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Windows 7: Files have vanished from folders

28 Apr 2016   #1

Windows 7 professional Service pack 1
Files have vanished from folders

On my C: drive I have a folder titled Websites where I keep working copies of a few websites.

So in that folder I have sub-folders like Website1, Website2, etc.

Each of those sub-folders Website1, Website2 etc. has a bunch of subfolders like folder1, folder2, folder3 and some files like file1, file2, file3 etc.

The Problem: In one of my websites, all the files in all the folders folder1, folder2, folder3 etc have simply vanished. Those folders are completely empty now.

All the files in the adjacent websites are intact.

I have no idea how this might have happened. I also use GoodSynch to keep a backup on an external hard drive of all the files on my computer, which automatically updates any changes to my files each time I shut down. So naturally, when those files disappeared, GoodSynch thought they had been deleted so now those files are also missing from the external hard drive.

Anyone have an idea how this might occur? Or if the files are possibly just invisible now?

This is very worrisome in that I don't know if other files could just disappear!

I should mention I know that I can restore these files from restore points -- my real concern is trying to understand what could have caused them to disappear.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2016   #2

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Hello and welcome Clark mate could be that back up software you are using because as you say you can get back the files etc using a system restore - a pain to be quite frank and personally I like many of the others use a system image with Macrium for the best back up which I think would serve you much better than doing it as you do now. Now when you do quiet a few images and they get to a large number you just delete the older ones once you know the last say three or four are ok.
Imaging with free Macrium < there are related tutorials at the end for how to use those images.

Before you do that though I would run these
SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker
Disk Check < if necessary include the /f and /r in the command line as per Option2 in safe mode

if no go then these

SUPERAntiSpyware | Remove Malware | Remove Spyware - AntiMalware, AntiSpyware, AntiAdware!
Malwarebytes | Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium
AdwCleaner Download
delete any rubbish found with the malware scans
(NB If one is running Kaspersky security it may rant about ADW - just ignore it or disable Kaspersky while the ADW is being used)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2016   #3

Windows 7 64 bit Professional

You may have already don this, but make sure that the files are not marked as hidden by turning on show hidden files, folderes and drives under folder options.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 May 2016   #4

Windows 7 professional Service pack 1

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

cflusflwfl: Yes, that was checked -- it is not a hidden files problem

ICIT2LOL: I have not tried all the suggestions you provided, but I do use MalwareBytes which of course was one of the first things I checked and which showed no issues. I will take a look at some of the others you suggest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2016   #5

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Ok Clark yes mate use those other two SAS is particularly good at picking up PUP's and ADW is pretty thorough and I quote it last because it is in my view a little more heavy duty than the others.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2016   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Clark, this really depends on a number of things but it may still be possible to retrieve them from a System Restore point. Try browsing your restore points with Shadow Explorer - - Downloads

In order to avoid situations like this in the future try setting your sync program to perhaps not delete just like that but keep versions of deleted files. If GoodSync can't do this, you can use FreeFileSync (others are also available). Make sure you don't install any crap when asked by OpenCandy adware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2016   #7

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Ok mate do as Gokay says and if things are still up that creek try this little ditty of mine if retrieving data is the uppermost thing you need. This works in a non Windows environment and is therefore not affected by any Windows settings etc I have retrieved a lot of data form what looked to be very dead drives in the past and is really good at accessing data on drive if you or a friend has forgotten their password.
Make a bootable Ubuntu disk Download Ubuntu Desktop | Download | Ubuntu
Set the BIOS to boot from the optical when the machine boots it will show you a screen with TRY or INSTALL > select TRY not INSTALL
When it is finished - it takes very little time you will get a screen like in the pic .
Open the drive you want > User and dig down until you get to the data / settings you may be able to copy / paste the material you want to an external source or other installed drive doing this.
I am not sure if it will but I have recovered tons of data etc using this method both on "dead" or just plain drives that you cannot get data from using Windows.

Attached Thumbnails
Files have vanished from folders-ubuntu-screen-x2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2016   #8

Windows 7 professional Service pack 1

Thank you for taking the time to share that.

As it happens, getting the vanished files back is not my concern in this particular situation, those were easily retrieved from a separate backup I had. But I will keep your solution for the future.

No, my real concern here is trying to understand how the files went missing in the first place. If the folders with the vanished files had been sub-folders of MyDocuments folder (instead of a local copy of a website that I have reason to open fairly frequently), I might never have noticed them missing.

Unless I find a cause, it will go down as a fluke, which is a little unsettling.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2016   #9

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Clark mate things happen in any OS that can and maybe never explained - for example how many times has your computer stopped and can only be got going again by a reboot?? I regularly get the broadband drop out only to get it going by rebooting the computer and/or the modem - reason?? I wish I knew

Me I lost count years ago it still happens even on new machines fresh installs etc frankly I wouldn't worry about it unless it becomes a habit if you get my drift.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Files have vanished from folders

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