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All the items (both files and folders) inside my pen drive had been renamed to some characters like :]h.¡>?.A╕╗ and when I try to open any folder Windows gives this message.

The filename,directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect

I was told that it is a problem of the pen drive, not a virus. They say if I format the pendrive then I will be able to use it again normally. But I'm not sure. And I need those files.

Does anybody know a solution?

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marked as duplicate by BloodPhilia, Scott, TFM, Tog, Dave M Mar 14 '13 at 12:09

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

before doing anything like repair or whatsoever, if you really need the files you could do a backup using dd with a linux live system. I've also seen several times a filesystem which could not be read with windows was readable from linux. – user4711 Oct 12 '12 at 13:09

your system may be infected with virus.

Install Avast antivirus with latest updates and try to run boottime scan option in avast.

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He was told it is not a virus. Also, that wouldn't help him get his files back. – Louis Nov 2 '12 at 11:04

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