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Removable Disk (Pen-Drive) not showing files even when there are files

by John Bhatt

The Problem – Removable Disk not showing Files

This time I have a got a problem from a friend. He has copied his Videos and songs to a flash memory stick (Pen Drive). But he is not sure where he made mistake but files were showing correctly some days ago. He tried playing them in his TV set but TV displayed error that no content.

He gave me his pen-drive, I have plugged into my system and opened in file explorer. Those external flash Disk were full of content. One has crossed the red mark and another is more than half.

Removable Disk

I opened the disk and got surprised. There is no files. I closed and re-tried again but no luck. I went to properties of External Disk and checked either hidden check is enabled or not and changed the setting of my Windows Explorer to display hidden files too.

Removable Disk

But even after those all settings, there were no files and system was same disk usage. Then I think of taking help of Microsoft’s core. That is Command Prompt. The core of DOS is available in all Windows and have ability to perform many actions that Windows Explorer or any built-in GUI application can not perform.

The Solution – Get hidden files of Removable Disk

We write following code in Command Prompt. Make sure, you have administrator privilege and Command Prompt is opened with Administrator access.

ATTRIB -s -h -r /s /d f:*.*

Removable Disk-CommandPrompt

Note, in above code, f is drive volume letter. You have to replace with your external disk letter.

To know more about ATTRIB command, visit Windows XP documentation article in Microsoft Official website. We have taken below parameter and their definition from the page linked.



-r : Clears the read-only file attribute.

-s : Clears the system file attribute.

-h : Clears the hidden file attribute.

/s : Applies attrib and any command-line options to matching files in the current directory and all of its subdirectories.

/d : Applies attrib and any command-line options to directories.

Now after typing and executing above command, let’s have a look at Windows Explorer with files again.

Removable Disk-FilesShowing

Here we go. All files those were on disk are visible and readable. Thanks for reading. If you find this article helpful, do not forget to share among friends.

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