Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: external hard drive file corruption?

10 Jul 2011   #1
briligg

windows 7 x64
 
 
external hard drive file corruption?

We have an external hard drive for back ups. Usually it is in storage, or it is connected to my machine via usb. Occasionally my husband connects it to his xp machine to do back ups or copy a file. After he uses it, when i next connect it to my machine, windows asks me if i want to scan and fix the drive, or open it without scanning. I have always said just open it. I thought win xp left some artifacts on the drive maybe.

Now i see some mysterious files have appeared on the drive, and i can't delete them. I tried doing it from the command prompt, but unless i'm doing something wrong, i get the same error i get when i try deleting them from windows explorer - the file names aren't valid.

Is this indeed because of the sharing of the drive across systems? Is it normal for win7 to ask for a scan and fix of a drive after it has been on a win xp system? How do i delete these files? Should i be concerned about a larger issue?




Attached Images
external hard drive file corruption?-undeletable-files.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
10 Jul 2011   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

Those do look odd. Please do the following before you go any further:

Download, install, update and run a FULL scan of all your hard drives and your external USB drives using Malwarebytes. Please post back the log that is created once the scan is finished.

What ant-virus software is currently installed on:

1. Your PC; and
2. Your husbands XP PC?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2011   #3
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

What did MalwareBytes report?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Jul 2011   #4
briligg

windows 7 x64
 
 

Hi - sorry for not getting back earlier. I'm in a Mexican town, we lose our internet connection regularly.
Both of our computers have Avast, the free version. I just let Avast run in the background, i haven't done a scan in quite a while . Hubby's computer never gets scanned unless i run it for him.

I'll go get malwarebytes now and do that scan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2011   #5
briligg

windows 7 x64
 
 

Avast caught ElistarA on hubby's machine, then i ran it again during boot and it caught 3 PUP's and 1 malware, although it didn't specify what - i could check the report to find out.
Avast run during boot didn't find anything on my machine. I also had it check the external drive from within Windows because i didn't know if that was part of the boot scan - nothing. Malwarebytes had previously found 2 old keygens, which i deleted. I'm happier with Avast, i think i'm going to stick with it, so i took Malwarebytes off the machine again.

So i tried running CCleaner. It looked like it was going to take a few hours to wipe the free space on drive F: (the external), so i shut it down and took another look at F: to decide if the free space wipe was a good time investment. The drive no longer lists the mystery files that were causing me concern. I had moved them to a folder of there own in my attempts to delete them, and that folder is now a 32kb file, it's no longer a folder. The first time i tried to delete it, Windows said its recycle bin was corrupted (what recycle bin?) and i terminated the process from task manager when it hung. I just went back and tried to delete it again, this time there was no problem.

So... for the moment everything seems fine... but do i need to worry about this happening again?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2011   #6
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

next time you run CCleaner.

Just use its default settings. Wipe is an unusual situation, and yes, does require much time.

MSE is FREE! Updated very regularly. The same anti-virus that Microsoft uses in Forefront, the enterprise security software.

MSE is the only anti-virus that I will and do install on my own and other computers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2011   #7
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

You need to consider keeping Malwarebytes on your PC, and updating and running it regularly. This is why:

There isn't a single anti-virus software that will cover every possible bit of malicious code, so by having both and doing scans regularly you minimise your exposure to most (but not all) the evil code out there. We refer to this as a layered security approach : its the simplest and easiest way to protect yourself from this stuff. The same needs to go for your husbands PC, since you swap USB storage devices between yours and his PC.

I'm not entirely sure, but Elistara appears to be either:

1. A legitimate Spanish based anti-virus product, or
2. Fakeware anti-virus product

A lot of my google hits produce poorly rated sites, or my Spanish isn't up to scratch. To be on the safe side, I recommend attempting to uninstall this (unless someone else that is familiar with this product can offer better advice), and re-running scans using free Microsoft Stand Alone System Sweeper.

This tutorial by Brink will show you how to burn the download to a DVD, and use the tool to scan your systems:

https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...m-sweeper.html

Do this on:

1. Your PC,
2. Your husband's PC
3. Any and all external USB devices.

If it comes up clean, then ensure both your PC's have current and up-to-date anti-virus products (Avast or MSE will be just fine, don't forget Malwarebytes!). Until you do this, you continue to run the risk of cross-infection between your PC's

Post back here if you need more help.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2011   #8
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Golden,
good advice.

I do recommend putting the System Sweeper on a USB stick because updating of the System Sweeper is much easier when using a USB stick.

since new malware / root kits / viruses are continually appearing, then updating of the System Sweeper before use is rather much a necessity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2011   #9
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Excellent advice - thanks Karl
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2011   #10
briligg

windows 7 x64
 
 

Avast removed ElistarA.exe. So my guess is it was fakeware.

I wonder at what point the mystery files on F: disappeared. It wasn't during the virus scans. It was connected to my machine the whole time. I ran CCleaner's file and registry cleaning programs before i got into the free memory wipe thing, and memory wipe ran for a few minutes before i decided to cancel it. I suppose one of those processes got rid of the weird files.

The layered security approach makes a lot of sense. I worry a bit about different antivirus programs interfering with each other or slowing down my machine. I like it that Avast runs in the background, but i don't know that i would want another antivirus running in the background too. Won't they gum each other up and slow everything down? Malwarebytes seems to run only when intentionally opened, so adding it wouldn't seem to be a problem. MSE? I don't know. I'm going to try to find some more info. Normally, Windows products don't play nice with rival products.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 external hard drive file corruption?




Thread Tools




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
External Hard drive has changed to RAW file system
I have a Western Digital 2TB desk top hard drive which is almost three quarters full. It has worked fine up until yesterday. Today however it was causing windows explorer to stop responding. I tried to use task manager but explorer did not close until I physically unplugged the hard drive from...
Hardware & Devices
Best external to external hard drive synchronized backup plan?
So I want to clone one external 2TB with another. So one drive is the main use one and another the backup one. So I copy everything over to backup and i store the backup at another house and then I start using the main: deleting and adding/editing files. What is the best software or whatever to...
Hardware & Devices
hard drive corruption issues
hey folks im new to this forum so go easy on me! i built my first pc about 5 months ago because my laptop of 4 years goosed on me while ordering dominos pizza (dammit!!) - iv done a good job everything works swimmingly except i salvaged the hard drive from the laptop and hooked it up to my new...
Hardware & Devices
SFC /SCANOW fails, /VERIFYONLY results posted. Corruption o Hard Drive
Around 3 weeks ago my pc was regularly BSOD'ing because I had residual ATI drivers left from a replacement card I used. Everything was fine after I uninstalled these but one of the bsod's corrupted windows files. I was able to sfc /scannow repair the damaged files and everything was fine until 2...
BSOD Help and Support
Complete Hard drive corruption, OS not working at all
So I have a fairly new computer, and long story short, I failed to get an anti-virus software in time. Eventually I got a pretty malicious virus that corrupted my entire hard drive. I mean I was on the ie9 and then it disappeared along with all the other files on my desktop. Pretty soon(like a few...
Backup and Restore
Unknown file system on external hard drive
I have discovered that my external hard drive is showing "unknown file system" hence why it will not show anywhere on the computer for instance under disk management or my computer, is there any way to get around this? like can a file system be recovered?
Hardware & Devices


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:03.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App