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by Temitope
(Abuja, FCT, Nigeria)

I read of how a virus could HIDE YOUR FILES on a flash or external hard drive. I enjoyed it tremendously enough to cut it and keep the piece.

Well, IT HAS HAPPENED TO ME. Yet these MISSING files are on my EHDD taking up over 150GB of data, some VIFiles and my entire backup!!! I used the device to copy a heavy file from a friend’s computer. I wasn’t too worried about the virus warning because I have an antivirus programme that could disinfect it. Alas, my EHDD is clean of viruses but most of the data is NO LONGER VISIBLE/ACCESSIBLE. I remember you did discuss a way to reverse this. It could save my life.

Please send me a copy of that piece, or kindly tell me what I could do to restore my data.

You would really have been a life-saver.

Thank you.


*** Edit Admin ***

This virus is an old DOS virus that has been revived.

More information about the virus can be found here:


*** Edit Admin ***

If you need a tutorial on how to use the cmd or DOS Box go here:

Change A File or Directory Attributes


Click here to add your own comments

Nov 24, 2012
very important !!!!!!!!
by: Anonymous

2 work ., everyone has to write the command right., with its spaces , as i wrote it at first without spaces and it didn't work , but when i wrote it by its spaces as it was written , it worked :)))
thank u 4 helping us :)

Sep 21, 2012
help please!
by: Anne

Help! I've been trying to do this but errors keep on occuring! says:

Access denied - F:$RCYCLE.BIN\S-1-5 and more numbers.. :( help!

*** Edit Support ***

You are not logged on with Administratve rights, that is you do not have rights to the recycle.bin folder or the sub folders.

Read through this thread the instructions are here for how to get the correct rights.

Hope this helps...

Jul 11, 2012
by: darius

It works 100%..
thank you so much..
God bless!

May 28, 2012
Thank you...
by: Anonymous

It worked

F:\>attrib.exe -r -s -h /s /d F:\*.*

Apr 03, 2012
Batch file to set file attributes
by: Support


You have the two swithces for the attrib command in the wrong place:

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

Switches should come after the path C:\*.* like this:

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

All commands for DOS or the Command line are syntax controled, if you have a failure for a command in a batch file try the command by it self in a Command Prompt to see why it doesn't work.

Hope this helps ...

Apr 03, 2012
Having an issue - batch file
by: Anonymous

I am having a similar problem to a few other people. I input the command correctly enough, however, it tells me the internal/external, operable program, batch file junk...

I'm stuck. I'm trying to do it for my C: and my external hard drive L:

C:\Users\My Name>C:\>attrib.exe -r -s -h /s /d C:\*.*

is exactly what I'm seeing after I hit enter on the command you told me to.

Any advice?

Apr 02, 2012
by: MOI

It works. If any problem add folder path. Any folder in hard drive.


F:\my folder attrib.exe -r -s -h /s /d F:\*.*


Mar 26, 2012
Worked 100% for me
by: Anonymous

1. you must know the syntax or the way any command is written in DOS

2. you must know at which directory and sub level you are working

All the Best

Mar 16, 2012
didn't work......
by: Anonymous

I typed in C:\>attrib.exe-r-s-h/s/dC:/*.* first didn't work.
then i did c:\WINDOWS\>attrib.exe-r-s-h/s/dC:/*.* this also didn't work.

c:\WINDOWS\system32\>attrib.exe-r-s-h/s/dC:/*.* not working.

error report is attrib.exe-r-s-h is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

*** Edit Support ***
Each letter has to have a space between it and the next letter such as:

attrib.exe -r -s -h

Otherwise it will think the complete line is one command with out any expresions to work with.

Hope this helps ...

Feb 23, 2012
by: Anonymous

Literally a life saver. I didnt care much about my computer files but I thought I had lost thousands of songs off my external hard drive. Thank you so much!

Feb 23, 2012
by: lynndefender

aaaaahhhhh It seriously works and this is no lie!!!! Man I love you guys, because I thought I lost evergthing and would have to format my psp, but it actual work mnn :). To remove the virus I had a avast and that pick up on it when I explored it.

Feb 22, 2012
by: Anonymous

Thanks! A real lifesaver

Feb 18, 2012
Works great
by: rhynax

My external HDD was plugged into a computer and AVG tagged my folders as .exe and asks to remove it.

I didn't pay attention to it and just did a clean. What happened next is that I can no longer see my files. I was shocked! But then again, the HDD's size didn't changed meaning, my files are still there.

Upon doing search on google, I found this site. I just copy paste the command since my HDD if also tagged as F drive.

Thanks to this site, it saved my son's precious pictures.

Feb 04, 2012
by: Anonymous

Your solution worked perfectly and solved my problem.

Thank you!

Jan 29, 2012
by: Abz

This worked perfectly, thank you so much. Would have been devastated if I lost all that data. You guys ROCK!!!

Jan 25, 2012
Not working
by: KANT

Access Denied & Data error(cyclic redundancy check)

****** Edit Support ******

Access Denied means you don't have Administrative rights.

CRC check failure could mean the hard drive has a physical problem.

Jan 24, 2012
Thank you ...
by: RavenCrowShadowingIII

I was hit by a trojan just last week that hid my files. This article, which I ran upon randomly via google, has given me my intellectual property back!

Thank you guys! Commenters included!

Jan 22, 2012
It really works!
by: Anonymous

Two times now you have helped me to recover files that I thought were gone. Simply amazing!
Thank You! (I would donate if I wasn't unemployed.)

