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Windows 7: Hard Drive shows some files, not all

28 May 2011   #1
nathal

Windows 7 32-bit
 
 
Hard Drive shows some files, not all

I am a salesman in a tech department of an office supply store, and I had a customer issue stump me today. She had an external drive with lots of files on it she wanted to access. I took the drive, plugged it into a Windows 7 machine (HP quad), and all of the files appeared, no problem.

But, then I plugged the seagate drive into her new Toshiba laptop (also Win 7), and only some of the files appeared. Missing were all photo files, and many other types. I could not figure out why some were missing and some showing.

I took the drive to a third computer with Win 7, an MSI all-in-one, and behold: files were missing. Now it seemed almost arbitrary. Could it be a matter of some Windows updates not yet installed? Why would the exact same drive work differently on three different computers in regard which files were seen and accessible? None were "hidden" files.

What on earth can cause this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 May 2011   #2
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

This doesn't seem to describe a problem with the drive to me, but rather how the systems are looking at the media files.

My first shot would be to reset default file associations on her laptop.
Default File Type Associations - Restore

Some installed media programs can cause issues with looking at media files specifically.
I don't think it would be the disk itself as the files are either there or not and shouldn't be visible on any computer if they are not actually there.

A second question - was this a simple usb external or did it have its own power adapter included?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2011   #3
nathal

Windows 7 32-bit
 
 

Quote:
My first shot would be to reset default file associations on her laptop.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...s-restore.html
I've reset file associations by right clicking on icons, but I've never had icons become invisible altogether when file associations are altered. That is so...weird.

Quote:
Some installed media programs can cause issues with looking at media files specifically.
I've seen where altered file associations can prevent a media file from launching, but make it invisible? I know, I'm being redundant.

Quote:
I don't think it would be the disk itself as the files are either there or not and shouldn't be visible on any computer if they are not actually there....A second question - was this a simple usb external or did it have its own power adapter included?
Right, the Seagate USB external drive works, and I can access its files on some computers but not others. The drive is USB powered, not requiring an AC adapter. I had the "invisible files" issue on both a laptop and a desktop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 May 2011   #4
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

It is a odd one no doubt, I have never personally seen exactly the behavior you are describing. Though I have often found the need to provide additional power for usb drives on some systems and not on others (it's specifically related to the physical usb hub on the device and the power management methods it uses) even that explanation though suggests a problem with overall disc access and not access to a specific set of files.

The next obvious step is to chkdsk the drive in question.
Disk Check
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Hard Drive shows some files, not all




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