A virus made all .exe files 0kb. How can I recover them? This is an interesting question with a simple, straightforward answer. Here is how to recover from a virus in Windows with the help of Linux.
Before you attempt a recovery, make sure your computer is clean from infection. Checkout the programs in my article What are the effects of installing pirated or cracked software? There are a couple of good antivirus tools you can use to scan your PC. My favorite tool is HitmanPro. So far it hasn’t missed a thing.
After you have made sure your PC is clean, go grab a Linux Live CD and boot it. When you enter the Linux environment, mount your broken Windows partition and check the file sizes. As Linux is unaffected by Windows viruses, chances are it will report the correct file sizes.
How can I recover them?
Assuming Linux reported that all .exe files are now 0kb, you have two options for recovery:
- Restore from a clean backup (because your backups may be infected, too)
- Reinstall all your apps
Before you try recovery, transfer all of your important documents to an external disk drive. Virus recovery may lead to data loss. You don’t know what damage the virus has done.
Why backups are important
If you had a backup, you would be on your way to recovering your PC. Always make backups of your critical work either in Google Drive, OwnCloud like me, or iCloud if you are an Apple fan. With the wide availability of cloud space on the Internet, you have no excuse to fall victim to viruses anymore.
A virus made all .exe files 0kb. How can I recover them?
I feel sorry for the person who lost his programs, but it could have been worse. You should backup your documents and likely have to reinstall all of your programs. Remember to keep a backup next time.
If you don’t want to pay too much for protection, check out my article What is a free antivirus malware program?
Do you keep backups? How do you recover from viruses? What is your preferred antivirus? Post in the comments what you think. If you like this article, share it!