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Saved mydocuments folder from virus infected pc but cant get the files

Last response: in Windows XP
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December 11, 2012 5:38:49 AM

Well My dad's friend was looking at some lets say interesting things and happened to get the FBI Moneypak virus on his laptop Well I said I could get rid of it for him and I got in over my head on this one.. The virus completely blocked doing anything on the pc and Would blue screen any time you tried to boot into any kind of safe mode. I tried to do a repair but that didnt help much..

So I used my boot disk and loaded up a mini xp from teh cd and just copied his my documents folder onto a thumb drive hoping i could save his files and just re-installed Xp on his machine fresh.

Well trouble is since all his files were under user accounts I don't see any of the files when I open them on my computer to try to recover them.. I Know they are there because I have lightroom on my pc and when I plug in the drive I can import the photos onto my PC but not sure how to get the documents..

When I go into the folders manually its like they are all empty ya know..

I am a fast learner so if someone could just point me in the rite direction I would like to give his computer back with his documents and photos on it if I can I already feel bad that his wife is pissed at him for getting the virus.

Thanks.
a b 8 Security
December 11, 2012 5:50:04 AM

If the virus hid the files in the old system, they would have carried that attribute over when they were copied into your system. Try unhiding hidden files and also protected system files and folder in Control Panel>Folder Options>Tools menu>View tab.
December 12, 2012 11:54:56 AM

I tried that and the files still are not showing up..

What I did was I just copied the My documents folder from the infected pc (Windows XP) and pasted it onto a usb drive.. WHen I put the usb drive in my pc (Windows 7) I can see theres the Documents And settings / and then another documents and settings and a persons username then in that documents and settings folder there is Allusers - Default user - and 3 actual peoples names.. WHen I go into any of them there is nothing there but sample pictures and some userdat files..

I know there is stuff in the files because when I first plugged the usb drive into my pc my Lightroom software opened up and would let me import all the pictures from the usb drive..

I only use my PC myself so I just have my Admin account i never messed with multiple users before..
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a b 8 Security
December 12, 2012 5:01:49 PM


There's still every chance a lot of his files are recoverable on his computer which survived a light format and reinstallation of XP. Try Recuva from http://www.piriform.com - you may be surprised.

As to the copied files on the external, if you could see them but not open them, I would say it's a Permissions issue but if you can't even see them yet know they're there, it must still be a Hidden Files issue. Open an elevated Command Prompt by right clicking on c:\windows\system32\cmd and scrolling to RunAs Administrator, then type attrib -h x:\*.* where X is the drive letter of the external, then hit Enter.


December 13, 2012 7:26:15 AM

Still can't see the photos or files.. If I open up Lightroom and import from that usb drive all the photos that are on the drive show up in lightroom so I know they are there.. I just cannot see them at all in windows explorer like there not even there..
DOes it have something to do with them being associated with each persons user account? Like since im not the same user that is associated with that my documents folder I dont have perm to see them? ....

This will drive me crazy.. I need to get this computer back to this guy if I cant figure it out today i will just have to give him a clean install and he wont have any of his old files or pictures.. If I could just figure out how to get them off of the usb drive dang it..

ALso when I installed the Op sys again I didn't do a quick format and I did the thorough one not sure if i could recovery anything after that.. I shouldn't have to tho I mean I have the whole my documents folder copied onto the usb drive if I can just figure out why I cant see any of the files on it.
a b 8 Security
December 13, 2012 1:42:19 PM

My last shot is to suggest you create an account in the name of one you can see but you need the password that account had in the old system to duplicate it into the new.

To be frank, if you're acting as a professional fixer, you will know how to modify the permissions and because it almost borderline comes under the heading of password breaking, I'm out of this one. Good luck.

December 14, 2012 12:06:07 AM

Look im not an expert... I was doing this a favor for my Dad's friend I didn't think it was going to be this involved. I figured I would just boot the pc into safe mode and run a virus scan but i couldn't even get into safe mode the pc would blue screen when i tried..

So I got in over my head agreeing to do this for this guy and I just want to get his dang files back on his computer.. I will give the computer back to him with none of his old files on it thats fine I just feel bad knowing that I could get his files back for him but I don't know how.. I should have just not even tried to fix the dang thing for him and told him to take it to a shop.

I will ask him if he knows the password for the users on the computer.. I don't think his account on the computer had a password tho so let me just make an account with his name and see if that works. I just want this done with and out of my hair.

Thanks anyways for trying to help.
a b 8 Security
December 14, 2012 12:37:48 PM

Right-click on the documents folder, go to Security and take ownership of the files. Select to do this for all subdirectories.
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