7/2/11

How to solve Folders Showing as Shortcuts, Hidden in USB/Memory-Card/HDD

By connecting flash drives to the affected computer, often it shows flash drive containing just some folder's shortcuts. Sometimes it shows nothing though drive's properties show it has files in it. Even we get some inaccessible folder or file. This type of problem may also seen in our local drives (HDD partitions). Even paid anti-virus is unable to resolve those folders, they just scan and detect The AUTORUN worm which one will execute all programs. Then our important files remain hidden.
hidden folders shortcuts
Hidden folders and Shortcuts by the Autorun Worm


Here we will see how can we solve this problem by using command line and batch file. Though the batch file is nothing but the executable file contains command lines. So solving the hidden and shortcut problem of USB or drives, we must have the administrator privilege as we will execute something.

Using Command line:

To solve/fix the folder's hidden or system file, the easiest way is to run a command line. You can apply this command to USB and local drive as well, need to change the drive_letter.

Go to Run, type cmd and hit enter. In command prompt just type:

attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d drive_letter:\*.* 

And hit enter. Be sure you've typed the drive letter (e.g. j:,h: or D:) instead of "drive_letter" in the command line. My USB drive letter is J: and my command should looks like:
Command to change files attributs
Command for unhide system-hidden files on a drive

All files and folders will be normal and you should be able to delete the shortcuts, created by the virus.
Command line details: Here atrib=attribute, "-"=remove attribute/permits, h=hidden s=system, r=read-only, a=archive, /s=sub directory, /d=directory, drive_letter=the letter of the drive shown in windows explorer (e.g. j:,h: or D:) and *.* is called the wild card for all files.
If you don't like to be a "command Ninja" then see below.

USB, MicroSD, MiniSD or other Mmory Cards issue:

     1. Connect your USB or memory card to the PC or laptop.

     2. Copy these lines and paste it into a "new text file"

@echo off
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d drive_letter:\*.*

3. In the 3rd line give the drive letter name (Example: J or K or L etc.) instead of "drive_name"

4. Save the text file as any_name.bat

5. Double click on the any_name.bat file and it will run in the command prompt and see the hidden files/folders come back.

6. Delete the shortcuts and unnecessary files and folders from USB drive.

Local drive issue:

1. Copy these lines and paste it into a "new text file"

@echo off 
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d D:\*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d E:\*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d F:\*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d G:\*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d H:\*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d I:\*.*
attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d J:\*.*
@echo complete.

2. Save the text file as a bat file (example: any_name.bat)

3. Run this bat file by double-clicking on it.

Thus you can solve this kind of problems with a *.bat file. You can save the *.bat file for solving this hidden problem.

Important: These tutorials are applied for Windows 7/Vista/xp. You must have the administrative privilege to run the command or execute the .bat file. Put the " : " after the j, k, or D (drive letters). These commands are not case sensitive.

70 comments:

  1. Thanks, i havent tried this steps, i dont know if it would work 4me since my music files are hidden and could not even be detected by phone music player. Can the above procedure work for it aswell? Thank you. Philip

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Philip, your files are changed to hidden-system files. If you don't change their attributes, they won't be detected by your music player. I suggest you to try these steps, as this/these command line/s won't make any damage to your files or system. Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20 July, 2012

      Please help because i have really tried almost everything that has been discussed in these blogs and i am really confused and worried. In my case, the shortcuts didn't happen in an external drive but rather inside a folder by the name My Pictures in the desktop and all the files and folders that were inside there changed into shortcuts.
      I have tried almost all ways including the attrib command where i was placing c in the drive letter, but replied with Access Denied about 30 lines saying so. I bought Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012, installed, updated and later scanned the computer and only found one infection by the name Trojan and cleaned it.
      Please Help Sharif Ahmed, am really confused because even the softwares that am noticing for removing shortcuts are only working with removable USB drives but not Hard Drives.

      Kamunge Kenneth

      Delete
    3. Very helpful.. It solve my problem right away after I follow your instruction.Thank you so much...

