I am working on an HP laptop with Win 10 64bit. I regularly use USB flash drives. I have two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. Today, ALL ports stopped working on ALL flash drives. The drives are from two different manufacturers.
When I plug in a flash drive, the drive letter I had assigned to it appears under This PC as a removable device, but if I click on the drive letter, I get a message, "Please insert a disk into [driveLetter]:." Also, there is no option to safely remove the drive; it's as if the drive isn't there at all! Disk management doesn't see it either.
I went into device manager. In both Root USB Hubs and in the Generic USB Hub, I unclicked the checkboxes to have the computer turn off the device to save power. I restarted the PC, but that did not help. So I uninstalled all USB controllers and restarted, and updated my BIOS.
Then I went into safe mode and ran full scans from Norton, Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware, and ADWCleaner on my hard drive. All ran fine; just found some adware. I also tried scanning my flash drives. Supserantispyware couldn't find them, and Malwarebytes found ony one of them: It scanned it and found nothing.
So why do I think it's malware? Because I had one other flash drive and I (maybe stupidly!) inserted it in my laptop while I was in safe mode in a local administrator account, and then switched out of safe mode to a standard Microsoft account. The standard account was able to read the flash data just fine. Then I safely removed the flash drive and plugged it into another port. Immediately, The flash drive's light went on for a while as if it was being written to, and then my PC did not recognize it anymore. I tried plugging it into an old PC, which does read flash drives, and it told me the drive needs to be formatted because it is unreadable. Is there some kind of virus that gets activated only when I remove or insert a flash drive?
Addendum March 21:
Another clue today: This morning, my drive letter wasn't even showing up under My PC. I went into power options, turned off Fast Startup, and restarted. Now, it's the way it was yesterday, where the drive letter shows up, but the flash drive still is inaccessible.
I then ran HP's hardware diagnostics on my power and all on all USB ports. All found no problems.
I tried to update my BIOS via HP's utility, but got the message: "The Selected BIOS image was not available. You may select an alternate image file, or cancel the update." I didn't know what to do, so I exited.
sfc /scannow found nothing either.
Hardware failure or infection? What do you tech geniuses think?
Thank you for your help.
Edited by XML2005, 21 March 2017 - 02:14 PM.