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If I run the command:

C:\>attrib –s –h *.* /S /D

This will remove the hidden and system attributes from ALL files on the C drive (It had been infected by a virus that has marked files as system and hidden, and there are far too many to do individually)

Will removing the system attribute affect windows at all, does it rely on the attribute for anything more than what to display in the explorer window?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Actually yes, removing the System attribute from signed windows core files can cause the Operating System to rescan the digital signatures of the file, and often cause the system to lag, become unstable, or allow other malicious programs to take over legitimate core windows files.

It is never a good idea to do this. If you need to see system and hidden files, simply go to your folder options in windows explorer, and show hidden files.

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Thanks, This question is actually just to recover files that have been hidden by a virus by marking everything as a hidden system file - the machine is useless anyway now, so a blanket 'remove system, remove hidden' is just to recover these lost files, then the whole system will be flattened and reinstalled, so I don't see any risk here. – h_a_z_ Feb 3 '12 at 11:22

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