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Can malwares spread beyond partition and reduce partition sizes?

By Healer ·
I have a computer with 2 hard disks. One hard disk has only a Windows 7 partition. The other one has multiple partitions with multiple Windows operating systems, i.e. Windows 2003, Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows 2008.

All of sudden, all Windows operating systems except the Windows 2003, on this computer on both hard disks, reported the sizes of all partitions reduced from 20GB and 90GB to 500MB. So some partitions have run out of space. The Windows Explorers and top part of the Computer Management all make such mistakes. The bottom part of the Computer Management reports correctly. Booting from an install disk, the report of the disk sizes on the GUI is still wrong. However, checking with the diskpart command on its command prompt they are all correct. Chkdsk doesn't find any problem. However Windows 7 partition cannot disable any service or startup item while running normal mode. The sfc /scannow would not run. Nevetheless running in safe mode all the operating systems report everything correctly. Windows 2003 operating system always reports correct partition sizes.

On the latest operating systems, it is not only reporting problem. I can't do anything because there is allegedly no free space left. Some programme would not run. Internet is okay.

I wonder if malware can wreak such havoc on multiple partitions on two different hard disks at the same time.

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Reponse To Answer

by Healer In reply to Paging FIle

Are you saying moving the virtual memory page to another partition would fix my problems?

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Gah. Q&A thread format is awful.

by seanferd In reply to Can malwares spread beyon ...

OK, let's see if I can address anything in a suitable order.

You reckon the drive vendor's diagnostic could fix the problem, dont't you?

What I am suggesting is that when issues occur with drives, it is frequently a good idea to test the unit with the vendor's utility to see if there is a problem with the unit itself. I would usually do this as one of the first steps. I don't know how many of these might actually fix anything, if possible, but they may. If there is a problem detected, this is the first issue you will want to address before trying anything else. For instance, if there are bad sectors on the drive, these can be marked as bad. Then running chkdsk /f in Windows can remove them from use. (Many times it takes both of these steps. I just had to do so last month.)

Now most-used Windows system partition seems to get much worse. The screen turns black. The operating system has become de-activated.

The OS is losing necessary files or simply cannot find them due to the disappearing partition space, or has no working space left for a paging file. I highly suggest not using the drive, i.e., running any installed OS, at all if there is anything of importance to you on it.

All along the diskpart and PowerShell and part of Computer Management report correct partition sizes.

Something is very broken, or Windows is being lied to by the possible malware. The latter is looking more likely to me given this bit of information. (If so, it seems that the malware is 'broken" and destroying its host environment.)

I did try Some bootable offline AV/malware CDs. I have tried Dr. Web CureIt! and Spybot.

I'd try something listed here:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/security/rescue-cds-tips-for-fighting-malware/3803
I lean towards the BitDefender and F-Secure offerings.

I do have a copy of DBAN. I don't remember if I can limit it to certain paritions that DBAN works on. Does it have to work on the hard disk?

No, you wouldn't want it on the HDD at all. Floppy or CD. Yes, see the included documentation for selecting partitions. Although I would be highly suspicious of the entire disk at this point, especially if malware is the problem.

When I tried the ubuntu I could find the drive in question and the drive hadn't be mounted. I forgot how to access the underlying Windows systems and the peripheral drives. Please jog my memory if you remember. I am downloading the Knoppix and the process seems to be very slow.

You didn't choose one of the giant DVD versions, did you? Those include all sorts of stuff like office applications and other things unnecessary for troubleshooting. (Still very cool, though, if you want to check it out.) Sorry the download is so slow.

I suggested Knoppix because it is very easy to deal with attached drives straight from the desktop with mouse-clicks only. (Also includes GParted for investigating partitions.)

Ubuntu:
http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/mountwindows

Also:
Are you saying moving the virtual memory page to another partition would fix my problems?

I think what is being suggested here is that the swapfile has gone rogue and is eating up the Windows installations. I would expect an out of space error, but YMMV.

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Reponse To Answer

by Healer In reply to Gah. Q&A thread format is ...

I did download the full version KNOPPIX v6.7.1. I didn't know there was such thing like KNOPPIX rescue disk.

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Reponse To Answer

by Healer In reply to Gah. Q&A thread format is ...

I am thinking of downloading a few rescue CDs and put them into one menu-driven DVD so that I can select which system I would like to use after boot-up. Is there something on the Internet that could give me some guide?

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"chkdsk /r" reported "5 unindexed files processed" on every partition

by Healer In reply to Can malwares spread beyon ...

Today, I did a "chkdsk /r" on every partition from the apparently error- free Windows 2003 partition. It found 5 unindexed files on every partition, including 3 partitions where there were no operating system installed. Strange, what a coincidence!

Are these 5 files malware?

By the way, the "chkdsk /r" didn't fix the problem.

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