Problem with a friends PC

Soldato
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A friend asked me to go round and sort his computer out as he'd got a few viruses/trojans on there and as there wasn't much on it, I said I'd format and re-install Windows for him like I did a couple of months ago.

First thing I noticed is there was no post screen when we loaded the computer up (There was the other month), so after about 4mins of a blank screen (Should be quicker) up comes the user account screen.

I then restart the PC and press F12 (Guessing the BIOS key) without seeing anything on the screen and after about 4mins up loads the user accounts screen again.
I restart the PC again and press Del this time in the attempt to get into the BIOS but this time the computer didn't even load up after about 10minutes.
We then switch it off at the wall, turn the power back on after about 20 seconds, switch the computer on and again, it didn't even load, this time after about 25mins.

So at the moment, the computer won't even load to the user accounts screen, there's just have a black screen.

The only thing I can think of is using a LiveCD to load up into and then from within that format the hard drive, is that possible? (I've never used a LiveCD before) but the obvious problem being, not having access to the BIOS to set the CD drive as the primary boot device.

Thanks - Steve
 
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Soldato
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Whoa, you need to condense the description down a little, it's a bit confused.

Basically you're saying there's no display output until the user accounts screen? Have you tried a different monitor or gfx card? Perhaps onboard gfx?

Being able to boot a live cd will depend on being able to see the BIOS and whether it's set to boot cd first, or indeed at all. Most boards will boot it if the HDD drive is unplugged, yes.

You should be seeing a BIOS screen though, that suggests there's a display issue somewhere.
 
Associate
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Would it be a case of disconnecting the hard drive, turning the PC on, inserting the LiveCD, then pressing the reset button and because there is no hard drive present, it will default to the 2nd device which is the CD drive?

Thanks - Steve
You'd still need to switch the pc off to connect the hard drive so the os can be installed, thus reverting back to the primary.

Just leave it on and wait for windows and try and reinstall in windows. Might have to flash the bios, but obvious problem there
 
Soldato
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Haha sorry, I was just typing away.

The computer took a long time to load when it shouldn't and there was no post screen. Eventually the computer loaded to the user accounts screen.

The second time I restarted the computer, again there was no post screen and it took a while before the user accounts screen showed up again.

The third and fourth times there was no post screen again and this time it didn't even load up into Windows (User accounts screen), the monitor just stayed blank for 10mins and then 25mins on the fourth restart.

I checked the DVI connector to and from the monitor/computer and it was fine.

Is it possible that the viruses/trojans are not allowing the post screen to show therefore stopping the access to the BIOS?

So at the moment, the computer won't load anything at all and what I want to do is format the hard drive from within a LiveCD (If possible) which I'm hoping will allow us to see the post screen again to access the BIOS and to then install Windows again.

Cheers

Edit: Yeah, I was thinking I need to switch the computer off to re-connect the hard drive so I'd be back to square one.
 
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Associate
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Viruses/Trojans are created to damage/destroy applications using the dos format (i.e. windows), which is why macs are usually unaffected.

For the infection to spread to the bios chips is most unlikely. Seems like there's something wrong with the motherboard in all fairness.
 
Soldato
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I haven't done anything really.
I said to him about the LiveCD and I'll go back tomorrow, but that won't work as we can't get into the BIOS to set the CD drive as the first boot device.
Computers :(
 
Associate
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Think it's really picking at strews but you may have to do the ultimate test.

1. turn mains off and disconnect, unplug lead from psu, keep psu switch on. remove motherboard battery and discharge pc by holding the start button for 30ish seconds.

2. depending what's inside the pc remove everything bar the psu, motherboard, cpu, cooler, gpu, keyboard and mouse from the case.

3. hopefully on startup you should get into bios.

4. change primary boot drive to cd and secondary to hard drive.

5. add those two on then see what happens

That's really all you can hope for
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the replies.
He's only had the computer 2 months, so I think I'm going to tell him to contact the chap that supplied it him and ask him to sort it out.
Might try what's been suggested, I'll give him the option tomorrow.
Thanks
 
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