Solved

Can't see files in external HDD and they're not hidden!

I have a pretty bizarre problem with my 350GB AData Hard Drive, FAT format. I'm using Windows 7 (which apparently is known to have problems with USB HDDs). Okay, so here's the story:

Yeterday my HDD was working fine. I was moving files and folders around in it, copying things from my PC to it and so forth. I put my computer to sleep and then unplugged my HDD to take it to my office. When I plugged in at my office computer the HDD wasn't labeled and it only showed a single 2GB file called "USBC8T+à.". I tried scanning my drive with an antivirus and it said the drive wasn't accessible. So I brought it back home, thinking it was a problem with my office PC. But the damage was already done, my home computer also only showed the 2GB file.

I clicked on Properties->Tools->Check Now... only clicked on the "Automatically fix file system errors" checkbox and when it was finished it said that nothing was wrong. After that I ran it again but now I clicked both checkboxes, searching and fixing for bad sectors. While that was running my computer decided it was a good idea to have one of it's most annoying and sporadic errors happen...it shut down out of nothing, interrupting the scan. When I restarted it and checked my drive it didn't show the 2GB file anymore. Add to that that when I tried running the error-checking tool again it just closed and didn't say anything. Also, if I just click on Properties, it shows that I have 220GB of used space and about 70GB of free space, So my files are still there. I clicked on Show Hidden Files and Folders and it only shows 5 files: Recycle Bin, Recycle Bin.BIN, System Volume Information, FOUND.000, and FOUND.001 (none of which I have ANY idea what they are and what the files they contain mean).

I then plugged my drive to my other home computer which is running on XP. Tried the error-checking tool again, checking both checkboxes and again it didn't show any problems. After that I ran EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.3.6, and after 7 hours it showed that it found about 1061GB of data to recover. More than three times what my HDD's capacity is! Plus, I honestly didn't understand a thing of what it had found because the folders and files were not called the same and they were simply TOO many. And since it'a a TB of data to recover, I obviously have no space ANYWHERE on any computer to recover that data to. So now I'm running PC Inspector File Recovery 4.0 to see if it has a more understandable solution. Thing is, it'll take 4000+ minutes to finish scanning my drive.

Is there any other explanation or solution for this!? Has this happened to anyone else? Or should I just resign and format my drive and just lose all my files?
Reply to neotsunami
34 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about files external they hidden
  1. There is an alternative method through which you can make the device to view its contents. All you need to do is to:

    Click on the start button.
    Go to to My computer option.
    Then organize to the option.
    Go to folder and search options.
    Click on View Tab.
    Uncheck the Hide empty drives in computer folder.
    Click Ok.
    Reply to whirlpooldemons
  2. I Faced the same problem with my external harddrive.
    After going to numerous post on net could not find a solution. Then tried some work around myself and got solution to viewing your files and recovering them.

    A very simple and straight forward ways.
    For this you need to have winrar installed.
    Start winrar
    click up sign next to address bar
    keep clicking the sign till you reach My computer and all drives are visible below.
    Then click on the hard drive where you face this problem.
    you would see folders and files all related to system.
    you need to click on the first item in the list with Hard drive icon.
    all you content would be there.

    you can then create arches of the files on your PC.
    And then extract the files from the archives.
    Reply to Harhal
  3. whirlpooldemons said:
    There is an alternative method through which you can make the device to view its contents. All you need to do is to:

    Click on the start button.
    Go to to My computer option.
    Then organize to the option.
    Go to folder and search options.
    Click on View Tab.
    Uncheck the Hide empty drives in computer folder.
    Click Ok.
    Reply to Hone Mendaki
  4. The response I'm getting is to format it before using. It also says, does not contain recornize
    file system.
    Reply to Hone Mendaki
  5. Thinking me insane but i sware it worked on my 16GB card just right Copy the external hard disk icon on my computer and paste in any folder

    Hope it works:)
    Reply to parthgeek
  6. Best answer
    Hey man.. the same thing happened to me..so i surfed around the net and this solved my problem.... all credit goes to the guy who answered my question

