Why can’t I see all the folders on my external hard drive even though the files are there?

Shady Taha September 10, 2012

My external hard drive was infected with malware, I scanned it and it is clean now. The problem is that I cant see any folders even though when I search I can find the files. If I write the full path of the folder I find it, I can’t actually remember all folder names so I was wondering is there any way to show the folder names?

I tried cmd, folder options is set to show all folders and it is not autorun.

Thank you!

  1. Sagar Talla
    December 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    thank you very much it worked!!!

  2. mohan
    November 25, 2012 at 3:47 am

    Why can’t I see all the folders on my internal hard drive even though the files are there?

  3. Jim
    October 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I have had the exact same issue. In fact I actually relocated some folders back on to my drive so they were visible again. They displayed and worked fine after that but one of them got "modified" again and now some of the folders are not displaying again (though still there via a search)

  4. Saurav Azad
    September 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    use the cmd prompt and change to drive and type dir and it would show you all the directory in the drive

  5. K.V.D.Prasad
    September 16, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Just go through " http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/combofix/ " download and run combofix. May be this will fix your problem.

  6. N. Atiyeh
    September 13, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I wrestled with problem for the past two days when Im formated my Sony Vaio and reinstalled windwos XP. The problem also extended to not seeing some folders on usb flash drives adn even not seeing some fodlers on network shared drives.
    I treid all fixes recommended online but none worked.
    here is the fix that will work:
    Open Windows Explorer
    Select the drvie or folder where you can see some fodlers and do not see others.
    Select tools/folders options/views and unclick
    Remeber each fodlers veis settigns
    restore previous folder windows at logon
    you will see the missing files now become visible
    Click "apply to all Folders"
    Close windows and you are done.

  7. Gian Singh
    September 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    organized>folders & search>Show hidden folders

  8. Saurav Azad
    September 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    you must have selected to hide your files on hdd .
    you can chage it by enabling view option of any folder and changing the properties of view . and check for hidden items

  9. Nala Dimapunong
    September 11, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Hi. Your folders might be hidden. Follow Erlis D.’s comment. The “Organize” menu is on your window explorer’s left-top side. If your files are still not there, the virus probably changed them to SYSTEM files. In Erlis D.’s step, consider un-ticking “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” which is just below the "Hidden File and Folders" option. You’ll see a prompt, just press “Yes”. Make sure you tick that setting back after you get your files. You can also:
    1. Copy the file address, like you just did. If you remember all the folders, that’s a good idea. But that can be tiring..? If you want, you can just go to the command prompt and type TREE to see the folders/directories in your drive. That way, you’ll remember the names of the folders. Also type DIR to see the root directory, in case the virus changed the arrangement or something. Once, I had a virus that put ALL my folders into ONE folder named “_”—as in the underscore. It was super hidden then.
    2. Follow Ha14’s comment; it’s a CMD prompt version, but it’s still the same with the steps I told you above. However, sometimes, it just won’t show all the files. In this case, do this with EVERY folder. Type: attrib *foldername* /s /d -s -h –r (Don’t include asterisks! Make sure it’s the right drive letter/path!)
    3. Consider using a file explorer. You can see all of your files and folders there. Just copy them directly and put them in the folder you want. You can also use Winrar or 7-Zip. They are not advanced but they’re nifty file explorers too in their own ways. Plus, you can just drag the files to the folders you want them in.

    Let me know how it went! Good luck!

    September 11, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Hello, before doing anything else make sure to run full scans with the following software:

    superantispyware portable version:


    malwarebytes free edition:

    Also update and run a full scan with your antivirus of choice. Once all the full scans give you a clean result, download and run the following software explain in the link:


  11. Irshaad Abdool
    September 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    open command prompt

    navigate to the root of your drive

    then type *attrib -h -s /d /s* -without the asterisks
    then hit Enter

    all the super hidden folders(thats the name given to these files btw) will be visible, including important folder/files for your drive; remember to 're-hide' them

    • sharath
      December 17, 2012 at 4:15 am

      gr8 man..
      Thanks a lot

      • Irshaad Abdool
        December 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

        ur welcme :)

  12. GrrGrrr
    September 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    check if the folders are hidden.

    also create a new folder and see if it is visible.

  13. ha14
    September 10, 2012 at 8:23 am

    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

    • Efreñia Torres
      September 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      accesss denied. :(

  14. Usman Mubashir
    September 10, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Go inside a folder, right click and select properties, uncheck hide

  15. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    September 10, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Find your hidden files by heading to Control Panel>Apearence and Personalization> Folder Option click show hidden files and folders remove checkmark for
    1. hide extension for known file types
    2.hide protected operating system files

    Click apply then ok.

  16. Erlis D.
    September 10, 2012 at 2:58 am

    The folder are hidden... There are two options: or the folders will be unhidden or simply they can't be unhidden!
    To try to unhidden them, follow this steps:
    1. Open a folder (or your usb stick)
    2. Go to organize > folder and search options
    3. Under Folder Options go to: View
    4. Under Hidden Files and Folders, tick Show hidden files, folders...
    5. Also Un-tick: Hide protected operating system files
    6. Click OK.

    Now your folders will be visible...
    Click 'Properties' in one of the folders, and under general, see if you can un-tick the Hidden option! If not, then recreate the folders, and move the files into the newly created folders.. But be cautious to open this hidden folder using a folder explorer like Total Commander.. Since it might affect your computer with viruses...
    After moving this files into the new folders, delete this folders, and the process is done!
    Hope it helped!

    • Nicky Angel
      September 10, 2012 at 8:04 am


    • Ginny
      September 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Thank you for your help. It was a big help to find my files.

    • geekid
      September 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      It works VERY GOOD!
      Great thanks Erlis D. :))

    • Efreñia Torres
      September 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      where can i see organize> folder and search options ??? im using windows XP

    • Efreñia Torres
      September 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      i don't have the 'organize' in my windows

      • Erlis D.
        November 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm

        Sorry for this late reply! In windows XP, when you open a folder, you will find in the menu bar, by clicking directly: Tools > Folder Options.
        Than follow the steps I said in the previous comment!

    • Venky
      October 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

      It worked. Great. Saved lot of my effort. Thanks.

    • tomajinho
      November 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you so much it helped very well.

    • vijay
      November 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      bingo !!!thank u

    • Ruben
      November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Bro you fucking ROCK!!!!! that worked!

      • Erlis D.
        November 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

        Thanks! I'm glad it worked! :)

    • Ryanpaf
      February 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      man thank you so much! you just saved my important files! big thanks from philippines!

    • MARK
      March 21, 2013 at 4:46 am

      thanks a lot it works

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