USB-connected SSD disappeared from explorer  

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  1. Posts : 285
    Windows 10 Home

    USB-connected SSD disappeared from explorer

    Hello everyone,

    I am old George from Norway. Thank you for accepting me as a member of Windows 10 Forums.

    I was searching the wed for urgent help when I came cross this Forum. As I am doing this for the first time I will most likely make many mistakes. However, I hope you veterans will have patience with me in the beginning as I expect to “learn by using”. I will be pleased to receive suggested solutions from experienced and smart members of the Forum.

    Windows 10 Home 64 bits

    Case History:
    Last week I faced what I believe was a ransomware attack which locked my device. I do not know what kind of virus it was as there was no definition on the message that filled the whole screen and delivered an automatic print out. The message contained a fake Microsoft Support phone number. I did not call of course.

    Nevertheless, I fixed the lock problem myself by a quick forced shut down, disconnecting the power and removing the battery. I also pushed the on/off button 8-10 times to make sure that no power was left in RAM or any other components. Next time I started the PC it was unlocked and working as usual. I also performed a Bitdefender virus search without finding any traces of the attack.

    I also wanted to check the registry and did that with the Wise Registry Cleaner s/w witch was recommended by one of the leading computer magazines in the country. Regrettably I missed to make a registry back-up… After running the cleaning (and there was quite a few issues taken care of) I wanted to make a complete system back-up on the external SSD I am using for that purpose. Connecting it to one of the USB ports, it did not show in the explorer. It showed, however, in the list of “invisible icons” (lower right hand corner of the screen) as well as in the Device Manager. So now I cannot back-up the system on an external SSD.

    What totally confuses me is that if I connect a USB memory stick instead of the SSD it works just fine – I can open and read the files as normal.

    I have 3 external disks and they have all been tested in 2 other PCs. They all work fine.
    The disks were also tested on all 3 USB ports on my PC with the same result.

    I tried to do a system restore, but as Windows automatically sets the date and time I could not roll back to the date before the registry cleaning took place. Is it possible to select the date manually in any way?

    My hope is to get the help I need on the Forum. I have been using computers for nearly 40 years and the last 10-15 years I have been able to fix most of the problems myself by finding help on Internet. But this time I am totally lost. I consider my computer- and S/W knowledge as rather limited, but I have a feeling that this problem might come from a change in settings somewhere after the registry cleaning.

    I am sorry for the long story, but in order to be as clear as possible I found it worthwhile telling you all I know and what I have done during one week’s efforts trying to resolve the problem. Unfortunately without success.

    Thank you all for taking the time to read my post. I am looking forward to your suggested solutions with great interest.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64

    Hello George and welcome to TF young man ,

    I would suggest installing MalwareBytes Free and doing a full scan first just to see if it comes up with anything. It's free and you can try the premium version free when you install it, but you can also deactivate the premium trial version immediately if you like from within the app's settings.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64

    Next I would go to the PC manufacturers website and see if they have anything like USB or system drivers that you can download and install to try and help with the USB issue.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64

    I'm assuming your external drive worked fine with this PC before the attack?
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 285
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    Hello Steve,
    Thank you for responding so quickly. Well, young, I am 77 so I am not so sure about that.

    After running the Bitdefender Plus search I also run the Kaspersky anti ransomware program without finding anything... but tryinig an other program can't do any harm I believe.

    I did check in the Device Manager about the drivers (I have a s/w which updates my drivers automatically) and when I try to update from the D M I get the message that I have the latest and best version and that the unit is working correctly.

    Yes, my external drive worked fine before the incident, I have earlier back-up versions on that disk.

    I really don't know, but I believe something is wrong with the registry after the cleaning. When running the program again it shows many issues again, but I just did a scan not a clean this time.

    What do you know about Restoro? Could that be worth a try?
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64

    I've never heard of Restoro : found this: Restoro Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64

    If you don't make regular full backups, most of us here use and strongly recommend:
    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect (free version works just fine)
    so consider doing this once PC is repaired.

    I'm assuming you don't have any full backup to restore to your boot drive now?

    You're still able to drive your multiple PCs well, so still a young man in my book
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 285
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    Thanks Steve.
    Yes, I have a full back-up from an earlier date on the SSD, but there is a gap of about 2-3 months. The last one could not compete the process because of som issue, I don't remember exactly as I was going to run it again. Right now the Malwarebyte just finished and found a number of registry key issues...

    Yes, Steve, and I am still even able to separate them...

    I use to do back-up on e regular basis with Ashampo nack-up program which was recommended by a Swedish computer magazine (I live in Sweden), and that has been working fine. But it is not the fastest and smartest program I think. But what do you recommend, Steve, incremental or seqvential back up?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry, the line "separate them" came in wrong, should come in the end...
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64

    Hi George,
    Incremental vs differential backup: what are the differences and how do they compare to full backup? | by Richard Gall | Macrium Software

    I'm so far just making a full manual backup monthly.

    If you are happy with your current backup software, no need to change I suppose.

    Is it practical for you to save your documents you modified in the last the months, restore your old backup, then copy your saved documents? Maybe you should make a full backup of your current boot drive first after Malwarebytes scan is done. I hope there's no residual virus or anything left on it. Some might recommend that you do a clean install.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 285
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    Sorry for the wrong back-up term. Yea, it is always best to do a clean back-up, reinstalling Windows 10 I believe you mean. I have thought about that for many days already, but I am afraid I will loose my e-mails as I am running Office/Outlook 2010. I guess I have to change to the latest version. But copying my mails since 2012 organised in separate folders and importing it all to a new program feels like a gamble to me...

    Back to Malwarebyte. Can the program repair damaged registry keys and other files?

    - - - Updated - - -

    But Steve, how do you explain that the USB flash memory sticks works and not the disks?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Can me draw any logic conclusions fram the fact that flash memories are working but not the disks?

    - - - Updated - - -

    If Malwarebytes can not repair the registry, what program do you recommend?
      My Computer


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