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Computer Security & Viruses/USB Format error message (possible virus?)


19 April 2013

Hello John,

USB format problem-virus?          

Please can you help with the following problem? I used to be able to read information on my USB memory sticks. However, every time I place my USB sticks into the USB ports on my HP laptop (Compaq nx6125) an obstructive message appears which says: The disk in drive E is not formatted. Do you want to format it now. This message appears every time. If you click yes it never completely formats the USB memory sticks.  

I can read the information on these same memory sticks using other computers. The drivers have been updated on my laptop but this does not solve the problem. Yes, I am using a XP system.

I have attempted to solve this problem for about 4 months now. The USB connections used to work well and I could previously read information on the memory sticks. Only a mouse will work in the 3 USB ports now.  Please can you help? I am really struggling to copy information. I cannot copy work onto my memory sticks.

Kind regards,

It could be a virus.  If it is, it's probably a very old one. Most viruses are much friendlier.  What happens when you put the stick into another machine?  Run over to best buy or sam's club and see if you have the same problem.  If you don't have the machine scanned or, better yet, nuke and pave.

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John Crout


Linux, Windows, Open/Free BSD, OSX. Embedded MMU-less (firmware) devt.


Securing systems since 1982. Tip: Switching from a system that is (statistically) more prevalent to one that is less prevalent will help.

Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCG Auxiliary), ACM

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