Disappearing/hidden files

By JayDiggles ยท 5 replies
Apr 30, 2016
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  1. So the other day I get on my computer and all of my files are ghosted. What I mean by that is they are all Opaque and see through, but most of them still exist. I have had several issues , one of which being the Firefox problem (which I solved reading forums) but I can't quite get my comp back to 100%. I'm not sure if it's just a setting or if I have a minor issue, or if I even have a virus. Any new files I create don't seem to be ghosted, and some programs aren't. I seem to be able to click the majority of the files.

    Attached Files:

  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Right-click one of them, select properties at the bottom of the list, then the General tab on the properties panel. What is ticked on the 'Attributes' line at the bottom? If the "read-only' box is ticked, try unticking it, and if it won't, tell me what message you get. BTW you ought to start by telling us what OS you are using, I can't see it from here, my telescope is not big enough.
  3. JayDiggles

    JayDiggles TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Sorry for forgetting to tell you the OS. I am running Windows 7.

    I checked a folder on my desktop and the "read-only" box is filled in, and the "hidden" is checked. They all seem to be like this.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    The 'hidden' property being set is what is causing the desktop files to look as they do. How they got that way is a worrying problem. In your position I would roll back my system to a restore point before the problem appeared, if you have one. You know how to do that? Click the windows globe, in the search box that opens, enter 'restore' and follow the prompts to choose a suitable restore point.

    You might simply be able to turn off the hidden setting, but I think what has happened is NOT normal and NOT ignorable.

    I say to do a restore because I think you may have suffered some malware attack, so after rolling back (which should put any registry changes back as they were) download and run whatever you can manage of trend micro housecall, ESET online scanner, Microsoft safety scanner, McCafee stinger. Set aside a whole number of hours to run some of these.....it will probably be worth it in the end.
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  5. JayDiggles

    JayDiggles TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    My wife has now told me she was trying to find something on our computer and she tried to "unhide stuff" and was in folder options somewhere (not sure how accurately she's describing these things). Is it possible to change the setting so a lot of files go hidden or read only in folder options?
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    It's not a particularly convincing theory. You have ended up with many, but not all desktop icons set both hidden and readonly, where normally they are in neither state. Did you manually reset those properties so things look normal again? Were other files found to be hidden or readonly unexpectedly, but in less obvious places than right under your nose on the desktop? I would still recommend a thorough malware scan as previously described, even if only for reassurance.

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