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Files disappeared

By hieracity
Jul 6, 2013
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  1. Hi guys,

    On Wednesday (5/3) I tried to open a video file and it seems like it was corrupted. All my documents, video, music, and picture files have disappeared. I don't think they have been deleted since my hard drive space is still quite full. Another funny thing I noticed was that in the Library folder, under "Shared with" there is a long and unusual label. Not sure if that was always there or if it had something to do with the corrupt file.

    I first posted this issue in the Virus forum and after Broni looking into it, he suggested I try this forum as it maybe a glitch and not a virus or malware. Linky to that post: http://www.techspot.com/community/topics/files-disappeared.194115/

    Appreciative,
    G
     
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,348   +50

    I'm sorry you may have lost some things you may regret. Whilst I have no idea at all how you ended up where you are now, I have some suggestions for your further checking. I also want to mention some things you can do to hopefully avert such problems in future.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea if you are an 'experienced' windows user or not, so I must start by assuming you can follow me. If not, we can go a bit more slowly.

    First off, is the data you mention deleted, lost or just hidden? Double-click recycle bin. Anything you recognise in there? This answers the simpler type of 'deleted ?' question. But if the deletion was malicious, it wont have been so stupid as to leave the deleted files in recycle bin anyway.

    Next we can open administrative tools in control panel, and open properties of your C: drive. Select Tools and click 'check now'. (you are going to run chkdsk here). I recommend that at least to start with, you only check the drive, and do not allow any changes. In other words, untick both check disk options. After the check is complete, does it report any errors or not? We now know the 'lost ?' answer.

    Next open windows explorer and select a folder where you know something should be but is no longer there. It is no use opening libraries, as the apparent files in there are actually just links to the real locations of the files. You can right-click a library folder, select properties and it will show you where the actual files are, which will typically be like 'My Music' is really C:\users\<your username> Open that actual folder location and see if there are any files dimmed out and therefore inaccessible.

    If your basic problem is that the infamous Vista/Win 7 libraries feature is corrupt, see here http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/114791-windows-media-player-rebuild-corrupted-libraries.html

    Finally, if you get nowhere on recovering the data, I recommend you download and prepare a bootable CD of puppy linux from here http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview and Getting Started.htm

    Burn to a CD, boot from it, and now you can rootle around your disk without any interference from Windows whatever.

    Now to the future. Many experienced Windows users prefer to separate the Operating System and the Data onto separate partitions of the HDD. (Use Easeus free partitioning tool for that). This is because the OS partition can then be imaged with free imaging software (with for example Macrium Reflect free - and there are many others). Without your data being there as well, the image is small and quick to produce. If you do an image regularly, at least just after every monthly MS update) then whenever your PC throws a hissy fit, you can just restore the entire OS to it's former clean status of a week or so ago, and life carries on smoothly.

    If you buy an attached backup drive (USB attached), you can put the image on there, along with images of your data too if desired, and you have a good chance of being able to recover your life story even if your HDD completely fails you.

    Sorry it's a long story, but if I am not speaking to the converted, then you probably now have a lot of food for thought.
     
    jobeard likes this.
  3. hieracity

    hieracity TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi there,

    thank you for your response. I was able to find find the files by going to the direct folder. Didn't realize that the Libraries folder was just a shortcut. What's your recommendation on taking it back to its prior state (aka, accessing it from the Libraries folder) or should I just bookmark the main folder and access it that way?

    And I will defintely partition my computer as per your suggestion. Thanks!

    Again,
    Thank you so much!
    G
     
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,348   +50

    You could start from here http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/581-libraries-restore-default.html

    There are lots of ways in which libraries stop working properly, and correspondingly the link I give above also has links for many of them. I can't suggest which one is needed, you must follow the clues based on what you see in your own particular case.

    There are also 6 pages of posts by other people having problems with libraries. Worth looking though for something close to your problem.
     


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