How to Recover Shortcut files from Pen Drive?

A Pen drive or USB drive is the most commonly used external storage device. These Pen drives are easily affected by a virus that creates shortcut files. This virus hides all the files and folders present in drive and creates a shortcut. These shortcuts keep appearing even after deleting them multiple times. To get back original files, you have recover shortcut files using a USB data recovery software.

The shortcut virus doesn’t give any option but to click on it to access the files in them but, once the file is opened it would multiply itself and eventually occupies the entire drive until its full.

This virus cannot be deleted even after formatting the drive, hence, there is a risk of losing data by doing so. A completely different approach has to be taken to recover shortcut files in Pen drive which has been discussed in this article.

What is a Shortcut virus?

As the name indicates shortcut virus is a program that creates a shortcut of a particular file or folder and hides the original file present in the storage drive. This virus mainly affects external storage devices such as SD cards, USB drive, and External Hard Drives. The virus enters the drive while it is used in a computer that is affected by the virus and Pen drive starts showing shortcut virus. This virus is capable of multiplying itself every time the folder or the file is opened.

Types of shortcut virus:
1) Flash drive shortcut virus: It is a Trojan virus that enters the drive and hides. The virus then wraps all the folders and files in a shortcut that looks exactly like the drive. If the drive is clicked the virus will replicate itself and eventually occupy all the storage space
2) Folder and file shortcut virus: The folder and file shortcut virus affects the Pen drive by hiding all the files and folder in it and creating a shortcut for the folders and files. The files and folder can only be accessed by clicking the shortcut virus, this action will initiate the duplication of the files and folders.

What are the reasons for Pen drive showing shortcut virus?

  1. The antivirus in the computer might have not recognized the Trojan virus because it was not updated. Updated Antivirus can help avoid any virus on the computer.
  2. Downloading content from an distrusted source on the internet can bring in a virus to the computer.
  3. If a virus affected Pen drive is used in a computer without scanning for any potential virus this virus would enter the computer. Further, when a new Pen drive is inserted in the computer this virus enters the USB.
  4. By downloading and installing an application from an distrusted source that has a virus.
  5. Using the Pen drive in another computer that was infected with the virus.

“The shortcut virus keeps appearing even after deleting it many times. You might have also used antivirus to get rid of the shortcut virus but, the antivirus will not be able to recover the lost or deleted files. A data recovery software is needed to retrieve the lost data. Download the SFWare USB Data Recovery Software to recover data that has been lost because of the shortcut virus.”

How to remove shortcut virus in command prompt?

Before deleting shortcut virus it is important to the virus from the file, to do so follow the below steps.

  1. Click on start and type “cmd” in the search box.
  2. Right-click on command prompt and select run as administrator.
  3. Now type the drive letter(example. F: if the letter assigned to the drive is F) followed by a colon.
  4. Now, type the following “attrib -r -a -s -h *.*” in the command prompt.

By doing this you will be able to unhide the hidden shortcut files. Next, follow the below steps to delete the shortcut virus.

  1. Now, type the assigned drive letter followed by a colon on the command prompt.
  2. To delete all the shortcut files type, “del *.lnk” on the command prompt.
  3. To restore all the folder on the drive type, “attrib -s -r -h /s /d *.*” (without double quotes).
  4. Attrib” is a command that alters the attribute of the folder.
  5. -s in the command removes the “system file” status from all matching files and folders.
  6. -r in the command removes the “read-only” status from all matching files and folder.
  7. -h in the command removes the “hidden” status from all matching files.
  8. /s makes the command recursively apply to all files in the current drive and all sub folders.
  9. /d makes the command apply to folders as well.
  10. *.* means all file names and folder names should be considered the match.

Despite performing the above steps the virus can still be present in the computer, and in certain cases, you might lose the data from the drive. Use an antivirus to remove the shortcut virus completely. If there is a data loss, it is better to recover data from pen drive using a USB data recovery software Download the SFWare SD card recovery software and follow the steps below to recover deleted files

How to recover data from a Pen drive infected with shortcut virus?

