Need Help On Solid State Drive

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  #1  
Old 12-23-17, 09:44 PM
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Need Help On Solid State Drive

Imation Solid State Drive 64 GB

* It was working fine
* It has never been droped or damaged physically
* One day it got a virus in it from the internet and lost all my files
* I used several anti-virus programs to get rid of it and couldn't.
* I tried to Format the drive and could not
* So, I manually deleted files on it.
* Now I cannot do anything with it. Cannot Format, delete, wipe, change, nothing
* I have used several Partitioning programs with no luck
* When I connect it to my computer as an external drive, it prevents the computer from booting
*There is not much else that I can think of to make it useful again
* Over the years I have never had this kind of issues with regular hard drives. Is there something unique about solid state drives?!
*So, before getting rid of it, I thought maybe someone here could help.
* But please remember that I have tried many times to use Windows tools to resolve the problem, but how do you get to the Windows when it prevents the computer from even booting?!
* Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-24-17, 05:28 AM
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It sounds like you are now connecting it to the computer as the master drive. It needs to be a slave or secondary drive. What sounds like is happening is, the computer is trying to use this drive to load up when actually, all your windows files are on the other drive. If you dont have another drive attached to the computer, obviously , again, there are no files accessible to the computer.
The drive with the windows files needs to be the master... the other needs to be the slave.

I dont know what all you have tried or done, so at this point its just basic suggestions & questions.
 
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Old 12-24-17, 05:31 AM
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I would suggest that you download & install free partitioning software such as the "MiniTool Partition Wizard (Free) Edition". You can download it at: https://www.partitionwizard.com/free...n-manager.html Once it's installed, it will let you create a bootable CD. Boot from the CD with the SSD connected (you may need to change the boot sequence to get the computer to boot from the CD), and delete any partitions present on the SSD. You should be able to then create one or more partitions and format the drive.
 
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Old 12-25-17, 10:57 AM
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First, Happy Holiday to all and thanks for the response.

To Dixie2012, no I am Not connecting it to the computer as a Master drive. How could I if it has all those problems I mentioned before. The computer works fine Without this SSD drive attached to it. But the computer does not boot if I connect this SSD to it as Slave or even by itself.

To Bob14525, I will download and try the software you suggested, but as I mentioned before, I have tried numerous partioning tools without any luck. Some of them show the content of my SSD and try to delete or format it, but then give errors and cannot save changes. The strange thing is that hard drive testing tools show it as being ok or healthy !!!

My own guess is that for some reason this SSD does not allow any changes to it.
Fortunately I have a copy of most of its content, but enjoy the challenge of trying to fix it and with the help from all you knowledgeable folks maybe I learn a thing or two here. So, I welcome and appreciate any help or suggestions and maybe together we can find out the problem.
 
  #5  
Old 12-25-17, 02:47 PM
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Check your bios setting to make sure the computer is not showing the SSD first in the boot sequence.
 
  #6  
Old 12-26-17, 09:06 AM
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jaymes-

You must be using a USB enclosure if you are connecting the SSD externally. Is that an optional kit that came with the SSD? External SSDís connect via USB. Internal SSDís connect via SATA (Iím almost 100% certain thatís the case.)

Your BIOS is probably set to boot from a USB external drive before other drives. Thatís why you canít boot up the system with the SSD connected externally Ė itís not a bootable drive, or it was at one time a bootable drive which is now corrupted.

Did you try to connect the SSD externally but after the system was up and running? What does Windows tell you when you connect the SSD externally after the system is up and running? What version of Windows are you using?

Do you have one single HDD you boot from plus this SSD? What does Windows tell you about the SSD drive when you boot from the HDD with the SSD connected internally? Are you saying the SSD is not even recognized when you connect it internally? Or does Windows recognize the SSD but the tools to format the SSD return an error(s) message? What is the error message(s)?

Do you have any formatting or diagnostic software that came with the SSD? How do you know the SSD was corrupted via a virus? Did Windows tell you the File System was corrupted or did the SSD come up as an unrecognizable device in Device Manager?