      Delete
    4. Thanks my problem solved. Very Helpful. Thank u so much

      Delete
  2. Anonymous01 May, 2012

    dude you are genius!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. how to run a command line?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To run a command line:
      Click on start menu. In search box type: cmd.exe and run it. Type:

      attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d drive_letter:\*.*

      which is called the command line for OS. Hit enter and thus you can run your command line.
      Thanks @doniz

      Delete
  4. its not working it can't recognized my memory card

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your OS cannot recognize your memory card properly. You need to solve the "not recognizing" problem first. Try this post fix major usb problem
      Hope, your folder hidden problem will be solved.
      Thanks!

      Delete
    2. Hi Sharif I tried but it tells parameter format not correct

      Delete
  5. thnx so much dear!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks buddy, this was really helpful...It worked out for me as I was having more important files related to my Video Conferencing Software and I just followed the steps you have mentioned here through which I got my problem cleared and my data is back. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

    ReplyDelete
  7. C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d L:\*.*
    Unable to change attribute - L:\USBCHì▌â.
    Unable to change attribute - L:\USBC╕5<ä.
    Unable to change attribute - L:\USBC╕5<ä.

    i m getting this wen i enter in cmd...i hve some vry imp data on my memory card nd jst cant restore....plz help..!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, amankr1993
      Nothing to worry about it.

      1. Copy all your important files to Hard disk from memory card.
      2. No need to copy L:\USBCHì▌â. L:\USBC╕5<ä. L:\USBC╕5<ä. because those files either corrupted or created by the malware/virus.
      3. Format your memory card, then move the files to the card again.

      Thanks.

      Delete
  8. thnks fr ur generous reply....jst wanna ask one thing i hd abt 8gb data on my memory card...nd nw i get only 8 files out of 38 folders all named wid .exe nd rest of dem are nt visible so jst copying dem nd formatting my disk will recover all my data..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your question, amankr1993.

      No. Just copying and formatting your drive won't recover the files.

      Actually your files aren't deleted, but their attributes are changed. So you need to change the attributes of all files by the command I've described. Then files will be visible.
      AFTER*** that, delete the .exe or .lnk files if exist.

      ***If the .exe and .lnk files are deleted BEFORE changing the file's attribute, it may cause deleting all the files and folders of that drive.

      Hope it helps.

      Delete
  9. Anonymous03 June, 2012

    the virus from the memory card will not be transferred to the computer???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously, it will spread itself to the computer when the affected drive get connected. So keeping and updating the anti-virus is recommended.
      In this post "LOCAL DRIVE ISSUE" is discussed for solving affected Hard Disk Drive by those viruses.

      Thanks.

      Delete
  10. hi
    when i am typing the attrib command in the command prompt i am getting access denied error?!

    please help my data in my external hard drive is very important i cannot afford to loose it is over 1TB and only 2 of the folders out of many folders are visible to me

    earlier i scanned with Kaspersky antivirus and it deleted around 85 viruses/malwares probably the .lnk files or something similar

    since i am hoping that my drive is clean from viruses but still its not showing all the folders
    help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry!

      1.First your account must be an "Administrator" or be a "Member of an Administrator" account. This post may help you: How to Enable Administrator Account in Windows 7/Vista/XP.

      2.Now, with the administrative privilege run the command (without getting "Access is denied" msg).

      3.Wait for executing the command and it may take few minutes. All data will be shown if the drive has any.

      Hope it helps you.
      Thank you!

      Delete
  11. Thank you very much

    I was thinking that booting in safe would solve the access denied issue but simply running the cmd.exe as an admin solved the issue

    hope it does

    and exactly said even the premium antiviruses are unable to solve the hidden folders issue i have used both the Kasper '12 and Bitdefender '12 and both happily failed..

    This blog is really helpful and nicely arranged as well thumbs up

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks...
    It's a great solution.

