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Thread: Odd thing happening to friends computer

  1. #1
    riceorony Guest

    Default Odd thing happening to friends computer

    Hello again to all!

    I am currently trying to fix my classmates computer (a lenovo thinkpad T60) and after all troubleshooting I've tried to format the computer using the magical Blue Button on all thinkpad computers. It loads up the necessary Thinkvantage program (this is loaded way prior to windows) and usually there is an option to "restore the computer to factory conditions" since the windows operating cd and drivers are stored on a hidden partition on the hard drive (not the c:\ drive).

    However, this option seems to be missing from the selection screen! He tells me that he's only had the laptop for 6 months and that I know for sure had the restoring option available before because I was trying to see what nifty options come with thinkpads.

    Do you believe the computer has been compromised in any way leading to the disappearance of that feature? I've checked his ZA Internet Security Suite logs and there is no signs of being compromised. I've done a full scan using ZA-IS on deep-inspection, online scans with **bleep** and Trend Micro house call, downloaded Ewido AVG, Superantispyware, counterspy v2, and spysweeper just to use there scans in normal and safe mode, and also checked with HijackThis! and all is clean except for few cookies.

    I'm bewildered, and now I just told him to contact the manufacter to have the restore cd's mailed out.

    The only thing I can think of is because I notice he uses window washer to wash the "free space" sometimes. Is it possible that the program wrote over the hidden partition because the partition is not being recognized on the hard drive?

    Or is it likely that somehow someone hacked into and modified the Thinkvantage program to be missing that option?

    He reports there is nothing abnormal with the labtop in terms of boot-up times and shut-down times (all very quick).

    All thoughts welcome!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    9,056

    Default Re: Odd thing happening to friends computer

    <blockquote><hr>riceorony wrote:
    Hello again to all!

    I am currently trying to fix my classmates computer (a lenovo thinkpad T60) and after all troubleshooting I've tried to format the computer using the magical Blue Button on all thinkpad computers. It loads up the necessary Thinkvantage program (this is loaded way prior to windows) and usually there is an option to "restore the computer to factory conditions" since the windows operating cd and drivers are stored on a hidden partition on the hard drive (not the c:\ drive).

    However, this option seems to be missing from the selection screen! He tells me that he's only had the laptop for 6 months and that I know for sure had the restoring option available before because I was trying to see what nifty options come with thinkpads.

    Do you believe the computer has been compromised in any way leading to the disappearance of that feature? I've checked his ZA Internet Security Suite logs and there is no signs of being compromised. I've done a full scan using ZA-IS on deep-inspection, online scans with **bleep** and Trend Micro house call, downloaded Ewido AVG, Superantispyware, counterspy v2, and spysweeper just to use there scans in normal and safe mode, and also checked with HijackThis! and all is clean except for few cookies.

    I'm bewildered, and now I just told him to contact the manufacter to have the restore cd's mailed out.

    The only thing I can think of is because I notice he uses window washer to wash the "free space" sometimes. Is it possible that the program wrote over the hidden partition because the partition is not being recognized on the hard drive?

    Or is it likely that somehow someone hacked into and modified the Thinkvantage program to be missing that option?

    He reports there is nothing abnormal with the labtop in terms of boot-up times and shut-down times (all very quick).

    All thoughts welcome!

    Thanks
    <hr></blockquote>
    Usually this type of restore is accessed in the bootup. Usually some shift + ctrl or space+ctrl or some other key combination. Check with the vendor or the handbook/guide that came with the laptop.
    Usually the only way to wipe the restore partition is to erase the entire hdd with a dedicated eraser before formatting the drive. I would assume the washer could not see the extra hidden restore partition.


    Oldsod.

    Message Edited by Oldsod on 03-09-2008 12:32 PM
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  3. #3
    riceorony Guest

    Default Re: Odd thing happening to friends computer

    Oldsod,

    I checked the manual and even called lenovo for him. They said the selection should be there and are baffled too.

    I too agree with you and believe the Windows Washer probably wrote over the partition because it didn't detect it and just saw it as blank space.

    In your opinion, is it at all possible for &quot;hidden&quot; partitions to be hacked or modified?

    Thanks tremendously for your constant help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    9,056

    Default Re: Odd thing happening to friends computer

    I would not rule out the possibility of a malware/malicious user affecting the hidden partition. If it does not happen today or yesterday, the bad guys will find a way to do it tomorrow.

    More than likely a user mistake.

    Hmm I wonder if a linux live distro could see the hidden partition and give an estimate.

    Oldsod.
    Best regards.
    oldsod

  5. #5
    riceorony Guest

    Default Re: Odd thing happening to friends computer

    Actually, I've finally solved the problem.

    Thank you OldSod.

    Apparently, I updated the Rescue and Recovery service from version 4.0 to version 4.1 and BAM! The option to restore to factory conditions is lost (due to a problem on Lenovo's side)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    9,056

    Default Re: Odd thing happening to friends computer

    Thank you for the update riceorony.
    Oldsod.
    Best regards.
    oldsod

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