Virus Infected MicroSD Card & All Files Turned into Shortcuts?
Troubleshooting: Files and Folders Become Shortcuts in SD Card
As a digital device user, have you ever come across this weird situation with your MicroSD card? You connect the SD card from your digital camera or mobile phone to your PC. It is recognized by the computer, but when you attempt to access the files inside, all of the files and folders are now shortcuts!
If this happens to you, do not panic! This SD card issue is not that difficult to handle. Why? I have personally experienced the issue and was able to address the problem without any problems (I'm using a Dell with Windows 7).
Keep reading for the reasons and fixes. Hopefully you'll recover all your original files.
What Cause Folders to Suddenly Become Shortcuts?
You are probably right, it is caused by malicious computer software or virus!
In the properties of the folders, you will see that the shortcut is pointing to a 0x29ACAAD1.exe file, which my Kaspersky anti-virus software detected as Trojan.Win32.VBKrypt.cvcu, a trojan virus.
Don’t be scared. As the old saying goes: “Where there is a problem, there is a solution!”
How to Fix the Shortcut Problem? Here's the Proven Method
- Connect your infected Micro SD card to a Windows-based computer.
- Click the Start button and select the Run option. Type cmd.
- Then type this command: attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.* and press Enter. Note: The "f:" in the command refers to the drive for your MicroSD card, in this case the F: drive. If, when you open the "My Computer" window, the MicroSD card shows a different drive (for example, G:) remember to replace f: with the that drive letter.
- Now see if your files or folders become normal. The normal files should appear in the drive window along with the bad shortcut files.
- To be sure your memory card is clean, copy your files onto a safe place on your computer or another disk. Format the memory card (warning: doing so will erase all files) and run a virus scan. Then, copy the rescued files back onto the card.
This worked for me. You too? Congratulations!
If this didn't work, don't give up! The virus may have hidden itself quite well. Follow the steps below (credit to Jessica who contributed this solution from AnySoftwareTools) to see if you can get your MicroSD working again.
If The Above Method Didn't Work Out, Try This!
- Open the security software on your PC. (Don’t have one installed? The built-in Microsoft Security Essentials is free but not so powerful. I like MalwareBytes as it keeps both virus and malware away from my Dell. There are many more options available on the market.)
- Run the antivirus or anti-malware software, and let it have a thorough scan of your MicroSD card. Remove any malicious files it detects.
- Now check back on your sd card files and folders. Are they normal?
If this still doesn't work for you, go to next step.
Your Last Resort -- Format The Micro SD Card
*Warning*: formatting a memory will likely erase everything on it, though you may have chance to recover some of the content.
- Plug your card into your PC. Under "My Computer" (or "This PC" if you use Windows 10), right-click the icon of the disk drive represented by your Micro SD card.
- In the context menu, select "Format..."
- Be sure to deselect "Quick Format" to run a complete format of the damaged disk.
- If your PC or digital device refuses to format it, go get this third-party formatting program called HP USB Disk Format Tool -- it's totally free. It should work.
- Now all your files and folders are removed from the card. If they are important to you, you may rely on a recovery utility to get some of them back.
The Video Tutorial
Be Careful! Protect Your Micro SD Card from Being Infected
Don’t want to suffer similar problem with your folders turning into shortcuts in the future? Here are a few useful tips for SD card security:
- Do not try connect it to too many computers, especially those you are not familiar with.
- Perform regular PC health checks daily or weekly.
- Make multiple backups of important data.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.