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I'm going through a real mystery right now.

My friend has a Sony Vaio VPCEG notebook and recently it keeps showing the following message:

S.M.A.R.T Hard Drive detects Error.

Please consider to back up the hard drive.

Press any key to continue

I've searched on the web and found that it is a disc drive error, quite considered as a physical damage on the disk. Going further on my research, I found some tutorials on how to use and try to recover the integrity of the hard drive using Hiren's Boot CD. All worthless. The system keeps showing the annoying message. That's OK, she bought another HD.

Going ahead, I removed the HD from the notebook and connected it on my desktop computer to backup her files.

That's where my nightmares became true.

After finished copying the files and disconnect the hard drive my desktop computer became unstable. Freezing all the time and sometimes showing blue screem.

First question is: Is it true that S.M.A.R.T. errors are usually related to physical hard drive damage or there's a way to fix it (thinking on the possibility of that it was caused by viruses)?

Second question is: considering that the notebook HD was totally infected with worms, tronjans and viruses, it is possible that it infected my system turning it unstable?

Just quoting that nothing was notified by the antivirus system and I'm using Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 with all the virus definition updated.

I'm thinking in MBR viruses or something. Once at college teacher said that it is possible, but I never witnessed nothing like this.

Third question is: If it is possible, how to fix? My antivirus doesn't throw any message and I don't know what to do.

Thanks in advance.

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for the AV issue - use a bootable live CD to search for malware. My personal choice tends towards TRK (Trinity Root Kit). By running your AV scan outside windows you can do the scan without the malware being executed, so it cannot do (as) much to hide itself. TRK also includes 5 scanners - use them all, as different AV providers are at different levels of catch up to malware devs – Chris O'Kelly May 16 '13 at 23:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

First Question: The S.M.A.R.T. errors are being reported by the physical drive itself. They have nothing to do with what information was written to it and can never be caused by malware. They can indicate damage, malfunction, that the cables are coming loose, etc., always a hardware problem.

Second Question: Depends on your OS, antivirus, and whether you executed any executables/opened Microsoft office docs with macros/exposed yourself to any executable code from your friend's computer. I would recommend using a Linux boot CD in the future for when you need to work with infected systems.

Third Question: Reinstall windows. Maybe a real windows guru could fix it, but nothing beats a clean system.

MBR viruses are indeed real, though not very common anymore. In the DOS days, they would spread from infected hard drives to floppies and back to hard drives.

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