All files are showing up as symbols in Notepad++

  • Hi,

    I’m not sure what happened, but all of a sudden all of my files when I try editing in Notepad++ are showing up as symbols. Below is a copy of some of the file in Notepad++.

    PK   Ä ¡L£¬†´  À( ( (filename)½ëvÛF²(üÖÚrÊ“M‹àå³Y3qÆVˉgÆŸWDBG$A¤.~€ýbûžêûÝ@t±‘Ù;±A »ºººªº®ãÿw³˜{Wá:žE˃†ÿ´ÕðÂå$šÎ–çíæ¬9lxÿïùýå¿þ2þ?ͦwºÍ§^»åý§þði«ë÷ŸúNÏKÿ§Ù„!Æ×Ñúò4Š.½h=;Ÿ-ƒySLÜzÚkxq´]OÂ&žä fy
    y{Éùžð—Wós­ëÙ²!-¾mx°ºeül‡ëƒÆÅf³z¶¿}}ýtœÎÃGg›ë>D‹}xu½Ø P=o<&ÛE¸Ü4ÑàÁ¦9¹–ças,gga¼Á/Ák'Ñzó.8?„á–Û•·O>Þwùz¼Z‡gáÐÆl8ñÈ[‹¶ö”íÇÓø"œŸ=½gçXi0ß ínƒÎ
    И>7Õg_÷ÅGŒñ4Ød+8\â‘7 VL,G7Þ«×^°œzïþéF‹ÓÙ2œz n¼£À–·wt,VóÐ{ ãÁ†Í–sxã ±YoÃ]ÞY8
    ×Á&œ>m]ÁMÔnMn.>¯æ~Ðê|>›¶þ®/®Ïõm¥Ø‚O¢å2œ x¼É<ˆãƒ‘ì#¡Ë1Bæ´)Þf ³ü,/R¬ÞLÂys:[ÃÌO[½³O·ñ©?]g§×~ÿÓéb8ñÛ“«^{)ƒ€f2€+Õ€5 á£wÆð×h±
    ÏÖa|ñn†(£áÍæ!¡„á}†n Xïex-ùôóÓ›y|ƒ6a®aÇ7BÚ›h
    #Á9YîàxNÑ°pà\¢?‰Í^xA@h› Ö²¯ã”ïŠéGáãu‡íY0Ÿ«ô )‰žŽÞßð6·+€g»„ÏUôrçÛÅ2ö. ˆê P(ÁD7 ½ƒ‘IŠ7kÀ7ÛÙ“w/Þé+Åû¦}†°Â>zéø
    Bý9ðJú3|J€§x‡Áz=ƒ£ó  Ýerë@oÃI8»

  • That looks like the file is a zip file; they normally start with the bytes “PK”. What is the file’s extension?

  • I’m also experiencing the above error, how to edit, normal like the original? My file was originally a .txt file, but when it encountered a virus, it was encrypted and converted to a .CRAB file. Please help, I can not read all the old files.

  • @Ty-Ty : if it was a ransomware/virus that did it, your best bet is to restore from your backup. (You do have a backup of all your critical files, don’t you?)

    If it truly is encrypted, there’s not much else you can do, unless you happen to know the encryption key. If it’s ransomware, the malicious software has probably started telling you who to pay to recover your data – don’t. Once you pay them, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually supply (or even still have) the decryption key. There are probably some white-hat [good-guy] companies out that you may be able to pay to break the encryption, and decrypt/rescue your files… but these forums are not your best bet for finding such (and with the skill of the malware authors nowadays, there’s often not much even professionals can do).

    I did a google on .CRAB files, and found this article in the Sensors Tech Forum… I don’t know how reputable that site is, so you’ll want to do some research yourself, but that may at least be a place to start.

  • Ty Ty,

    Since that file is very probably a ZIP file, but possibly with another file suffix, I suggest you copy it to a file with a name such as, and then try to open it with explorer. It may or may not contain your files, which may or may not be readable - depending exactly what has happened.

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