Flash Drive With Cryptic names

Posted on 2014-08-05
Last Modified: 2014-08-25

I am checking a flash drive where some of the files and folders have strange names composing of characters and letters. These are not the original name. While I cannot access or copy the files on the root of the drive, I can drill down into some of the folders - the ones with complete proper names and access and copy the files and folders within those.

I have scanned with eset and malwarebytes with no infection. Attempts to access the properties page of change the name is met with messages indicating limitations on that access.

Examples of some of the folder names resemble:
ᶧ - with a long tail

Any assistance will be appreciated.
Question by:mavcom

    Author Comment

    Additionally I should add that when I attempt to view the file attributes using cmd I get the message "The target of the symbolic link F;\cryptic name does not exist.
    LVL 25

    Assisted Solution

    it is difficult to tell if a malware caused this. it is fairly possible that some files were created with a charset that windows does not understand. the term symbolic link would suggest those files were not created on windows and are just shortcuts with no actual content. you also can experience such things with failing drives

    you can access the drives from a non-windows host. the files names will or will not stay cryptic but you will be able to delete them

    you probably had better format the drive

    Author Comment

    The files were previously accessible and deleting them is not an option.
    LVL 52

    Assisted Solution

    Looks like corrupted data.
    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    i hardly believe anything will be recoverable from a file that windows sees as a symbolic link that points nowhere. try the non windows host as you might have a good surprise. you may try some recovery software as well but don't expect much. sorry.

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