After a few close encounters with viruses that make files on your thumb drive invisible, I’ve become a veritable expert in recovering such Thumb drives. So after doing my latest “Defence against the Dark Arts” article for the Apple-philic peeps in How to protect your Mac for Viruses, as apparently Macs can get viruses too an article to help out the PC folks seemed to be in order.
Viruses or a worm that make your files on your Thumb Drive disappear is a common trick used to create mayhem for hapless PC users. It’s especially bothersome as not only does the malware leave behind shortcut links on your Thumb Drive that really only re-infect any machine it’s connected to once clicked, but you can’t get access to your real files.
Rest assured, the virus did not eat your homework. The files are still on your Thumb Drive……there just invisible. If you had read my article How to boot or install Fedora Linux on your laptop or computer from a Thumb Drive and created once such or even burned the Fedora *.iso file as a bootable CD, then you’re good-to-go for this next DIY (Do it Yourself) to recover your files.
At this point all you need are the following tools:
- PC or Laptop set to boot from your USB Port or CD/DVD Drive
- Infected Thumb Drive
- Thumb Drive or CD with a bootable version of Fedora Linux Distribution
- A Helpful Tech-oriented friend, just in case
If you got this far, then following the White Rabbit should be fairly easy for you:
- Shut down the PC or Laptop
- Restart and press F8
- Select F8 for Safe Mode
- Once on the desktop select Start
- In the Search Bar at the bottom type msconfig
- When the System Configuration menu comes up, select Services Tab and then the Startup Tab
- Click on the Date Disabled Tab and search for any entry that bears the same date as the day your computer was infected
- Once you’ve located it, uncheck the entry
- Recheck for any suspicious listings and uncheck them also
- Then select Apply and OK to save the settings
- Select Restart to let the computer restart with the new settings
- Reboot using your Bootable Fedora Distro Thumb Drive or Bootable Fedora CD
- Mount your infected Thumb Drive once Fedora Linux is fully booted
- Use Fedora Linux features and look around on the Computer Harddrive as well as on your Infected Thumb Drive for any suspicious looking executable files i.e. files ending with *.exe
- Those are the malware or virus. Delete them on sight as well as the shortcut files
- Shut down Fedora and Reboot your PC
- Click on the Start Menu
- Select All Programs then Accessories and then Run to load the Command Line Window
- Type cd\ to get to Root C:\>.
- Check the drive letter the thumb drive is mounted as
- Type the command attrib -s –h –r f:/*.* /s /d
- Wait. This may take a while depending on the size of the Thumb Drive or the External Harddrive
- All your files will reappear and malware will plague you no more
That’s it. With all your files recovered, now would be a good time to consider installing Fedora or Ubuntu permanently as your Operating system, at least for Web surfing or online purchases as described in How to use Scotia VISA Debit Card Online.
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