I had connected by external WD 1TB to a friends laptop. When connected - I could see all my FOLDERS as shortcuts & the folder icon was transparent. I ignored this & copied some data from his laptop to the HD. When reconnected to my machine > I could only see all the files which were not stored in Folders. All the folders are missing. However, the properties still show the HD being full to its capacity for all my initial files. I am assuming this may be coz of Virus but not sure. Please suggest > sooner the better. Got my project codes stored in there - somewhere > which does not have a backup
As you said it seems to be a virus. Hopefully you should be able to retrieve your files using a data recovery software, like Recuva or TestDisk.
Go into folder settings and check show hidden files. Sometimes this will allow you access.