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All files on external hard drive invisible


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#1 Emnet

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 12:26 AM

I am a teacher so I regularly prepare powerpoints and things to show my students in the various centres I teach at. Unfortunately, most of the computers in the centres are riddled with viruses. I have one flash drive that I use and every time I plug it in to those computers it gets the virus that makes the folders invisible and creates a file with the same name as the folder it made invisible, thereby looking like the folder but actually an .exe, sorry I forgot what the virus is called. When I plug it back into my computer, thankfully I have nod32 and it gets rid of the viruses. This happens every time but since it hasn't produced any bad results besides having to change the folders back to visible again, I've tolerated it.
Now, I also have a 320 GB external hard drive that in a desperate moment to get a movie playing for my students I plugged into the computer to install trusty old vlc. Since my flash disk was still ok after the virus ordeal I figured my hard drive would be the same. All seemed fine at first, I plugged my hard drive into my computer and it found and deleted the evil virus and everything was ok. Two days later - today - I plug it back in and everything on one partition is invisible :thumbsup: . I go to properties and my files are still taking up the same amount of space but I just cannot see them. I have all the 'show invisible files' and 'unhide protected system files' on, but there seems to be no way to access the files. I do a disk check and it says windows is unable to complete the disk check. (I have Windows XP SP3). I type the address of a folder on the disk and it says 'not found'. When I copy something onto the disk it goes there but I can't see it (I know it gets copied because if I try to copy it again it says 'cannot copy, file already exists'). It's the same story on other computers I have tried it on. Any solutions?


EDIT: Moved from External Hardware to Am I Infected, more appropriate ~ Hamluis.

Edited by hamluis, 13 April 2010 - 06:46 AM.


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#2 webdr

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 04:20 AM

You can boot your system with a linux live CD or live USB while the external hdd is attached. Since linux uses different mechanism to reach your files, you will be able to chance to copy your files to another source. After copying it you can wipe your hdd.
Some usb security tools can help you. So you wouldn't catch by viruses from other computer. One of them is to make your hdd just readable and not writeable and also you can use panda usb vaccine (there are some other tools which prevent infection of autorun.inf file) to protect it.

Edited by webdr, 13 April 2010 - 04:22 AM.


#3 webdr

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 05:02 AM

after several hours of backing up all the files from my external HD onto my desktop


Hello,

First he need to see files, he says he doesn't see them. I don't believe the problem is hdd at first point, If windows recognize it.

#4 Emnet

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:00 AM

Ok, problem fixed!! :flowers: When I originally did a check disk it showed the error message and probably decided to do a more in depth check after a reboot, though they didn't give me that option. So when I restarted the computer it did the check disk before going into windows and had to change the security id on every single file, which took about an hour. Well, when Windows finally started, the disk was back to normal, except containing a 'found.000' folder, presumably from the chdsk operation. Thanks so much for your help, though all I had to do was restart the computer and do chdsk. I'll be sure to get one of those security tools. :thumbsup:

P.S. I booted linux from a CD and went into my external hd. It showed only one folder (I originally had about 10). The other folders where shown as unknown files and when I clicked on them they disappeared (single left or right click). In the working folder, there were 34 files but only 4 of them did not disappear when clicked on. Very strange behavior, I've never seen or heard of before. I thought I had found the Bermuda Triangle of the cyber world.




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