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External Hard Drive Strange Problem

Last response: in Storage
December 18, 2012 4:40:14 AM


My laptop is infected with a virus and seems it reached my Lacie external hard drive also.

When I open my external it looks like this. All the folders have become Shortcuts and each one is only 1KB. When I click any shortcut nothing happens, it takes me nowhere.

However, when I check the external properties I can see that all my files are still there! How is that? How can I reach them?

I connected my external to another laptop and started to scan it with Norton anti-virus. Norton counted and scanned every single file I have in the external, which means my files are not lost and still there, but I can't see them! This is strange!

Is there any FREE software to make everything right?
December 18, 2012 10:47:11 AM

- Go to "Computer"
- Click Alt, go to "tools", then "folder options".
- go to "view"
- Make sure "Show Hidden Files, Folders and drives" IS checked
- Make sure "Hide Protected Operating System Files" is NOT checked

Now check the drive to see if your folder and files are visible.

Good Luck
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December 18, 2012 12:05:14 PM

Yes fuseless is correct
Goto Folder option, and 'show hidden files' and un-tick 'hide protected operating system files'...this will show u each and every file.

But sometimes, because of virus, show hidden files doesn't work, it stay on "Don't show hidden files" no matter how many times you Apply to show the hidden files.

In that case, install WinRAR, and access the drive through this. It will also show u all hidden folders.
I'm sure your all folder have gone hidden. I've experienced this before.
December 20, 2012 11:23:55 AM

Let me explain what the virus did exactly.

It made your files hidden and marked them as system files so that you cannot see them anymore with the standard windows settings, as windows default is not to show hidden and system files to the user. It also created dummy shortcuts just to let you think that the folders you had have been corrupt or so.

My suggestion will make windows show you hidden and system files, therefore showing the real files/folders.

fzabkar's suggestion will remove the hidden and system attributes from your files/folders so that they are again visible with the default windows settings. (it is the recommended action in case you are a bit familiar with the command prompt)

Both options should work, if you face any complications please write back,

January 9, 2013 4:23:06 PM

any update?
January 10, 2013 1:54:38 AM

Actually, some virus always hides your files inside the drive, and creates some related shortcuts. So, you could not see them.
In my opinion, you should show them again as below:
Start => Run => Type in “control folders” and press “OK” =>Click “View” and hook “Show hidden files and folders”=> Press “OK”.
If it doesn’t make a difference, you may try a hard drive recovery freeware that has helped me recover my files from the inaccessible drive, for the virus may has damaged your files.
Take care:
1. Stop writing anything new on the same drive to avoid original data overwritten by new data, which can make your data gone permanently.
2. Save your recovered data on a different drive in case of recovery failure.
3. Not forget to format this drive to see whether it could work.
4. Run the anti-virus scan regularly in the future.
5. Back up your data regularly in the future.