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes
    4. type "attrib [name of file/folder] -r -a -s -h"
    *if you're going to unhide files, you should type the whole name plus the extension (format).. example "attrib party.jpg -r -a -s -h"
    **if you have folders with 6 characters and above, type the first 6 characters then "~1".. example for folder named "birthday"
    "attrib birthd~1 -r -a -s -h"
    5. you should repeatedly type dir /ah after unhiding some files/folders so you'll know if they're now working or not..
    6. now check you flash drive.. it should be there..
    Reply to Ian Mathew
  7. This worked like magic, Thanks Ian

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes
    4. type "attrib [name of file/folder] -r -a -s -h"
    *if you're going to unhide files, you should type the whole name plus the extension (format).. example "attrib party.jpg -r -a -s -h"
    **if you have folders with 6 characters and above, type the first 6 characters then "~1".. example for folder named "birthday"
    "attrib birthd~1 -r -a -s -h"
    5. you should repeatedly type dir /ah after unhiding some files/folders so you'll know if they're now working or not..
    6. now check you flash drive.. it should be there..
    Reply to Joe Ouma
  8. Joe Ouma said:
    This worked like magic, Thanks Ian

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes


    That didn't work for me. :( Here is the message I got when I tried it:


    Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

    C:\Documents and Settings\Chuaz>e:

    E:\>dir /ah
    Volume in drive E has no label.
    Volume Serial Number is 1AFC-2847

    Directory of E:\

    File Not Found

    E:\>
    Reply to Al Chuaz
  9. whirlpooldemons said:
    There is an alternative method through which you can make the device to view its contents. All you need to do is to:

    Click on the start button.
    Go to to My computer option.
    Then organize to the option.
    Go to folder and search options.
    Click on View Tab.
    Uncheck the Hide empty drives in computer folder.
    Click Ok.



    Hi Whirlpool

    I found your solution to be the easiest and it solved my problem although you might not have explained it so well.
    Here are the steps to follow to make the files visible:
    1. Click on "Start" and select "Control Panel"
    2. Open "Folder Options"
    3. Click on the "View" tab
    4. Tick or select " Show hidden files, folders and drives"
    5. Click on "Apply"
    6. Click on "Ok"
    All the invisible folders should now be visible
    Reply to Imaan
  10. whirlpooldemons said:
    There is an alternative method through which you can make the device to view its contents. All you need to do is to:

    Click on the start button.
    Go to to My computer option.
    Then organize to the option.
    Go to folder and search options.
    Click on View Tab.
    Uncheck the Hide empty drives in computer folder.
    Click Ok.



    Hi there, I found your solution to be the easiest and it solved my problem, although you did not explain very well.
    Here is the step by step way to make the invisible files visible:
    1. Click on "Start"
    2. Select "Control Panel"
    3. Open "Folder Options"
    4.Click on the "View" tab
    5. Tick/select the"Show hidden files, folder and drives"
    6. Click on "Apply"
    7. Click on "Ok"

    All the hidden folders and files should now be visible.
    Reply to Imaan
  11. Imaan said:
    whirlpooldemons said:
    There is an alternative method through which you can make the device to view its contents. All you need to do is to:

    Click on the start button.
    Go to to My computer option.
    Then organize to the option.
    Go to folder and search options.
    Click on View Tab.
    Uncheck the Hide empty drives in computer folder.
    Click Ok.



    Hi there, I found your solution to be the easiest and it solved my problem, although you did not explain very well.
    Here is the step by step way to make the invisible files visible:
    1. Click on "Start"
    2. Select "Control Panel"
    3. Open "Folder Options"
    4.Click on the "View" tab
    5. Tick/select the"Show hidden files, folder and drives"
    6. Click on "Apply"
    7. Click on "Ok"

    All the hidden folders and files should now be visible.
    Reply to Laurane
  12. Thank you so much Imaan! Your instructions were so clear and it worked for me!! I was devastated that I had lost all my hard work... and then I tried your recommendation. Thank you for sharing!
    :)
    Reply to Laurane
  13. Go into winrar and view your drive... you will see everything there. Then go to your drive in Computer and everything will now show!
    Reply to tmoneyball
  14. Harhal said:
    I Faced the same problem with my external harddrive.
    After going to numerous post on net could not find a solution. Then tried some work around myself and got solution to viewing your files and recovering them.

