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?
- 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.
- Downloading content from an distrusted source on the internet can bring in a virus to the computer.
- 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.
- By downloading and installing an application from an distrusted source that has a virus.
- 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.
- Click on start and type “cmd” in the search box.
- Right-click on command prompt and select run as administrator.
- Now type the drive letter(example. F: if the letter assigned to the drive is F) followed by a colon.
- 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.
- Now, type the assigned drive letter followed by a colon on the command prompt.
- To delete all the shortcut files type, “del *.lnk” on the command prompt.
- To restore all the folder on the drive type, “attrib -s -r -h /s /d *.*” (without double quotes).
- “Attrib” is a command that alters the attribute of the folder.
- -s in the command removes the “system file” status from all matching files and folders.
- -r in the command removes the “read-only” status from all matching files and folder.
- -h in the command removes the “hidden” status from all matching files.
- /s makes the command recursively apply to all files in the current drive and all sub folders.
- /d makes the command apply to folders as well.
- *.* 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.
- Double-click to open the application.
- Next, you will be able to find the two options “deleted file recovery” and “formatted/reformatted recovery”.
- If you have formatted the Pen drive click on “Formatted/reformatted recovery”,
- If the pen drive is not formatted click on “Deleted file recovery”.
- Next, choose the drive that is associated with the Pen drive, and click on it and hit on “scan” option
- Once the scanning process is done, all the lost data will be listed.
- 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.
- Always download files and applications from a trusted source
- Make sure you use antivirus in the computer and keep the antivirus updated
- Scan the Pen drive for antivirus before using it.
- Never use the Pen drive in computers that have high chances of being infected with virus.