A customer had an Optima laptop, but it wouldn’t boot into windows.
I looked at this laptop a few months ago, and removed a lot of spyware… so there might be some leftover effects of an infection.
At first glance, I see a brief blue screen.
I try safe mode, but I get the same problem.
After Pressing F8 and then selecting “don’t automatically restart”, I see its complaining about: 0x0000007B (ie a problem with the boot device).
I plug the hard drive into my desktop system, but it Slows down the normal XP startup (from a 1 minute startup time to over 10 minutes).
This normally indicates a failing HDD… or a severely corrupted one.
Using Xps disk manager, the disk shows up, but it has a partition type of “unknown”.
On top of that, the HDD makes continuous clicking and “startup” whirring noises… usually the kind of noises I come to expect from a failing HDD.
OK, I decide to try a repair installation using the Optima recovery CD… but it also reckons that the disk is unformatted, and only gives me the choice to format the drive, and then do a clean install of XP.
I call the customer and he say the important data has already been backed up, so I can go ahead and reformat.
At this stage, I’m still thinking that the drive is damaged, and it probably won’t complete the format… yet it formats correctly, and XP installs without any problem.
I do all the autopatcher updates, install antivir, windows defender, winpatrol, spyware blaster, and bhodemon… then do a disk defragment.
After all that, I’m sure there is no fault with the drive.
Yet the mystery remains: how did the drive get into such a strange state in the first place?