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Restore Files Hidden by Virus

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Sometimes a virus will hide all the files on your computer. Run the following commands in a command prompt to un-hide them again;

cd \
attrib -S -H *.* /S /D
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Side-Effect: Desktop.ini opens in Notepad after Logon

When you log on you may get one or two copies of desktop.ini opened in Notepad.

The content of the files is:

LocalizedResourceName=@%systemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll, -21787

Desktop.ini files are used by the system in order to identify "special" folders. In particular, a desktop.ini file identifies the folder that corresponds to the Startup menu. Everything that is in that folder—not just the shortcuts—will get executed at start-up unless it has the Hidden attribute. Desktop.ini files are normally hidden.

  1. Click the Start button, click All Programs, and right-click the Startup submenu
  2. From the context menu that appears, select Explore
  3. Right-click desktop.ini, choose Properties from the menu, check the Hidden box, and click OK
  4. Close the Windows Explorer window
  5. Now repeat the process, but upon right-clicking Startup choose Explore All Users instead. Fixed!

Alternatively you can run the following command to search for all Desktop.ini files and mark them as hidden:

cd Users   (or Documents and Settings, if you're running XP or Server 2003)
attrib desktop.ini +s +h /S