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Can't Find External Hard Drive - Windows XP/Gateway

by FrustratedChai / September 30, 2009 8:01 PM PDT

The short problem is that I wish to back up My Documents on to my external hard drive (which my computer used to be able to find) but it can't find it. My Computer only shows the C: and D: drives.

The longer background to this problem is that a week ago my computer was infected with the Total Security 2009 virus/malware. After many hours and much Googling (on a different computer) I was able to remove it by stopping the random number process, getting rid of the random number program file, and running Spyware Doctor and other anti-virus software.

I thought everything was fine.

Then today when trying to watch a video on YouTube I noticed that the volume icon was gone from the taskbar. I restarted the computer but that only caused it to lose the wireless icon and others as well. That reboot even caused the Quick Launch icons to disappear but I was able to correct that problem. I also started to get an Application Error with Skype.exe in which it told me that The RPC server is unavailable.

I followed several different directions (after more Googling) about how to restore the lost icons and these directions eventually took me into playing with services and trying to restore the RPC info in the registry and so on and so forth. Nothing made it any better and I've given up. I am no longer trying to fix this problem. Instead all I want to do now is back-up My Documents onto the external hard drive and restore the computer to its factory settings.

I tried Run > diskmgmt.msc but it tells me that for the Logical Disk Manager that The RPC server is unavailable.

Essentially I just need some method to get the external hard drive acknowledged long enough to drop My Documents onto it.


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More info on the problem
by FrustratedChai / September 30, 2009 8:07 PM PDT

Additional note: The reason I didn't restore back to an earlier checkpoint when things went wrong with the icons was that it was telling me that the System Restore function was unavailable. So this is one really hosed computer.

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More Weirdness - Can't Paste
by FrustratedChai / September 30, 2009 8:50 PM PDT

I was able to get the computer to find a USB stick (but it still won't find the external hard drive in the same port) and I can access the files ON the USB stick and I can delete those files and I can even create a new folder on the USB stick. But I can't copy files from My Documents onto the USB stick. It lets me select the files in My Documents and choose Copy but when I go to the stick's screen and try to do a paste nothing happens.

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The ultimate remedy.
by Kees Bakker / September 30, 2009 8:54 PM PDT

1. Buy an external case for your harddisk.
2. Mount your current hard disk in it. Store safely away.
3. Buy a new internal harddisk and put it in.
4. Do a clean install of the OS + drivers + Windows updates + applications (including a good antivirus!)
5. Copy the data (data only!) from your old hard disk to your new hard disk.
6. Format the external hard disk to get rid of any virus left.
7. Start using the now clean external hard disk for backup purposes.


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Too much going on...
by Willy / September 30, 2009 10:34 PM PDT

Sorry, you got some issues and least of which is the ext. HD. You maybe better off doing a complete reload of the OS. The past malware infection, either it or the corrections you took hosed it all up. When push comes to shove its better to start from scratch again. Now, beware the infection could have already infected the ext. HD as well. So, if you can scan it "directly" from another system to verify its clean. Understand also, that "any ext. HD" is more of temporary or working storage media, don't count on it for long term backup. While if clean it will help you recover, it can become hosed as well later or fail if you read these forums happens often enough. I suggest if you can, burn to a CD/DVD drive the documents you want saved as another storage media. If you like try a 8gb or better flash drive, again verify they're clean as well when later used to retrieve data for now.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Can't Copy The Files To Anything
by FrustratedChai / September 30, 2009 10:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Too much going on...

I plan to completely toss the OS, once I have the My Documents files. Unfortunately, even though I've finally got it to acknowledge the existence of the external hard drive (which it will let me add folders to and delete files on) it won't let me copy any files from My Documents over to the external hard drive. I can delete files from My Documents and it pretends that the copy command works but nothing gets placed on the external hard drive. I also can't copy files from one folder in My Documents to another. It's not a problem with the external hard drive as it works fine on other computers.

It's like the fried computer doesn't know how to paste.

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