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Random Hard drive format!

By Siliconwombat ·
Not so much a problem to be solved as to why it happend and/or what caused it!

Basically the machine, Dell desktop approx 2 yrs old, was workinbg fine. User removed a program in windows. Closed down went back the next day and it wouldnt boot up saying it couldnt find NTOSKRNL.EXE.

Called me I went round to apply the fix...

Long story short

Now have the HD in my Machine and it appears to have been fully formatted.

It is possible the user did this but unlikely as their knowledge seems quite limited!

Is there any way a format could have happened accidentally or some outside influence caused it?

Thanks in advance

Dell somethinbg or other!
Win xp Home ed
Western digital HD

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by zlitocook In reply to Random Hard drive format!

I have been in IT for ten years and never heard any thing like that. There are virus that can do that, did the user try some free ware? There are programs like wipeout, delpart and and others that will clean a drive in minutes

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by XT John In reply to Random Hard drive format!

If you dig a little deeper with the user, they may confess to popping in the system restore disk from Dell, or tried to run recovery from the XP disks. Chances are, they got through the partition/format part of the reinstall. Someone who already deleted important Windows files, enought to make it unbootable, surely must have formatted the drive on their own.

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by XT John In reply to Random Hard drive format!

If you dig a little deeper with the user, they may confess to popping in the system restore disk from Dell, or tried to run recovery from the XP disks. Chances are, they got through the partition/format part of the reinstall. Someone who already deleted important Windows files, enought to make it unbootable, surely must have formatted the drive on their own.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Random Hard drive format!

If there was a valid up to date AV program running I would tend to be looking at the user as the cause of this problem.

If there was no AV program installed then the most likely thing is that they picked up a Virus that deleted all the data off the HDD. I haven't seen one of those for quite some time now but it's always possible that one of the old ones is still floating around and hit this machine.

Either way it's the users fault and from your description of them I would tend to think that they didn't see the need for a AV Program as it would be an unnecessary expence. so I would tend to suggest installing AVG and leaving them to update it as required.

They always could have gone into Computer Managment and told the system to perform a Format on the next reboot and if they have full access with little knolledge it's always possible but I would tend to agree with the previous poster that have attempted to use the Restore CD and just formatted the drive and didn't know how to proceed from there.

Col

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by Siliconwombat In reply to

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by Siliconwombat In reply to Random Hard drive format!

Thanks a lot for your suggestions, I hadnt come across the format option in computer management before and its certainly something Ill look out for in the future! Come to the conclusion that the most likely theory is that he was fiddling with it and started a format then panicked which is why there was the illusion of data on tyhe drive.

Thanks again

Siliconwombat

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by Siliconwombat In reply to Random Hard drive format!

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