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A few days ago I was using my computer as usual and I turned it off. The next day it wouldn't boot up. It just stayed after the hardware diagnostic window on the intermittent underscore screen. So clearly It wasn't booting up. I tried turning it on and off a couple of times with no avail. Finally I used windows 7 disk and it seemed as if there was no HDD. not even the installation would see the HDD. So i thought it was dead, i bought a new one installed it with windows and used a external case with the old HDD. plug it in and still couldn't see it. I finally downloaded a partition program EASUS or something and my HDD was there listed WITHOUT a system letter. I could however explore it and i set it as Unhidden and it came back to life. I could see it normally.

I really just wish someone could explain to me what happened here, was it a virus? does it means the HDD is about to die? How can i prevent this or what should I do now? should i stop using this OLD HDD?


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There are several possibilities here. It could very easily have been a virus as boot sector viruses have been known to do things like that. The idea is not to trust the old hard drive without a low level format, this will tell you if there are portions of the hard drive going bad, or if there was a virus, eliminate it entirely.

The hard drive could have been unmapped, but that did not happen by itself. I would be concerned.

This is a very hard question to answer without the physical computer in front of you as there is so much that could cause something like that. Pull any data you need off of that hard drive, wipe it (low level) and reinstall. I would also perform virus scans on any data coming off of that hard drive. You can never be to careful.

And I'll add this just because from my experience people don't do it. Backups backups backups!

EDIT -- Go with his solution before trying anything as I have stated. easy stuff first!

Good luck

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I have seen viruses hide USB files so I thought it might be a virus, I already ran a AVG scan on this HDD and found nothing. (My computer works perfectly fine now since I bought another HDD) – Chiquis Jun 25 '12 at 0:39
One virus scanner wont necessarily find the virus you're looking for. Windows is riddled with them. Best to perform a drive test, it will tell you if the hard drive is failing. – steve Jun 25 '12 at 0:40
What i am thinking about is like u said, format and run tests, but i was really curious about how it happened. – Chiquis Jun 25 '12 at 0:43
It could have been a large number of things. Any of us would just be guessing. If your hard drive is fine (all of the tests report back fine) then it could well have been a rootkit installed from random web surfing, but we could go on all day about what it MIGHT have been. – steve Jun 25 '12 at 0:49

It sounds like your hard drive got physically disconnected (loose cable, for example) and then worked fine when you reconnected it. The bit about it being "hidden" or "listed WITHOUT a system letter" is just you not understanding the tools you are using. They don't indicate any issue with the drive or accessing it.

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didn't even think about that – steve Jun 25 '12 at 0:35
no, I actually even took it out, cleaned it, put it back in, and still no luck, even went to dos promt through win 7 tools, wouldnt appear listed. The tool i used showed the logical partition as a 19 gb one and the rest of the HDD as Hidden. Even Tried reading it on my mac, since macs can read but not write on windows discs right? (NTFS) i think – Chiquis Jun 25 '12 at 0:36

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