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Basically my cousin just called and said that one of her folders of pictures now is showing as a single file in windows explorer, and when she tries to double click it, the "Open With" dialog is shown up, as if it was an unknown file.

I did find something on Google, but all the answers on the first hit suggested that it was hard disk corruption. Would that be right? Or is there some registry setting that can be changed to make it show as a folder again? Or some other trick?

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I'd be 99% sure it's file corruption. Here's what you can do:

1.) If the files are important you can attempt to recover them with something like EASEUS or, my personal favorite, photorec. Make sure to attempt any recovery before proceeding to the next step.

2.) Hold down the logo key and press r. Type cmd and hit enter. Type the following and hit enter:

chkdsk [your volume]:/f
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