Why can’t I open most folders on my external hard drive?
Question by Art Vinci /

I had a virus on my laptop last week. I am trying to copy / backup my external hard drive to save that data. It is a 1TB drive and I am trying to put it on a 1.5 TB drive. I have been having some problems.

For example, I can open the H: drive and then my Photos folder, but any sub folders can’t open and don’t have a file icon, they just read as a random file that is 32KB in size. I looked into the space on the hard drive, however, and it reads like everything is still there. I ran the driver repair tool and after several hours it completed and gave me a message saying there are errors Windows can’t fix. I’ve ran malware software, but it reports no problem. Is there any idea what I can do next?

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Answers (10)
  • kumar raja

    I think it may be Virsu Problem
    Try this method

    Open External HDD and in Address bar Type the Folder name that u r missing

    for example
    J:\External HDD\Songs

    try this u can open that folder

    • Asad

      hi… Yeah that worked for me but still the prob is there.. how can i get rid of these folders..???

    • Asad

      Hi.. this Worked for me but stilll i cant get all the files because of this virus. what should i do now.. ???

  • ferdinan Sitohang

    It is why windows not friendly enough when it comes with viruses. I had ever get the same thing as you have right now. I just running my livecd linux operating system. plug in the external HD, access the external HD, change the rights and all the attributs of the files and folder, and copy it to the new place. After that reinstall the laptop/PC

  • Oluwaphemmy Popoola

    u have been infected with a usb virus, first down tru google latest usb disk security, because any system u copy ur files into wil be infected so, scan thoroughly, and try to copyout ur files, tru d above proces

  • ha14

    1)Open up Folder Options then Click on the “View” tab;
    2) check “Show hidden files and folders”. uncheck “Hide protected system files”;
    3) You have to create new folders somewhere else in your computer, with the same names of the folders the virus affected. Ignore any folder with weird names, ignore the “RECYCLE” folder.
    4)Now you can copy the contents of each individual folder into its duplicates that you created earlier. Make sure you can reach them.
    5) format your drive, to make sure you get rid of any possible virus.
    6)Finally, copy your files back into the drive and you are good to go!

    you can try the below, extract and click on it while the external hard drive is connected to pc
    or
    http://www.winhelponline.com/fileasso/lnk_fix_w7.zip
    http://www.winhelponline.com/fileasso/exe_fix_w7.zip

    • Art Vinci

      thanks for the help. but i have a few questions. am i copying all files from the hd or just ones that are bad or just the hidden files? also 4 of the hidden folders are called found .001 found .002 ect i think they were created when i did my system scans anyway they are full of files called recovered file fragments are these the missing files what do i do with them?

    • ha14

      you only copy your files and not other weird named files.Also make sure that all your files are copied since if you format your external hard drive you will loose them.

      you can try another method to access subfolders if it works
      How To Take Ownership of Files or Folders or an Entire Hard Drive
      http://techfleece.com/2011/05/15/how-to-take-ownership-of-files-or-folders-or-an-entire-hard-drive/

    • Art Vinci

      Thats what i thought. unfortunately the main problem is that the folders still read as a .file (32k) and not as a folder and all the other stuff seems to be in that recovered file fragment format how do i turn them back to files? do i do it before or after i copy them? i tried to copy one as a test and it just copies as the same thing nothing changed.

    • ha14

      well if they are only 32k this meand they are links and not actual folders or files, perhaps they were deleted by the virus or somehow hidden; Try the following
      http://www.winhelponline.com/fileasso/lnk_fix_w7.zip
      http://www.winhelponline.com/fileasso/exe_fix_w7.zip
      after extraction click on the reg files and see if you will recover something.

      or
      on “Start” –>Run–>type cmd and click on OK.
      if your hard drive as G:
      Enter this command: attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*
      Then check if your real files will be shown

      recovered file fragment format not sure what they are exactly they can be system files of the hard drive, corrupted files of the recycle bin..In case you are not sure you can copy all your entire hard drive somewhere else, format(this is your own decision) and copy back.

      You can try to scan the hard drive with recovery software like Recuva, Pandora Recovery
      http://www.pandorarecovery.com/
      http://www.piriform.com/recuva
      to see if files can be recovered

      install Everything
      http://www.voidtools.com/
      do a search with parent folders on your external hard drives, as example copy and past a folder and see inside if your actual files will be receovered;