If you hard drive uses NTFS filesystem, then your files can have main data stream but can also have several alternate data streams. While the main data stream is visible to the Windows File Explorer, the alternate data streams are hidden. For example, when you save a TXT file using Windows Notepad, it saves the text data in the main data stream which is visible to all programs and Windows File Explorer. But the same TXT file can also have alternate data streams (ADS) containing any sort of data which stays hidden from regular programs and File Explorer unless you use special software like Phrozen ADS Revealer.
Phrozen ADS Revealer is a portable tool that can be used to scan your hard drive for files that contain alternate data streams. According to the developer of the ADS Revealer, the alternate data streams could be used by potential hackers to hide payloads, trojans, malicious data or some other information that might escape the usual scan of your regular antivirus software. Through the use of ADS Revealer, you can find all these hidden alternate data streams very easily.
In Phrozen ADS Revealer, you can either click on the Run Scan button which would scan your entire hard drive for alternate data streams. You can also click on the down arrow and choose to scan the full system, a particular hard drive or partition, or you can choose to scan a folder. Since only NTFS formatted partitions can have alternate data streams, it is able to scan only the NTFS partitions. All the FAT32 or FAT partitions will be ignored.
In the scan results, it displays all the alternate data streams for different files that it has discovered. For each of the entries, it displays the name of the alternate data stream, the size of the data contained inside it, the modification time, and the first 50 bytes of the data. You can right-click on the entries to collapse, expand, check, uncheck, backup or delete these alternate data streams.
Alternate data streams can hide all sorts of information in the normal looking files. It is interesting to see what type of information is hidden in these streams. And you can use the freeware ADS Revealer for finding this alternate data streams.
You can download ADS Revealer from https://www.phrozen.io/freeware/ads-revealer/.