Recover Hidden Files From Flash Drives or External Hard Disks Due to Virus Infection

If the files and folders in your external hard disk or flash drive have turned into shortcuts or are hidden, here is one solution to recover your data. Operating system used – Windows 7.

  1. Install good antivirus and scan entire computer including the flash drive/external hard disk.
  2. Go to Control Panel, Folder Options, select VIEW tab, select “Show hidden files, folders and drives” and uncheck “Hide protected operating system files (recommended)” now click APPLY

    Folder Options
    Folder Options
  3. Open command prompt (press Win+R, type cmd, press enter), assuming ‘G:‘ as the letter of affected drive, enter this command-

    attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*

    replace ‘g:’ with other drive letter if needed.

You can check your flash drive/external hard disk, the data should be visible. You can restore the original folder options.


319 thoughts on “Recover Hidden Files From Flash Drives or External Hard Disks Due to Virus Infection

  1. I have tried this method before and was able to recover my data but now when I try it today it says Acess Denied – H:\ System Volume Information. Please Assist…

  2. What can I say… thank you..and thank you…and thank you again….for your great help…may the good God will bless you with more knowledge to share…carry on…thanks…

  3. You are god man…you saved my day…I was about to format my 2TB hard disk,,because I was not able to see hidden files….Thanks a ton bro

      1. recovery software, i recommend ‘recuva’, just search for it and it doesnt need any installation. Thanks

  4. it was really great i was able to retrieved important documents which i though were lost. thanks Kudos….

  5. wowwy, it worked! I thought I had to format my current flash drives like what I’ve did in the previous one. gosh, I was almost give up. god bless, yay.

  6. Thankssssssssssssssssssssssssssss its wooooooooooooooooooooork thankssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  7. Can you help?! I have tried this numerous times to recover some files on my usb and it doesn’t seem to be working. With all the other comments saying how grateful people are, I get the feeling its me and I just need a little bit of direction.

  8. your great and it perfectly solved my problem thank you alot. Help out to format a write protected flash drive. thank you

  9. Hy i got this problem too on my external drive. Last time this method worked but i needed to put the HDD back in the PC cuz i got the problem when i enter the code in the CMD it says Access denied so i needed to put the HDD back to the PC. But now this doesnt helped it says Access denied. what should i do now?

  10. muje samaj nai a rahi kese ap ka shukriya ada karon meri usb main itna importent data tha jo sirf is method se restore hua hy .thank you very verry very much……….

  11. Actually It worked magically…After the process The hidden Corrupted files & folders showed on my HDD. But in those file’s properties hidden option was disabled. Then I tried “Ireset” software to re able them and it also worked. But is there any other process other than Ireset?

      1. Before trying ” Ireset” i did all the steps (which include step-3). But the file’s hidden property was disabled. After that i tried Ireset. Anyway my all problem has been resolved. Thank You for your valuable Post.

  12. after i can see my hidden files, do i need to backup those files then format the hdd or no need to do that? if this method permanently display those files or just for backup? sorry for my bad english sir

  13. Thanks alooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My bro’s computer is infected and all the files are….blank 😥 but I’ve got some Skills :’) so I think it was the worms. So I opened MSE and scan by flash drive. OMG FULL OF VIRUSES TROJANS AND WORMS. But after scanning it ( it automatically deletes all the viruses ) I doubleclick on the drive and nothing appeared. So I enable the sys files like u said and i find all the files are hidden. So I Google it and I see your blog. IT TOTALLY WORKS! THANKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh hey, by the way, what did the viruses replaced to the files? I mean, after hiding the files, what did they replaced by? ( The blank shortcuts, but what is it? )

    Sorrry 4 my bad english

  14. Thanks I have tried this command before but wont worked as people don’t know where to give space or not but you have written it very clearly. Thanks

  15. Hi! My files are also hidden and have tried the attributes reset command but it has not worked. When I go to command prompt it says all my files are in a folder with no name (L:\ \xxxx). The xxx are folders, all of them are still there. I can not change director to the one with no name and when i reset the attributes it says access denied to recycle bin folders (2 on L:\ and several on L:\ \) then it brings the cursor back but I can not control it any more. I have to restart cmd. Please help. I have scanned with McAfee but it has not found any malware/virus.

  16. WOW ! thank you so much! subham’s blog! i thought i cannot recover the files anymore. Thank you for the help 🙂 It was very important. thank you!

  17. Thank you so so much…i really mean it..your method have helped me saving all my important data and memories…thanks a ton buddy!!!

  18. hi there, thank you for information but i cant see my files ? because my files are hidden after that i did format
    any options please let me know

  19. Thanks for this post although I can’t apply it because those features have been restricted in my university so I remain with my lost documents for now and it is so painful. Yet I am thankful.

  20. Reblogged this on KarynDimpho and commented:
    This method and probably many others are restricted in the university, I ahve tried to access this and it is not allowing me. I am in pain beacuse my folders are still missing. Next time I will learn to get things straight from the internet and not from a friend. What is done is done, atleast I still have some of these things on my phone. 😦

  21. Hi,
    It also helped me. thanks. but one problem still exist. when I rturn to previous setting all data became hidden again. hoe to correct this?

  22. You have no idea man how greatly you have helped me. Thank you so much for being there. God bless you always!

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