What were the messages from the anti-virus software that made you think there was a virus (somewhere) which the anti-virus software could not remove? Did the anti-virus software indicate in some way that the Firmware in the SSD had been compromised?
 
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Old 12-28-17, 02:09 PM
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To zoesdad:
Thanks for taking the time to respond. Frankly none of those questions apply here and I know enough to pay attention to those issues you raised. I have been using and working with computers since 1995.

First to answer your questions:
1. The SSD is not USB, it is SATA
2. It is mounted internally
3. The virus was a Ransom virus and disabled all my files and I spent several days using different anti-virus softwares to get rid of it. None could.
4. So, I tried to Format the SSD drive, I could not.
5. I just manually deleted all files and folders.
6. As I said before, I have used several partitioning softwares to format it and could not until last night one could. All testing softwares say the SSD is healthy.
7. Still, when I try to install Windows 7 or other Windows on it, I cannot. They go through first steps of loading Windows files, then stop. No messages.
8. When I connect it to the computer as an internal slave drive, my computer does not boot. No messages.
9. So, here we have a healthy (!?) SSD that does not work.
10. Will try couple of other ideas, then give up and toss it.
 
  #8  
Old 12-28-17, 04:48 PM
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* When I connect it to my computer as an external drive, it prevents the computer from booting
.......................................................

Jaymes that statement led me to believe you also connected the drive as an external drive Ė not just as an internal drive Ė and when you connected the drive externally that also caused the computer to not boot. If thatís not the case then that is significant.

When I connect it to the computer as an internal slave drive, my computer does not boot. No messages.
................................................................
Thereís is no Master/Slave with SATA. When you connect the SSD you have to ensure that the SSD is not connected to the first SATA port that the BIOS will try to boot from. You may have the HDD connected to the second SATA port (or greater) which will work fine. But when you add the SSD to a lower numbered port the system will try to boot from the SSD. Thatís what it sounds like is happening.

You should go into the BIOS and check/reset the boot order.
...................................
5. I just manually deleted all files and folders.
.........................................

How did you delete files if you cannot boot with the SSD connected to the system?
 
  #9  
Old 12-29-17, 04:43 PM
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Well Iíll try to answer my own question from the previous post LOL:
............................
How did you delete files if you cannot boot with the SSD connected to the system?
.........................................
Maybe you are doing some kind of ďhot pluggingĒ in which you are connecting the SSD to an internal SATA port - but only after the system has booted and is up and running Ė and Windows does then in fact recognize the SSD and thus you can do some stuff with the SSD, like try to format, etc. Ė and Ö could it be you are describing ďhot-pluggingď as ďconnect it to my computer as an external driveĒ. (Lots of maybeís there, LOL.)

Anyway, be all that as it may, if you can access the SSD then I would not throw it out immediately. I would download the SSD Firmware from the manufacturerís website and try to install the latest Firmware. If it is malware that has lodged itself in the SSD a complete Firmware load may overwrite it, but I believe in some cases only parts of the Firmware are replaced and thus the malware could remain intact in those instances.

But the type of malware that infests an HDD (or SDD) I believe is very sophisticated stuff (NSA type stuff) and is not likely lodged in your particular SSD Firmware. Also, Iím pretty sure ransomware doesnít try to destroy your drive, it encrypts the files and they want you to pay to decrypt them. I donít see how destroying your drive up front making it forever unusable, even if possible (which I doubt), would benefit the criminals.

In other words, I would think the problem you now have of not being able to erase or format your SSD is not likely because of something internal to the SSD, but because of something external to the SSD (maybe even procedural error or the malware still on the computer) and so youíre not going to get rid of the problem by throwing out the SSD. Iím no security expert for sure (but did work as a SW guy for 30+ yrs).

Just my opinion!

But Good Luck!!
 
  #10  
Old 01-01-18, 12:09 PM
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To zoesdad;

First, Happy New Year to you and thanks for taking the time to help me. You are very knowledgeable and I am learing a lot from you. I will try to respond to your questions and clearify some points.

