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How do I view files inexplicably hidden on an external hard drive? Weird one

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Yesterday I traded some files with a friend by hooking up an external hard drive to his computer. I had created a folder with some files in it for him, and likewise created another folder for him to copy files into (miscellaneous audio and video files). Everything seemed to work normally. But when I got back home and plugged the drive back into my laptop, my virus protection picked up something strange, but was able to remedy it immediately.

The drive is working normally, and everything else on it is as it should be, but the folder that my friend copied files into is completely empty. Also, the folder I had created with stuff for him is missing entirely, including the folder itself. However, I can see from the amount of memory being used that all the files in both folders are still there somewhere.

To make matters even weirder, a separate .rar file he had copied onto the drive containing some picture files is there, and is working completely normally, so not everything we copied was affected. And as I said, everything else on the drive appears as it should be. I've tried making hidden files visible in my "view folder" configuration, and also tried to do that through the command prompt, but neither had any effect. Has anyone encountered something like this before?
asked Oct 23, 2014 by John Morgan  
Which AV software, what does the AV software log say, were the items quarantined/deleted?

3 Answers

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This is a VERY common virus which reproduces itself by making a copy of itself onto any USB device plugged to the infected computer. I bet the antivirus would have deleted these files - 'New Folder.exe' , 'autorun.inf' and 'Recycler'.

Your friends folder has not been deleted. It has simply been hidden.
To view hidden folders,
On an explorer window,
GO to Organise --> Folder and search options --> View --> Select Show hidden files and folders --> Apply.

Now the folder will become visible.
Right click on it --> Deselect Hidden checkbox and click apply.
answered Oct 23, 2014 by Anto Oswin  
One of them is there. The other is still not.
Have you tried DIR /AH in the command prompt? That will list hidden files (and only those).
@AntoOswin, please don't assume it's a virus if you don't have good reasons. Do you have the name of this "VERY common virus" that "regenerates itself as soon as the antivirus deletes it".
@Zano I dont have the name but I have been attacked by this virus quite a few times.
You can't be sure that that is what has happened to the OP.
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You may need to "take ownership" of these folders. If you are using NTFS it has a security feature which can lock you out of folders.

My computer select the affected drive. Right click and click on properties. Goto the security tab and click "Advanced" Click on Owner edit Select either your username,Administrator, or Everyone check the box "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" Click OK

Wait patiently for the operation to complete. Then check and see if that helps.
answered Oct 23, 2014 by cybernard  
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Go to "Start" and type "cmd" in the search bar, . Command prompt will show up in the search - right-click on it and choose "Run as admin". Now, enter the following in the command prompt: attrib -h -r -s /s /d x:*.* where "x:" is the letter of your external hard drive.

Check your hard drive for the hidden folders
answered Oct 23, 2014 by Sharim