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Why do folders suddenly appear


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#1 DefinitelyNoExpert

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:47 AM

Hello all,

I was redirected to this forum as I mentioned a problem that I have on my External Hard Drive (Toshiba PX1266E-1G25).

It is hard to explain what happens exactly, but I think folders and files (so it is not one extension which acts up!) appear out of nowhere. They have names made out of symbols that are not allowed in names (not in Windows XP as far as I know at least). Because of this, I'm not able to delete them - not that that would help as they just multiply. :flowers: Another strange thing is that one says its been created in 1986, while another (created almost instantaniously) is from 2060 :thumbsup: Great, my Hard Drive is a time traveller! I am not sure the folders are created, or excisting folders which suddenly turn "sour" :inlove: as I am not that sure of what is on the Hard Drive exactly. I use it as storage.

I hope this helps to illustrate what I'm talking about:

Posted Image

I have absolutely no idea on how to handle this :huh: I have to admit that I haven't checked my Hard Drive on viruses for ages - actually never B) This is partly because of an other problem: the drive disconnects and connects to my computer at will. So it won't stay connected long enough to scan it... I don't know what causes this problem either, but I learned to deal with it by being very patient :trumpet:

I really hope somebody can help me by telling what this virus is and/or how to get rid of it. I got loads of study material on that disk and as I just rebooted my computer I have no back up (that drive IS my backup :huh: ).

Thanks in advance,
;)

Edited by DefinitelyNoExpert, 07 October 2009 - 08:48 AM.


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#2 DefinitelyNoExpert

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 05:22 AM

It has been 2 days and I have still no clue on what to do... Is there really nobody who can give me any ideas?

#3 boopme

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 10:12 AM

Hi, We have XP here. Your Antivirus scan shows nothing. When you click on these is there any content inside?

May as well get a scan done also.
Next run MBAM (MalwareBytes):

NOTE: Before saving MBAM please rename it to zztoy.exe....now save it to your desktop.

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.

alternate download link

MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself. Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the definition updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Quick Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.
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#4 DefinitelyNoExpert

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 12:50 PM

Am I right in assuming that what you mean is: JUST RUN MBAM?

For there is a little problem there: the external hard drive won't stay connected long enough to perform a (virus)scan. And meanwhile new folders keep appearing. :flowers: Is this really the only thing to do: keep reconnecting untill the scan is completed?

Yes, the folders are empty. The properties say so. I can't open them though, as they have an invalid name :thumbsup:


#5 gully786

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 01:16 PM

Is it possible to copy your important files off the external hard drive

So you can format the drive scan your pc fully and then move them back on

Edited by gully786, 11 October 2009 - 01:18 PM.


#6 boopme

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 07:25 PM

Well I did want you to run it. But if it's such a hassle sometimes an infection just gets tooo much of a grip. Then I agree with gully a reformat is the best solution.
Reformatting a hard disk deletes all data. If you decide to reformat, you can back up all your important documents, data files and photos. The safest practice is not to backup any autorun.ini or .exe files because they may be infected. Some types of malware may disguise itself by adding and hiding its extension to the existing extension of files so be sure you take a close look at the full name. After reformatting, as a precaution, make sure you scan these files with your anti-virus prior to copying them back to your hard drive.

2 guidelines/rules when backing up

1) Backup all your important data files, pictures, music, work etc... and save it onto an external hard-drive. These files usually include .doc, .txt, .mp3, .jpg etc...
2) Do not backup any executables files or any window files. These include .exe/.scr/.htm/.html/.xml/.zip/.rar files as they may contain traces of malware. Also, .html or .htm files that are webpages should also be avoided.
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#7 Mysterysgames

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 09:20 PM

In my experience a scan with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is much faster than a regular antivirus scan, so there might be a chance that you can get through it despite of the disconnection issues. :thumbsup:
(Just as a comparison: MBAM quick scan on my pc lasts 3 minutes, a quick scan with my antivirus program about 30 minutes)
How long can you stay connected?

#8 DefinitelyNoExpert

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 11:31 AM

I'll try the scan :thumbsup: I thought it might take about 30 minutes and that is really too much to ask. But I think 3 minutes might just work!

#9 DefinitelyNoExpert

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 06:36 AM

SOLVED! :thumbsup:

I scanned and scanned, but nothing seemed to be the matter - neither with my computer nor with my external drive. So I asked around some more and finally somebody told me it might be an "fix files"-function within windows.

As it turns out, in properties (of the disk) - tools menu - errorcontrol we find 2 options. The first is to automatically fix files, and doing so all the strange folders and files disappeared. Most probably, those were files and folders the drive had tried to recreate on its own, after I had thrown them away :flowers: I have no clue why it would do such a thing, as I never changed any properties or anything like that :trumpet: But this solution worked... So it would be nice to know why the drive did this out of his own accord but it is not essential :inlove:

There is still one file (@#@$#^%$^^.wnt) which just won't disappear. But as it is only 250kB, I can't really be bothered :D

I would like to thank everybody for there help!


#10 boopme

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

It appears to be a useless file. If you can find it. We can use MBAM's FileAssassin feature.

Open MBAM again.Click the More Tools tab and then the Run Tool button
Now browse to the file(s) we want to remove using the drop down box next to Look in: at the top.
Locate the file(s), click Open.
You will be prompted with a message warning: This file will be permanently deleted. Are you sure you want to continue?. Click Yes.
If removal did not require a reboot, you will receive a message indicating the file was deleted successfully, however, I recommend you reboot anyway.

Caution: Be careful what you delete. FileAssassin is a powerful program, designed to move highly persistent files. Using it incorrectly could lead to disastrous problems with your operating system.


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