My friend can't view contents of flash drive...

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Bren Everything went to hell after Empire.
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What could be causing this following?

My friend has an older Win10 laptop. She wants to transfer her resume from a thumb drive to the hard drive.

But any attempt to click on the thumb drive and view or copy/move its contents causes a dialogue window to pop up telling her she has to install MS Office first. And she says she was prompted at some point to enter payment info.

Maybe I'm answering my own question, now that I think about it. Is there malware that does this?

I had been thinking maybe her resume had been created in MS Word, and couldn't be opened without installing Office, and maybe she was trying to open the resume, rather than the directory on the thumb drive.

But if that were the case, you wouldn't be so quickly getting a dialogue box asking you to pay for MS Office, would you?

She's not very computer literate, of course.

Any thoughts?

I'll see her in a few days, and hopefully get it figured out.

Thanks.
In any case please tell her to NOT make that purchase. Even as venal as Microsoft can be, I doubt that they would demand a payment during a file transfer.

BUUT...which version of MS Office does she have? Maybe she has MS Office 365 or now Microsoft 365 which is basically a software rental by the year or even by the month, so could her rental license have run out? If her needs aren't too high, she might consider buying "Office Home & Student 2019" directly from Microsoft for $150 (also at the link above) instead of any of the "365" rentals if she requires just MS Word-compatibility.

While this is an old article from September 2015, it was about how at THAT time malware makers were taking advantage of Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Perhaps what she has is a more recent variant or perhaps her PC was compromised a while back.

You can rephrase the author's tips to your friend's level of computer sophistication:
Quote:
• Don’t be tempted to reduce security (e.g. by enabling VBA macros) because a document tells you to. Malware may even tell you that macros need to be enabled “for security purposes.” Immediately consider any such document to be untruthworthy.

• Consider blocking Office files emailed from outside if they contain macros. (Some Sophos products let you do this.) VBA macros used in your organisation should ideally only ever originate internally from IT, not from untrusted outside sources.

[link omitted]

ukimalefu Canadized
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Quote:
any attempt to click on the thumb drive and view or copy/move its contents causes a dialogue window to pop up telling her she has to install MS Office first.


Not for opening the file, but to use the drive?

HAHA

NO.

A legit app wouldn't lock you out of drive and demand you purchase something.

Find a good anti-malware app for your friend.

Wait for a reply that knows more than me, but the behaviour you describe seems just wrong.
juice Inadvertently correct
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If this is official Office behavior, that is a fantastic reason to move on to LibreOffice or some other suite.
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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juice posted:
If this is official Office behavior, that is a fantastic reason to move on to LibreOffice or some other suite.


It's not. She has some nasty malware on that computer.

Also, I REALLY wish LibreOffice would up their game. Microsoft Office, despite being an embarrassing mish-mash of features, still outdoes it.
macnuke Afar
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Pariah Know Your Enemy
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Find someone with a Linux box and have them get that file for her. MacOS may very well work too.
Bren Everything went to hell after Empire.
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Thank you, everybody! Which free anti-malware or anti-virus should I try on her computer before we get into paying for stuff?
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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Bren posted:
Thank you, everybody! Which free anti-malware or anti-virus should I try on her computer before we get into paying for stuff?

There is a world of reasons why Windows might not be able to open something. MacOS and Linux are both MUCH better at opening troublesome files.
ukimalefu Canadized
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Bren posted:
Thank you, everybody! Which free anti-malware or anti-virus should I try on her computer before we get into paying for stuff?


maybe malwarebytes?

I used it on the mac and I liked it. I know it's available for windows too.
obvs To hell with toilet paper. I own a bidet
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I am wondering if she is getting the error when trying to open an Office document, not just see the drive.

I would try LibreOffice before anything else.
Bren Everything went to hell after Empire.
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I was wondering that as well. I'll see her tomorrow and check it out. Malwarebytes reported nothing fishy.
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My friend can't view contents of flash drive...