Oh, I did not know that there is not such a thing as Master and Slave in SATA drives. What I meant is that to me the main operating drive ( an HDD in my case) is the Master and any other drives connected to the computer (SSD here) is Slave. No matter what we call them I always go to the bios and set the main drive as the first boot.

How did I deleted the files on SSD if I cannot boot with SSD connected? Well, at the time when the virus disabled it, the Windows on my HDD drive recognized it and while I could not format it, I could delete files on it which is a puzzle to me. Because after that I could never boot with it connected along with my main drive.

Anyway, I did some experimentation with several partitioning software and noticed that all the files which I had deleted before are still there on the SSD !!! The softwares could not delete or format it either and the message said "Input/Output error". So, now we know what the problem is.

Now some good news, bad news. I connected the SSD to my computer running a Linux operating system this time. I was able to view the whole content of the SSD and saved my important files on a USB flash drive. Then I tried to delete the SSD or format it there but again the same error message of "Input/Output" problem.

I tranferred the saved files to my Windows main drive and scanned them with a strong antivirus software. Sure enough, there were 30 malwares of all kinds on those files! Which I got rid of them. I am going to run more antivirus software on them before using any of those saved files.

The bottom line is that now we can do anything to the SSD without concern about damaging its content. But the problem of input/output error on it remains and I have no idea how to correct that.
 
  #11  
Old 01-02-18, 09:40 AM
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jaymes -

It really does sound like your SSD memory has gone bad. Iím pretty sure that you may be able to read from the SSD when the memory starts to fail but you may not be able to write. That could explain why you were able come up under Linux and read information, but you canít partition or format the SSD because partitioning and formatting require writing to the SSD.

I donít have an SSD and I didnít use them when I was working in SW, but as far as I know they have a pretty sophisticated internal memory management scheme and contain extra (beyond advertised) memory internally. So when they detect a bad area they can swap in good memory for the bad memory and that is all internal to the drive and transparent to the computer and the operating system. But that only goes so far.

Eventually if there is enough bad memory you wonít be able to write. Maybe your SSD is just old enough that itís at the end of its life. Supposedly though, you can rewrite that memory thousands of times.

But it does seem strange that the internal memory in the SSD is causing a problem right after the ransomware read and encrypted all the files. I donít see how the ransomware could cause internal memory problems in the SSD Ė unless it was able to replace some of the Firmware in the SSD causing it to block writes. But my understanding is that capability of invading the SDD (or HDD) Firmware is only possessed by the top tier folks Ė like the NSA.

Well it seems like you were correct when you said earlier that it just seems like you canít make changes to the SSD. But what is puzzling, I think when you delete files from the drive the File Table on the drive is written to Ė and in that case, if that occurred, you did not get ďInput/OutputĒ Error.

This blows my little mind Ė LOL.

Maybe you could run chkdsk with no arguments which would just do reads and give you a report. Might shed a little light on something Ė maybe LOL.

Also, before you heave the SSD maybe you could download the latest Firmware from the manufacturers website. Maybe the latest firmware might have a certain robustness in it that could possibly negotiate around the current problem. Probably unlikely, but I donít see what it could hurt.

If I can think of anything that might help Iíll post back. But Iím beginning to think your initial thoughts to trash that baby are right Ė especially if you got all your files off of it.
 
  #12  
Old 01-04-18, 11:12 PM
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To: zoesdad:

Thanks again for your observation regarding my SSD. I think you are right. That explains why although I deleted all those files on it several times they were still there each time I checked. That is why I was able to copy and save those file that were supposedly deleted five times!

But what puzzles me is that several testing software indicated that the SSD is perfectly Healthy!
One of them said it had some bad sectors and corrected it. Anyway, healthy or not, I am fed up with it and tried my best to save it , but not worth spending more time on it. Even if I were able to bring it back to life, I would not trust it anymore. I am also done with any and all SSD's and prefer the old reliable HDD's.

Thank you, Mr Zoesdad, for time and efforts. You are very smart and knowledgeable.
I wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy 2018. Take care.
 
  #13  
Old 01-05-18, 07:13 AM
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Jaymes Ė

You and your family have a Happy and Healthy new year also.
 
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