In Windows XP operating system based systems, two types of files and folders exist - those that are displayed, and those that remain hidden. The hidden files and folders can, however, be viewed in the Windows XP platform. A situation may arise when the user is unable to view the hidden files and folders. This happens if the system has been affected by a virus or there has been a change in the registry. To tackle this latter problem, one simply has to enter a required command in the command prompt and viewing is back to normal.
Windows XP - Unable to display hidden files and folders
Due to changes in the registry or virus infection, you may no longer be able to access the options to display hidden files and folders (Tools > Folder Options). Here's a simple tip below that should help.
To find these options:
Click on Start menu, then click Run (or Windows key + R)
Type cmd, a command prompt window (DOS) will open
Type regsvr32 /i browseui.dll then press the Enter key and wait for a confirmation window
Type regsvr32 /i shell32.dll then press the Enter key and wait for a confirmation window
Close the command prompt
Open Windows Explorer, click on Tools > Folder Options