All flash drives fail when plugged into laptop USB

J.R. Sitman
J.R. Sitman used Ask the Experts™
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We have a laptop that when any (we tried 5) flash drive is plugged in it either fails installing the drivers or it installs and states it is Write Protected.

I did run MalwareBytes on it and found 5 items that I removed.  One was a trojan and another was a backdoor.

Any advice would be helpful.  I'm considering a re-installation of the OS
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xaichenSenior Analyst
Commented:
Hello.

I had a similar issue some time ago with only one specific brand of external hard drives. The solution for me I think was to force the device from the Device Manager to use the standard c:\windows\system32\drivers\usbstor.sys

Also if you search USBSTOR.SYS in the registry of a working machine (there are only a few matches),  check the same registry keys are present on the faulty machine. Maybe also try replace the usbstor.sys file with one from a known working machine.

I'm also basing my advice on the assumption that the flash drives are fine otherwise on other machines.

Best regards.
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
Thanks I'll post later
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
Here a list of things to try :
-do the usb root hubs show as installed in device manager?  no errors?
-from Device manager scan for new hardware
-in device manager>view tab, click "show hidden devices" and delete all usb entries and hidden devices,  reboot and test
-then you can download the latest drivers for the chipset, and reinstall it to update the USB root hubs
-start>run>diskmgmt.msc      check if the usb devices show up in disk management, then run :   start>run>services.msc
In the listing look for removable storage service.
If it is set to Auto, and not started, then start it : click the Start link in the top left...
-In c:\windows\inf, look for usbstor.inf    -  If it is not there, you can copy it from another PC..When you find it, right click it and select Install

***instead of view hidden devices, try:
Right click Computer > Properties > Advanced System Settings at the left side > 
in the Advanced tab select Environment Variables >
 in System Variables click New and enter:  "devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices" without the parenthesis - enter 1 for the Value.
Click Ok and Exit.
Now delete all devices in device manager  that are not in solid black
Reboot and test
i also found Safely Remove very handy  :  http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1
J.R. SitmanIT Director

Author

Commented:
I had to do both of these to fix it.  Thanks

Also if you search USBSTOR.SYS in the registry of a working machine (there are only a few matches),  check the same registry keys are present on the faulty machine. Maybe also try replace the usbstor.sys file with one from a known working machine.

Now delete all devices in device manager  that are not in solid black
Reboot and test
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
tx for feedback !

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