Files that start with 'Q'
February 14, 2006 10:15 AM   Subscribe

WindowsXPFilter: This has to be the strangest problem I've ever had... I can't access files that start with the letter 'Q'.

I've been running Windows XP SP2 for about a month and a half. A little while ago, I started getting Quicktime errors. Then I noticed I couldn't save or otherwise create any files start with Q - or if I did create them (like a subdirectory) they would disappear. Yet, they would still 'exist' - 'empty' subdirectories couldn't be erased because they weren't empty, etc.

I thought it might be an NTFS error, yet I get it on all drives - including the USB/FAT32 formated drive. Files that start with Q are readable when I connect the drive to my Powerbook. I've tried searching high and low, still, I'm completely at a loss. Anybody have any ideas?
posted by jedrek to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, I'd like to mention that I have run Scandisk on the drive and it goes through ok.
posted by jedrek at 10:25 AM on February 14, 2006

The first thing I can think of is, unfortunately, not specifically related to your issue: Use the System Restore feature to undo whatever changes led to this pass.
Pick a date when you know you did not have this issue, then go to Start Menu>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore. Choose "Restore my computer to an earlier time" and click next, then choose a date close to but before your last-known-good date.
If the problem is across different volumes and disappears when you mount the volume to a different OS, it almost certainly is not a File System issue.

And you're right - that is totally strange.

Good Luck!
posted by BigLankyBastard at 10:27 AM on February 14, 2006

your profile lists your location as in Poland. Are you using the polish localized version of xp? Do you have MUI installed? which keyboard layout do you have?
posted by stupidcomputernickname at 10:34 AM on February 14, 2006

You're not the only one with this strange problem.

Two forums on deal with the exact same issue. It seems to be caused by a backdoor or trojan.

Good luck!
posted by cerebus19 at 10:35 AM on February 14, 2006

That definitely sounds like a rootkit which is trying to hide traces of itself. Time to run "Rootkit Revealer". Be very careful in deleting what it finds however. Maybe you can post the results back here?
posted by dgeiser13 at 11:00 AM on February 14, 2006

Get thee to rootkit revealer.... this has all the hallmarks of such an infestation.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:06 AM on February 14, 2006

Yep. Sure sounds like Haxdoor.
posted by JeffK at 11:13 AM on February 14, 2006

Do this:
  1. Turn off System Restore. Some bad programs hide there, so they they can be reinstalled after a recovery operation.
  2. Download a copy of Hitman Pro (google for it). Run it, it will download, install and execute a bunch of different anti-spyware, antivirus and trojan sniffers and removal tools. This will take you the better part of two hours at least. I had to do this earlier today for a computer in our lab (thanks to the "click on everything and let it install" mentality of the main user).
  3. Make sure you check the config / settings first, and tell it to use all the tools at its disposal (by default it won't install everything). Some of the programs are free trials, and will expire, but running them at least once will get rid of almost anything.
  4. Turn System Restore back on and make a restore point for your now-(hopefully)-clean system.
Hope it helps.
posted by caution live frogs at 12:59 PM on February 14, 2006

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