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Fix Folders Become Shortcuts Caused by Virus & Recover Lost Files

Updated on May 11, 2013

ALL My Files & Folders Became Shortcuts?

Just all of a sudden all the files & folders turned into shortcuts showing 1KB or 2 in size when you connected your USB flash drive, memory card or hard drive to your PC? It should be a couple of GB as you saved so many documents, photos, movies etc to the disk drive. How could this happen? Where are those files? Are they hidden or deleted? How to recover the lost files and folders?

It could happen if your PC hard drive or removable disk suffered certain kinds of virus, spyware or trojans such as AUTORUN, BUOUFO, QWERT etc.

**Continue to read on for the solution (Step-by-Step Tutorial) to fix folders shortcuts problem and recover files & folders from the drive.

Please Note

When you accidentally met the problem, never should you attempt to format the drive (hard disk, USB flash, memory card etc) right away as it may make things worse. It's recommended to stick to the below step by step tutorial if you have important data in the virus infected drive.

Step 1 - Check if the Files & Folders Are in Hidden Mode

  • Click 'Start' -->'Run' --> type 'cmd' and click OK. Note: if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, use "Home + R" combination and type 'cmd'.
  • Input this command attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.* Take care of the space between, it's recommended to copy the line and paste (Note: here assume your drive letter shows as G: under 'My Computer', do not forget to replace it if different).
  • Press 'Enter' button.

Now please check if the shortcuts problem has gone and your files & folders appear?

If still not appear, don't worry go to --> the next step.

Step 2 - Remove the Virus or Spyware

  • Feel free to try Defender Pro Ultimate (top-rated malware, spyware & virus removal utility by PC Magazine, PC World, CNET etc). And download & install the program on your PC. Note: you can also use some other anti-virus programs, see below on Amazon.
  • Connect your infected drive to your PC. Open the anti-virus and give a free scan of the problematic drive.
  • Clean the virus if found.

Now recheck the folders & files in your usb drive, memory card, hard dive etc, are they still in shortcuts? If yes, then go to the final step.

Step 3 - Recover Data & Format the Drive

  • Keep the drive connected to your PC, then try a data recovery software and install it on the computer. Run the app for a free scan of your drive to see if there are some files & folders can be found and then recovered.

    Note: those file recovery programs perform read-only operation and won't do any damage to your drive, nor then will recover the virus or spyware. They just retrieve your important files such as photos, videos, documents etc

  • Then quick format the disk (under "My Computer", right click and choose "format" option). This should wipe everything out including the spyware, the folders shortcuts problem will gone forever too. But note: your files are not deleted permanently even if you format the drive.
  • Retry the data recovery tools recommended above to rescan your drive to see if more files can be found and recovered.

This way should be your final solution.

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Is the lens helpful to you?

Does the Step-by-Step tutorial help get rid of your folders become shortcuts problems?

Or any other new problems?

Say thank you or leave your stories here.

I am here to help you out!

Any Other Questions? - Say your stories & give some feedback

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    • profile image

      Moshed 19 months ago

      First step helped immediately thanx!

    • profile image

      Kite 20 months ago

      thanks mate! thought its already the end of my life xD

    • profile image

      asif iqbal 22 months ago

      In my computer all data become shortcut, how will it fix, please help me, sir

    • profile image

      Man O Man 2 years ago

      folks try this amazing program that will unhide all your files and folders with a click of a button!

      get Visualizer Plus at:

      http://visualizerplus.wix.com/home

      good luck!

    • profile image

      lolo 2 years ago

      Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      what if i already format the usb? but before i format it, i cut&paste the shorcuts to desktop

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      very nice information. i faced the similar problem and step 1 took me out of trouble.

      thank you for your solutions ready on hand.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      very nice information. i faced the similar problem and step 1 took me out of trouble.

      thank you for your solutions ready on hand.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      it was very useful

    • TopReviews2u profile image

      TopReviews2u 4 years ago

      Definitely need help with my folders so off to check out how to recover my files. Nothing more frustrating than computer issues. Thank you for Squidliking my lens.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Great lens! Your lenses are very informative :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Dude, thanks a lot.you're a life saver.

      NB: There is a better way to recover your data without using data recovery software which i've been using for months since my external hdd got infected. The answer is "LINUX"

      You don't need to have linux installed in your system, just get a live cd version of linux of your choice (I prefer UBUNTU, it's easy and straight forward)

      -pop it in your cd rom and boot from cd.

      -select run live cd and once it's up, connect your infected hard disk, or mount it (if the disk is in your pc)

      -you are now able to see all your files, copy etc

      been using this technique for months until i got the solution on this site :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I had no idea . I formatted the hard drive a few times .....

      what do i do now ??

      Please help !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      amzing!!!dnt hv wrds 2 thnk u ppl..its wrking perfectly

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Attrib command was enough for me. THANK YOU!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks a lot ma nigga

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      when I recover files will I get infected by the shortcut virus?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is really helpful! Thankyou

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks. I got the files back. God bless u .

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks i recover my data

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks i recover my data

    • cjbmeb14 lm profile image

      cjbmeb14 lm 4 years ago

      I always add my files and folders onto an additional external harddrive.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      how if that folder turns to a SHORTCUT then it turns again in a FOLDER 'coz i accidentally click something.

      some of my important files are there, i don't know if its deleted coz the available space is same, its like its been hiding or something

      WHAT should i do?? or what will i do?

      pls. help

      tnx..

