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Windows 7: Windows says folders are empty when they aren't

20 Apr 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Windows says folders are empty when they aren't

I'm having a very strange issue after I did a boot time virus scan in Avast to remove a virus. Avast seems to have removed the virus just fine, however I can't get Windows to show directories or files any more.

If I open Windows Explorer and go to C:\Users it says the folder is empty. However if I right click and select properties, it calculates the folder as 10.8 GB. I can still log in fine and run software etc. This problem isn't just in the C:\Users folder. My library directories show empty and I was immediately afraid I lost all of my pictures because searching for *.jpg on my system yields no results. However, I remembered the exact path to one of the file names and sure enough it opened the picture. For example when I enter the exact address in Windows Explorer: C:\Users\MyUserName\Pictures\2011\MyPic.jpg it opens. But if I list C:\Users\MyUserName\Pictures\2011 it says "folder is empty".
One more thing to mention is that I tried browsing files through the command prompt. Whenever I try to do a directory listing with the dir command I get the error: Volume in drive C has no label. Volume Serial Number is 2AEE-FDC8. File not found. However, I can still cd into existing directories that I know exist. I just can't list the directories or files.


Unfortunately I upgraded to Windows 7 SP1 right after this happened because I thought it might fix the problem. Now I can't do a system restore to the point where my computer wasn't having this problem. I could really use some help with this issue as I've never seen it before. My only other option is to re-install my OS but I would lose my files. Any ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Apr 2011   #2

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Unfortunately, although quite a few programs can remove various malware, they can not repair the damage such malware caused.

Simple spyware can usually be completely removed, and the system is not damaged. Other stuff like Trojans, more complex spyware, rootkits, and similar stuff, cause damage to the system. This damage remains even after removing what caused it.

In your particular situation I would run a FULL scan with the free version of this;

Malwarebytes

and see what it says.

Then I would run a full scan with this;

SUPERAntiSpyware.com | Remove Malware | Remove Spyware - AntiMalware, AntiSpyware, AntiAdware!

and see what it says.

If both come up clean, then you can try to repair whatever damage the malware did to your system, although this is rarely successful, as it is difficult...impossible to find out what damage it did.

Once you have removed all the malware, it is usually best to reinstall a clean system. You should backup what you need AFTER scanning it for malware.

Scan ALL partitions and drives!

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Turn on "Show hidden files and folders." I think you will find your items are all there, just hidden.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Oh man. I feel like an idiot. The virus must have hidden all those folders because I explicitly made sure to never hide files previously. Sure enough it was as simple as hidden folders. I think I may just grab my files now that I can see them and re-install to be safe. Thanks for the help and sorry I missed the obvious.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (Technet)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kricord View Post
Oh man. I feel like an idiot. The virus must have hidden all those folders because I explicitly made sure to never hide files previously. Sure enough it was as simple as hidden folders. I think I may just grab my files now that I can see them and re-install to be safe. Thanks for the help and sorry I missed the obvious.
No worries...seen a lot of this lately. Glad your stuff is there!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2011   #6

Several, including Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I feel a bit stupid as well, having missed the obvious! ( Although it is rarely actually that simple with malware damage).

Anyway, glad to hear you are sorted out. MacGyvr will doubtless also be pleased to hear it when he comes back on line.

Regards....Mike Connor
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional, 64bit
 
 

I just figured that one out myself. Where were you guys when I was beating my head on the counter? Of course, the only "fix" I could think of doing was going into a Command window and using ATTRIB /S -H from the root of C:. Anyone got any better solutions?

- Dayton - Wed. 05/25/2011 @ 16:04:50
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2012   #8

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 
Thank you thank you thank you

I just recently had the same problem where I could see all my main folders but once I clicked on them all it would say was "this folder is empty". I was thinking the virus deleted my files, but I had also checked the properties and it would give me the size of my original folder. I recently cleaned Exploit:Java/CVE-2010-0840.A and Exploit:Java/CVE-2011-3544.A from my computer (or at least quarantined them because there was a lock in the file where I couldn't delete them, even in safe mode) I read the first reply and my heart dropped to the floor thinking the virus had done irreparable damage to my system and files and then I continued to read and I tried the show hidden files (which I thought about and then said nah couldn't be that when i was banging my head against the counter) and it worked. Again thanks to this post that saved my files. My question is, the "java" updater (from the virus) is still coming up on my computer even though it's quarantined and I don't know how to completely delete it. Does anyone know what I can do? I ran a full scan in safe mode and that's when I was able to quarantine it, but I can't delete it because it say's it's locked.

Oh also, is there anyway to figure out which files are suppose to be hidden. I had to go back through and unhide all my files but I don't want to delete something by accident one day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows says folders are empty when they aren't




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