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Can't use USBs?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 RabidRobbie

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:50 PM

My toshiba laptop recently recovered from a virus that turned all the files into hidden files. It's fixed now and all my files are back to normal, but the wireless connection no longer works, nor do cds or usbs. Whenever I plug in a usb (and i've tried many!) it says 'The usb drive has not been formatted. Do you want to format it now?' When I click 'yes' it says 'unable to complete format'. I've tried to do a repair install but that didn't work either. I feel like the only option is reinstall windows (which seems to be a common solution for windows) but there are a few important files on the laptop that I really need. Unfortunately, I can't back up these files (or put any files on the laptop) because I can't use usbs. Also, I tried to plug in an external hard drive, but this just made it crash.

So the main thing to fix is the usb situation so I can back up my files and then reinstall windows. Unless there's any other way to back up files? The only thing I've tried so far is deleting the drive and then letting reinstall itself, but this did not fix it. Please help!

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#2 mark1956

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:08 AM

First take a look in Device Manager and see if there are any Yellow warnings. Post back with what you find.

Did you get help in a Malware forum to remove the infections?

#3 jhayz

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:07 AM

Also, I tried to plug in an external hard drive, but this just made it crash.

You might wanna look into removing the laptop's hard drive and putting into an enclosure. I am looking also at the usb cable being faulty. Have you checked this external drives/cable on another working PC?

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#4 RabidRobbie

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:00 AM

First take a look in Device Manager and see if there are any Yellow warnings. Post back with what you find.

Did you get help in a Malware forum to remove the infections?


No there aren't any yellow warnings. I didn't any help, I just did a malwarebytes scan in safe mode which seems to done the trick.

#5 RabidRobbie

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:02 AM

Also, I tried to plug in an external hard drive, but this just made it crash.

You might wanna look into removing the laptop's hard drive and putting into an enclosure. I am looking also at the usb cable being faulty. Have you checked this external drives/cable on another working PC?


Yeah the external hard drive works fine in other computers, so the problem is definitely in the laptop.

#6 mark1956

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 05:26 AM

Ok, see if this will work. Go into Device Manager and uninstall all the USB controllers and the Wireless card. Then reboot and the drivers should all re-install.

If that works then we can try and get the CD drive to work again.

#7 RabidRobbie

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:16 AM

Yeah I've tried to uninstall the usb drivers but it didn't make any difference. By the way, I did the same thing with the cd/dvd driver and now audio cds work for some reason? I don't know if that's any use.

#8 mark1956

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 05:15 AM

That is good you have the CD drive back. Lets try something else.

Follow this:

Download the latest chipset drivers for your model of PC from the manufacturer's site and save it to the desktop.
Go into Device Manager and locate all the USB drivers, right click on them one at a time and select Uninstall.
Run through this routine and locate any/all USB drivers and delete them. Do not reboot, just close all the boxes to get back to the desktop.
Double click on the driver that you saved to your desktop to install it.
Now reboot and check the PC's performance.

#9 RabidRobbie

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 03:32 AM

Sorry I haven't responded, my internet connection stopped working for an unrelated reason. Audio cds can play on my laptop but I can't save anything from them, so I'm not going to be able to reinstall drivers.

#10 mark1956

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:43 AM

My previous suggestion does not need a working CD drive: have you tried what I suggested?

If you did and there is still a problem try this guide and see if that will fix the problem with the CD drive:

CD/DVD drive, Problems caused by filters

Then do this:


1. Click on Start > type cmd in the search box and enter. At that C: prompt, type chkdsk /r exactly as written here with the gap before the slash, then hit Enter.

2. You will then see a message "Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)"

Type Y for yes, and press enter. Then reboot the computer into normal mode. Chkdsk will start when Windows begins loading again. Let all 5 phases run and don't use or turn off the computer. (The chkdsk process may take an hour or more to finish and may appear to freeze which is normal.)

3. When the Check Disk is done, it will finish loading Windows.

4. Go to Start > Run and type: eventvwr.msc /s , and hit Enter.
When Event Viewer opens, click on "Application", then scroll down to "Winlogon" and double-click on it.

This is the log created after running Checkdisk.
Copy and paste it into your next post.

Followed by this:

Run the system file checker as follows.
Click on Start > Run > Type cmd in the Run box and hit Enter. At the Command Prompt type sfc /scannow (you must include the gap before the /) and hit Enter. Let the process run to completion. You will be asked to insert the XP disc, please do so.

After completion, please reboot and then let me know if the error message appears again or there are any other remaining issues.

#11 RabidRobbie

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:52 PM

I'm still being asked to format the usb, followed by the error message 'unable to format USB'. This is the case with every usb I've used.

All I need to do is get some important documents from the laptop and onto another computer, and then I'll just format the hard drive. Is there any way to put documents on a usb without starting windows? This might be my only option.

#12 mark1956

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:54 AM

Have you run anything that was in my last post? I asked for two logs which you have not responded to.

You can try this to retrieve the documents: Ubuntu Live CD to back up files from your dead Windows

#13 RabidRobbie

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:15 AM

I can't post any logs from my laptop because I can't connect to the internet.

Edited by RabidRobbie, 01 May 2012 - 06:15 AM.


#14 mark1956

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:15 AM

Ok, but, have you run sfc /scannow and/or chkdsk /r and seen what the results tell you.

The sfc /scannow should display if there were any files found that could not be repaired and in the chkdsk /r log look down the list and see the line where it says how many Kilobytes were found in bad sectors.

When you ran Malwarebytes what infections did it find?

Run Malwarebytes again and see if it comes up clean, it may show the same infections have returned, if so then tell me what they are.

#15 mark1956

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 07:24 AM

Ok, but, have you run sfc /scannow and/or chkdsk /r and seen what the results tell you.

sfc /scannow should display if there were any files found that could not be repaired and in the chkdsk /r log look down the list and see the line where it says how many Kilobytes were found in bad sectors, it should read 0, if not your drive is failing.

When you ran Malwarebytes what infections did it find?

Run Malwarebytes again and see if it comes up clean, it may show the same infections have returned, if so then tell me what they are.

Have you tried to use the Ubuntu CD I gave the link for to retrieve your important documents.

If all else fails then you could remove the hard drive and use one of these USB hard drive adapter to connect it to a working PC and retrieve the documents that way.




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