    A very simple and straight forward ways.
    For this you need to have winrar installed.
    Start winrar
    click up sign next to address bar
    keep clicking the sign till you reach My computer and all drives are visible below.
    Then click on the hard drive where you face this problem.
    you would see folders and files all related to system.
    you need to click on the first item in the list with Hard drive icon.
    all you content would be there.

    you can then create arches of the files on your PC.
    And then extract the files from the archives.



    Thank you for your solution.....
    Reply to Rakesh Halder
  15. oh thanks so much for the solution Ian. so properly explained.

    Priya


    Ian Mathew said:
    Hey man.. the same thing happened to me..so i surfed around the net and this solved my problem.... all credit goes to the guy who answered my question

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes
    4. type "attrib [name of file/folder] -r -a -s -h"
    *if you're going to unhide files, you should type the whole name plus the extension (format).. example "attrib party.jpg -r -a -s -h"
    **if you have folders with 6 characters and above, type the first 6 characters then "~1".. example for folder named "birthday"
    "attrib birthd~1 -r -a -s -h"
    5. you should repeatedly type dir /ah after unhiding some files/folders so you'll know if they're now working or not..
    6. now check you flash drive.. it should be there..
    Reply to pv29
  16. Ian Mathew said:
    Hey man.. the same thing happened to me..so i surfed around the net and this solved my problem.... all credit goes to the guy who answered my question

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes
    4. type "attrib [name of file/folder] -r -a -s -h"
    *if you're going to unhide files, you should type the whole name plus the extension (format).. example "attrib party.jpg -r -a -s -h"
    **if you have folders with 6 characters and above, type the first 6 characters then "~1".. example for folder named "birthday"
    "attrib birthd~1 -r -a -s -h"
    5. you should repeatedly type dir /ah after unhiding some files/folders so you'll know if they're now working or not..
    6. now check you flash drive.. it should be there..
    Reply to jmwagwabi
  17. @Ian Mathew.. Thanks a million your solution worked perfectly.
    Reply to jmwagwabi
  18. Harhal said:
    I Faced the same problem with my external harddrive.
    After going to numerous post on net could not find a solution. Then tried some work around myself and got solution to viewing your files and recovering them.

    A very simple and straight forward ways.
    For this you need to have winrar installed.
    Start winrar
    click up sign next to address bar
    keep clicking the sign till you reach My computer and all drives are visible below.
    Then click on the hard drive where you face this problem.
    you would see folders and files all related to system.
    you need to click on the first item in the list with Hard drive icon.
    all you content would be there.

    you can then create arches of the files on your PC.
    And then extract the files from the archives.



    Hey bro, many thanks you solved my proble. thanks again.
    Reply to Anurag Kumar
  19. neotsunami said:
    I have a pretty bizarre problem with my 350GB AData Hard Drive, FAT format. I'm using Windows 7 (which apparently is known to have problems with USB HDDs). Okay, so here's the story:

    Yeterday my HDD was working fine. I was moving files and folders around in it, copying things from my PC to it and so forth. I put my computer to sleep and then unplugged my HDD to take it to my office. When I plugged in at my office computer the HDD wasn't labeled and it only showed a single 2GB file called "USBC8T+à.". I tried scanning my drive with an antivirus and it said the drive wasn't accessible. So I brought it back home, thinking it was a problem with my office PC. But the damage was already done, my home computer also only showed the 2GB file.

    I clicked on Properties->Tools->Check Now... only clicked on the "Automatically fix file system errors" checkbox and when it was finished it said that nothing was wrong. After that I ran it again but now I clicked both checkboxes, searching and fixing for bad sectors. While that was running my computer decided it was a good idea to have one of it's most annoying and sporadic errors happen...it shut down out of nothing, interrupting the scan. When I restarted it and checked my drive it didn't show the 2GB file anymore. Add to that that when I tried running the error-checking tool again it just closed and didn't say anything. Also, if I just click on Properties, it shows that I have 220GB of used space and about 70GB of free space, So my files are still there. I clicked on Show Hidden Files and Folders and it only shows 5 files: Recycle Bin, Recycle Bin.BIN, System Volume Information, FOUND.000, and FOUND.001 (none of which I have ANY idea what they are and what the files they contain mean).

