you connect a USB stick or SD card and found that your files are missing and replaced by shortcuts, your USB stick is probably infected with a virus. Fortunately, your data must always be there, it is just hidden. You can restore your data and remove the infection from your drive and your computer with a few commands and a number of free tools.
Connect the assigned USB drive to your computer.
If the files on your USB drive are replaced with shortcuts, your files are actually still in a hidden place. This process restores the files so that you can see them again.
- Do not run shortcuts on the USB flash drive, or you may spread the infection
Determine the drive letter of the USB drive.
You have the drive letter for the USB flash drive or memory card that has been affected by the known virus. The best way to find is to open the “Computer” window “This PC”. The drive letter for the USB drive is shown next to the station label.
- Press Win + E to open the window on a Windows version.
- Click the Folder button on the toolbar to open the window.
- Click “Computer” on the Start menu if you are using Windows 7 or Vista.
Open the command prompt.
You will make the fix by using some quick commands quick commands. The process to open the command prompt, depending on the version of Windows you are using:
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- All versions – Press Win + R and type “cmd” to launch the command prompt.
- Windows 8 and later – “Command Prompt” right click the Windows button and select
- Windows 7 and above – “Command Prompt” Open the Start menu and select
Type .attrib -h -r -s /s /d X:\*.* and press ↵ Enter. Replace Xwith your USB drive’s letter. For example, if your USB drive’s letter is E, type attrib -h -r -s /s /d E:\*.* and press ↵ Enter
This allows you to view files, delete all read-only attributes, and remove shortcuts.
- The process may take some time depending on the amount of data on the USB drive.
Open the joint-created folder on your USB drive.
This directory will contain all the information previously hidden by the infection.
Copy the recovered data to a safe place on your computer. This is a temporary location, and completed the workout with cleaning. You can create a folder on your desktop to keep the files for now. Drag the files from your USB drive into a folder of your choice.
- It may take some time to copy large amounts of data.
Right click on your hard disk in “My Computer” / “This PC” and select “Format”. This opens the Format window.
- The formatting process completely clears the drive, so first make sure to copy your data out of the drive.
Uncheck the “Quick Format” box and click “Start.” Unchecking “Quick Format” analysis, and then delete the infection on the USB drive. The formatting process will probably take some time.