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Iomega External HDD not appearing in My Computer menu


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#1 kev9982

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:10 AM

I've been getting help with malware removal here on the Bleeping Computer forums, and have reached a point where I feel I should back up everything I can before proceeding. So, I purchased a 1TB external hard drive. I first used the drive on my girlfriends laptop, to back up her data, and it worked fine. She uses vista. I then plugged it into my PC, and it was not recognized as is typical of flash drives, etc. My pc is running XP. Since it's been going through the process of malware removal, it may not be operating normally, which may be the root of this problem. When I plugged it in there was no icon at the bottom of the screen, and it's autoplay function did not start. I then navigated to Iomega's website to try to follow their online troubleshooting guide. I thought first that it was a problem with drivers, even though they say that all the drives I would need for it already come with XP. So, I looked in the Device Manager>Universal Serial Bus Controllers menu, and found an entry with a yellow exclamation point next to it that read Iomega. I selected this and allowed XP to search for an updated driver, which it found on the external, and I allowed it to update. This appeared to copy over USBSTOR.sys. After that the exclaimation mark was gone, but the name is now USB Mass Storage Device, rather than 'Iomega'. Still, I couldn't get access to the drive. Then, I went to the Disk Management menu, where I found an entry for Iomega HDD. I then right clicked on it and assigned it a letter name, G:, and checked My Computer. Still, no access to the drive. The trouble shooting guide at Iomega states that I should reset the machine after manually assigning a letter to the drive. I did so, and the letter assignment simply disappears. I also noted that I could right click on the Iomega HDD entry in the Disk Management menu and select Explore, and get access to the drive. The only problem is that it is still not recognized by "My Computer", so the title at the top of the explore window does not match the drive, and I am also limited to very short file names and folder names, meaning if I were to copy things over in this method, I would have to change literally every file and folder name to make it work. I then started looking around elsewhere for solutions, and found the drive had an entry under Device Manager>Disk drives. Here it is listed as Iomega E xternal HD USB Device (with the space after the E). I selected this and allowed XP to search for an updated driver, which it found on the external drive. It then appeared to copy over disk.sys. Still, it doesn't show up in My Computer. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might get access to the drive through My Computer? I am wanting to back everything up before I upgrade to Service Pack 3, or potentially reinstall the OS, whatever is necessary to make sure I have a secure system again.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:00 PM

Go to Disk Management...change the drive letter assignment to Z: (assuming that you don't have a Z: partition already)...see if if shows in My Computer.

That drive should be Plug'nPlay...I have no idea why you mention drivers, the USB drivers either work or they don't work. If they don't, you go into Device Manager and delete the controllers under USB Controllers...and reboot the system. This reinstalls the USB drivers.

If the drive is faulty...there's no overcoming that. I would try a different drive.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 22 September 2010 - 07:23 PM.
Edited to correct Device Manager note.


#3 kev9982

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:45 PM

Thanks for the advice. I will try that when I get home. I mention drivers only because the troubleshooting guide advised me to attempt to reinstall them.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 05:13 PM

Hopefully...that guide meant USB controller drivers :thumbsup:.

Did this drive come with it's own CD/software?

Louis

#5 kev9982

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 06:19 PM

It came with no CD or software. The guide states that the drive should not require any drivers unique to the device, and it worked perfectly fine on my girlfriend's laptop, which uses Vista. I still haven't had the chance to try designating the drive as Z:, although I have previously tried this with G: and H: with no luck. As mentioned, the problem may be because of system changes made during malware removal. Again, thanks for discussing the issue with me :thumbsup:.

#6 kev9982

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 08:08 AM

Renaming the drive to Z: didn't work either. I now have another problem that I just noticed. Before I got the drive and tried to get it to work on my PC, the CD Rom drive on the PC was working fine. Now, it appears in My Computer, as D:, but when I insert disks it doesn't recognize there there is a disk in the drive. Under device manager, the only CD/DVD drive present is a virtual drive that I have installed, where my physical drive used to be present. I'm not sure what changed, but my back-up plan for backing-up data on this machine was to burn everything to disks, and now this doesn't seem possible. The drive is getting power, appears in My Computer, and I hear it reading disks when I put them in. It's as if Windows doesn't know that D: should be pointing to the physical CD drive. What a nightmare. Is this the place to ask for help on this issue, or should I post in another forum?

#7 hamluis

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 04:36 PM

Well...I think you have lost focus.

Your system had malware infections.

At some point in the cleaning process...you decide that you need to back up the system.

You purchase an external hard drive.

External hard drive functions properly on other systems, not on yours.

Today...you reveal that you have a virtual drive...which is probably a partial key to your problems.

I would have removed the virtual drive...before starting your excursion.

Louis

#8 Eyesee

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:25 PM

I have seen malware infections mess with USB devices before.
Any other USB devices plugged into the system?

You might advise the person that is assisting you about the concern for your data
In the beginning there was the command line.

#9 hamluis

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:46 PM

I saw Blade's comment about the external drive...it hasn't worked at all on your system, has it? Did you tell him that yet?

Louis

#10 kev9982

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 06:42 PM

Yes, Blade is aware the drive has not worked properly on my PC from the first time I attempted to use it with my PC. I have not used other USB devices with my machine since the trouble began. Had I realized that virtual drives would have been an issue, I would have removed them at the beginning of the malware removal process. I ran DeFogger as instructed at the beginning of my malware problems, in preparation for assistance in removing malware. This program is intended to avoid potential problems with malware removal programs by disabling virtual drives. I assumed they were disabled when it was ran, but perhaps they never were.

I have been able to get limited access to the drive. What I mean by this is when I navigate to the device manager menu, and then assign a letter to the external, I can right click its entry and select explore. A window for the drive appears, displaying what is on the drive, but there is no letter designation at the top of the window. It just has a disk icon, but no letter assignment. This is only true for the main window of the drive. What I mean is if I navigate to a folder within the drive, the letter designation and folder name will appear at the top. I can copy files onto the drive, but only with short file and folder names. I'm thinking of doing the best I can to copy files over in this way, and renaming them later once my system has been restored, through a reinstallation of the OS or otherwise.

Blade has said he believes I would be able to install an OS if I boot the PC with the install disk in the CD drive.

My current plan of action is to try to back up everything I need to in the way I explained above, check that the files are present and operable on the external, and either upgrade to SP3 to see if that will fix things, or more likely, reinstall XP, assuming I can use the disk to do an install on boot up.

#11 hamluis

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 06:49 PM

Not to belabor a point...but this system that you plan on copying...it has been determined that these files are clean?

I guess I'm asking...are you done with your malware thread?

If you are done there...why isn't that thread closed?

If not, I think it's a bad idea to copy anything from that system...but I'm not very knowledgeable about malware situations.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 23 September 2010 - 06:50 PM.


#12 kev9982

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:24 PM

Thanks for the concern. It has not been determined that the system is 100% clean, because the system integrity has been badly compromised, so it is difficult for the person assisting me to tell for sure. However, we have been through several processes for malware removal and the person helping me is fairly confident that the threat of transferring an autorun virus to the external is low. The other thread is still open because we are seeing if an upgrade to SP3 might fix some problems or at least shed light on if my system is still infected. I'm trying to back things up before we proceed.

Worst case scenario, I figure that if I can get the files most important to me copied to the external, I can reinstall the OS, and then later plug the external back into my machine. I can then try to determine if there are any infections on the newly installed OS and the external.




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