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Problem with USB devices


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#1
np0804

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I recently had to do a system recovery and reinstall XP after a serious computer virus. Afterwards almost everything seemed to work fine. But there is one problem where my computer does not seem to recognize most USB devices, including a hard drive and PDA. It also added four "removable disks" and assigned them letters. I only have one DVD drive and so I don't know what these other disks are, but they come back even when I try to uninstall them. I back up onto an Iomega hard drive and want to reinstall it.

I have looked at some similar problems on this site and elsewhere, and I get the sense that they are not easy to solve. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas about what I might do, and beyond that, if it is worth it to try to fix this or is it not likely that I will figure it out. I am comfortable with computers but not a really technical person.

I would welcome any ideas or suggestions. I am at a loss. I have tried the easy steps like plugging and unplugging and there does seem to be a more serious issue at work.

I'm not sure if this is the best place for this kind of problem. If there is a more appropriate forum on this or another site please let me know. I will be thankful for any ideas!
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#2
cmpm

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Those assigned drive letters are probably your USB devices.

Can you read anything in those drives?
If you can, do you recognize which device it is?

You could do this-
Open Control Panel (Classic View)
System
Hardware Tab
Device Manager button

Open the properties for each drive and update that device using windows update, unless you have a disk.
Those drives will be in there somewhere.
Possibly 'Human Interface Devices' or 'USB controllers'.
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#3
np0804

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Thanks for the response.

I can't seem to read the drives -- when I try to look at them it just says "Please insert a disk into drive __". My Computer shows them all as full but with 0 bytes.

I tried going into the Device Manager and I am not exactly sure where they are but I tried to update the drivers for some of the most likely entries -- the USB root hubs and mass storage devices (I don't see anything called "Human Interface Devices", but it keeps not finding anything and says it cannot finish the hardware wizard because the wizard cannot find better match for hardware than software currently installed.

The only time I can identify the external hard drive is when I go into Computer Management and then Disk Management and I see it listed but can't seem to do anything with it to make it show up on My Computer or elsewhere.
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#4
The Skeptic

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What sort of recovery did you perform (clean format, repair of windows, recovery with manufacturer's disk that includes all the drivers)?

What data did you backup and how (just personal data or did your backed-up data included program files. Was it a clone (image) of the disk)?
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#5
np0804

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What sort of recovery did you perform (clean format, repair of windows, recovery with manufacturer's disk that includes all the drivers)?

What data did you backup and how (just personal data or did your backed-up data included program files. Was it a clone (image) of the disk)?



Thanks for the response. Here is the description from the manual:

"This recovery option will create a backup of ALL files on the hard drive and will then reinstall the original production system and settings. The first step in this recovery process is to create a backup folder. The recovery system will then move the entire contents of the hrad drive to the newly created backup folder. The recovery system will then start extracting files from the recovery image, thus restoring the original production system containing system drivers and bundled applications. The final step is to install a master boot record so that the PC boots into Windows. Once the system is restored, you can recuperate your files and folders by copying files from the backup folder."

There is a more extreme recovery option where you lose all your files but I really would like to avoid that if possible and I'm not sure it would work any better.

I look forward to hearing any ideas you might have.
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#6
The Skeptic

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The procedure described in your post is sure to import back every virus that existed in your files, and possibly corrupted files in some programs. As I see it there are two options:

1: Make sure that the system is clean of malware. Please post your topic in the malware forum (a link in my list of programs below). Take all the preliminary steps. After the helpers from the malware forum confirm that the computer is clean, and if the problem persists, post back in this forum. It might take some time because they are quite busy there.

2: Take the "extreme" method for windows installation. Back up your valuable data (documents, pictures, videos, emails, address book etc) to an external storage device. Do not back up programs because you will have to re-install them anyway.
Connect the external device to another computer and use it's antimalware programs to scan and clean the backed up data. Now take the "extreme" process which will format the disk, wiping of everything in the process and reinstall windows, device drivers and built-in programs. Please note that you will have to reinstall all your other programs (e.g office, antimalware, music players other then wmp etc.). When finished, connect the external device to your freshly formatted computer, copy the saved files and paste them in place.
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#7
np0804

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Ok I will go to Malware forum and follow instructions and will return here when I am done. Thanks.
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#8
The Skeptic

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You are welcome.
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