    ReplyDelete
  13. dude ur genious.. i spent 1 hour for locating those file but couldnt find them.... and with ur comand i found them in second.
    thanks bro

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous20 July, 2012

    Please help because i have really tried almost everything that has been discussed in these blogs and i am really confused and worried. In my case, the shortcuts didn't happen in an external drive but rather inside a folder by the name My Pictures in the desktop and all the files and folders that were inside there changed into shortcuts.
    I have tried almost all ways including the attrib command where i was placing c in the drive letter, but replied with Access Denied about 30 lines saying so. I bought Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012, installed, updated and later scanned the computer and only found one infection by the name Trojan and cleaned it.
    Please Help Sharif Ahmed, am really confused because even the softwares that am noticing for removing shortcuts are only working with removable USB drives but not Hard Drives.

    Kamunge Kenneth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First thing is NOTHING TO WORRY.

      1. If the folder "My Pictures" contains only the useless shortcuts then you should delete them/whole folder. You can use the Unloker or go here.

      2. Yes! In Windows OS (after installin it in C: or any other drive) some files are designed in such a way that users are not allowed to change the attributes (attrib) of those files or folders. In these cases, you may get the Access is Denied message.

      3. Fine! You bought a paid-antivirus and updating it regularly. And you deleted the Trojen. Run your OS normally. Because the main victim is detected and removed. Though it put some shortcuts and other files whose are useless without the main virus program (that Trojen you've deleted). Know more about the Trojan.

      4. Why the shortcuts and files are not deleted from local drive?
      When a reputed virus creates shortcuts, they use the same codes used by the OS to create some powerful shortcuts. Like "Document and Settings" shortcut. And if such shortcut remains in the system drive (C:), they won't be deleted unless booting from other media. For that you can download Hiren's boot CD and create a Hiren's boot USB for an external boot.

      If you don't want to waste time for external boot then keep those shortcut hidden. Believe me they won't harm your system.

      Thank you!

      Delete
  15. Anonymous28 July, 2012

    hi.i have also probleam with my memory card.when i connect with my coputer my phone ask format memry card computer show memory card like I drive but never open it and say (please insert a disk into removable disk(I:) )i have important files and photo there. have any way without format my memory card .please healp me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In this case you've no other option without formatting the memory card. But you can use a data recovery software which could recover data after formatting. Search results that may help you.
      Thanks.

      Delete
  16. It worked! it paused for a while, thought cmd had crashed but it blinked for a bit and the files appeared. Keep getting this damned trojan from work. Does it pose any real threat or is it just to annoy people? How do I get rid of it from the work computers. Kindly - Oliver

    ReplyDelete
  17. Cool!! it worked! Thanks a lot brother!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Dude. I tryied what you said its deleted the short cuts from USB. But when i removed the USB and place it again its showing the same again short cuts are present. How to resolve this permantley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your OS/PC is affected by the virus which is executing some program on your USB after plugging it. As a result, whenever you plug-in the USB, the Auto Run Warm creating shortcuts and hiding the files/folders.
      In this case, the best or possibly the only solution is "Scan, Detect and Kill the viruses from operating system" by an updated Anti-virus.
      Paid Anti-virus is not recommended though this task can be done by any reputed free Anti-virus.

      Thanks.

      Delete
  19. working. thanks ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Article looks nice but not working on my pc i cannot unhide files from my MMC after applying it creates
    error: [not resetting hidden file -N:\(folder name)]
    same error for each folder.
    I think u could understand my problrm so plz help me.
    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do a full scan on all the drives for viruses by a updated anti virus. Coz your OS is already affected by viruses and it preventing the system to reset the file or folder attribute.
      After doing so, follow this guide again and fix that files on MMC card surely.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  21. Hi sharif Ahmed,
    What happen, nearly every time i plug in any memory card and open any folder in it,the message below appears and make lost all data in the folder? It can be caused by the error of main board or any virus?
    Anyway, i have tried to scan the hard drives with several antiviruses. but the result is " No virus found "
    Thank you in advance and waiting for the best solution for this very bad problem. the below is what i mention above:

    F:\USBCHì▌â. L:\USBC╕5<ä. L:\USBC╕5<ä.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chamroeun Keo,
      It seems your MemoryCard or its data is corrupted. And if it is so, then Anti-virus or this guides is not gonna work.
      I suggest you to find out the possible solution for fixing the corrupted MemoryCard.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  22. Great!! It was very helpful and it worked for me. Thanks a lot.
    Nada

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am having an external hard disk infected with these kind of issue.

