Process to Remove “Shortcut Virus” and Recover Infected Files

At times, when you plug in a USB drive or SD card, you might find that your files are misplaced and instead are supplanted with shortcuts. It means that your USB drive might have been infected with a virus.

Fortunately, the plus side is that your data would still be there, hidden somewhere. With some efforts and instructions, you can easily remove the virus and recover your hidden data from your USB drive and computer.

Devices like pendrive and SD cards are some of the most commonly used devices to copy or move data from one pc to another. During the time of connecting pendrive to the computer and during the transfer of data, you might see some errors. One of those errors is Shortcut Error. Shortcut error or virus converts every file in your pendrive or SD card or a hard drive into the shortcut.

Shortcut Virus: When you connect your pendrive or flash drive to an infected pc and move any file, it will automatically become infected and all the files in your pendrive or flash card start showing as Shortcut. If you try to open those shortcut files, you will see an error message. This virus can influence any external storage device such as flash drive, memory card, phone memory etc. So, to avoid this virus, be careful when you are downloading software from the internet. Moreover, if you have a free anti-virus on your system, it might not be very effective, so use a paid and genuinely effective antivirus.

#Remove Shortcut Virus from Any Storage and Flash Drive Using CMD

In case, you have not stored any important data in your USB drive, you can easily get rid of the shortcut virus by formatting it. However, if your device contains important files, then you won’t be able to format it. So, mentioned below are a few steps on how to remove the shortcut virus without formatting your drive or card, connected to your pc:

  1. Click on Starts Menu or press Window key on your keyboard and search for the ‘CMD’ command prompt. When you see it in the start menu, right click on it, and then click on ‘Run as Administrator’ on the menu.

Alternatively, using your keyboard, you can press the Window key and ‘R’ key together. This will open the ‘Run’ box. Type ‘cmd’ there and press enter. If you do not know what this ‘Run’ box is, it can be utilized by users to start any application on their computer by typing the short title of the application.

  1. Now, type ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /D X:\ and press enter on your keyboard.

The letter X signifies the letter of the USB drive you want to fix. So, change the letter ‘X’ to the letter of your drive. To find out the letter of your drive, go to ‘My Computer’ or ‘Computer’ to find the letter that represents your USB drive.

It might take more than a few seconds to recover all the files that were affected by the shortcut virus. After that, open your USB flash drive and all your files will be there. Then create the back up of your original USB data files, but not the shortcut files, on your computer and after that format the problematic USB.

Now the virus should be gone. However, remember that if you made any mistake in following the given instructions, you might lose all the data of the drive. It’s possible that the computer will continue to make the shortcut files in your drives, if the virus isn’t completely removed from your PC. 

#Remove Shortcut Virus from Your Windows Computer

Once you have fixed the problem of the shortcut virus, all the files will appear in their original form in your drive. However, if the shortcut virus is infecting your computer, then when you will reconnect your drive to your computer, it will again get infected with the short virus. So, it is important to remove this virus from your computer as well so that your drive will never again get infected.

It can be a little problematic to get rid of this virus from your computer, as your antivirus cannot detect it. Still, using your antivirus to run a full system scan and boot time scan might help you a bit. However, if both the scans are unable to remove the virus, then you must use a malware removal tool.  And again, if you have a free anti-virus on your system, it might not be very effective, so use a paid and genuinely effective antivirus.

Remove Shortcut Virus from Computer Permanently

  • Firstly, open the Task Manager by pressing ‘Ctrl + Shift + Esc’ and then click on ‘process’
  • Now browse through the processes and find the process.exe or any other similar process. Then right click on the process and select ‘End Task.’
  • Next, press the Windows Key and ‘R’ key on the keyboard and the ‘Run prompt’ will appear. Then type ‘regedit’ in the box and press enter. It will open Registry Editor.
  • Now direct to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run
  • Then browse for the registry key ‘odwcamszas.exe’. Then right-click and choose ‘select’. You might not find the same key, however, search for other junk values that perform no function.
  • Then restart your computer in order to save the last made changes.

Tips to Stop the Shortcut Virus or Other Malware from Entering Your PC

  • Use a paid and effective antivirus program on your computer.
  • Do not open any file on the drive that is connected to your computer without scanning the drive first with your antivirus program.
  • Do not receive any data from another pc that do not have a proper antivirus program.
  • Do not download any software from the third party.
  • Be cautious while surfing the internet.

Suggested Link: What’s A Good Antivirus and How to Pick a Best One?

“And that’s all for now, thanks for sticking with the article, and you know it will always good to let me know about the tutorial, in the comments down below.” 🙂



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