Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tricks to restore deleted/virus hidden files in Windows 7

You might have wondered or more accurately 'frustrated' on seeing an empty HDD/USB storage, suddenly one day, in which you have kept all your important data. This occurs because of any one of the following reasons.

1. Someone has accidently(?) deleted the files.
2. Your flash/USB drive is damaged (hardware problem).
3. Your flash/USB drive is affected by virus, which hid your files.

To find out what has occured the first step you have to do is to plug the storage device to your computer, right-click the device icon and select the properties menu. If anywhere in this step your system hangs or the properties window shows 0bytes capacity, then case 2 is the possible problem. If so you have to consult a technical expert (hardware) for the data recovery.

If first step has no issues and the properties window shows 0bytes Used Space, then case 1 is the possible problem. In this situation, use a good data recovery software (I recommend 'Recuva' recovery software). Remember in this case, you should not put any file into the drive to be recovered. This is because, doing so will overwrite the deleted files (which are to be recovered) and they will become some useless pieces of junk data (unrecoverable).

Now, If your situation is different from the above 2 cases and  the properties window shows some bytes Used Space, then case 3 is the possible problem. If this is the case and you are not so good in dealing with viruses please seek an expert's help to check whether your system is virus infected or not. After cleaning the virus, follow the below step to restore (make visible) the hidden files in your device.

  1. Open the command prompt (Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Run > type "cmd" (without the "") into the box and press enter).
  2. Go to the drive which contains your hidden files (eg: If your drive name is "D" then type "D:" and press enter).
  3. Go to the folder which contains your hidden files (eg: If your folder location is "D:/Games/NFSMW" then type "cd Games/ NFSMW" and press enter).
  4. Now type "attrib -s -h *.* /S /D" and press enter. This command will restore (make visible) all the files and folders in the specified location.
That's it. Enjoy recovering you lost files.


  1. I did the above steps but getting access denied message like below.

    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\1\desktop.ini
    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\1\Windows Update.
    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\4\Adobe Reader X.
    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\4\desktop.ini
    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\4\McAfee Security
    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\4\Picasa 3.lnk
    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\4\Skype.lnk
    Access denied - C:\Users\Inigo Skylab\AppData\Local\Temp\smtmp\4\Yahoo! Messenge

    1. You have tried to change the properties of system files. This is the reason for the access denied message.

      You can use this command only on user folders and files and also you should have administrative privilage to do this