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: If it says you need to open up your pen drive, right click, go to properties. It should say your drive is E: G: etc so replace the g: to whatever yours is

      That's the attrib, Hope this makes sense :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      1st step helped me ... thanku so much

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks so much... I got the solution at Step 1..

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i don't understand step 1,bt i downloaded the antivirus,it needs other antiviruses installed on my p.c to be uninstalled,bt the problem is that theres an antivirus installed but i can't uninstal it because it doesn't apear in the installed programs

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you Very Much, Recovered my data with STEP 1.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you very much.. i have recovered a very important data

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      some thing. attrib not recognized

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      it says 'attrib' not recognisable

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      really thx for your help! ^^

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you a lot!!! its amazing !!1

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you a lot!!! its amazing !!1

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      my keyboard doesn't have a home button

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      hello my labtop suddenly 2 trogn virus was affected so at the time i was deleted and format the my pic movies and software all of them delected and i reboot the change the os now i want that piic data and something wat will do

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      all my files in my 1tb hardrive become shortcuts all....pls. help me i don't like to delete all my pictures saved

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      great thankx

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      great thankx

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you so much

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I tried the 1st step and it works like magic, but the shortcut folder are still in my memory card, what should I do with them?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I tried the 1st step and it works like magic, but the shortcut folder are still in my memory card, what should I do with them?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks alots .. first step solved my prblem

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks alots .. first step solved my prblem

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      really thanks ..

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you very much!!! I found my pictures back with step 1 !

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      GENIUS !!!! First command saved all of my pictures and music since birth ! :)) i have a backup dough, but i also have other important stuff ! Thanks a million !

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      What is the meaning of "Access Denied - $RECYCLEBin..."?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      ALL OF YOUR SOLUTIONS NEEDS MONEY!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just all of a sudden all the files & folders turned into shortcuts showing 1KB or 2 in size when i connected my hard drive to your PC? It should be a couple of GB as you saved so many documents, photos, movies etc to the disk drive. How could this happen? Where are those files? Are they hidden or deleted? How to recover the lost files and folders?

    • profile image

      Chamroeun 4 years ago

      please tell me how to fix when pc not detect or slow detect memory drive

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Chamroeun 4 years ago

      please tell me how to fix when pc not detect or slow detect memory drive

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you so much!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      awesome the first step itself worked thnx dude.....appreciate it

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      its help me a lot

      thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thank you so much worked a treat just changed g to e

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks! ur step 1 helped me a lot! recover back folder that can't be found! *fuh!* found all my bangkok trip photos! thanks! u're awesome! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i don't understand that G changing in pendrive .. ? :/

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      it says access denied

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks a lot buddy....awesome ...it's

      working from step1.....and again thanks...!!!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks buddy....it worked..STEP 1....thanks a lot..u saved a lot of time

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      my pendrive keeps on displaying deleted files and shortcuts... what should i do?? please help... urgent

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      folders become shortcuts on my passport

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You just saved one year of hard work!!!!!!thanks a lot!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I Thank You guys this command saved ma job! "WheW'

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      access denied what could be the problem?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      THANKS !!!!

      C:\>attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*

      (Note: Assume your drive letter shows as G: )

      A real magic command!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thnksssss lottttttt for info

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks you solve my problem :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cmd didn't work for me :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      how to resolve other partisions

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      how to resolve other partisions

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hello i really need some help because my file in memory stick duo file turns into unknown file

      "ToÃAlâ2ü.â§>í" type of file: â§>à File file size: 3GB

      and

      "USBCâΣTä." type of file: File file size: 2GB

      but their size when i click their properties is only zero

      is there any solution in my problems,

      kindly send me some message in my E-mail of Facebook account

      jaizenyap@yahoo.com thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: it should be -h -r -s /s /d

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i got access denied because of recycle bin after enter the attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      When I type in the command it gives me a message Invalid switch - -s/s//d

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot.. the attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.* is working perfectly to my harddisk

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hey man, you're a genius!! I tried step 1 and I got all my music back from my memory stick! I removed them from the folders and placed them as songs in 'My Music' folder. However, the folders containing Pictures and Videos on my memory stick refuse to open. They still show as shortcuts, any help on those??

      Anyway, Half a loaf is better than None and I'm truly Grateful!

      Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      THANKS !!!! attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.* command worked like a charm

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      thnx sooooooooooooooooo muchhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      it works...../

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      how to do in windows xp

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      the command prompt thing worked for me

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fail to repair...it says access denied!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fail to repair...it says access denied!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I try this but when i connect pen drive again folders become shortcut

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      hi guys i have a problem in my flash drive my folders wasn't there but when every-time i scanned it with my antivirus i see my folders which is i cannot see when i open it there,,, guys please help me thanks....

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      waw, so exciting. thank u very much. i was thinking that i lost all my documents.it was two weeks before that i lost it but now i have got it back.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      IT HAS'T HELPED ME

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      it hasn't helped me..

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks buddy you give me a new trick to resolve this problm

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      SCORE! Worked out perfect. took a minute for the command to run so I was worried, but i knew it was doing something because the jump drive light was flashing for about 3 minutes. when it stopped, i was able to go back and open up all of my files just fine. THANKS!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Am I supposed to buy a key?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent, it works, thanxs