Where Are My Files? My Flash Has a Virus

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"Michael, you are my last hope. All the files in my 8GB memory card are almost gone. But the free space has not increased, the flash is almost filled as before. Just that I can't find all my folders and the files I stored in them. When I put it in my phone, I can't access my pictures, videos and musics. If I snap a photo, it doesn't save. It's driving me nuts. I have several years accumulation of valuable training videos in it. You have to help me. You are the computer guru."

Then another one.

"Hi Mike. I noticed something on my flash drive. I used it in a Cafe, and since then my folders have been showing as icons and I can't access the files in them. Can you fix it for me?"

Guess what?
I fixed it. And I will show you how you can always fix this type of problem. It's so easy, you'll almost hug yourself afterwards.

Here's the logic behind what we will do. The virus hid your original folders and we are going to unhide them. And that's all. 

The best part is you are not going to need an antivirus. It wouldn't hurt to scan your flash drive with an antivirus to help fix other likely issues with the flash drive.

So here's how to get it fixed.

Plug in your flash drive. Goto My Computer and take note of the letter assigned to your flash drive.

As you can see in the image above, the letter I was assigned my flash drive.

Next: click on Start, type command prompt in the Search box.
Click on Command Prompt under Programs (the first search result).

Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d I:\*.* and press Enter. (Change I to the letter assigned your flash drive). Wait for some seconds till it's done. (You can copy the command from here and paste in command prompt using right click, then change the I to the letter assigned your flash drive). 

And that's it. Now you'll suddenly see all you files and folders back. 

And for the techy ones among us, here's what the command actually does.
attrib is a DOS command for changing file and folder attributes. 
-h removes the hidden file attribute 
-r removes the read-only attribute
-s removes the system file attribute
/s ensures this is done for all files in the flash drive
/d ensures this is done for all the folders in the flash drive

What the command does is to set all the files and folders in your flash drive as accessible and editable. 


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