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External HDD Virus? No files visible, but capacity nearly full.

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February 15, 2013 9:31:43 PM

I noticed today that an external HDD connected to my desktop computer contained no content except for a single ~67mb file titled USBC (followed by some strange characters that make it impossible to delete). My computer recognizes the hard drive has being nearly full, as how it was when the content was present.

I did some research and found out that this is a virus that infects external storage devices. However, I can't find a good solution of how to retrieve my files and remove the virus. I have the free version of AVG running, but it's not detecting anything on the drive as being a threat.

Should I try another anti-virus software such as avast? Would a recovery program be the best choice, or are there some command line arguments I should try first, to see if the files are even present?

Thanks!
February 15, 2013 10:20:46 PM

Find and download MiniTool Power Data Recovery or whatever data recovery software.

You could also throw it in a linux PC, which ignores windows priorities.
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February 15, 2013 10:58:49 PM

Thanks for the suggestions!

Would running Ubuntu in a Virtual Machine be enough to bypass window's priorities?
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February 15, 2013 11:02:05 PM

Wow good thinking! In theory yes. but I couldn't say for sure (little experience with VM)
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February 16, 2013 1:49:22 AM

So I tried several things. I used the following command to make all files visible in the windows command line:

  1. attrib -s -r -h F:/*.* /s /d


which made some folders visible that I did not see before, but nothing that looks like it contains the contents of the hard drive:

in Ubuntu, ls -a shows:

  1. bryan@bryan-VirtualBox:~$ ls -a
  2. ls: cannot access USBC≡╪°.: No such file or directory
  3. ls: cannot access USBC≡╪°.: No such file or directory
  4. Desktop .fseventsd .gconfd .nautilus $RECYCLE.BIN .Spotlight-V100 System Volume Information .Trash-bar72 .Trashes ._.Trashes USBC≡╪°?. USBC≡╪°?.


I can go ahead and run a data recovery tool, but I have some qualms about that. Mainly, it's going to take a very, very long time to recover 350GB of data, and what assurance do I have that this won't happen again? Avast! and AVG aren't finding any threats, and I can't delete those USBC files (nor do I know if I should).

What's a person to do?
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Best solution

February 16, 2013 7:26:23 AM

Sorry so late. Honestly I had never heard of the USBC virus, and I was 99% sure that any linux system would have let you bypass a virus like that.

How sure are you it's a virus and not just faulty?

Either way, it's looking like a data recovery tool is your only option. I hope it works for you.
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February 16, 2013 7:57:44 AM

I had something similar once. My files become hidden files. Avira didn't detect anything. I had to use another antivirus to make those files unhidden.
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March 30, 2013 1:57:42 PM

MilchstrabeStern said:
So I tried several things. I used the following command to make all files visible in the windows command line:

  1. attrib -s -r -h F:/*.* /s /d


which made some folders visible that I did not see before, but nothing that looks like it contains the contents of the hard drive:

in Ubuntu, ls -a shows:

  1. bryan@bryan-VirtualBox:~$ ls -a
  2. ls: cannot access USBC≡╪°.: No such file or directory
  3. ls: cannot access USBC≡╪°.: No such file or directory
  4. Desktop .fseventsd .gconfd .nautilus $RECYCLE.BIN .Spotlight-V100 System Volume Information .Trash-bar72 .Trashes ._.Trashes USBC≡╪°?. USBC≡╪°?.


I can go ahead and run a data recovery tool, but I have some qualms about that. Mainly, it's going to take a very, very long time to recover 350GB of data, and what assurance do I have that this won't happen again? Avast! and AVG aren't finding any threats, and I can't delete those USBC files (nor do I know if I should).

What's a person to do?


Thanks!!! Worked for me
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May 3, 2013 7:25:37 AM

quas said:
I had something similar once. My files become hidden files. Avira didn't detect anything. I had to use another antivirus to make those files unhidden.


It is asame that no one can destroy the virtual machines that is attaching to our users computers. They destroyed 5 brandnew computers on this end because no technician could detect the viruses and how to stop them. This is what I found out the hard way, nortons cant stop them, microsoft , wont, att, wont, hp, wont. I say lets drop all our pcs off at the FCC and let them deal with this virus inwhich our providers are making a killing off of, not even trying to fix thier applications, OS's, firewalls, routers, this so called unprotected wifi because, these technicians do not tell, normal users, to fully secure, their, pc, tablets, IPhones, and any other device, Block remote is almost impossible. We are really in trouble when it comes to virtual machines. I wish iknew code. I would write a virus to send back to then and another thing they are doing is using these pc's or devices, from a RAID, a FIRA disk enumerator, comprimising total control of all pc's/devices connected to the internet, and half of America does not even know it. No one cares, GIVE USERs a break. Someone please. Nothing is working, I even found keyboard, crack on my PCs. Im pizzzzzed.




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July 3, 2013 11:38:47 AM

Its not a virus, the standard delete of files does not work I have found, each time I want to reuse a flashdrive I need to format. Not found a solution around this yet.
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December 28, 2013 10:27:02 AM

Hello,

Try this 1

They are some folders like "System Volume Information",$recycle.bin where

the user don't have access to it. For such folders "Access Denied" message will

appear. So don't worry about it. Enter that command, wait for a while until the

process get completed and then make sure that your files are removed from

hidden mode

Alternative Method :

Click on Start --> In search box, type control folders and press Enter.

[If you are using Windows XP then type control folders in Run and press Enter]

"Folder Options" will be opened. Click on the "View" tab.

Now select the option "Show hidden files, folders or drives" and uncheck the

check box "Hide protected operating system files" --> Click on "OK" button.

Now look for your files in your external drive.

Later undo the changes you have made by once again going to "Folder Options"

--> Click on "View" tab and click on "Restore Defaults" button --> Click on "OK".

Good Luck
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January 7, 2014 4:43:07 AM

MilchstrabeStern said:
I noticed today that an external HDD connected to my desktop computer contained no content except for a single ~67mb file titled USBC (followed by some strange characters that make it impossible to delete). My computer recognizes the hard drive has being nearly full, as how it was when the content was present.

I did some research and found out that this is a virus that infects external storage devices. However, I can't find a good solution of how to retrieve my files and remove the virus. I have the free version of AVG running, but it's not detecting anything on the drive as being a threat.

Should I try another anti-virus software such as avast? Would a recovery program be the best choice, or are there some command line arguments I should try first, to see if the files are even present?

Thanks!


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January 7, 2014 4:50:22 AM

I know What it is ,,I have been There too,,,,i had over 50GB left wide open on my External Hrd drv,,being from the netherlands i thot? well? to try AVG,,,,the same thing ONE DAY LATER<<<Hard drive== FULL,,EXT Drive= FULL,,delete everything avg OR PAY the money and tell themDO NOT CLEAN OUT MY SYSTEM FILES OR FOLDERS.seriously i found out that the house keeping the Program does is Just THROW away everything not used in last 48 hrs.,,,GOD BLESS YOU
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