Folders and File Names changed to weird characters

Asked By 10 points N/A Posted on -
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I have an 8 GB USB Flash Drive, which I am using for sometime now without issues. Last night I transferred, some files as usual on the flash disk and ejected it via "safely remove hardware.

Today, When I opened the USB flash drive, strange file and folder names have appeared as you can see on the screen capture below.

Does this mean my files are corrupted?

Can I recover my files?

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Best Answer by Patrick b
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Answered By 0 points N/A #122244

Folders and File Names changed to weird characters

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Hello Edward.

If you can still open those folders and files then I suggest you copy those files to another drive immediately.  The files themselves are probably still intact.  The problem is you will have to manually rename them.

Before attempting to fix it, copy the files to another drive as backup.  To fix, simply run scandisk on your flash drive.

Do you use your flash disk on the same computer all the time?  I'm guessing probably not since it's a mobile storage.  This sort of thing usually happens to me when I plug in my flash disk to old PCs (Pentium IV or lower) or on my PC's internal card reader with USB port.  Apparently, some old USB controllers (those that were manufactured before 4-GB flash storage were developed) simply do not support USB drives larger than 2GB.  As a result, the files get corrupted.

You may notice that sometimes Windows will prompt you to format the disk.  When that happens, do not proceed with file transfer to your flash disk.

Hope this helps.

Answered By 10 points N/A #122246

Folders and File Names changed to weird characters

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Hello again.

I just found this excellent recovery software: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

It is called TestDisk and it is a powerful recovery software.  It can fix partition tables, FAT, FAT32, NTFS boot sectors, recover deleted files, copy deleted files, and many more.  I suggest you go to the website, download, install and give it a try for yourself.  It is easy enough to use for experts and novices alike.

This is the download link: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download

I already tried this on one of my USB flash disks and I must say it really works!

Another tool you can try is MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition.  Although this one has less features than TestDisk, it can recover lost files from your hard drive, USB flash disks or memory cards.

Answered By 564895 points N/A #122248

Folders and File Names changed to weird characters

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There is really no way of telling if those files inside your USB flash drive are already corrupted or the USB flash drive itself got infected with a virus in some other way. I’ve already seen infected flash drives where files and folders got renamed and some other strange files appear inside the drive. To make sure if the drive is still clean, make sure to scan it first with your antivirus. But first, update your antivirus so it will be aware of the latest threats and then begin scanning your USB flash drive.

If the scan turns out negative then it’s really possible that the manner of ejecting the USB flash drive caused a problem on the actual drive itself which affected all the files inside. But at this point since you haven’t tried yet opening any of the files inside, you are still unsure if they are really corrupted or not. Try opening each folder first and then open any files inside. If they can still be opened then try moving them on to your hard drive. Try moving as much files and folders as you can to your hard drive as long as they are ok and then reformat your USB flash drive. Just rename all files and folders you’ve recovered and then move them back to your flash drive after reformatting it.

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