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Background

I'm working on dis-infecting a Windows 7 PC where the user opened a ZIP email attachment.

All the symptoms exactly match this description of the "Data Recovery" scareware, including these messages:

  • Windows detected a hard disk problem A potential disk failure may coss loss of files, applications and documents stored on the hard disk. Please try not to use this computer until the hard disk is fixed or replaced.
  • Critical Error RAM memory reliability is extremely low. This problem may cause system failure

See the end of this post for details of the machine spec.

Initial Goal

I first want to boot the computer in Safe Mode, so that I can run various tools such as TDSSKiller.

Trying to boot in Safe Mode

As the computer starts up, it offers the following options:

  • Del BIOS Setup
  • Tab Display BIOS POST Message
  • F8 Boot Menu
  • Alt+F2 Ez Flash 2

I hoped/expected that pressing F8 would get me into the Advanced Boot Options screen, as for to choose Safe Mode.

However, hitting F8 during start-up only shows the following:

Please select boot device:

  • CDROM:P0-TSSTcorp CDDCDW SH-S22
  • RAID:Intel DATA
  • RAID:INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC

  • up-arrow and down-arrow to move menu selection

  • ENTER to select boot device
  • ESC to boot using defaults

My question: Is there something about my machine configuration (see below) that is preventing the Advanced Boot Options menu from showing?

Machine configuration

  • C: drive is SSD - Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC
  • Other partitions are of a RAID 1 pair
  • Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D-E
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
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For the record, this PC was fully patched and uptodate, and had Microsoft Security Essentials installed. –  Clare Macrae Oct 15 '11 at 13:09

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I think I've found the answer: this YouTube video says that on some computers, F8 brings up the "Select boot device" menu that I described above, and if that happens, to hit Esc then keep hitting F8 until the Advanced Boot Options screen appears.

I'll give it a go.

Update

First attempt failed: it just booted normally.

On second attempt, I tapped the F8 as rapidly as I possibly could, after hitting the Esc key, and almost immediately got the Advanced Boot Options menu.

So, I think the issue is that the SSD makes the PC boot so very fast that the standard advice of 'hit the F8 once a second is useless!

(Thankfully, TDSSKiller reported no rootkit, and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is now chugging away, and finding stuff to remove, so things are looking up, relatively speaking)

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3  
This is correct! Most new ASUS boards use F8 to select the boot device, and this happens before you get the chance to use the Windows option (this is a very lousy design choice in my opinion). Then, your SSD loads so fast you only have a very brief window to enter Safe Mode at all! You should just go ahead and mark this as the answer because, well, it is. –  Shinrai Oct 13 '11 at 20:02
    
For me it didn't work with the esc and then press f8. I had a little different problem, because when I hit f8 the first time I got to a somewhat the same thing. For me it was also an option to enter Windows boot options. When I entered there I only started the computer in a regular way, but when I hit Enter, and then f8 I could get to safe mode. –  user167376 Oct 24 '12 at 13:34
    
F8 + ESC + F8 + ESC + F8 + ESC + F8 + ESC + F8 did the job... damn windows –  cept0 Jun 3 at 14:35

protected by Community Nov 26 '12 at 8:07

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