Most of the antivirus software used in disinfecting computers or removable media such as micro sd cards, hard disks, and flash disks do not have the ability to unhide files after virus disinfection. Learn how to do it yourself manually using the Windows Command Prompt as guided in this tutorial.

This tutorial will only work on computers running versions of Windows Operating Systems higher than Windows XP. Again, the removable media must be detectable on the computer and be accessible too.

Here is the procedure.

Step 1

Plug the removable media into the computer and close any windows that may be running. Click the Windows button + E to open the explorer. Locate the drive and note its letter (e.g. D, E, or F). To know that it has hidden files, check its properties for the used and free space. For instance, a 4 GB flash disk may have only 1 GB of free space yet on accessing it, it is empty or contains tiny files.

Step 2

Open the removable media or any folder and go to “Folder Options” > “View”. In the “Advanced settings” tab, locate the “Show hidden files, folders, or drives” option and check it. Click “Apply”.

Step 3

To start the Command Prompt, hit the Windows button + R. in the resulting dialog box, type “cmd” then hit enter. The black window that appears is the Command Prompt.

Step 4

Type the drive letter (letter representing the removable media) plus a colon (e.g. E:) then hit Enter.

Step 5

Type in this combination attrib (space)-s (space) –h (space)-r(space)-s (space) /d DRIVE LETTER:\*.* Then hit Enter. Simplified, the command should be: attrib –s –h –r /s /d DRIVE LETTER\*.* then Enter. Wait until the command Prompt shows the drive letter plus a colon (E:).

That is it!

Step 6

Open the removable media and there you will find all the previously hidden files. Create a folder on the computer and transfer all the data there. Then format the removable media and return the data. This completes the process.

This trick may fail if the removable media or the computer being used is still infected with viruses or malware.