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  #61  
Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Computer Expert Help

Yeah, have a cell phone, a BASIC freaking pay as you go cell phone that is OFF almost all the time, not the kind of gizmo that has enslaved almost everyone I know. Interesting, someone named Bluetooth. I always though it was an invented name. A lot of computer woes also stem from not cleaning/defragging on a regular basis and not cleaning out all the hidden temp crap that accumulates and scrambles hds. A nice little plug-in program is (freeware) NoScript. Used w/ Firefox, it keeps most intrusive tracking and worse scripts off your computer.
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  #62  
Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Computer Expert Help

My mom came in to town. She was a Director of IT and Systems Admin (until January, she retired.). SHe thinks it was a trojan that "bounced" the drive to failure. Im probably not even saying it right. SHe said it likely wrote into the partition for recovery so I just keep loading the virus, or it created so many bad sectors on the hard drive it is running very slowly. She found me a West Dig drive for $69 at Dell and will order it. She said the thing is toast. SHe couldnt even F disk it whatever that is. Sounds like profanity to me.

Anyways, ordering new computer and new drive. And for anyone that wants a very shiny (lightly used) hard drive from a Dell Inspirion, I will make you a great deal (snicker).

Brian
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  #63  
Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Computer Expert Help

She probably tried chkdsk/f, a DOS level command that will check the hd and fix (or at least isolate) bad sectors. If she tried to format the disk, also a DOS command, she needs a boot disk to do it because Windows will not let you format from within Windows OS. Formatting wipes the disk clean, including viruses, etc. If it can't be formatted, it's toast.
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  #64  
Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Computer Expert Help

Am a day late and a dollar short to the e-party, but...

If your drive failed, check the website of the drive manufacturer, under their warranty section. I had a drive go out on a 5 year old puter I purchased off eBay, and the manufacturer honored the warranty. Also, for future reference, if a system drive appears to go sour, it's always useful to have a standby along with an external USB case. That way, you can pop out the system disk, put it in the external, pop in the standby, boot up, and snoop around the system drive before trashing the data with a full blown format/defrag. The standby *does not* need to be running windoze or any other system pig. I'd probably install a watered down version of linux or bsd. Just enough so that I can snoop around the potentially bad drive.

Btw, format/defrag, does not actually remove the data. It just sets up the file structure, partitions, etcetera, as if you have a new, empty drive. Even the data erasure programs do not guarantee data erasure. All they do is write ones and/or zeros, over and over to the disk surface. This is why most of these programs suggest you set them to execute, at the very least, 16 passes. But in reality, give me an electron microscope and I can probably recover the majority of data. That is, unless there was a head crash. Though, even a head crash doesn't wipe data, it just makes it impossible for the read/write head to scan the surface of the drive.

To understand how this works, take 3 or 4 quarters. Now, drop one on the table. Take the next quarter, and try to drop that quarter so that it is perfectly aligned with the previous quarter, and so on and so forth. What you will see is that they will never align perfectly. There will always be a smidgen sticking out. Now, consider how a disk drive works. The disks are spinning at 2200 RPMs, while the drive head is floating above the surface, due to the air cushion created by the spinning disk, is moved between the center of the disk and its outer edges via servo (in the old days, the used a stepping motor). It is also attempting to write data by changing the magnetic properties of the surface which generally involves flipping bits, so to speak, directly under the read/write head. However, these flipped bits are never exact. Hence, if necessary, one can still retrieve data from an "allegedly" erased disk drive.

Wrt to virus protection, that sort of thing. TrendMicro is okay but imnsho, hardly the best virus protection out there. And Norton & Symantec, are more bloatware, than anything. For this reason, I generally advise my clients go with Comodo Internet Security Suite. And no, I don't work for Comodo. My consultancy simply requires I keep abreast of security solutions. In any event, imho, Comodo's free version is not only good enough but outdoes other security tools by far. Esp considering that it not only provides a firewall and virus protection but protection against Trojans and RootKits, as well.

And finally, if you're just needing the basics (i.e., word processing, reading email, surfing the web, storing pics/vids), I'd strongly urge you to go with Mac. While the skr1pt kiddie community is beginning to turn their attention toward Mac OS X, though, they're more focused upon iOS, these days, OS X is still by far less susceptible to this sort of thing. Though, if you do go with Mac, then you'd need to rely upon Little Snitch, or some such to protect your data.

Btw, and aside, if I were you, I certainly would not give or sell the old drive to anyone on the internet. Just take it apart and take a hammer to the thing. I only say this bc, imho, you don't want some stranger accessing any private data that remains on that drive.

Last edited by shadowraiths; 06-07-2012 at 07:22 PM.
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  #65  
Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Computer Expert Help

Agree about Norton. I've had to actually take it off computers a number of times because it slowed them down so far as to be nearly unusable. I was thinking that if he cannot format the drive, it's probably a drive defect rather than malware.
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