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Author Topic: Anyone seen and been able to resolve this USB folder/file gibberish problem?  (Read 469 times)

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Offline billydee

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So I have this 16gb USB flash drive that I use to transfer files between locations, sometimes music, sometimes data. I plug it in recently and see this mess of crazy characters and dates, as in the attached screenshot.
There's nothing on it that can't be replaced, but I'm wondering if there's a fix to the corruption that's obviously happened. I ran RescuePro Deluxe and it recovered all the previously deleted files but none of the active ones.
Any thoughts/advice appreciated, thanks.

Offline morst

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So I have this 16gb USB flash drive that I use to transfer files between locations, sometimes music, sometimes data. I plug it in recently and see this mess of crazy characters and dates, as in the attached screenshot.
There's nothing on it that can't be replaced, but I'm wondering if there's a fix to the corruption that's obviously happened. I ran RescuePro Deluxe and it recovered all the previously deleted files but none of the active ones.
What format is the drive?


I found this online:
"You may be able to salvage some information about the drive from the directory entries. Try dir /x to see if the short file names are present and if they make sense. You may be able to narrow down your search that way. If the file appears valid, you can edit the long file name entry directly or just rename the file."
hey now!

Offline billydee

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So I have this 16gb USB flash drive that I use to transfer files between locations, sometimes music, sometimes data. I plug it in recently and see this mess of crazy characters and dates, as in the attached screenshot.
There's nothing on it that can't be replaced, but I'm wondering if there's a fix to the corruption that's obviously happened. I ran RescuePro Deluxe and it recovered all the previously deleted files but none of the active ones.
What format is the drive?


I found this online:
"You may be able to salvage some information about the drive from the directory entries. Try dir /x to see if the short file names are present and if they make sense. You may be able to narrow down your search that way. If the file appears valid, you can edit the long file name entry directly or just rename the file."
It's FAT, see attached.
The dir /x command is not yielding anything or I'm not doing it from the correct command prompt.

Offline Gordon

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it's showing as less than 2gb....
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https://archive.org/details/fav-gordonlw

Offline billydee

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it's showing as less than 2gb....
You're right, my bad. It is supposed to be a 2gb drive not a 16gb one that has the problem.

Offline heathen

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Looks like Cthulu got to it.  Yikes.
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Offline if_then_else

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Sounds like the problem described here: https://superuser.com/questions/456815/files-names-in-pen-drive-turned-into-gibberish-text
Have you tried CHKDSK or testdisk yet?

Offline morst

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Sounds like the problem described here: https://superuser.com/questions/456815/files-names-in-pen-drive-turned-into-gibberish-text
Have you tried CHKDSK or testdisk yet?
Good idea.
Also, did you check it with your fave anti-virus? If you are plugging this thing into random computers, one of them could have infected it!
hey now!

Offline 108Ω

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Does the drive have an encryption switch?
That will cause that

What wrote the last file to the drive? (please don't say a home "scanner-fax-printer-copier-thinger.")
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Offline billydee

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As per the Morst suggestions-
I finally ran dir /x on the drive the correct way, more gibberish, see attached AND as far as virus checking it's been scanned with both ESET and Windows Defender, no issues found.

As per the if_then_else suggestion-
I ran CHKDSK and except for the screwy volume name it shows no issue that I can see. See attached.

As per the 108Ω questions-
No and no....

Thanks all.

So at this point I'm thinking I should eventually just do a quick format on it and try Rescue Pro Deluxe again and see if that yields anything new since last time.

Offline morst

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It's a tiny drive and you're wondering about 122 MB of data for 227 files? If it was audio that's like ten minutes.
Nuke the format and see if the drive even works anymore?
You might be able to copy the garbage-name files?
hey now!

Offline billydee

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It's a tiny drive and you're wondering about 122 MB of data for 227 files? If it was audio that's like ten minutes.
Nuke the format and see if the drive even works anymore?
You might be able to copy the garbage-name files?
Agreed that it's a tiny drive and there was nothing significant enough to worry about on it. It's the challenge of figuring out what went wrong and trying to fix it that's motivated me.
I am able to copy good files to and from the drive but can't copy any of the gibberish files or folder. So that makes me think the drive works ok.


Offline if_then_else

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Incidentally, do you have a Linux/Unix system (or even Cygwin or WSL) at hand? Because a (programmer-)colleague of mine used to create similar "garbage" files and the only way to delete or rename them from the server was to use the inode information (what you get when you do a `ls -i`). Deleting and renaming by inode number always used to work.

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/235396/mv-file-with-garbled-name-by-inode-number

Code: [Select]
find . -inum 12321475 -exec mv {} new-filename \;or
Code: [Select]
find . -inum 12321475 -print0 | xargs -0 mv -t new-filename
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 02:54:04 PM by if_then_else »

Offline morst

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if you were a Mac guy I'd say try disk drill or disk warrior
hey now!

Offline billydee

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Thanks to all for the suggestions!
Basically I gave up and just formatted the drive. No important data was lost, so the mystery shall remain.   :shrug:

Offline 108Ω

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Try Photorec  using the deep scan. It will takes days


'inode' is Unix/Linux file systems only, and of those, just the earlier ones
Modern Linux files are more secure

P.S. - you're bringing back scary memories of corrupt graphics philes on SGI boxes.... 
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Offline vanark

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He doesn't need to recover the files. He had other copies.
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