    I used the command "attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d drive_letter:\*.*". That gave me an error in command prompt
    The target of the symbolic link I:\USBC╡δ☺ does not exist
    The target of the symbolic link I:\USBC@δ☺ does not exist

    After that I tried opening my folder. Some of the folders are still displayed as files.

    Can you please help me to solve this issue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi vijesh v,

      Did you put the "drive letter" (ex: d, e or i) inside the command "attrib -h -s -r -a /s /d drive_letter:\*.*" instead of drive_letter?
      If you did that I am taking about, then these error outputs should be ignored.

      If your folders were retrieved but same named files were displayed, then you can delete these files.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  24. Excellent, it worked out great
    Thanks !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi my external HDD is facing the same problem but when i do what u said it is giving me error access denied system volume information. Even though i am administrator. Kindly help plz ASAP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re-check that your account is an administrator or it has the equal privilege.
      Read: how enable Administrator account on Windows PC.

      Scan and kill the worms (virus) by a updated and authorized anti-virus. And then execute the command again.

      Hope it will help!

      Thanks!

      Delete
  26. I am Happy to get to know this site. thanks so much for the answer

    ReplyDelete
  27. Got the trick and it did work!

    Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  28. yaa it works,but after 5 or 10 second the folders are hideen,help me fix it for paramanently...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nitesh, you should read this reply which is similar to your topic and it discussed earlier .

      Delete
  29. Hi Bro,

    all my folders have changed to shortcuts and it is really important to retrieve these data it is on my Hard disk...

    please help brother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try to clean the Autorun worm by a paid or free but updated antivirus. Then follow this guide.

      Delete
  30. wow super thanks i got my files back from my nokia mobile thanks a lot

    ReplyDelete
  31. You Are Genius Broo..
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
  32. it says access denied help!!!

    Microsoft Windows [Version 6.1.7600]
    Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    C:\Users\YUSI>attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*
    Access denied - G:\$RECYCLE.BIN\S-1-5-21-1341997240-1356586522-4086331149-1000
    Access denied - G:\$RECYCLE.BIN\S-1-5-21-4009801811-4160864061-3625295961-1001

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear rhainne,
      Nothing to worry about that! It seems you were trying to make changes on "$RECYCLE.BIN" folder which is hidden/protected (by default) by the system.
      In Windows OS "$RECYCLE.BIN" contains all garbage files that you've deleted and this directory is not permitted to change its attributes.

      Delete
    2. i didn't get it!, what to do?

      Delete
    3. If the Access is Denied occurs on "$RECYCLE.BIN" and "System Volume Information" there is nothing to do actually. Just you need to ignore those messages.

      Thanks to be with us.

      Delete
  33. had a minor heart-attack when this thing happened to me,
    i thought all my important files where gone

    thank you very much

    ReplyDelete
  34. THANKS It worked for me too...

    ReplyDelete
  35. THANKS Im a ninja now ;) haha

    ReplyDelete
  36. you are a genius. you really helped me a lot

    ReplyDelete
  37. thanks a lot brother it worked i got rid frm my prblm....

    ReplyDelete
  38. Many thanks. This was really a life saver!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow ... Its working.... My pen drive was back to normal

    ReplyDelete
  40. what would happen if i delete the file whose location is 'rundll32 (C:\Windows\system32)'?

    please help. i want to delete the shortcut but i'm a bit scared on the consequences...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First you should read: what's rundll32

      There are two conditions on deleting the rundll32 or deleting its shortcut.
      (1) If this file is not in the system drive (generally C: drive), you can delete it and its shortcut.
      (2) If the rundll32 or its shortcut is in the system drive then use a free or paid antivirus to scan the whole drive.

      Hope you got it!

      Delete
  41. this method works for me, thanks alot dude!! keep up the good work :)

    ReplyDelete

Sync your Nokia S40 Calendar with Google Calendar

Google synchronize allows a device to sync its contacts as well as its  calender . On a mobile device the calendar is the second, somewhere...