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OT: need help with boot sector virus???



i know im off topic, but i need some help fast

my friend is on a 98 box and when he tries to boot he gets an error "invalid system disk. replace the disk and press any key". He does not have a floppy in the drive. From a little searching on the net, im beginning to think that he has a boot sector virus, but im not sure. How do i go about checking?? is there a good free virus checker that i can put on a floppy and boot from? I dont want to rebuild the master boot record unless i know that there is a virus there for sure. If its not a virus, anyone know what else it might be?? anything other than whats listed at the KB ?

It could be complete harddrive failure

to see if it's a bootsector virus is easy, run a bootdisk

type fdisk /mbr

it won't hurt anything and it will kill any virus there might be...but if the virus killed the bootsector it was probably nasty enough to kill the rest of the drive =/

have you checked the bios to make sure he has the right boot order set and all? boot sector viruses are rare nowadays...cause if it's not that or the bios...then the drive died and he'll have to try starting from scratch or such. sorry man


ive already gotten him to check the bios over the phone (he's a newbie) and im gonna head over there today to see what i can do. The only reason i didnt want to do fdisk /mbr right away is because I read that if it was a virus I should try to remove it using a virus utility before trying to rebuild the mbr. This is because the virus might have done something else as well, and rebuilding the mbr would mean a format...and my friend has all his data on the drive (he hasnt backed up) so i want to try to save what i can. Thanks Qumahlin...ill give it a shot
fdisk /mbr does not mean you have to format!

rebuilding the boot record fixes just that...the bootsector...all it effects is the boot settings and such, all other data on the harddrive is fine.


Originally posted by Qumahlin
fdisk /mbr does not mean you have to format!
I know...i read that if you have a boot sector virus and do fdisk /mbr instead of using an AV it might cause problems that would require a format....sorry for how i phrased it the first time. anyways thats not important cuz i tried it and it didnt work. I now have his hd in my computer...the bios sees it but windows doesnt...does this mean its dead?


another thing...i just booted from my xp cd and it says that hdd 2 is 6150MB which is correct and it says that it has 6000MB free which cant be correct. Does this mean that his drive has been wiped out (maybe by a differnt kind of virus---he didnt have AV). There is probably no hope of salvaging anything and I should try to format right?

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