USB files now all .lnk?


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I recently scanned a lot of documents onto a USB stick and they were opening fine. Suddenly today when I inserted the USB into my laptop all the files are something called .lnk? I can't open any of them :( Does anyone know why this happened or how to fix it? One thing I know I did was use the USB on a windows computer but only once to transfer a document...don't know if that could have messed it up a bit
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

Windows could have changed those file extensions to .lnk, which are Microsoft Windows shortcut files.

You could try and change the extension of one of the files to whatever file type they were and see if it will open.

C
 
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Hello, thank you for your reply! I tried right clicking and clicking "open with...other" but that didn't work. sorry, I'm really not good with computers. Is that what you mean when you said try change the extension?
 
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thank you so much for your help...I had no idea what type of document it used to be (whichever one a scanner would save it as) but I tried renaming it back to the ones you suggested (.pdf, .jpg, .png) but each time I tried to open it says "the file could not be opened. It may be damaged or use a file format that Preview doesn't recognize".
 
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Oh dear thats not good.

File > Get Info (or Command - I )
and see what size they are if the are 4k or smaller then the PC has chomped the files.
 
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Yes, scan files will be MBs large.

Try this,
Double Click on the Drive to open a window into it.
In Search Field press Space key
This will show you the Search Ribbon
Ensure the Search location is the USB Drive
Click the round Plus button
Set Kind is Image

Did it find anything?
 
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Thank you so, so much! They were under "document" kind. I thought I lost everything. Thanks for spending so much time helping me :)
 
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Yes, scan files will be MBs large.

Try this,
Double Click on the Drive to open a window into it.
In Search Field press Space key
This will show you the Search Ribbon
Ensure the Search location is the USB Drive
Click the round Plus button
Set Kind is Image

Did it find anything?

Thank you very much @Kaveman. I am facing the same problem and this approach helped me find the folders. Thanks!
 
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Hi Kaveman, thanks for posting that, it alleviated my panic that I'd lost gigs worth of work... but how to change the files back to readable files and folders? The only solutions I can find online use a Windows machine which I don't use (except occasionally when I go to print shops to print off of this USB key, which is most certainly how the drive got infected...) Thanks in advance!
Joel
 
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i used OnyX Version 2.8.4 to resolve the prob : open Onyx / Utilities / volume to modify / select the volume / show folder / show file
but thanks for the post @ Kaveman ( great !!
 
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Hi, i followed whatever Mr. Kaveman said but still facing the same problem :/ i could get every other files but the one i wanted.
here's the screenshot of it.
 

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the .lnk file is not the file you are looking for, look for another type. If that's the only one then sorry it's gone.
 
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i got the files using "Kaveman's method", but how to restore the folders from '.ink' format.?
 
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Yes, scan files will be MBs large.

Try this,
Double Click on the Drive to open a window into it.
In Search Field press Space key
This will show you the Search Ribbon
Ensure the Search location is the USB Drive
Click the round Plus button
Set Kind is Image

Did it find anything?

Thanks Kaveman, This worked for me.
It really helped me a lot.
 
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Sounds like the Windows PC have a virus
http://malwaretips.com/blogs/lnk-file-association/

What was the type of document it used to be, pdf, jpg, png???
Click on the first file, File > Get Info (or Command - I )
Change the Extension back to what it was.

Check that fixes it.

If so continue, with the rest of the files...
Can you help me all my files on my pen drive are saved as .ink and they all are shortcuts because there size is around 838bytes can u help me? it won't let me open it
 
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the .lnk file is not the file you are looking for, look for another type. If that's the only one then sorry it's gone.
but this happen to me about a week ago and my brother was able to fix it and all the files were saved as .ink but now he is abroad do u have any idea how he fixed it?
 
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I spent hours trying every suggestion I found in these forums and none worked.

Until I found this one (from http://ianlunn.co.uk/articles/quickly-showhide-hidden-files-mac-os-x-mavericks/)
  1. Open Terminal found in Finder > Applications > Utilities
  2. In Terminal, paste the following: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
  3. Press return
  4. Hold the ‘Option/alt’ key, then right click on the Finder icon in the dock and click Relaunch.
At this point you can see every hidden file on your computer, including the hidden files in your USB.
That was the only way I could find all my original files, and then copy them to my desktop.

After that, go back to Terminal to hide the files again, following the same steps but replace the Terminal command with:

  1. In Terminal, paste: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
Once I assured I had all my files saved in my computer, I formatted the usb and got rid of the virus as well...

Hope it helps!
 
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