    I then plugged my drive to my other home computer which is running on XP. Tried the error-checking tool again, checking both checkboxes and again it didn't show any problems. After that I ran EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.3.6, and after 7 hours it showed that it found about 1061GB of data to recover. More than three times what my HDD's capacity is! Plus, I honestly didn't understand a thing of what it had found because the folders and files were not called the same and they were simply TOO many. And since it'a a TB of data to recover, I obviously have no space ANYWHERE on any computer to recover that data to. So now I'm running PC Inspector File Recovery 4.0 to see if it has a more understandable solution. Thing is, it'll take 4000+ minutes to finish scanning my drive.

    Is there any other explanation or solution for this!? Has this happened to anyone else? Or should I just resign and format my drive and just lose all my files?
    Reply to Raffaela Sacha
  20. I also find this same problem with my sd card in camera , it shows a file named " USBC@->.... etc " i've worked out everything above but it failed i couldn't view those files anyway . Plese help me to find a soln....
    Reply to Raffaela Sacha
  21. Hi, I searched and did all suggested way and failed :( that was so crazy but finally I decided to shutdown computer (the hard drive can't be remove safe and I saw message about that is in use), remove external hard and attach it to other USB port, Amazing my files came back, I don't know what was happen but I decide to share it maybe help someone. Other thing I want to suggest (maybe not so related to this question) is a great tool that names is Windows Directory Statistic, As I not prefer to use most of this tools but it seems to be great and I think is rectification of windows lake about folder sizes and you will have wide and integrate sight of you drive space, You can download it from here
    Reply to QVMaster
  22. sometimes viruse will convert the file folders as OS files

    first control panel folder options
    then sect view options

    NOW IMPORTANT *****

    look here and uncheck the point - Hide protected operating system files(recommended)

    now all files folders will come up


    now change the attribute of each one and remove hide option.
    or else install software attribute changer and select all file folder and change hide attribute of all at once.
    Reply to Prajwal Premsagar
  23. Ian Mathew : I ran your command I am getting access denied. D:> Access Denied- D:\Maks
    Reply to Mehak_
  24. I found that if you go:
    ~My computer
    ~Organize
    ~Folder and search options
    ~View
    ~Tick the box " show hidden files, folders, and drives"
    ~Untick the box "hide protected operating system files"
    ~apply
    ~ ok


    Then you will be able to see the folders even though they are slightly see through. Make new folders and move the files into the new folders that you created.
    Reply to RevTimTom
  25. Hi Ian
    Great help!! Your solution worked for me. Thanks for sharing :)
    Reply to priye_kn
  26. Another way that I just solved this was to assign a letter drive.

    Go to Disk Management and right click on your external hard drive and choose to Change Drive Letter and Paths or assign Path. My hard drive didn't have anything here so I assigned F: to it.
    Reply to President_44
  27. hello Ian i have a folder name NEW FOLDER(2), now how do i unhide this, i tried giving NEw Fo~1 but it says parameter format incorrect now how do i unhide this folder
    Reply to Abhinay Wilfred
  28. neotsunami said:
    I have a pretty bizarre problem with my 350GB AData Hard Drive, FAT format. I'm using Windows 7 (which apparently is known to have problems with USB HDDs). Okay, so here's the story:

    Yeterday my HDD was working fine. I was moving files and folders around in it, copying things from my PC to it and so forth. I put my computer to sleep and then unplugged my HDD to take it to my office. When I plugged in at my office computer the HDD wasn't labeled and it only showed a single 2GB file called "USBC8T+à.". I tried scanning my drive with an antivirus and it said the drive wasn't accessible. So I brought it back home, thinking it was a problem with my office PC. But the damage was already done, my home computer also only showed the 2GB file.

    I clicked on Properties->Tools->Check Now... only clicked on the "Automatically fix file system errors" checkbox and when it was finished it said that nothing was wrong. After that I ran it again but now I clicked both checkboxes, searching and fixing for bad sectors. While that was running my computer decided it was a good idea to have one of it's most annoying and sporadic errors happen...it shut down out of nothing, interrupting the scan. When I restarted it and checked my drive it didn't show the 2GB file anymore. Add to that that when I tried running the error-checking tool again it just closed and didn't say anything. Also, if I just click on Properties, it shows that I have 220GB of used space and about 70GB of free space, So my files are still there. I clicked on Show Hidden Files and Folders and it only shows 5 files: Recycle Bin, Recycle Bin.BIN, System Volume Information, FOUND.000, and FOUND.001 (none of which I have ANY idea what they are and what the files they contain mean).

