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"System Restore" Virus or HDD Failure?

by HurricaneKid93 / November 13, 2011 5:35 AM PST

This morning I somehow got the "System Restore" virus. It's the one
where it restricts many programs, claims to be Windows System Restore,
and tells you that you have a bunch of hard drive "Critical" errors.
Anyways, I did what I always do. I rebooted, entered safe mode w/
networking, and used Malwarebytes to get rid of the virus. Problem is
though, when I rebooted, and every time I have tried to turn my comp on
ever since, my computer stalls when trying to boot by the HDD. It never
gets to the Window's load screen. I don't know how I would have an HDD
faliure from cleaning a virus, but it's always possible. Any advice?

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Sounds like a boot sector failure . . .
by Coryphaeus / November 13, 2011 7:53 AM PST

If you have the OS CD you can use the Repair Console and try this command. Boot from the CD and run this command:


This will fix the Master Boot Record.

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Hidden files?
by gbscs / November 13, 2011 2:27 PM PST

I saw a system a couple weeks ago that had the System Restore virus and most of the files on its hard drive were changed to hidden and causing booting and system errors. Running the attrib -h on the affected drive allowed it to boot correctly, then MalwareBytes and other utilities cleaned it up. You may be able to use any bootable CD (such as Hiren's) to get to an OS prompt to the system drive and check for hidden system files.

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by HurricaneKid93 / November 14, 2011 5:36 AM PST
In reply to: Hidden files?

What does running the "Running the attrib -h" mean? And who is Hiren?

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by gbscs / November 14, 2011 7:15 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks...

Attrib is a command that can set or unset file attributes such as hidden, system, etc. From a command prompt or Run command: C:\Windows\System32\attrib /? will show the options for the attrib command. If the files are hidden, running the command attrib -h C:\*.* /s should reset the hidden files back to unhidden.
Hiren's Boot CD is a utilities disc to use to clean up systems and can also boot into a mini-XP mode to have access to a system with issues on its hard drive. See

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The BootCD
by HurricaneKid93 / November 14, 2011 8:24 AM PST
In reply to: Attrib

Where exactly do I get it? I can't find a download link on that page. Or did I miss it?

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by gbscs / November 14, 2011 9:24 AM PST
In reply to: The BootCD
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Thanks, but...
by HurricaneKid93 / November 13, 2011 8:40 AM PST

Thanks for the diagnosis, but I don't have the CD for the OS. I bought the laptop used. Any other ways of fixing a boot sector failure?

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I suggest...
by Willy / November 13, 2011 9:33 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks, but...

You have two problems besides the one you posted. You NEED the proper restore/recovery discs. if you don't have them contact the maker and see if they still have them or a 3rd party vendor. The OEM sells at small cost, so don't be dismayed at that. If another vendor, usually its slightly more than OEM, but again if proper discs, good investment. Next, there's the possibility when you ram AV pgms. it may have removed some minor system files that were needed, so again the recovery discs to do a repair. While, you're at it, check to see who makes your HD. Visit their support websites and use their diags to test the HD for any actual faults. Once everything gets corrected and appears OK, most laptop makers provide some pgm./method to generate user restore/recovery discs, which maybe more direct in restoring your laptop to the latest state, rather than what was supplied on day 1 of manufacturer.

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Thanks Willy
by HurricaneKid93 / November 13, 2011 11:10 AM PST
In reply to: I suggest...

Thank you very much for your advice Willy. I do have a question though. I'm running on Vista 32bit, so I can use any Vista 32 os disk, not specifically the one used to install the OS on my comp, right? Any Vista 32 disk will do?

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Yes to any disk . . .
by Coryphaeus / November 13, 2011 8:27 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks Willy

Any will work to do a repair.

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Repair disc
by Willy / November 14, 2011 12:26 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks Willy

If you know you have Vista, 32-bit and you're running laptop, then the original OEM provided discs are the golden ones to have. Why? because laptops can be unique and/or specific PITA to correct for, so it helps to start with proper discs. As for the MBR fix, that is a generic across the board file for the OS, so it should work from another source. Wink Hint: you may find available the Vista repair release which is very open to end users. MS, no longer supports it, but it was provided and does fix many low-end OS issues, but OEM related ones, nope.

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Research THIS!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 14, 2011 3:07 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks Willy


I think this freebie can rewrite the boot info for Vista and 7.

However it is not a full substitute for the restore media which you will need someday. Or another OS!

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