Download and install the SFWare card recovery software.

  1. Double-click to open the application.
  2. Next, you will be able to find the two options “deleted file recovery” and “formatted/reformatted recovery”.
  3. If you have formatted the Pen drive click on “Formatted/reformatted recovery”,
  4. If the pen drive is not formatted click on “Deleted file recovery”.
  5. Next, choose the drive that is associated with the Pen drive, and click on it and hit on “scan” option
  6. Once the scanning process is done, all the lost data will be listed.
  7. Click on the data to preview,and then click on “save” to use the data.

    Note: Before using the data recovery software make sure that all the virus in the Pen drive is removed with the help of an antivirus.

    A virus can affect the computer and storage devices in many ways. These viruses can corrupt the Pen drive or permanently delete the data present in them. Once affected it can be quite tricky to recover shortcut files in Pen drive. In order to avoid such situations in the future here are a few preventive measures to be followed.

    1. Always download files and applications from a trusted source
    2. Make sure you use antivirus in the computer and keep the antivirus updated
    3. Scan the Pen drive for antivirus before using it.
    4. Never use the Pen drive in computers that have high chances of being infected with virus.

How to Recover Data after Windows Reinstall

Windows operating system has become a part of every computer users day to day life. Any corruption to the operating system will leave you no option than reinstalling Windows. However, reinstalling operating system will erase all existing data on the drive. Therefore it is recommended to take a backup of data before you reinstall operating system.
What if you forgot to take a backup and lost important data? Is it possible to recover data after Windows reinstall? Go through the article below to know more about recovering lost data after Windows reinstall.

Scenarios that lead to Windows reinstallation:

  • If the computer show error that “operating system is not found” it means the MBR is corrupted so the Windows has to be reinstalled.
  • Virus infections might have made the computer function very slow so reinstalling the Windows might be the only option to remove the virus completely.
  • Corruption in the hard drive due to bad sectors makes the hard drive inaccessible, making it necessary to reinstall the operating system.
  • A latest Windows update might have brought the computer’s performance down.
  • A hard drive corruption could have erased the operating system, making it necessary to reinstall the operating system.

“SFWare data recovery software is the best at recovering lost data after windows reinstallation. The uses powerful algorithm that recovers data securely without damaging the original data .Download and try the SFWare data recovery software to recover lost data .”

What are the ways to recover the data after reinstalling Windows?

Before reinstalling Windows it is good practice to backup the data so that it can be recovered after the format process, but if the data is not backed up there are fewer chances of recovering the data unless a data recovery software is used. Here are two ways to recover the data after reinstalling.

Method 1: Recover data using the Backup File History

A Backup File History is an image data of the hard disk that holds recovered data in the hard disk from its previous state, the benefit of creating an image disk is that the important data can be stored and recovered after a reinstallation. Here are the steps to recover using the backup file history.

  • Click on “start” at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Next, click on the “settings” option.
  • Now find the “update and security” option and click on it.
  • On the left side of the screen look for the “Backup” option and click on it.
  • In the “Backup using file History” section click on “more option”.
  • Next, select “Restore from a current backup”
  • Browse for the files and click on restore.

Method 2: Recover data using Data recovery software

In case you have not backed up the data using a disk image, you may need the aid of a data recovery software. Download and install the SFWare Data recovery software and follow the below steps.

  • Launch the application after installing
  • You will be able to find two options on the main screen “Partition recovery” and “Formatted/Reformatted recovery”
  • If you have selected “partition recovery”, in the next screen select the disk from which you want to recover the partition.
  • If you have select “Formatted/Reformatted recovery, select the partition to be recovered.
  • You will be shown the option to select the file format of the file that you want to recover, select the appropriate and click next.
  • Once the scan is complete, all the recovered files will be shown click on the file, to preview the recovered and then save the file.