    I then plugged my drive to my other home computer which is running on XP. Tried the error-checking tool again, checking both checkboxes and again it didn't show any problems. After that I ran EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional 4.3.6, and after 7 hours it showed that it found about 1061GB of data to recover. More than three times what my HDD's capacity is! Plus, I honestly didn't understand a thing of what it had found because the folders and files were not called the same and they were simply TOO many. And since it'a a TB of data to recover, I obviously have no space ANYWHERE on any computer to recover that data to. So now I'm running PC Inspector File Recovery 4.0 to see if it has a more understandable solution. Thing is, it'll take 4000+ minutes to finish scanning my drive.

    Is there any other explanation or solution for this!? Has this happened to anyone else? Or should I just resign and format my drive and just lose all my files?
    Reply to tvilaca
  29. Prajwal Premsagar said:
    sometimes viruse will convert the file folders as OS files

    first control panel folder options
    then sect view options

    NOW IMPORTANT *****

    look here and uncheck the point - Hide protected operating system files(recommended)

    now all files folders will come up


    now change the attribute of each one and remove hide option.
    or else install software attribute changer and select all file folder and change hide attribute of all at once.


    YOU SAVED MY LIFE
    thanks
    Reply to Drishti_1
  30. Hone Mendaki said:
    whirlpooldemons said:
    There is an alternative method through which you can make the device to view its contents. All you need to do is to:

    Click on the start button.
    Go to to My computer option.
    Then organize to the option.
    Go to folder and search options.
    Click on View Tab.
    Uncheck the Hide empty drives in computer folder.
    Click Ok.




    Ian Mathew said:
    Hey man.. the same thing happened to me..so i surfed around the net and this solved my problem.... all credit goes to the guy who answered my question

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes
    4. type "attrib [name of file/folder] -r -a -s -h"
    *if you're going to unhide files, you should type the whole name plus the extension (format).. example "attrib party.jpg -r -a -s -h"
    **if you have folders with 6 characters and above, type the first 6 characters then "~1".. example for folder named "birthday"
    "attrib birthd~1 -r -a -s -h"
    5. you should repeatedly type dir /ah after unhiding some files/folders so you'll know if they're now working or not..
    6. now check you flash drive.. it should be there..
    Reply to monikaottova
  31. Hi, I was just transferring movie to the external hard drive and suddenly it stoped working. I have done some research and it looks like that the memory is full. If I could see the files then I will delete some and job done but the external hard drive doesn't come up. I am using Mac Book Pro by the way, any idea what I can do with the problem please.
    Thanks in advance,
    Monika
    Reply to monikaottova
  32. Joe Ouma said:
    This worked like magic, Thanks Ian

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes
    4. type "attrib [name of file/folder] -r -a -s -h"
    *if you're going to unhide files, you should type the whole name plus the extension (format).. example "attrib party.jpg -r -a -s -h"
    **if you have folders with 6 characters and above, type the first 6 characters then "~1".. example for folder named "birthday"
    "attrib birthd~1 -r -a -s -h"
    5. you should repeatedly type dir /ah after unhiding some files/folders so you'll know if they're now working or not..
    6. now check you flash drive.. it should be there..


    Reply to Aakanksha_K
  33. Ian Mathew said:
    Hey man.. the same thing happened to me..so i surfed around the net and this solved my problem.... all credit goes to the guy who answered my question

    1. click start>>run>>type in "cmd"
    2. type the location of your flash drive.. e.g. "d:", "e:", "f:", etc..
    3. type "dir /ah"
    *you will now see the files/folders with hidden attributes
    4. type "attrib [name of file/folder] -r -a -s -h"
    *if you're going to unhide files, you should type the whole name plus the extension (format).. example "attrib party.jpg -r -a -s -h"
    **if you have folders with 6 characters and above, type the first 6 characters then "~1".. example for folder named "birthday"
    "attrib birthd~1 -r -a -s -h"
    5. you should repeatedly type dir /ah after unhiding some files/folders so you'll know if they're now working or not..
    6. now check you flash drive.. it should be there..
    Reply to Aakanksha_K
  34. Thanks Ian Mathew.. It Works :)
    Reply to Aakanksha_K
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