Recently I have had a situation where customers are calling to tell me that they have files that seem to have disappeared. After going through the usual questions, like are you sure you didn’t delete them, or maybe someone else deleted them? I will usually ask if there had been a virus discovered on the machine also. Once I realize that is really is a case of “disappearing” files now I am intrigued. With the last case I ended up coming remotely into the computer and taking a look around myself. I would right click on the drive and it would tell me it had 100gigs of data yet when I select all the files and go to the properties it is only 70 gigs of data. This was a strange problem to me and something I had not seen before. So here is what I did.
Open Windows Explorer which can be done by right clicking on My Computer and clicking on Explore.
Now selected the drive that the files are missing from and go up to Tools and then Folder Options.
A new window called Folder Options will appear. From here click on the VIEW tab. We need to change two settings in here so that we are sure that we are seeing all the files on the drive. The first option to look for is “Hidden Files and Folders” under here is 2 options one to NOT show them and one to show them make sure you are showing them. The next option (2 under the hidden files one) is “Hide Protected Operating System Files” make sure you UNCHECK this.
Now Click “APPLY TO ALL FOLDERS” and then OK when that is done. Now in the case of my customers what I discovered then was Found001.chk, this meant that chkdsk had been run on the drive and more then likely not to completion. When I right clicked on that directory and went to properties that directory has 30 gigs in it. AH-HA the disappearing data. When I opened the Found001 directory there was sub directories call dir0001, dir0002, etc.. Inside each of these directories was the customers data that had been missing. The customer did not even know chkdsk had run which I find is often the case if the machine reboots when no one is around.
In some cases file are lost due to mechanical problems with the disk. If yours is making noises then it will likely need hard drive recovery. If the hard drive is fine and seen by the BIOS or Windows, we can do remote recovery. Our fast data recovery service Recover It Now starts at under a hundred bucks.