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Can a virus kill my USB ports??


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7 replies to this topic

#1 plmegquier

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 12:00 PM

I have a very old, 12+ yrs, hand me down Dell, with windows xp.  I had been using my thumb drives to store info because the memory in my computer is low. Now if the usb is recognized at all, the info turns into gibberish when it is transfered.  Can a virus be responsible? How do I fix it? I want a new computer but that isn't possible, I have to work with what I have, Thank you in advance.



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#2 Citizen_WD

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 09:13 AM

Hello,
 
First of all - what exactly do you mean by "gibberish"? This is an important detail in order to determine the cause of your problems. Is the file transfer interrupted? Are any of the files and folders visible?
 
Try connecting your drives to another PC, just in case and see if the same thing happens. If you're using many flash drives or HDDs at a time - there may not be enough power going to each USB port, especially if your machine is older... 
 
Viruses in the system may also cause this, so run an antivirus program, just in case.
 
You may also use Device Manager to disable and re-enable all the USB controllers, and update BIOS and Chipset drivers as well.
 
I hope to be useful, Citiezn_WD


#3 ranchhand_

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 09:21 AM

Try a system restore back to a date immediately before this started happening. System restore resets the main system files but doe not affect your programs or data. I don't think this will fix it, but it is somewhere to start. Howto here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#4 plmegquier

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 12:49 PM

To reply to Ranchhand: I tried the system restore, your right it didn't help.

 

To Citizen_WD: When i transfer a file from the  computer to the thumb drive the name changes from what ever it was to letters, numbers, symbols. Every file looks like its swearing at me. Although they are all visible, If you try to open them i get file not found.

 

Once the name has changed it stays that way no matter if you take it to another computer or not. You cannot open, delete, or move the files.

 

I only use one at a time, because quickly is not in this machines vocabulary. I recognizes a new drive, once you use it and remove it, if you plug it back in it doesn't recognize it.

 

I have avast and super antispyware which i use almost daily and keep updated. Whatever i have isn't touched by these because they say the computer is secure. and it's not.

 

I might have been tech savvy at one time in the 80s but now, not so much. You lost me with chipset, I do know bios but not sure i want to mess with it without directions. 

 

So, I have  deleted old unused programs, run both avast and super antispyware, used my system tools, to clean disk and defrag. I did disable and re-enable the usb when i first started having this problem monthes ago.Didn't seem to help.



#5 bludshot

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 08:05 PM

If you copy a file to the usb from another computer (and btw make sure you don't infect other computers if this is a virus) does it also do the weird name thing?

 

I would format the usb drive, and also try another usb drive and see if it still does it on that one. There must be somewhere to get a newer computer for very cheap. People are throwing away better machines :|



#6 Citizen_WD

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 02:49 AM

Hi again, 
 
Since your computer is virus protected, and the problem is in data corruption - it's a software one, at least that's what I'm lead to belive according to your description. Updating drivers isn't that complicated:
 
You can use Windows Update. You might need to set Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates.
Also, you may install software from the device manufacturer. For example, the official Dell website.
If nothing else helps - you can backup your data and reinstall your operating system.
 
I hope your problem will be solved soon, Citizen_WD

Edited by Citizen_WD, 12 December 2014 - 02:51 AM.


#7 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 07:48 PM

I think it is entirely possible from your description that you are suffering from one of the many variants of ransom ware floating around. This is malware that encrypts your data so that you cannot read / use it. Normally this is followed up by a demand for money to release your data back to you, but you may have missed seeing this or not have received it.

 

What I strongly suggest you do is start a topic in the 'Am i infected?' section of BC describing your problem. If it is malware this is something that needs to be cleaned up first, other problems can wait. You will also find it helpful to read the guides at the start of the 'Am i infected?' section.

 

When you have started a new topic in AII send me a PM to say so and I will close this one to prevent confusion. You do this by clicking on my Avatar - the Scottish flag - this takes you to my profile page and toward the top right you will see a button 'Send a message'.

 

Once the malware question is resolved - either cleaned or determined that it is NOT malware - you will be welcome to start another topic here or in the XP section if you are still having problems.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#8 Ezzah

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 12:36 AM

This could very well be a variant of ransomware and cryptolockers, which purposely encrypt your information to prevent access. I would suggest, as already suggested, to post in the "Am I infected?" section to confirm this through malware removal logs. :)


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