2 ways to show and recover hidden files by virus

Last updated on May 24, 2013 @ One Comment

Some viruses used to hide files on removable usb drive. Some other viruses really destroyed documents and some other viruses disguise them self to mimics files and folder inside the usb drive just to trick the owner while the real files and folders hidden by virus. When the owner click on the files or folders, they then injecting them self into computer which then spreading everywhere and infecting documents and systems files. When the owner scan with anti virus and remove them from computer and usb drive, the real files and folder that was duplicated by viruses left unchanged — still on hidden attribute.

There are 2 ways to show and recover all hidden files after virus removal, that is attrib command line or as some people called it attrib virus trick and windows explorer folder options.

1. Attrib unhide hidden files

This is the most handy and easy way to unhide hidden files. All you need to do is open MS DOS command prompt, change drive to USB drive and type the attrib commands. Here’s the details how to find hidden files in usb and also hidden folders with attrib.

  • Press WINDOWS+R shortcut to open Run menu (You can also access directly from START->RUN on Windows XP)
  • Type CMD and press enter (On windows 7, you directly type CMD on START->Search Program and Files menu)
  • Change to USB Drive by typing drive letter followed by colon (“:”) and then press enter
  • Type attrib command followed by option -R -S -H /S /D and then asterisk (“*”) to search all files and folder
F:\>ATTRIB -R -S -H /S /D *
  1. -R : Remove read only attribute from files and folders
  2. -S : Remove system attribute from files and folders (show hidden system files on USB drive)
  3. -H : Remove hidden attribute from files and folders
  4. /S : Search files on current folder and sub folders
  5. /D : Also process attribute for folders (not only files)
  6. * (Asterisk) search files and folders on current location, folders or drive

attrib commands

2. Folder Options show hidden files

While you can use attrib to unhide files and folder on windows, the following method can show all hidden files and folders without changing their attributes. To show all hidden files and folders with Windows explorer, first you need to let Windows explorer show hidden files and system files. You can set this options on Folder Options setting. But on some case viruses also hide this menu from windows explorer in order to prevent user to fight viruses. If this problem occur, then the only option you can use is using Attrib virus trick.

Although you can use many tools to recover lost Folder Options but it is wise to recover hidden files on USB drive using uninfected computer. To let windows explorer show hidden and system files:

  • Open Windows Explorer (Shortcut = WINDOWS+E)
  • Open Folder Options from from tools menu
  • If you don’t have this menu on Windows 7, simply click Organize->Layout->Menu Bar

show menu bar

  • On Folder Options, select View tab
  • Check on Show hidden files, folders and drives
  • Un-Check on Hide protected operating system files (recommended). A warning will appear, click yes.
  • Click OK to finish setting.

folder options

Now to show or search for hidden files from USB drive, open the drive on Windows Explorer. You can now see the hidden files and holder.

If in any case files and folders on your USB drive was partially hidden, you can use search menu to find hidden files using the attributes command. But somehow it’s hard to find documentation about this (Read the discussion here). Here’s some several tested and working search commands.

  • attributes:1  →  to search ready only files (R)
  • attributes:2   →  to search hidden files (H)
  • attributes:33  →  to search read only archive files (AR)
  • attributes:34  →  to search hidden archive files (AH)

attributes search

You can also sort files and folder based on attributes. But first you need to add attributes column into Windows Explorer for current drives or folder. To do this:

  • Select drive
  • Right click on column title and select More.
  • Find Attributes within the list

attributes columns

  • Check on Attributes.
  • Click OK to finish setting.

Now you have an additional column named Attributes on current drive or folder. When you click on the column title, it will then sorted based on Attributes.

M Riza

Article by M Riza

Is a blogger since 2007, founder and editor of Oa Ultimate. Working as a network administrator, computer technician, database and web maintainer | Twitter | G+

One Comment → “2 ways to show and recover hidden files by virus”

  1. Some internet user

    Thank you brother. Helped a lot.

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