Originally Posted by Lexluethar
Have you tried a normal OS installation? Not one that is a recovery disk? Possibly the disk is scratched.
No, virus's can't physically harm the hard drive. You should be able to reformat the drive without issue assuming you have a good recovery disk / partition and a good hard drive.
Sounds to me like you have A)bad recovery parition B)bad recovery disk / scratched C)bad hard drive that just started crashing around the time you got this virus.
A good determination would be to try installing the OS from another CD / DVD.
You are right, Lex. I don't have a "normal" XP disc but I did try several other "recovery" discs from other computers. I finally got one to work that came with my eMachines PC. I loaded up XP and all the other extra junk just fine. I'll be spending some time deleting all of the garbage that loaded up.
In any case, my HD is fine and I don't need to waste money replacing a perfectly good part. Thanks for the replies, guys!