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Windows 7: HELP! External hard drive shows used space but empty folders!

23 Mar 2012   #1

windows 7
HELP! External hard drive shows used space but empty folders!

Hi, I have a 500gb seagate external hard drive, and already used 240gb space.
It worked fine until yesterday suddenly i could not access the files at all. I checked disk management, and it showed that my external drive became RAW drive.

I tried to do chkdsk that i learned from one of the forum, and then it somehow has fixed the RAW drive back to FAT32. However i still cannot see any of my files.

I opened command prompt, and typed in dir /a
and it said 0 files 0 byets, 4 DIR 288,714, 293, 248 bytes free

How can i bring my files back?? I don't want to lose my files
can someone help me please..urgent

Sorry i am no tech expert, so please help me using an easy explanation =)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Sounds like the FAT table has got screwed up meaning the OS will not be able to display your files - don't worry, this is quite common and you should be able to recover them on the assumption the drive is not physically damaged (i.e. clunking when seeking).

There are plenty of recovery programs, some free, that work well.

I'll check these out and post back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #3

windows 7

Hi ibshaw, thanks for replying

I wasnt sure what did i do before, now i can see 4 folders in the external drive
it shows as FOUND.0000, FOUND.0001, FOUND.0002, FOUND.0003
each folders contains thousand of .CHK files.

I googled .CHK files and and found unchk program that can restore it, however i have another problems
whenever the program try to restore .CHK files from my external windows is not responding. I have to cancel it many times, so up until now i still cant recover my files.

So i tried to copy .CHK files from external drive to C: drive in my computer. But some of the files cannot be copied across! I am so frustrated at the moment. Is it possible the hard drive I/O is error?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 home premium x64

File corruption is what it is, those file chunks are produced by the disk checking program, basically they are bits (sometimes big bits) of files that are sitting on bad clusters or just don't belong anywhere according to the file table.
All drives produce some bad clusters over time, but drives have a way of remapping that location to spare clusters, usually at the front of the drive where they can't be seen or used.
When you start getting .chk files, the drive is likely on it's way out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Cyclic seems to know more about this than me but has not offered any suggestions if / how the data could be recovered. I have restored the data from disks before that are not physically damaged beyond recovery and given cyclic's comments it may be that this is done while it is still possible. I have used Easy Recovery Professional and it is quite good but can't remember if I acquired the software or if it was free. There are also disk recovery tools on the Hiren's website by making a boot CD, go here..... Have a good look round this site - I'd be very surprised if you can't find anything to recover your data.

Good luck - let us know how you get on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HELP! External hard drive shows used space but empty folders!

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