Virus help, please, on partitioned hard drive

I think it’s a virus and I think it must have come via an attachment I didn’t open, ‘deleted’ immediately but I didn’t immediately ‘empty’ the trash from Eudora. I’m not sure though, maybe I’m just thinking the worst. This is what I have;

Running Win2000, the Hard Drive kicks in, the initial DOS screen shows and starts its gig, <eek/ping> noise, Auto Detecting Pri-Mast then wham! screen switches to:

System Halted _
Also, the keyboard is dead.

The first sign of something being wrong was when the IE browser started having a mind of its own (giant text sizes, etc).

Btw, I’m running Linux Red Hat for curiosity on the second partition – it would be no problem losing that if it were to save the day on the Win2000 partition.

As I’m not sure what it is, I’m not sure how to proceed. The guys at the computer shop will do what they do, which is to recover the data as best they can. But I’m hoping there might be a more complete solution available;

(a) What happens if I were to just try and reload Win2000, is that an option?
(b) What would happen if I loaded Win2000 on the other partition and then merged the partition to one – never ‘unpartitioned’ so I don’t know what happens (I do have Partition Magic, if that helps)?
© Is it possible to deal with this any other way other than just to try and rescue the data ?

Has your computer been able to boot since you installed RedHat? What bootloader are you using?

Did you recently partition your hard drive? Have you used a boot disk to check to see if you set one of the partitions as active?
When you’re trying to boot…there’s not a cd or floppy in the drive is there?
How lod is this hard drive?

And lastly…NO! Do not merge your partitions!

The partition is quite old now and Red Hat gives you the option of which O/S you want to boot. I don’t think that’s the issue as it’s been a solid, trouble-free installation for some time.

There’s no CD in the drive.

I just thought the partition might offer more options that might not conventionally be available. For example, load Win2000 on the Red Hat partition and . . . something . . . no ideas what.

It boots as per the OP above; just gets going with the Auto Detecting Pri-Master before kicking to a screen that reads:

System Halted _

  • I thought that might be a clue as to what’s afoot . . . not that i know what ‘NO ROM BASIC’ might mean.

Thanks for looking into it for me!

Well… firstly, unless Eudora changed radically since I last used it, it doesn’t do any dumb “preview” stuff, so unless you specifically opened an attachement and ran it, there’s no chance that’s the problem.
Giant text in IE is usually a Ctrl+MouseWheel problem.

Secondly… it sounds like you were using LILO for your bootloader, and something’s gone funky with that. (You’re kinda confusing here. The BIOS boot screen != DOS, and I think you’re seeing the former). If this is the case, the best way to fix it is to load Linux and re-run LILO. You’ll need to boot off of a Linux boot disk, mount your HD, ‘chroot’ to it, and run ‘lilo’.

(Check out some of the many Linux Crash Rescue HOWTOs. Like this one.)

Oh, and are you sure the keyboard is dead? Hitting ‘Del’ or whatever on initial boot should get you into the BIOS menu, where the keyboard will work. It won’t work after you get the error message 'cause there ain’t nothing going on after that.

A quick Google got me this advice:

Other search results also suggest that the problem may be due to you having a bootable hard disk partition that is not set to active, along with the recommendation that you use FDISK to fix it.

Yeah, I forgot to say that you could use FDISK (probably “fdisk /mbr” off the top of my head…), except that
1 - Getting a Win2k boot disk was a pain in the @ss for me, dunno about you.
2 - This will only get you booting straight to Windows; to rescue your Linux partition you’ll have to do what I said in my 1st post anyhow.

That’s really helpful stuff.

Nanoda – I’m sure you’re right about Eudora. I thought there was a pretty good reason why I was comfortable with the way Eudora dealt with attachments . . . don’t think I was entirely thinking straight. That’s reassuring, thanks.

Yep, I meant the keyboard is dead only after the error screen appears.
Yep, I meant bios screen not DOS
Yep, it is the LILO bootloader
– damn, that was a bad post. Thanks for trying to make sense of it!

Great Kal, normally I’d go straight to Google. I dunno why I didn’t . . . late night, maybe. Thanks. I’m so relieved it might not be a virus!

So, I might have a bootable hard disk partition that is not set to active, and the recommendation is to use FDISK to fix it. Okay. Onwards!
Thank you all. I’ll let you know how this goes . . .

Here is one solution with pretty photos London_Calling after I put the first line of your message in a search engine:,,139+24365+17477,00.html

Just a note to say thanks to everyone - including handy for those useful photos. Very simple tweak and everything went according to plan; I’m writing from the fully restored drive. Phew!

Excellent work, chaps. I thang yew, I thang yew, I thang yew . .