Wow! it’s 2013..Happy new year to all subscribers and readers of my blogs. What joy it is to be alive, strong and endlessly determined to achieve more success in 2013. May this indeed be our year of Favour as declared by the Man of God, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome (PhD).

I introduce the year with a simple write-up to assist anyone who at this time is frustrated by a sudden disappearance of all or some files and folders from a pendrive, external HDD or other flash device. If you have ever experienced file disappearance even though you were fully aware the files were still on the drive but have, by some miracle become invisible, then you are very much aware the frustrations your mind suffers especially when the files are very important files. So, you slotted in your pendrive, and no file or folder can be seen or accessed, and you need these files to deliver a presentation in school, prepare a report for your boss, or make something happen at short notice. WHAT DO YOU DO?

File disappearance from a computer’s hard drive is caused by several factors, such as malicious software, physical damage and user error. You can prevent file disappearance through primary, secondary and tertiary prevention methods, such as data backup, running consistent security scans and maintaining the hard drive’s physical integrity. But what if you forgot to do any of the above? or simply had no time to undertake?

I have identified a very simple way out of this mess, and even without being a programmer or computer enthusiast you can easily follow these steps and get your files back, visible and healthy. Ultimately, it’s not about enthusiasm, it’s about files you cannot afford to lose. So let’s get into it.

1. First thing to do when your files are no longer visible in explorer is to make sure you have a registered and updated anti-virus program installed. If you do, scan the drive that has all its files hidden. Anti-virus programs have system-scan functions that determine the name of the virus, the system event and the amount of data seized during the attack.Executing a system scan is the ideal manner of examining your computer to determine if a file disappeared as a result of a viruses

2. As I suspect would happen in most cases, your files would still remain invisible even after the scan. So, now, open an EXPLORER dialog box by opening MY DOCUMENTS or MY COMPUTER.

3. Now, go to ORGANIZE, explorer and navigate to VIEW, and then select SHOW HIDDEN FILES AND FOLDERS.

4. Are your files visible now? If yes, praise be to God, if no, then it means your pendrive has been taken over by a TROJAN HORSE that has hidden all you files and replicated virus versions of your folders and files, which usually have a .EXE extension at the tail-end of the file or folder name. Computer viruses, such as Trojan Subseven and Trojan Y3K Rat, alter a drive’s directory structure and eliminate a user’s files upon opening. Other viruses, such as file infector and multipartate, overwrite files while maintaining the file names, causing the files to disappear from the drive. Here’s how to deal with that:

5. Open a COMMAND PROMPT window by going to START–ACCESSORIES-COMMAND PROMPT(CMD). It is best if you open the command prompt with admin rights. Type CMD in Start menu search box and hit Shift+Ctrl+Enter. Alternatively, press WINDOWS LOGO KEY+R, and then type CMD in the dialog box that pops up in the lower left corner of your display.

6. Now you should be in the main service window of CMD with the active cursor blinking.cmd At that prompt, type the Active directory path of your drive. eg F: and press enter. This should activate a prompt with you drive as the active service node. so if the original path was C: that should change to F:\> assuming your pendrive has a drive letter F as it’s name in MY COMPUTER.

7. We are now going to change the attributes of your drive’s boot-sectors by typing accurately the following command line. Remember we’re still using F as our drive-letter. So here’s the command F:\>attrib -s -a -r -h /s /d *.* (take note of the spaces in-between the letters except where we have /s, /d, *.*) For the sake of clarity, ima repeat the command line in a sentence form F semicolon backslash greater-than sign attrib space negative s space negative a space negative r space negative h space forward slash s space forward slash d space wildcard dot wildcard Hope you got it right there!

8. Hit ENTER

9. Now wait for the system to execute the command and reorganize sector attributes. When this is done, you should see another display of the prompt like this F:\> which means the process is complete.

10. Now type exit and open an EXPLORER WINDOW(MY DOCUMENTS OR MY COMPUTER) access your device again, and there, should have your files and folders back on. After this, scan you drive again, as some viruses that were hidden are likely to be exposed to the scan engine. Hope you celebrate the REDISCOVERY OF LOST FILES.

GOD BLESS YOU! @heavenboundpkay on twitter, and yookos.