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Windows 7: Gone/Disappeared: Entire folder and subfolders!

17 Aug 2012   #1
Skylark

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Gone/Disappeared: Entire folder and subfolders!

Got an awful shock last night. Opened word-processing program, "Open recent documents" menu came up, clicked on the recently-used document I wanted. Error message: "Document does not exist"!!!!!!

Went straight to explorer, navigated to the file through various folders and subfolders, found that not only was the one document not there, but all the other documents in that sub-folder had gone too, ditto for all other documents in all other sub-folders inside the parent folder. In short, a whole main folder and all its sub-folders and their content files had just vanished!

But a new folder was visible! It was called oddly, something like, "7i3k8gbweklvbnpfvn4d8s" !!!!

So, in the hope that my folder's name had simply been corrupted somehow, I opened this strange new folder. Empty.

Checked inside the Recycle Bin. Nothing there.

Right-clicked on the new folder to "Restore previous versions": nothing offered.

Used "System Restore" to return my computer to the state it was in five hours earlier. This no doubt restored some things, but it did not return that missing folder to me.

Did full virus and malware scans, including a boot-scan. Nothing found.

Remote Access to my computer is not enabled. (Yes, I was considering the possibility of some malicious person having possibly hacked into my computer and deliberately deleted an important folder.)

My Firewall is turned on - no incoming connections allowed.

I was mystified but not unduly worried because only the night before I had made a mirror-image of my entire computer using Macrium Reflect. So I only needed to save the latest emails and a couple of browser bookmarks to a memory stick and then do a system-wide restore using Reflect.

So I have returned everything back to normal thanks to Reflect . . . but when will such a thing happen again? And what on earth caused it?

Have done some googling and have found I am not alone. A large number of people have had problems with entire folders disappearing from Windows 7.

In case, anyone with advanced knowledge can shed light on this problem, my lost folder was in the following situation. My computer has two partitions: C drive for programs, and F drive for all data (pictures, audio files, video files, texts, etc.). The structure of the F drive is:
F: Data Only
Folder: My Website
Folder: My Texts
Folder: My Pictures
Folder: My Audio
Folder: My Preferences
Folder: My Videos

The folder that disappeared (or which was renamed and emptied) was "My Texts".

There's most probably a cause or glitch that I don't know about, but I'm wondering if Windows 7 "doesn't like" my having created a "My Texts" folder - which doesn't conform to its own way of naming things. Perhaps I had better change "My Texts" to "My Documents".

Any helpful advice will be much appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2012   #2
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Do you have Microsoft Security essentials installed as this likely one of the MSE update files!
The worry is these files normally gat left behind after an update and can be just deleted but why did you loose the other folder and all it's contents.
BTW you can name a folder whatever you like. The only time Windows will not reognise a title is when it contains odd characters or some symbols! My Texts would be fine just a bit difficult to pronounce
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #3
chasletaxi

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Strangenesses after Windows Updates

Ah ha! Now this is why I registered to these forums.
I've had to use System Restore to get back to a working PC that works the way I want and not the way that someone in P-Alto has decided I should be working.
Wireless mouse that went dead, browsers that changed appearance and functionality, my RoboForm disappearing in both browsers, my Office functions not functioning, my graphics interfered with,,,and on and on.
Have now turned off all Windows updates and will have to try each one individually to find the culprit/s. (thanks Microsoft _ I've been desperate to discover something more to eat up my precious time)
I am heartily sick of these update problems every month - I was beginning to doubt my own ability and even my sanity. Was I doing things without intention??? was I in need of dementia treatment??? - ah no! I resorted to Google and found I was in the same boat as many other angry and frustrated victims of the dreaded "Update Tuesday" blues.
It's such a shame when the community stops trusting Windows Updates. There was a wonderful time when you looked forward to the updates in the sure and certain knowledge that all your little glitches and inconsistencies were going to be fixed by the Good Fairy Microsoft. But now I have stopped believing and only mistrust.
Will I go Windows 8? Will I wait until SP101 of Windows 8 before I trust again? Who knows?? but I'm not sure Microsoft care... Heigh Ho - here's hoping.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2012   #4
Skylark

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

No, don't use MSE, but do run Windows Defender. Been using WD for months now, no problems, so I don't believe WD caused the folder to disappear.

I have no truck with Windows' clever tricks with reflecting folders, in its "Libraries" system. I prefer to have the control. Hence my F partition and the folders I have made there. My Libraries folders on the C drive are all empty. But wouldn't be surprised if Windows sees my F partition folders and thinks they must be made to conform to its Libraries system . . . hence the problem.

But of course there could be some completely different explanation.

Wished I had come across the following advice yesterday, before doing the full Macrium restore:
Go to Control Pane. Then Indexing Options. Then Advanced. Then Rebuild. The indexing re-built itself, and now my "lost" folders show up right away after saving, and in the proper locations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #5
Skylark

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chasletaxi View Post
Have now turned off all Windows updates . . .
I am heartily sick of these update problems every month - I was beginning to doubt my own ability and even my sanity.
Yes, I agree, it's sad that we have learnt that to allow Windows Updates is to allow Windows Updates to completely screw up our systems. So way back when I got this new computer with Windows 7 on it, once I had updated Windows at that time, I then turned Windows Updates OFF! One wants and needs stability. My neighbour won't turn off Windows Updates and every couple of weeks he's screaming because all his on-creen organization has been mucked about, changed, or reverted to some earlier state!

But it was a shock to me yesterday after six months of total stability on Windows 7 to find a whole f'ing folder of extremely valuable material just GONE!

Thank heavens for Macrium Reflect (and all other mirror-imaging programs). One just needs to make sure you do a full imaging every couple of days - even every evening before turning off!!!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #6
chasletaxi

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Wow. Am I glad I registered. My phone just showed me the replies to this subject and I've learned 2 new bonuses. One about Macrium and the second about the Indexing Options. This kind of help is very welcome. Thanks to all involved - I'll certainly not worry so much now that I know that such useful help and advice is to hand.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Turning off Windows updates in not wise if you use your computer on line. Built in Defender is very old and should be replaced by MSE.
Microsoft Security Essentials - Free Antivirus for Windows
From time to time we do have problems with Windows updates. In the last update it was KB2647753 for some of us. When naming folders I try to use something Windows doesn't use. Billy Junk, Mary Shxt. Don't know if it matters but I do it anyway. Another nice program for a little added security is MAM.
Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.62 - FileHippo.com
Like most companies they have a free one, on demand and a Pro that is active and both work well with MSE.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #8
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Am I just the lucky one as I have Windows Updates to auto update and have had no problems since doing a Clean install with gregrockers tutorial some few weeks ago! Mind you I run Norton 360 with all the frills. I know everyone says it slows the sytem but with gregrockers guide I boot my PC from switch on to fully operational in 38secs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

38 sec. with Nortons is great. That's with a hard drive correct.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2012   #10
mitchell65

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
38 sec. with Nortons is great. That's with a hard drive correct.
Yes HD. I thought of installing a 125GB SSD but it would probably boot up before i switched on!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Gone/Disappeared: Entire folder and subfolders!




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