Flash drives are often used for transfer of data from one PC to another. Flash drives are devices with flash memory. Not all flash drives are pen drives. The flash drives include a pen drive, SSD or, hybrid drive, or any external SSD drive. Only the Flash Memory is being used instead of conventional spinning platters in such devices. In today’s world, a high capacity hard drive has to be chosen for the best possible storage option. The solid state drives and the hybrid drives are the newest products. These mix the standard hard drives with solid state memories. The lack of any moving parts in the SSDs can be an advantage for this type, because they are not susceptible to degraded performance due to vibrations or movements. Durability is the greatest advantage for such drives. The hybrid drives are a blend of the HDD capacity and the SSD speeds. They have the conventional platters as well as small amount of high-speed flash memories.
But the problem arises when the PCs are not protected from virus infection and the Flash drive shows no data in the form of folders but we have some shortcuts present there, pointing to some weird type of .scr files. Of course, there are ways to recover the data. The used disc space shows lots of data.
The first concern is the removal of the virus from the Flash drive. The drive is connected to a PC with some latest and updated version of the antivirus software and then scanned for detecting the virus and the subsequent removal is done. All the threats as detected by the antivirus software are fixed.
The recovery steps when the existing files are all converted into shortcuts, pointing to some weird shortcuts are:
• The flash drive is connected with the computer
• Check the drive assigned to the flash drive
• The Start option is chosen with Run and then CMD is typed and Enter is pressed
Then the following DOS command is run:
attrib -H -R -S /S /D G:\*.*
Here G is for the Flash drive or any appropriate drive letter for the drive. One needs to be careful about the spaces when using this command; otherwise, the required action does not take place. This will not delete any files and only the files converted to shortcuts are recovered.
There are some steps for the detection of the virus infected hidden files from the flash drive. If the “Show hidden files” in “folder” option does not show anything, then we run the CMD command. Some viruses can hide files within registry values. A command prompt appears and we need to type:
This makes the command applicable to the root directory and the subfolders also.
The next commands typed are:
• drive letter and then Enter is pressed
• dir/ah and Enter is pressed
• attrib –h –s /s /d and Enter is pressed
The process ends with the reappearance of the drive letter. All the data is obtained back.
There are some steps for the removal of virus from the flash drive and they are as follows:
Virus Scan is run on the Flash Drive
This option is to check whether the virus is there at all and also to delete it, if found.
A Backup of the Files to be Saved on the Drive are Done
The copy should be done in a selective manner, not entire directories along with hidden files. The hidden files are sometimes the virus itself. As a rule, the zip files and the executable files should not be copied.
The Drive gets Formatted
This is done by running the CMD, after the Start and Run options. The correct drive letter needs to be typed. The drive letter can be found by opening of the ’My computer’ option and looking at the hard drive. A line like “USB JUMP DRIVE (E:)” can be appearing. The drive letter varies from one computer to another, depending on the number of drives mounted on the system.
The Files are Copied Back to the Drive
Once the formatting of the drive is completed then the virus and all other files disappear.
Sometimes professional software can be used to recover the files from virus infected flash drives. This happens due to hard drive problems. The flash drive data recovery software can be used for this purpose. The software is launched and then the options are chosen like File Recovery for the deleted files or the lost files to recover files from the flash drive. The recovered files are stored in the location specified. If the flash drive cannot be accessed by the computer and is not functional then it can always be sent to a Data Recovery company for a successful data recovery process.
Sometimes, files can also be hidden intentionally and can be recovered, following the simple sequences like:
Start > Run > Type in “control folders” > View > “Show hidden files and folders”
We can always avoid such errors by taking some preventive steps like:
1. Installation of a quality antivirus software always helps. Free anti-malware programs do not help but the professional software need to be used
2. Using up to date antivirus and antispyware programs, so that protection against the recent threats are covered
3. Daily scans can give an additional layer of protection for the drives
4. The indispensable firewall can be used for protecting the computer from viruses and other vulnerabilities