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Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust, Kochi

Recover Files From A Virus Infected USB Drive

Has this ever happened to you? You open your USB flash drive and find that all your files have disappeared. The drive is empty save for a shortcut to the drive itself having the same name as the drive and having the extension .lnk. When you open this shortcut you may, or most probably may not, be able to access your files.

It is a virus. And this is how it spreads. If a person inserts such device to a windows machine infected with this virus, it simply hides all the contents of that portable device and creates a link file (with extension .lnk) with the name of the portable device. This virus creates a link file along with a hidden folder without any name – just blank space – and moves all the contents of the drive to this hidden folder.

So is there a solution? Yes, there is. In a Windows machine, unhide the files in your system (also uncheck the “Hide Protected OS files”). The directory with an empty name appears in the USB drive. Copy the folder to your desktop and run a virus scan on the copied folder. Then you may access the folder to retrieve the actual files. Ensure that the USB drive is formatted after this.

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