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I've been avoiding this issue for quite some time, but I feel like this is a good time to ask about it.

I have an external hard drive loaded up with most of my important and large files. for a few years, some of the computers that I have plugged it into have detected pretty much every .exe file it gets to as being a threat.

I'm honestly doubtful about some of this, because a lot of the files are downloaded from completely reputable sources. one time, I even downloaded Firefox Setup from Mozilla onto the drive, and plugged it into one of the computers it had issues with and the just-downloaded file was considered infected.

I'm getting tired of this and I'm starting to wonder if there's any way I can fix it. the drive is a Western Digital Elements SE 1TB drive formatted to FAT32 (sucks, I know), and antiviruses I've experienced this with so far are McAfee and Norton, though I don't use either.

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What type of "virus"? Any names? – Canha Aug 4 '12 at 1:54
@canha I completely forget! I can do some AV tests if it would help. – parashep Aug 4 '12 at 4:48
To analyse the issue I need the signatures that the Antivirus detected on the drive. They should be stated under "threat name" or something similar in the antivirus reports. – Temikus Aug 4 '12 at 19:24
@Temikus I commented my results on the answer below. – parashep Aug 8 '12 at 22:05

I used to have this issue, I was SO annoyed with it. Anyway, your solution is to upgrade norton. Right-click on the norton icon and click "Check for updates". Install the newest update and your key should work with the upgrade. If it doesn't, I believe there's a free 60 day trial, after which you can either buy a new key or do the ahem other method of using the BOX! Norton trial reset. I'm not endorsing this, I'm just showing you your other options.

I've never used McAfee, so I wouldn't know about that. But what I said earlier is (to my knowledge) the only way around this, I've even asked on the Norton forums and an administrator told me that there wasn't anything built-in to Norton to allow it (because it's a medium level alert and you can only disable the low level one).

As far as I'm concerned, there's no hard-drive that avoids anti-viruses. This will most likely never be made, as it could be a very big workaround for being detected by anti-virus programs.

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I've had good luck using Microsoft Security Essentials - Free Antivirus for Windows with its real-time protection turned on. Updates itself and doesn't seen to slow my system down like most of the other AV programs I tried did. – martineau Aug 4 '12 at 4:01
the issue is that it's not my computer that is doing this to me. it's an issue that I can't solve by touching the antivirus. @martineau Security Essentials has been good to me on other computers in my house but I haven't plugged my hard drive into those computers (playing it safe) – parashep Aug 4 '12 at 4:44
@parashep: Well, I think you need to be brave and plug it into one that has some kind of AV installed and scan the drive. – martineau Aug 4 '12 at 5:03
@martineau you may be right... I'll do some tests in a VM – parashep Aug 4 '12 at 6:00
Microsoft Security essentials doesn't slow down the system because it has no I/O filters whatsoever. It defends only against the most common threats and can't be considered a real endpoint security solution. I've seen way too many infected machines with MSE giving it a green status. – Temikus Aug 4 '12 at 19:29

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