Problem of shortcuts and missing folders and files in the pendrives, memory cards or hard disks

Sometimes, one of the most annoying moments in the life is that you have just copied some files/folders from your friend’s computer to your pen drive/hard disk and when you just plug it in to your PC, that files are missing. Not only that, your other folders present in your device are also changed to shortcut icons. This is a typical case of virus infection where it tries to spread from one computer to another by means of removable storage. In this case, your friend’s computer is the source, your removable storage device is the media and your computer is the target.

In this type of situations, what most people naturally do is click on the shortcuts. What most of the people don’t know is that this one click is enough to infect the target computer with the same virus. If you are lucky enough, your antivirus will detect and block it before it can infect your computer. Even if your antivirus succeeds in removing the virus, your problem of “missing folders and shortcuts appearing out of nowhere” does not get solved.  How can you find a solution to this problem?

Now this is what inspired me to write this blog as most of people are bewildered as to what happened, what to do, etc. To solve this problem, we have to understand one basic thing. A folder has two very important attributes – ‘System’ and ‘Hidden’. To make a long story short, If both these attributes are activated simultaneously for a folder (which is what happened in our case), you can deactivate them only using DOS or by other software as there is no option to do so using windows GUI.

You can do it in DOS like this:

  1. Scan your pen drive with your updated antivirus and clean all the virus.
  2. Note down the drive letter of your pen drive.
  3. Go to Command Prompt by typing CMD in the START>Run and pressing ENTER
  4. Type ATTRIB -S -H drive-letter:\* /S /D (for e.g. if your drive letter is G, then it should be ATTRIB -S -H G:\* /S /D) and press ENTER key.
  5. After the process finishes, your folders must be visible. Now, open your pen drive and delete all the shortcuts. Delete any doubtful file you find.


You can use this tool I created with VB for this sole purpose. Click the below link to download:


Download “Unhider” – Downloaded 150 times – 5 KB