Steps to avoid data loss after reinstalling Windows

  • Take a backup of files by using disk image before reinstalling the windows.
  • Make a list all the necessary applications software and have a backup of the same, which can be used to restore after the Windows is installed
  • Have a list of all the product activation keys of various products that need to be restored after the re-installation.
  • Make sure that you have an updated windows installation kit because windows keep updating every year. It is better to have a updated installation kit for better performance.

Reinstalling the windows will certainly improve the performance of the computer when its done right you will be able to recover data as well. But if not,  you could lose the data on the computer.
Before reinstalling the operating system keep a data backup of application files as well as personal files to avoid data loss. Despite taking  preventive measures if there is data loss after windows reinstall, use a data recovery software to recover lost data.
Do let us know if you were able to recover lost data after Windows reinstall in the comment section below.

How to Change, Move OST File Location in Outlook 2016

This write-up gives a broad view on how to change the file location of the Outlook OST file. Using the below mentioned manual techniques, you can safely move OST file in Outlook across all the versions of Outlook such as Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003. Also, it is recommended for you to convert OST file to PST file, stick to the end of the article to learn about the advantages of converting the OST file.

When should you change the location of OST file in Outlook?

It is quite easy to change the location of PST file that belongs to a POP3 account, however changing the location of the OST-file for an Exchange, or IMAP account might be trickier.

While it is recommended not to alter the default location OST-file, there are still some logical reasons for moving it to different locations, for example: limited storage in “C:” drive and the OST file is requires more space. In this case, necessarily you have to change the location of the OST-file.

The default storage location of Outlook OST data files in Windows is on “C:” drive. If large amount of data is saved in your Outlook data file, it can only be restricted by the space of your system partition. Now, this post will show you how to change the data file location in Outlook 2016 for Windows.

How can you move OST file in Outlook 2016?

One of the reasons behind relocating a OST-file is degradation of the system performance. Huge Outlook data files can cause system to run slow. The resolution for this problem is segregated into two parts:

Part 1: Re-locating OST-file to another location

Part 2: Converting OST to PST

In further sections, these parts are further sub divided into manual methods that help you in changing the location of OST-file in outlook 2016 as well as conversion of OST to PST.

Part 1: Changing OST file location

Method 1: Use the “ForceOSTPath” registry entry to change the location of the .ost file

Using the ForceOSTPath Registry value is a highly preferred method, but it involves the strenuous process of removing and adding your account along with re-downloading your mails all over again from the server.

Note: This method only works for a new Outlook profiles.

Step 1: Make sure that outlook is closed and OST files are not opened in any of the software or program

Step 2: Select Windows logo + R keys to open run box. Type “regedit” and click OK

Step 3: Next, navigate through the path HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook

Step 4: Next, right click on any blank space and then select New -> Expandable String Value.

Step 5:  Name the newly created expandable string value as ForceOSTPath.

Step 6: Double click on ForceOSTPath, On the” Edit String” dialog box, under the” Value data” box enter your desired path where you want to locate the OST-file and then click OK.

Step 7: Close the Registry editor and restart the outlook to see the modified location of OST-file.

Performing these steps will change the old/default location of Outlook 2016 data file (.ost) to the new specified location.

Caution: When making changes to registry, any wrong step can completely break or corrupt the Outlook program or sometimes even the system. If you encounter any trouble due to a corrupt Outlook data file, it is recommended to repair the OST file. Please follow the steps below carefully to ensure the safety of your Outlook data.

 Method 2: Using Symbolic Links or Junction Points

A symbolic link, also called as a soft link, is a specific kind of file that points to another file, just like a shortcut in Windows. An object that is being pointed is called a target. Symbolic links are transparent to users; the links appear as normal files or directories.

You can use this method to move the Outlook OST-file to the new location.

In this case, a symbolic link is created for OST-file in its original location on the system drive(c:\drive) which points to the file present on the data drive.

