Saturday, 26 March 2016

What to do when Files Turn to Shortcuts on Storage Devices

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There are times when you see all the files in your storage device (external hard drives, flash drives, memory cards, phone in-built memory and so on) turn to shortcuts when you connect them to a windows PC for file transfer or some other purpose. This is usually caused by some kind of viruses that changes the normal state of the storage device and makes it malfunction. More annoying is the fact that these shortcuts cannot be deleted. Fortunately the virus behind it does not delete the files but only deny you access them (the real files are still there). This post is concerned with how one can transform the device or system back to its normal state so that the files can be accessed. We can achieve this using some windows commands. Of major concern is the Attrib command.

The Attrib Command
The Attrib command is one of the windows commands that is used to display, sets, or remove attributes assigned to files or directories. It can be used with or without parameters. For instance to display the attributes of a file named femiFiles that is located in the current directory, the command can be used as follows:
attrib femiFiles
Also we can assign the Read-only attribute to the file named shef.docx as follows:
Attrib +r shef.docx
A lot can be achieved with this command but since we’re just briefly looking into it we shall not go further than this. For more details on the command visit attrib command.

How to Fix the Shortcut Issue with the Attrib Command
We now have an idea of what the Attrib command is, let us try to apply our knowledge to solving a problem. To fix this shortcut problem with the Attrib command, the steps below should be followed:
1.      Go to folder options in control panel to set hidden files to visible
2.      Open the command prompt by holding down the windows key and then pressing “R”. Type cmd and press enter
3.      Change to the drive you want to fix. For instance if you want to fix a flash drive denoted with the drive letter “D:” on your computer just type d: and the prompt will change to D:\> meaning you are now on the flash drive.
4.      Once in the right drive, type the command attrib /s /d -s -h *.* and press enter. That is all there is to the fix. Next all you have to do is open the flash drive and everything is back to normal as you can now access the original files.

That was an easy-to-implement fix when files on your storage device turn to shortcuts. This is a common problem and people tend to assume the device is damaged after trying to resolve the issue with even an updated antivirus with no success. There is a lot to gain by visiting technet library for further studies on windows commands. I hope this post has been of help to you. I implore you to keep checking back for more informative and educative posts on your ultimate tech zone. Thanks for reading.
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