Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:53 PM
Falls in the COMMENT category here; yes??
Restore Missing/Hidden Icons Wiped Out by a Virus
By Rick Broida, PCWorld Jan 25, 2012 12:34 AM (Appears in May 2012 PCWorld Magazine on page 96 / right side - US Edition)
Last night my sister-in-law called me, just about in tears. "Something" had happened to her laptop--probably a virus, she guessed--but everything seemed to be gone: all her desktop and Start Menu icons, and, even scarier, all her data. It was like aliens had abducted her desktop.
Not aliens: hackers. Her system had indeed been infected by a virus, and it took me a few sweeps with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware(still the best recovery tool out there, IMHO) to get rid of it. (Here's a great malware-removal tutorial from PC World's Eric Geier.)
Just one problem: removing the virus hadn't restored all my sister-in-law's icons and data. The hard drive still showed nearly full, meaning nothing had actually been erased, but for all intents and purposes, the stuff was still MIA.
Fortunately, I found a utility that worked a seemingly major miracle: It brought everything back.
It's called UnHide. This free, self-contained utility is available via BleepingComputer courtesy of a user named Grinler. Just download and run the program, then be prepared to wait. On my system, it took 10-15 minutes to restore everything.
But restore everything it did: desktop icons, the Start Menu, and all the seemingly vanished data.
This was a first for me; I'd never encountered a virus that made almost the entire desktop disappear. Scary stuff!
If you find yourself in a similar situation, don't panic. I think it's the rare virus that actually does wipe out data. That said, this is probably a good time to remind you to make regular backups--not just to an external drive, but also to the cloud. Better safe than sorry!
People sleep easy in their beds at night only because
rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who
would do them harm. ~~ Orson Wells
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