Steps to create symbolic link are listed below assuming an example with the OST-file name as datafile.ost, and the location to where OST-file is shifted as D:\Documents\Outlook Files.

Step 1: Close outlook that is in use.

Step 2: The default location is; C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook, Move the OST-file or PST-file from its original location to its new location.

Step 3: Open Command prompt using Windows+R keys, Run as Administrator. Provide all the administrator credentials for your computer by selecting yes to allow the prompt.

Step 4: Type the following commands

mklink “C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\ datafile.ost ” “D:\Documents\Outlook Files\ datafile.ost “

Where, mklink is used to create symbolic link;

Once the symbolic is created, it looks like a shortcut in the explorer. It holds the OST-extension and the “Outlook Data File” file type (Windows 7) or the “symlink” file type (Windows 10).

It is a bit tricky to use symbolic link to move Outlook OST-file 2016 because it should be executed in the command prompt. Any misspelled command in the prompt leads to consequences like Outlook data loss or corruption. It is suggested to use a software to repair OST, but you never be able to find a suitable repairing tool for corrupt OST. Therefore, the only possible way is to convert a OST to PST using the a right Conversion tool.

SFWare OST to PST Conversion tool comes with an interactive graphical user interface and retains the structure of original OST file after conversion. It provides an option of previewing the emails, contacts or other attributes that are recovered even before restoring.

Part 2: Converting OST file to PST file 

Before jumping on to the steps of converting OST to PST, It is important to know, why we need to convert OST to PST? Here are the reasons listed out that explain why converting of OST-file to PST-file would be the right action to take.

Why You Need to Convert Outlook OST to PST?

  • MS-Exchange server can unexpectedly crash due to power failure, malicious software, virus attacks or any other reason.
  • During Exchange Server maintenance, you will not be able to access your mailbox.
  • Converting OST file to PST file helps in transferring data from one place to another easily. Also, helps in importing data to any other system.
  • While using OST-file you may come across few errors like
  • “ Your offline folder could not be configured. \\ComputerName\FolderName\Outlook.OST.’
  • “The operation failed due to registry or installation problem”

Where, “ComputerName” is the name of the computer on which Microsoft Outlook is installed and “FolderName” is the name of the folder that has offline file.

To overcome this situation, you need to repair the OST file. As it is impossible to repair a corrupt OST file with a tool, the only best way is to convert a working Outlook OST to PST.

Step by Step Guide to Convert OST file to Outlook PST file

Step 1: Download SFWare OST to PST conversion tool on your system and install the software

Step 2: Launch the software either using the shortcut icon from the desktop or from the installed program menu of Windows.

Step 3: Then, from the main screen to browse OST file by clicking either of the two options.

  • Open OST File – If you know the path where the OST file is stored
  • Find OST File – If you don’t know the location of OST file

Step 4: In the next screen, click on Browse to choose the location for saving the converted file.

Step 5: Select Next, and the software starts the conversion process

Step 6: After completion, a notification will be provided as OST file conversion completed.

Now, you have a PST file that includes all your Outlook data that were previously saved in OST file. By importing this PST file into your Outlook you can successfully access all your Outlook data.

Why SFWare OST to PST Conversion Tool?

  • Has a user friendly graphical interface that allows you to perform conversion faster and easier
  • Use demo version through which you can preview the emails, contacts or other attributes that are recovered even before activating a licensed version.
  • Comes with Self-explained options to perform OST file conversion without any difficulty
  • It also provides a team of highly trained technical support personnel’s who are available round the clock to assist you with your queries regarding software or conversion process.


Outlook OST-file format comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Most of the problems related to Offline Storage Table format in Outlook 2016 can easily be resolved by converting OST-files to PST-files. Conversion of OST to PST can be safely done using SFWare OST to PST conversion tool. With the given reasons, you now have understood why converting OST is better than changing OST-files location to a different drive.