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Windows 7: Missing folders and files


05 Aug 2010   #1

MS Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 
Missing folders and files

Alright, here goes the tale of how I ended up hating myself for not making a backup last week as I had planned:

My hard disk layout is pretty simple, I have a 500gb Western Digital as main drive, a 500gb Maxtor where I keep pretty much everything, and an older and not totally relyable 300gb Maxtor that remains unplugged except when I need the extra storage momentairly (all SATA).

So, I had the PC powered off, plugged out my dvd drive to plug in a friend's hdd (IDE) and unplugged my 500gb maxtor to plug in the 300gb. Booted up, moved some files between the forementioned disks, and then, I remembered I needed something I had on my 500gb Maxtor (currently unplugged), so believing that SATA drives could be hot plugged/unplugged, and pulled out the 300gb and placed in the 500gb one, that's when it all began.

Opening the D drive (where the 300gb was, and now 500gb should be), showed the file structure of the 300gb disk, refreshing did nothing and I dared not to open any file. Realizing I had just effed up I decided to restart, thinking everything should come out right then. For my surprise, when booting up, before windows, a commandline message that I had never seen showed up, it was pretty much like when you schedule a ScanDisk for startup, but it said something about indexes needing correction or something along the lines (can't remember quite right). After some blaspheming and thanking Windows7 for realizing I had broken whatever it was I broke, I gave it my nod of approval and let the thing run. And it ran for about half an hour, spewing out line after line of numbers and occassionally (quite regularly actually) filenames and paths, wich kind of made me raise an eyebrow, but hey, it was some system proccess that was running, so I just let it go.

Now, I went ahead to throw some 15 gigs into that 500gb maxtor disk, and when finishing the copy I realized: there was *way* too much free space on that disk! After a quick look I discovered that *many* folders and files were missing! I've tried "GetDataBack for NTFS" but recovering all that data manually and checking what's been deleted and what not is going to be a real pain, so.. Does anyone know some sort of fix for this? I mean, if I hadn't had that proccess run I would still have all that data! Just what was that?!

Thanks in advance, I'm really clueless on this one.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

06 Aug 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ZippoLag View Post
Alright, here goes the tale of how I ended up hating myself for not making a backup last week as I had planned:

My hard disk layout is pretty simple, I have a 500gb Western Digital as main drive, a 500gb Maxtor where I keep pretty much everything, and an older and not totally relyable 300gb Maxtor that remains unplugged except when I need the extra storage momentairly (all SATA).

So, I had the PC powered off, plugged out my dvd drive to plug in a friend's hdd (IDE) and unplugged my 500gb maxtor to plug in the 300gb. Booted up, moved some files between the forementioned disks, and then, I remembered I needed something I had on my 500gb Maxtor (currently unplugged), so believing that SATA drives could be hot plugged/unplugged, and pulled out the 300gb and placed in the 500gb one, that's when it all began.

Opening the D drive (where the 300gb was, and now 500gb should be), showed the file structure of the 300gb disk, refreshing did nothing and I dared not to open any file. Realizing I had just effed up I decided to restart, thinking everything should come out right then. For my surprise, when booting up, before windows, a commandline message that I had never seen showed up, it was pretty much like when you schedule a ScanDisk for startup, but it said something about indexes needing correction or something along the lines (can't remember quite right). After some blaspheming and thanking Windows7 for realizing I had broken whatever it was I broke, I gave it my nod of approval and let the thing run. And it ran for about half an hour, spewing out line after line of numbers and occassionally (quite regularly actually) filenames and paths, wich kind of made me raise an eyebrow, but hey, it was some system proccess that was running, so I just let it go.

Now, I went ahead to throw some 15 gigs into that 500gb maxtor disk, and when finishing the copy I realized: there was *way* too much free space on that disk! After a quick look I discovered that *many* folders and files were missing! I've tried "GetDataBack for NTFS" but recovering all that data manually and checking what's been deleted and what not is going to be a real pain, so.. Does anyone know some sort of fix for this? I mean, if I hadn't had that proccess run I would still have all that data! Just what was that?!

Thanks in advance, I'm really clueless on this one.
Have you tried turning on the display of hidden files and folders? CHKDSK usualy recovers files into a series of hidden folders on the root of a drive...

..also you are correct if assuming that SATA is hot-swappable. This is true ONLY if your motherboard SATA controller is set to AHCI mode. Just use caution in changing this option in bios, because if your Windows was installed to a SATA drive when the controller was perhaps set to "IDE-Compatibility" mode in the bios, then you are going to screwup the Windows installation. The only trouble with setting things to AHCI mode is that you'll have "Safely Remove Hardware" options for ALL your sata drives in the notification area of the taskbar. Which is what you want, right?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2010   #3

MS Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Interesting, my disks are indeed on IDE mode, so that explains the hotswapping problem..

Now, I've checked and there are no hidden folders or files, and scandisk claims everything's allright.

Anyways, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


06 Aug 2010   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

It sounds that you had a bunch of orphaned files that the system has purged. At the time, you may have been able to fix the MFT from the mirror. But as things stand, the orphaned files are probably gone for good. Sorry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 - OEM Service Pack 1
 
 

Hard lesson to learn man I feel for you.


Steve
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ZippoLag View Post
Interesting, my disks are indeed on IDE mode, so that explains the hotswapping problem..

Now, I've checked and there are no hidden folders or files, and scandisk claims everything's allright.

Anyways, thanks.
The best I can do for you is recommend R-Studio. It helped me a fews years back when my old motherboard failed, and the replacement did not support RAID JBOD. R-Studio built a "virtual" JBOD from the 3 hard drives, and I was able to recover about 80% of the lost data.

It may work even better for you, since the data is only on 1 drive...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2010   #7

MS Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Thanks to all.

GetDataBack for NTFS sounds like a rel pain (for what the report shows), so I'm currently analizing with Recuva, and if it doesn't look pretty either, I'll try R-Studio.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #8

MS Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Alrighty, I was checking and, even tho I could see hidden files, I hadn't checked the box for showing 'system protected files', doing that made a folder named "found.000" appear, wich seems to contain about 300gb of my lost data! (wich explains why the disk doesn't have that much disk space considering the amount of files missing). Now, assorting the files and folders in there is going to be some long work -tho nothing compared to having to "undelete" the data- since most folders have their names replaced to "dir0000.chk" and such, but before I start I wonder: can I just cut and paste the files in there to another folder in the same drive and everything should be fine? or is there some other precaution I should take?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ZippoLag View Post
Alrighty, I was checking and, even tho I could see hidden files, I hadn't checked the box for showing 'system protected files', doing that made a folder named "found.000" appear, wich seems to contain about 300gb of my lost data! (wich explains why the disk doesn't have that much disk space considering the amount of files missing). Now, assorting the files and folders in there is going to be some long work -tho nothing compared to having to "undelete" the data- since most folders have their names replaced to "dir0000.chk" and such, but before I start I wonder: can I just cut and paste the files in there to another folder in the same drive and everything should be fine? or is there some other precaution I should take?
Cut and Paste should work find, but as you rightly noticed, you've got some work ahead of you sorting it all out.

You'd think that after all this time, Microsoft's programmers will have figured out a way of recovering folder name as well when running CHKDSK...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2010   #10

MS Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

By this time you'd think microsoft people's would do so many things..

Anyway, thanks everyone! I've got my data back, fully restored
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Missing folders and files




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