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All of my files have all of a sudden become shortcuts instead of the real files?

Last response: in Storage
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October 14, 2010 3:22:20 AM

I have an older wd passport, 80 gig, model #wd800u017-rcn. I backed up all my files, and now all the files have somehow become shortcuts with no way to get to the contents. Is there anything i can do?
October 14, 2010 7:01:06 PM

the location of the files are showing up as toiofix (E:)  and the WD passport shows up as (F:) 
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October 14, 2010 10:23:28 PM

Did you scan you drive for viruses i know of one virus that did this. Otherwise did you try it on a different system?
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October 14, 2010 11:58:44 PM

x3style said:
Did you scan you drive for viruses i know of one virus that did this. Otherwise did you try it on a different system?


I tried it on my GF's computer, a different brand, but same operating system. It did the same thing. I scanned for viruses and it came up clean. I took it to best buy, and the geeks said it did the same thing although i dont know what OS they used. Is there a decent software i could DL that might do the trick?
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October 15, 2010 2:05:36 AM

Also, im running a malware scan, on the Passport, and its scanning and recognizing each file
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October 21, 2010 11:40:04 AM

Try recovering recovering your data using a file recovery software or try making a clone of it and see if you can access your data from the clone if yes, format the drive and recopy the data from the clone see if this fixes anything.

Try also to select the entire drive from you windows instalation and do a Take Ownership on all subfolders and files see if that helps in any way.

A permission issue would make sense across platforms. Other then that it sounds liek a very strange issue i would love to see it for myself.

If you ever manage to get any screenshots it would be great.
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July 23, 2011 12:33:11 PM

It's almost certain that the virus or trojans did this to your external drive as I met this kind of problem before. but never mind you can follow this way to get rid of it.

Step 1: Check if the files or folders are in hidden mode.
click on "Start" -->Run --> type ‘cmd’ and click OK.
Then enter this command.
attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.*
You can copy the above command --> Right-click in the Command Prompt and paste it.

Fix Step 2: Download an anti-virus program to kill the virus
Malwarebytes Free edition usually works good to clean the kind of virus.

See more from this article fix folders become shortcuts (especially if the first 2 steps won't help).
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October 24, 2011 3:04:15 AM

This article folders become shortcuts due to virus gives a more detailed fix solution and just helped me out and saved my 1TB data on my external drive.
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April 27, 2012 2:08:14 PM

tech-simon said:
It's almost certain that the virus or trojans did this to your external drive as I met this kind of problem before. but never mind you can follow this way to get rid of it.

Step 1: Check if the files or folders are in hidden mode.
click on "Start" -->Run --> type ‘cmd’ and click OK.
Then enter this command.
attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.*
You can copy the above command --> Right-click in the Command Prompt and paste it.

Fix Step 2: Download an anti-virus program to kill the virus
Malwarebytes Free edition usually works good to clean the kind of virus.

See more from this article fix folders become shortcuts (especially if the first 2 steps won't help).



Thanks dude. step 1 helped me in getting my data back. Thanks a lot
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August 30, 2013 12:35:59 PM

tech-simon said:
It's almost certain that the virus or trojans did this to your external drive as I met this kind of problem before. but never mind you can follow this way to get rid of it.

Step 1: Check if the files or folders are in hidden mode.
click on "Start" -->Run --> type ‘cmd’ and click OK.
Then enter this command.
attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.*
You can copy the above command --> Right-click in the Command Prompt and paste it.

Fix Step 2: Download an anti-virus program to kill the virus
Malwarebytes Free edition usually works good to clean the kind of virus.

See more from this article fix folders become shortcuts (especially if the first 2 steps won't help).


I was reading through the thread because I was going through the same thing with my thumb drive. But I already tried an anti malware (found no threats), I've also tried re-formatting and when I tried putting in files, it still shows as shortcuts.

I haven't tried it on another computer though. Oddly enough, the memory card of a mobile phone does not share the symptom. I was inclined to think that it was my laptop (Lenovo Z370) because I have been experiencing issues with my USB mouse not being detected, but now I m just not too sure. (already tried re-installing card reader driver)

Any help will be welcome.
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September 12, 2013 8:10:13 AM

To recover files and folders and folders, you'd need data recovery program, you may follow this step by step guide: fix files folders shortcut



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September 16, 2013 5:10:59 PM

which would you recommend? I already tried Malwarebytes, Panda Global and Bitdefender. all of them report no detections.

Any help will be much appreciated.
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September 25, 2013 4:43:12 PM

this thing happen to me too.. does that mean my laptop has virus too because when i inserted different flash drives all files become shortcuts. i run my antivirus and antimalware but nothing detected what to do??
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