Connect the affected USB drive to your computer.
When the files on your USB drive have been changed to shortcuts, your files are actually still there in a hidden location. This process will restore the files so that you can see them again.
Determine the drive letter of the USB drive.
- Do not run any of the shortcuts on the USB drive, or you risk spreading the infection.
You'll need to know the drive letter for the USB drive or memory card that has been affected by the virus. The quickest way to find this is to open the "Computer"/"This PC" window. The drive letter for the USB drive will be listed next to the drive label.
Open the Command Prompt.
- Press Win+E to open the window on any version of Windows.
- Click the Folder button in your taskbar to open the window.
- Click "Computer" in the Start menu if you're using Windows 7 or Vista.
You'll be performing the fix using a few quick Command Prompt commands. The process for opening the Command Prompt varies depending on the version of Windows you are using:
- Any version - Press Win+R and type "cmd" to launch the Command Prompt.
- Windows 8 and newer - Right-click the Windows button and select "Command Prompt."
- Windows 7 and older - Open the Start menu and select "Command Prompt."
attrib -h -r -s /s /d X:\*.*and press
Replace Xwith your USB drive's letter. For example, if your USB drive's letter is E, typeattrib -h -r -s /s /d E:\*.* and press ? Enter.
- This will unhide the files, remove any read-only attributes, and remove the shortcuts.
- The process may take a while to complete, depending on how much data is on the USB drive.
Open the unnamed folder created on your USB drive. This folder will contain all of the data that was previously hidden by the infection.
Copy the recovered data to a safe location on your computer.
This is a temporary location while you finish cleaning the drive. You can create a folder on your desktop to hold the files for now. Just drag the files from your USB drive to whichever folder you choose.
Right-click on your drive in "Computer"/"This PC" and select "Format."
- It may take a while to copy large amounts of data.
This will open the Format window.
Uncheck "Quick Format" and click "Start."
- The formatting process will completely erase the drive, so make sure that you've copied your data off of it first.
Unchecking "Quick Format" will scan for and remove the infection on the USB drive. The format process will likely take a while to complete.