You should have faced this problem many times. Sometimes when we insert our Pendrive in a friends computer or use our Pendrive on some Cyber Cafe computer, it get infected by some virus. And when we insert them back on our computer, we only see shortcuts and all the data is gone. But if you check in properties, it shows that Data is still there.
Actually, those computer which don’t have any antivirus installed on them or their antivirus is outdated, are houses for many viruses, malwares, adwares and hackwares. They infect any USB drive that comes in contact with them. Usually they hide all the data from the Pendrive and make their shortcuts. Whenever you click on a shortcut, that file/folder opens and some script is run in background by the virus/malware. But if you delete that shortcut, you can’t easily access those files/folders, even if you show hidden files and folders. All your content is moved to a folder which has either no name or just “_” as folder name. And the attributes of that folder are changed to system, hidden and read-only. So that even after changing view settings to Show hidden files and folders, you can’t see them.
So, what can we do to get our data back? First and recommended action is to scan your Pendrive using a good and up to date antivirus. The antivirus will remove shortcut virus from your Pendrive after scanning but it usually doesn’t show your data in the Pendrive. We have to use some other tactics for that.
In this tutorial I am going to explain two methods, using which you can unhide/recover your valuable data that is hidden or lost in your Pendrive. First method uses a small software utility and other one doesn’t need any utility, it uses Command prompt. If you are not comfortable with Command prompt, you should use first method.
Let’s start with the First method:
Method 1: Software Method To Recover Lost/Hidden Data From USB/SD Card
What do we need:
- A small software utility, named as Mytool.exe , you can download it from here.
- The Pendrive whose data is hidden.
First download Mytool.exe. It won’t take much time to download, as it’s just 157KB in size. After download, go to Downloads folder and right-click on Mytool.exe and choose Run as administrator.
It will ask you for Administrator permission. When User Account Control Prompt appears, click Yes to continue.
Mytool.exe utility will start. It has simple interface, a browse folder button, and an OK button. Click on Browse folder button as shown in screenshot below to browse your Pendrive.
Now, browse window will appear, browse to your Pendrive or SD card. Select your Pendrive or SD Card and click OK to continue.
After selecting your Pendrive, you will see the path of your Pendrive in the box. Now, tick the check-box next to Sub Directory and click OK. Why we have ticked check-box next to Sub Directory? Well, this will allow the utility to show the content of sub-folder inside your Pendrive.
You will get a confirmation message after the process is complete. Click OK and close Mytool utility.
Go to your Pendrive and check, all your data is back.
Above method is good to use when you don’t know about Windows CMD commands, but if you are aware about Windows CMD commands, you can recover the data without using any third party software.