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How to Unhide All Hidden Files in the Flash Drive Memory With ATTRIB

by Tammy Columbo, Demand Media

    If your computer has been infected with certain malware, files on your flash drive may be marked as “hidden.” You can change the Hidden attribute for the files on the USB drive by running the ATTRIB DOS command to change the Hidden and other attributes of the files on the drive. With the ATTRIB command, you can modify all files on the drive at once. Note that viruses that apply the Hidden attribute to files on your flash drive may also enable the Read-Only attribute for the files. You can also disable this attribute when you unhide the files.

    Step 1

    Plug the flash drive into a free USB port on your computer. Once the device is registered to Windows as a removable drive, open Windows File Explorer and note the drive letter for the USB drive.

    Step 2

    Open a command prompt window by typing “cmd” in the Charms bar's Search field. Click the “Command Prompt” link when displayed on the screen.

    Step 3

    Type “cd\” and press “Enter” to change directories to the root folder.

    Step 4

    Type the drive letter for the USB drive, then press “Enter.” The current directory changes to the root of the flash drive. Note that you can view all hidden files on the drive by executing the “dir/ah” command from the prompt. A list of the hidden files is displayed on the screen.

    Step 5

    Type the following command at the prompt, then press “Enter.” attrib *. -h -s /s /d The asterisk (“*") after the ATTRIB command indicates that the command should apply to all files and folders on the drive. The “-s” switch clears the System File attribute for all files. The “/s” parameter indicates that the command should apply to all files inside subdirectories. The “/d” parameter indicates that the command should apply to the directory containers, as well.

    Step 6

    Type “dir” at the prompt, then press “Enter” to view the files after the Hidden attribute has been removed.

    Step 7

    Type “exit,” then press "Enter" to close the command prompt window. Remove the USB drive from the port on your computer.

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    Tips

    • If the files on the USB drive have been changed to Read-Only by the malware, add the “-r” switch to the ATTRIB command to make the files writable again:
    • attrib *. -r -h -s /s /d

    About the Author

    Based in the live music capital of the world, Tammy Columbo continues to work in the information technology industry as she has done for more than 10 years. While living in Austin, Columbo has contributed to high profile projects for the State of Texas, Fortune 500 technology companies and various non-profit organizations. Columbo began writing professionally in 2009.

    Photo Credits

    • Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

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