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$Recycle.Bin Virus?

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I'm having troubling understanding how to identify this particular infection and would really appreciate a second set of eyes with more experience than myself.  First I will tell you the story of what led me to believe I am infected and then I will ask my question.

Here is my story:


About 2 weeks ago the files on my external hard drive suddenly became invisible.  By this I mean that the drive still showed that 250GB of space was taken up on it but when I accessed the drive no files were shown.  Using both the control panel and the command line I made sure that "hidden" files were set to visible and I still could not see anything on the drive.  I also double checked that the drive had not become RAW, which it hadn't.

That was the extent of my ability to handle the problem so I took the drive to a local computer shop and asked them to diagnose it.  After looking into it, they told me that the file table for the drive had become corrupted and that caused the files to become inaccessible.  They couldn't tell me what actually caused the file table to corrupt, however, which bothered me.

Because I was frustrated with the lack of explanation I went back to googling for an answer and I found information on a virus called $Recycle.Bin that sometimes causes files to become invisible.  I checked on my drive and there is a folder called $Recycle.Bin.

So now, my question to you:  Is $Recycle.Bin a virus?  I've seen multiple forum posts where people have asked for help with this virus and were told that there is no such virus and that $Recycle.Bin is simply a system file and should not be worried about...BUUUT I've also seen multiple removal guides that say it is in fact and virus and give instructions on how to remove it.  So which is it?  Am I infected?

Also, for reference, here are three removal guides for the $Recycle.Bin virus:


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Hello and :welcome: :


We can't work on malware diagnostics and removal in this sub-section of the forum.

So, if you think you might be infected, I suggest that you please follow the advice in this pinned topic: Available Assistance For Possibly Infected Computers.
It explains the options for free, expert help >>AND<< the preliminary steps to take to expedite the process.
A malware analyst will guide you through the scanning and cleanup process.


If you have files that you think might be malicious and that are not yet included in the MBAM database, then you might want to submit them to the Research Team for analysis.

To expedite the process, please read these stickies first:



Then, please submit the requested information here: https://forums.malwarebytes.org/index.php?/forum/51-newest-malware-threats/


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