How can cataloging files help with problems with your computer/

Identifying hidden and system files

Filecats has proven to be a valuable tool to solve problems on Windows PCs.

Filecats Standard was used on a computer where a virus had apparently deleted all of the user’s files from its hard disk. (You could also use Filecats Professional, Filecats Explore or Filecats Metadata to get the same results.) However, when a catalog was made, it showed that the files still existed.

Instead of deleting the files, the virus made the root folders Hidden and System, so that they didn’t appear in Windows Explorer.

Because of the Filecats workbook, this situation was easily diagnosed, and the computer’s files were once again made available to the user. (If you want to find out how, then scroll down this webpage below the video.)

In another situation, Filecats Standard was able to catalogue the Recycle Bin of an external hard disk which was given to us accidentally. Finding this information quickly could be useful to you.

Our Filecats programs makes it simple to grab information from Windows Explorer and use it in Excel. With the power of Excel, you’ll be able to identify, analyze, and fix a wide range of computer problems.

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Removing hidden and system attributes

Do you have a problem of not being able to see a particular file or folder?

The first thing I do is to catalog the Parent folder, so that I can see in Filecats Explore, Filecats Metadata, Filecats Standard or Filecats Professional what the problem is, because I can’t easily solve a problem when I don’t know precisely what it is. To do that, download it here.

The file attributes are identified by letters in the catalog. These letters were taken from the 1980s MS-DOS, and are:

  • D = Directory (or Folder)
  • R = Read-only
  • A = Archive
  • S = System and
  • H = Hidden

Generally, only the last two can potentially be a problem.

Let’s say the problem is that, as in the above example, I have a Hidden and System file or folder. To solve this:

1. I open an MS-DOS window. The easiest way is to open Windows Explorer and hold down the Shift key when right-hand clicking on a folder. Then select “Open command window”. (If you have Windows Vista or XP, then go to the Start menu, go to Run and type “cmd”).

PLEASE NOTE: If the above step takes you into unfamiliar terrority, then PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE. The MS-DOS window is very powerful, and you could damage your files if you don’t know what you are doing.

2. I then type in

attrib MyFolderOrFileName -s -h

So, for example

attrib “My Documents” – s -h

attrib “Word Document.xls” -s -h

If you were in the right folder, then that should resolve that problem. Of course, you could use:

attrib “c:usersmeMy DocumentsWord Document.xls” -s -h

3. You can then re-catalog the folder to make sure the attributes have been removed.

If your problem is that a share on a server is hidden, make sure the share doesn’t have a $ sign at the end, as that explicitly makes it hidden.

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