Jan 19, 2012
by: Tyler

Thanks so much - you have saved me hours and hours of stressing. I just needed to give the command a minute to run, and it was fine!

Jan 16, 2012
This helped
by: Anonymous

Found this page after kaspersky wiped a virus on my external and I couldn't see any files any more, although when I searched by name I could see them!

Thanks for the info!

Jan 08, 2012
by: Fatte

Worked for me in a jiffy. Thanks!

Jan 05, 2012
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for this. I had the access denied issue at first too when I tried to do it at the drive level. I knew the folders where I was missing info and when I entered to that level I was able to get it to work. For example I had to run the following:

attrib.exe -r -s -h /s /d C:\Users\Mom\Documents\*.*

May not be the fastest way to get things back but if the access is an issue you may be able to fix it folder by folder.

Oct 05, 2011
Additional help...
by: Cert Tech

This did help, I also found an .exe file that I use called unhide.exe which does the same thing, it may even find more files. You can google it or find it on bleeping computers site.

Oct 04, 2011
by: Anonymous

It's awesome!! It really works..
Thank god I retrieve my files..

Sep 15, 2011
what to do
by: obirad

when i enter CMD as Administrator ,, there is always this line:
C:\Documents and Settings\....
so what to do because i can't put the data after it???

Sep 02, 2011
by: Matt

Worked Great

Just let it run it takes time ...

Aug 28, 2011
Changing Hidden attributes on a file - Access denied
by: Support

If you try to change the hidden attributes of a file when you have Administrator's rights and get an "Access denied" to the file or files then some thing has changed the 'Ownership' of the files.

To change the ownership of the files is quite involved and because of the destructive nature of changing the 'ownership' of those files I will not give those instructions.

In this case I suggest you have a Windows Certified Tech change those attributes.

Hope this helps ...

Aug 27, 2011
Access denied
by: Anonymous

I have administrator rights on my computer but yet when I type in the code it says access denied even when I run it as administrator. Any suggestions?

Aug 05, 2011
Worked Great
by: GDN

All my pictures and data files are back. I had a backup on an external drive but it did not have the last 4 months of pictures. It does now... Thanks

Jun 16, 2011
Not working for me :(
by: Norman

Hello I'm having the same issue but in the cmd I'm getting this error:
C:\ is not recognize as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

Any idea what am i doing wrong, please help

*** Edit Support ***

When you open the command prompt what drive is showing in the window?

That will be your boot drive and windows will be installed on tht drive such as:


Or use the search function and search for cmd.exe to see what the boot drive letter is.

This sounds like the Operating System has been reinstalled and instead of formatting the C: partiton the install program was used to delete it then recreated a new partition.

Hope this helps ...

Jun 07, 2011
Hidden program files
by: Jim D

I tried this and received an error message that the computer could not find C:\>attrib
So fix did not work for me

*** Edit Support ***

Try doing a search for files, the file name is attrib.exe, it should be in the c:\windows\system32 folder.

If you don't have it go to Microsoft's web site and do a search and download it.

Hope this helps ...

Jun 01, 2011
by: Anonymous

Superb, worked fine for me....
thanks a lot

May 26, 2011
Access Denied
by: Anonymous

I tried to use the above solution, but the CMD window said Access Denied for all the files. Is there a way around this? Thank you!

*** edit Support ***

You have to have Full Rights on the drive that you are attempting to change the file attributes on. Normally that means you need to be in the Administrators Group.

May 10, 2011
Hidden File Solution
by: Anonymous

Followed the instructions and it worked great!
F:\>attrib -r -s -h /s /d F:\*.*

Just put in my drive "C:" and hit return and all the files are back up. WOW. What a great fix. It's the small things in life that make me happy.

Feb 06, 2011
Hidden file attribute set
by: Support

Hello Temitope,

The easiest way to remove a set attribute (read only, hidden, system) is to use the command line with Administrative rights.

If your user ID doesn't have administrative rights you will have to use the 'Ran as ...' optition.

From the start button go to Programs -> Accessories.

Find the CMD icon, right click on the icon, and select the 'Run as ...' (Vista/Windows 7 have a 'Run as Administrator') if you are using XP/Windows 2000 then a box will open, type in the Administrator and password for the Administrator's ID.

When the cmd window opens type in the pen drive's drive letter followed by a :

Then type this command at the root of the drive:

F:\>attrib.exe -r -s -h /s /d F:\*.*

Note: I used the F: drive as an example, insert your drive letter/folder path. Also if you cut and paste from this page paste the contents in Notepad other wise you will get all the HTML formating of the page with the text you seek.

Once the command has run leave the window open and check the drive with Explorer, can you see the files?

If not you may have to go to each folder and run the command.

Now the question is: Have you eradacated the virus that has caused this problem?

See page and 233 of Self Computer Repair Unleashed! Manual for instructions on how to clean a virus from your computer.

Hope this helps ...

*** Edit Support ***

You 'super techs' replying to this comment:


You want to place an ad contact me through my support page.

*** Edit Support ***

To eradicate this virus from a Windows OS you should be in the 'Safe Mode'.

Insure your AV programs are up to date.

Once you have eradicated the virus then reset the hidden attribute for those
files/folders that the virus has hidden. Do the attribute reset (remove the
hidden check box) from the folder that the virus attacked. Use care that you do
not reset the hidden files in the root of the Boot drive.

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