@Scrbblchick -- You've gotten one of the ransomware viruses? Those things are horrible! If the creators are caught, they ought to be drawn and quartered!
I have an extra internal drive on my machine, but when my husband accidentally ran into one of those viruses, we couldn't access the drive, even in safe mode!
I had to take the long way around and do a manual system restore command from the run menu. It got rid of the virus, so I was pleased with that. Then, I ran every scan I could think of, just in case.
The virus had not attached itself to the extra drive, thank goodness, so I could still safely access the information on it. But if I'd had an external drive,. I probably would have wiped the computer drive, reinstalled Windows from my restore disk and put everything back on from the external drive. What a pain.