Recovering Hidden Files From A USB By Removing Virus

July 12th, 2011

USB’s hold a plethora of important information and are used to transport data from one computer to another. Oftentimes users will run into situations with their USB’s and the retrieval of the information inside. There are numerous issues that can disrupt the viewing and retrieval of data from a USB, but today we will discuss how to recover hidden files from the USB pen drive.

First off, a virus is probably the cause of all your grief. To test this, run your antivirus and perform a Full Scan (most of them are on Quick Scan by default). If there were any viruses located on your USB then you have discovered the culprit and you need to remove it before you can continue. If your current antivirus is not able to remove it try downloading AutorunExterminator. This is a free software that will check all of your drives and look for a certain file called ‘autorun.inf’. This certain file will then be deleted if it is detected.

Now you can proceed with recovering your hidden files.

Solution 1

  • Now, go to your command prompt. Click ‘Start‘, then ‘Run‘, then type ‘cmd‘ and press enter.
  • Once you are there, type in this command in and press enter : attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* (Note, G should be your pen drive letter, if it isn’t then replace it with the correct letter before running this command)
  • Go to your USB pen drive and check for the files.

The above solution works in most cases. In case you still have problems, try the following solution:

Solution 2

  • Go to your USB drive (this is usually G).
  • Click on ‘Organize‘ then scroll down and click on ‘Folder and Search options‘.
  • Click on the ‘View‘ tab and in the advanced settings you should see ‘Hidden files and folders‘. Under that heading there will be two options. First is to not show the hidden files, you want to click on the second option ‘Show hidden files, folders, and drives‘.
  • Once you’ve got that selected, hit ‘Apply‘, then ‘OK‘. Go back to your drive and you should see your files in your USB drive

Solution 3

  • Go to your USB drive and open it.
  • At the top there will be a menu bar for you to ‘Search Removable Disk (G:)‘ (note if your disk drive is different than G it will have a different letter in this place.”
  • In that menu bar for you to search your drive, type in an asterisk (*) and hit enter. You should then see all the files in your drive even if they are hidden.

So what causes files to become hidden in USBs ?

If the files were not manually hidden then they were more than likely hidden by some sort of virus. These types of viruses are highly prevalent and can be easily picked up when moving from computer to computer. if you plug your USB into a computer with an insufficient antivirus system then you may very well get this virus on your USB drive. Luckily when you take your USB to your own computer a clean sweep with your antivirus should do the trick!

If you don’t have an antivirus then here are a few free programs that you can download to protect your computer:

  1. Avira AntiVir Personal Edition
  2. Microsoft Security Essentials
  3. Avast! Free Antivirus
  4. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

Update: Enable hidden files, folders and drives in Windows.

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