Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

It happened a couple days ago.

I was downloading something and right after it was finished I was no longer able to read what was on my hard drive. The language was no longer in English but in wingding and my computer reads it as a different drive than what it actually is. I

It's a 698GB external and I have alot of information on it. I'm assuming its a virus but if I can fix the problem with out having to wipe the drive I'd be very happy.

share|improve this question
what operating system are you running? how are you posting this? need more specifics. – John T Oct 26 '09 at 4:24

First just to be safe, disable autorun - here are the instructions if you're using Windows.

Now the problem that you're facing could also be caused by hard disk malfunction. Scan it for bad sectors - you can do it by right clicking the disk in Explorer, and selecting

Properties -> Tools -> Error-checking -> Check Now -> Scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors -> Start.

If that doesn't seem to help, you can try scanning it for virus. Download Avira AntiVir or AVG and perform a scan of the hard disk. I prefer Avira, since in my personal experience I have seen it catching a virus which AVG missed.

share|improve this answer

You can use this rescue live-CD virus scanner : Avira AntiVir Rescue System.

As a boot CD it doesn't require your operating system, and as it gets updated several times a day the virus definitions are up-to-date.

share|improve this answer

Download Avira (free) or use whatever antivirus you prefer, and perform a full scan first and foremost.

share|improve this answer

download NOD 32,update it first and scan the whole computer in safe mode.

share|improve this answer

After virus scan process if it finds some viruses,it will ask you what to do...First try to fix the infected file by selecting FIX option.If it says "it can't be fixed",you should delete the infected file if you want to clean your computer,but in case of deletion:your file will be lost.So you should decide what to do for each infected file.

share|improve this answer

Assuming that by external you mean USB -

What I would do is boot up in Linux and run a VM of BartPE with an AV integrated with the USB passed through to the VM. This way if the AV complains it can't delete something, shutdown the VM, mount the drive and delete it.

Why Linux? It will prevent you from getting infected, and Linux doesn't understand NTFS permissions so you can delete anything you want without the whinny Windows telling you don't have rights to it.

Unless of course you are talking about a Linux/Mac virus, which then it is a whole different ball game.

My two cents anyways.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.