Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Unsetting Attribute "Protected Operating System File/Folder"

by Donotalo / August 11, 2009 4:45 PM PDT

My OS is Windows XP SP2. My sister bring home with a pen drive which contains many files and folders cannot be seen unless "Hide Protected Operating System Files" from Folder Options > View is unchecked. From the properties dialog box of those files/folders, it can be seen that "Hidden" is checked and grayed out, so it cannot be unchecked.

I'd like to unset this protected OS file attribute from those files/folders so that they can be seen without unchecking "Hide Protected Operating System Files." How can I do that?

Thanks for your time.

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Unsetting Attribute "Protected Operating System File/Folder"
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Unsetting Attribute "Protected Operating System File/Folder"
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 11, 2009 10:57 PM PDT

Why would anyone copy files to an external USB drive like a pen drive, then hide them?

If you can copy them across from the pen drive to your hard drive, perhaps you can then change their attributes?


Collapse -
RE: Why would anyone copy files to an external USB drive lik
by Donotalo / August 12, 2009 1:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Strange.

Those files and folders were attributed as protected operating system file on the computer from which my sister copied them, those are just lecture notes. I guess it is done by a virus, cause that pen drive also contained viruses.

I searched net but couldn't find solution of how to unset the "protected operating system file" attribute.

Collapse -
Re: protected operating system files
by Kees Bakker / August 12, 2009 1:30 AM PDT
Collapse -
Those viruses.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / August 12, 2009 4:50 AM PDT

As well as the other advice given, I assume that you have scanned that pen drive with an anti-virus scanner, and then an anti-malware scanner like Malwarebyte's Anti-malware;

Otherwise, connecting that pen drive to your computer allows the viruses to propogate into your system.

Also, you will need to get your sister to scan her own computer for viruses and other malware if that is where these viruses came from.


Collapse -
I've seen that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2009 11:02 PM PDT

It's all about File Attributes.

Why not explore File Attributes and how to change them? There is plenty written about this so I'll stop here.

Collapse -
Removing system hidden and protected attributes from windows
by CompNerd007 / April 23, 2013 7:32 AM PDT

open a command prompt window and type in "ATTRIB ['file path']\['file name'] -s -h"

For Example: "ATTRIB C:\USERS\ADMIN\DOWNLOADS\7z920-x64.msi -S -H" and press enter.

You can also use a wildcard (*)

For example: "ATTRIB C:\USERS\ADMIN\DOWNLOADS\FILE* -S -H" and this selects every file in that path that starts with "FILE".

replace "-" with a "+" to add the above attributes to a file.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.