Gaming This is bizzare. Hard disc failure... Or not?

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Yesterday, some guy in a heavy Russian made some kind of scam call saying "Your computer has a problem."

Today, Rainmeter stopped working, and my attempts to end the process resulted in my graphics driver to continually crash, and Windows to freeze for three seconds every ten seconds. I tried to reboot, but Windows hung on Shutdown. Same thing with startup, then finally, the dreaded "No boot device found" in the BIOS. I tried using a boot disk to repair Windows, but no dice. I popped out the hard drive(WD Caviar Black 500GB, with 4 out of 5 years warranty to go), and plugged it into my Thinkpad for data recovery. There are definitely shitttons of bad sectors now because some areas are hard to recover. I'm currently trying to run Acronis to clone files and partitions, and on the side, backing up files manually with occasional failures. There are some occasional abnormal clicks.
Then, bizarrely, this same guy called again only an hour after the failure, saying the same thing. Fucking bizarre. I don't believe somebody can send packets that can decimate a hard drive... Right?

In anycase, does this sound like a traditional disc failure or did this guy do something to my computer?
The only abnormality in operation was I had my desktop on for 49 days and restarted only yesterday for a shitton of Windows updates.
 

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Question (rhetorical): how did that guy get your phone number? It certainly didn't come from a Microsoft care package, since at no point did you tell MS your number.

As for the drive... I can't be sure. The louder and more often it clicks, the worst it gets. Some things just age, and heat makes things age faster. So does vibration or general movement when in operation (kills quite a few laptop drives). Once a drive is past it's time... That's when failures start. Call up WD and tell them the symptoms (don't mention the Russian), and they'll give the best advice for how to proceed (probably with their warranty department).

And it IS possible to kill a drive with an errant virus, but it's rather unlikely. Drives are safer than they were 10 years ago and security in e OS and AV suites are better.
 

Coto

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Hard disks can die an horrible death. Because of either: a faulty manufacturing process, hardware electrical shock, an unexpectedly shut down hard disk (the hard disk needle could've scratched a platter), etc.

Try Hiren's Boot CD 10.1 or higher, then leave HDD regenerator tool running a full disk repair, however it'd take days if not weeks to complete depending on the amount of damaged sectors. If you have an insanely high amount of bad sectors (1000 app) but you manage to recover the data inside, back it up then get rid of the HDD, it'll cause you more headaches.

You could always try using the corresponding HDD manufacturer tools (found in Hiren Boot CD too), to wipe out the drive or write 0s to try to save yours
 

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I was able to successfully back up my Users folder, so most of my vital data seems to have been saved. I'll try out Hiren's boot CD in a bit.
Ironically though, I was running a WD Tools SMART test on an external 1TB WD drive(I've got seven of those from a bust NAS, so far FOUR failed those tests) when the Rainmeter failed and the entire thing started.
 

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Here's another post of mine from another forum. I'm doubting the HDD is at fault. It now passed all SMART tests and an extended test.

I finally was able to do an MBR fix via command prompt and BIOS detects Windows now, but it's hanging on the 'Starting Windows' animation. Any subsequent boot goes back to not finding a boot device.

EDIT: WTF! Windows Boot Manager for the Boot DVD errored out with 0xc00000e9: An unexpected I/O error has occured.
Is my motherboard dying?

EDIT: I pulled a working HDD from another computer and I get the same "No boot device available"...
I'm going to run Memtest86, if it'll even boot. The BIOS itself is starting to hang.

EDIT: I plugged that HDD into my laptop to try to boot it. It got up to actually recognizing and loading Windows before BSODing due to radically different drivers. Looks like something else is at fault, does anybody agree?
 
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Those scam calls usually work on the basis of getting you to visit a website so they can download fake anti-malware/hijacking software onto your computer. They then demand real money to remove whatever garbage they put on there. Whenever they call me it's always "Windows technical experts" or "Windows virus research team" or something equally fake sounding. In other words it is probably just a coincidence that your computer had issues a day after Nikolai Skamursocksov called. Anyway good luck fixing your problem :P
 

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I've finally, after a lot of testing, found the problem to be the actual Windows installation. I've ghosted Windows to a new drive with the same issues. I want to repair the boot sector and MBR via command prompt in the boot CD now, but my computer is hanging when the CD reaches the select installation for repair screen.
The motherboard's onboard RAID chip is faulty, too. After turning off the RAID functionality in the BIOS, all Windows installs were able to "boot"(Save for my original install I'm trying to recover, of course)...
 

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It honestly sounds like your infected with some rather nasty malware.... that would explain the phone call and the knowledge that your computer is having issues. They got the phone number from either you typing it in somewhere in the net and it sending it to them or by other means and connecting it to your IP.

Call me paranoid but I would not keep any files from that hard drive and I also would not have connected it to another machine.

I would do a low level format using a CD downloaded on a known clean machine. Linux boot disk and format that way, first format as something like ext3 then format back to NTFS. Use the slow full format option....
 

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Never heard of those phone calls.
That is rather creepy u got a call and your computer crapped out on you shortly after.
Sounds like you keep your comp on for long periods. That probably would lend to components dying faster.
Just a hunch, I'm no where near to being a computer guru.
 

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