I remembered the first time my USB drive got infected with virus, it was so annoying that I have to format the drive. It happened that I used the flash in a cyber café and by the time I returned from the café all my stored files were all gone. What I saw were the shortcut versions of my files which I tried opening to no avail. The drive seems filled with items but opening my files I found nothing but 1KB shortcuts. Out of frustration I formatted the drive because I didn’t know what to do.


The second time I experienced a virus attack was still at a cyber café (I still have not learnt my lessons), but the difference was that this time I knew exactly what to do which I am going to share with you here.


My third experience was with my camera’s memory card which happened when I slotted it into a friend’s laptop for him to copy some photographs. Viruses from his system attacked my memory card, I couldn’t even see any of my pictures or videos. I tried closing and re-opening the memory card again and still nothing. Another virus attack? What was I to do? All my data transformed to some executable files (.CHK) which could not be opened even after several attempts.


I tried recovering the data using the method I used on my USB drive but this was a different virus it did not even work. So I have to dig deep to discover what to do to resolve the problem. Lucky enough I was able to resolve it and I am here to share that with you also.


If your USB drive, memory card or hard drive ever gets infected, there are two ways to it. Try the first method and if that fails then proceed to the second.


  • CMD method

This method is free and easy. If you lost your data or unable to access them, try this method. This will make you look like a computer guru before you friends. From my Windows 7, I carried out these steps:


  • (i) Plug your device – USB drive, memory card or hard disk – into your computer.


  • (ii) Type “cmd” in your Start Menu search bar.

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  • (iii) From the list of programs you will see “exe or cmd”

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  • (iv) Right click “cmd.exe” to get to a black command window that aid recovery of virus infected files.

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  • (v) Type:“attrib –h –r –s /s /d your drive name:\*.*” Please note; you have to separate all the typed items with space e.g. there is a space between –h and –r. Your drive name means the disk through which your drive is connected to the system e.g. D: or E: or F:, you can locate this through computer.

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  • (vi) After that, Windows will start to repair your USB drive, memory card or hard drive. Wait for about one or more minutes for the process to be completed.


  • (vii) Go to Computer to check the drive to see if the documents are visible now. If they are then you have recovered your lost data. But, if not then go back to (v) and re-type the characters carefully noting the spaces. Cross check properly. If after trying there seems not to be solution, then don’t be discouraged, just go to my second method below.


  • Chk-Back Data Recovery Software Method


There is quite a number of data recovery software online and most of them come as freeware. I used Chk-Back from a company called TRC Data Recovery Ltd. They have different software to be used either on Windows, Apple and others. As earlier stated I used Windows 7 and here is how I recovered my files:


  • (i) Download the software CHK-BACK from the TRC site.

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  • (ii) Install and run the software.

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  • (iii) After launching the program browse to locate the drive.

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  • (iv) Click on settings to enable recovery of all files

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  • (v) Click start and the program will continue searching for and restoring the .CHK files

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  • (vi) After the first run, the app will indicate how many files it was able to recover and the ones yet to be recovered. Check the files and if you are not satisfied then click on Run again to re-run the program to recover the remaining.
  • After completion you can open your drive to view your documents. Open the documents to confirm.


Now that you have recovered your data, be careful what you do with your storage devices and on which system you use them. Conversely, if after trying the two methods above you still cannot see your files, then you can try using EaseUS data recovery software or any other one available online.

Also Read: How To Completely Remove Virus From Your Computer


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How To Recover Lost Data From Virus Infected Storage Drives
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