hope you are problem free for sometime to come regards joeten
     
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