Virus Infected MicroSD Card & All Files Turned into Shortcuts?

Updated on August 18, 2016
Are you having trouble with your MicroSD card?
Are you having trouble with your MicroSD card?

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.

Shortcut folders can be identified by a small arrow in the bottom lefthand corner.
Shortcut folders can be identified by a small arrow in the bottom lefthand corner.

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!”

You want your folders to look like the normal file folder on the right.
You want your folders to look like the normal file folder on the right.

How to Fix the Shortcut Problem? Here's the Proven Method

  1. Connect your infected Micro SD card to a Windows-based computer.
  2. Click the Start button and select the Run option. Type cmd.
  3. 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.
  4. Now see if your files or folders become normal. The normal files should appear in the drive window along with the bad shortcut files.
  5. 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.

First, type "cmd" into the Run box.
First, type "cmd" into the Run box.
Type the following in the command box: attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.*
Type the following in the command box: attrib -h -r -s /s /d f:\*.*

If The Above Method Didn't Work Out, Try This!

Clean your MicroSD with an anti-virus scan.
Clean your MicroSD with an anti-virus scan.
  1. 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.)
  2. Run the antivirus or anti-malware software, and let it have a thorough scan of your MicroSD card. Remove any malicious files it detects.
  3. 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

Formatting your MicroSD card will erase the files on it, but will remove the bad shortcut files.
Formatting your MicroSD card will erase the files on it, but will remove the bad shortcut files.

*Warning*: formatting a memory will likely erase everything on it, though you may have chance to recover some of the content.

  1. 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.
  2. In the context menu, select "Format..."
  3. Be sure to deselect "Quick Format" to run a complete format of the damaged disk.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

What's Your Story?

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    • profile image

      Debasish Das 4 weeks ago

      My memory is about 32GB sd card is being effected by heavy virus.. I want to delete the data but it does not formatted nor any antivirus detect that virus..When i Delete data thn after refresh data again comes automatically please help me I am in very trouble.

    • profile image

      Manimala 4 weeks ago

      thanks a lot !! It really works

    • profile image

      Rajeev Chauhan 2 years ago

      thanks dear its really work.

    • profile image

      Hussain Amjad 3 years ago

      Hello every one.. My 4 GB sd card is being effected by heavy virus.. I want to delete the data but it does not formatted nor any antivirus detect that virus..When i Delete data thn after refresh data again comes automatically please help me I am in very trouble.

      Bundle of thanks.

    • profile image

      mat 3 years ago

      thanks for the tips.

      i found the malware but under that name. zVJ5Ch.

    • profile image

      Narvin! 3 years ago

      Hey! Thanks for helping me for my problem , i feel depressed in that shortcut files but it's done because of you. :) Thank you! More power!

    • profile image

      Xelex1000 3 years ago

      thanks,.. that helps to much...

    • Bijaykumar Sahoo profile image

      Bijaykumar Sahoo 3 years ago from Cuttack, Orissa

      I was transferring a video clip to my mobile phone (Nokia 3600) from another Nokia phone via Bluetooth. Suddenly the screen of my phone my phone became blank and it didn't responded to any command and the phone automatically switched off. When I again tried it to switch on a blank screen again appeared and it again switched off. Then Iremoved the micro sd card from the phone and switched the phone on. Now the phone worked properly. How can I repair the card and recover the data from the virus infected card Can I try for scanning the card in my PC installed with Quick Heal Total Security Anti Virus ?

    • profile image

      Afaque AHmed 3 years ago

      Thank You very much this really worked for me !

    • profile image

      suneelphaniraj 3 years ago

      you're a lifesaver

      thanks alot

    • profile image

      MANOHAR 3 years ago

      You're really a genius. Thanks!!

    • profile image

      ppp 3 years ago

      thanks it worked

    • profile image

      Turab Ali Qureshi 3 years ago

      You're a life saver

    • profile image

      harman singh 3 years ago

      it works fr me...

    • profile image

      mhdmanoof 4 years ago

      how to doing pc formet

    • profile image

      Art 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot.

    • exinco profile image

      exinco 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Really useful.thanks

    • profile image

      Tarun Tandon 4 years ago

      Thank you so much... :)

    • profile image

      leonyl 4 years ago

      thanks you help me...

    • profile image

      Senthilkumar 4 years ago

      Very useful matter.. thank you

    • profile image

      Alan 4 years ago

      Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      Anand Ramprashad 4 years ago

      Thanks a million man!!

      It's fixed with the command...... ")

    • profile image

      Vasan 4 years ago

      Thanks!!! It helped.

    • profile image

      arief 4 years ago

      Oh my god. Thank you so much, you save my work :)

    • profile image

      Maddy 4 years ago

      thanks a lot for ur idea...

    • profile image

      Akash 4 years ago

      Thanks, it works but how can I remove these shortcut permanantly?

    • profile image

      Raghavendra 4 years ago


      My SD card has the similar problem. I have tried all the steps given by you and it still creates a shortcut to the folders.

      Is there any way to fix it permanently?

    • profile image

      bhing 4 years ago

      Hi..Thanks so much for the info, it really helped. Though this info was supposed to be intended for SD users, it was still effective when I applied it on my flash drive..and my files really did recover. Your info was far effective than the other blogs, pages that say 'bout this. so Thanks again!More power,,

    • profile image

      abdo 4 years ago

      thank you very mutch it worcked just fine .the first method i mean tha,ks again have a good day.


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