External hard disk files and folders disappeared - Storage

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Thread: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

  1. External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    I'm currently using a Western Digital external hard drive which is
    1TB. I have been running it for some weeks now and it has been fine up
    until now. When I plug the drive in at the moment it is recognized by
    windows, but not like it was before: it has lost the WD logo. Most
    importantly windows recognizes a certain amount of space is being used
    on the drive. However when the drive is opened no folders or files can
    be seen and cannot be accessed by the computer. Help please.

  2. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Sam wrote:
    > I'm currently using a Western Digital external hard drive which is
    > 1TB. I have been running it for some weeks now and it has been fine up
    > until now. When I plug the drive in at the moment it is recognized by
    > windows, but not like it was before: it has lost the WD logo. Most
    > importantly windows recognizes a certain amount of space is being used
    > on the drive. However when the drive is opened no folders or files can
    > be seen and cannot be accessed by the computer. Help please.


    How was the drive formatted, FAT32 or NTFS ?

    If it was formatted NTFS, try a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it can see the files and folders.

    You can get a situation where the drive gets corrupted enough so that Win
    NTFS doesnt like it, but any Linux distro like Ubuntu is quite happy with it.



  3. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Previously Sam wrote:
    > I'm currently using a Western Digital external hard drive which is
    > 1TB. I have been running it for some weeks now and it has been fine up
    > until now. When I plug the drive in at the moment it is recognized by
    > windows, but not like it was before: it has lost the WD logo. Most
    > importantly windows recognizes a certain amount of space is being used
    > on the drive. However when the drive is opened no folders or files can
    > be seen and cannot be accessed by the computer. Help please.


    The WD logo is just an autostart and an icon. This sounds
    like filesystem corruption. Did you unplug the drive without
    "save removal"?

    Arno

  4. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    On Sep 14, 8:55*am, Arno Wagner wrote:
    > Previously Sam wrote:
    > > I'm currently using a Western Digital external hard drive which is
    > > 1TB. I have been running it for some weeks now and it has been fine up
    > > until now. When I plug the drive in at the moment it is recognized by
    > > windows, but not like it was before: it has lost the WD logo. Most
    > > importantly windows recognizes a certain amount of space is being used
    > > on the drive. However when the drive is opened no folders or files can
    > > be seen and cannot be accessed by the computer. Help please.

    >
    > The WD logo is just an autostart and an icon. This sounds
    > like filesystem corruption. Did you unplug the drive without
    > "save removal"?
    >
    > Arno


    Hi Arno,

    I am not sure about the "safe removal". But almost half a million
    files are gone (occupy space on the disk but not visible.) You mean
    that could be for an unsafe removal?

    Sam

  5. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Not clear if you replied by email by accident or intentionally. I prefer to
    keep it in the group so others who are interested can read the followups.

    Sam wrote:
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Sam wrote:


    >>> I'm currently using a Western Digital external hard drive which is
    >>> 1TB. I have been running it for some weeks now and it has been fine up
    >>> until now. When I plug the drive in at the moment it is recognized by
    >>> windows, but not like it was before: it has lost the WD logo. Most
    >>> importantly windows recognizes a certain amount of space is being used
    >>> on the drive. However when the drive is opened no folders or files can
    >>> be seen and cannot be accessed by the computer. Help please.


    >> How was the drive formatted, FAT32 or NTFS ?


    >> If it was formatted NTFS, try a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it can see the files and folders.


    >> You can get a situation where the drive gets corrupted enough so that Win
    >> NTFS doesnt like it, but any Linux distro like Ubuntu is quite happy with it.


    > The drive is FAT32, and it is less than a month I am using it. How cant be corrupted?


    Some drives do develop a problem in that time and the fault can be outside the drive too.



  6. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared


    > How was the drive formatted, FAT32 or NTFS ?
    > If it was formatted NTFS, try a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it can see the files and folders.
    > You can get a situation where the drive gets corrupted enough so that Win
    > NTFS doesnt like it, but any Linux distro like Ubuntu is quite happy with it.




    It is FAT32 and I bought it less than a month ago.

  7. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    On Sep 14, 12:03*pm, Sam wrote:
    > > How was the drive formatted, FAT32 or NTFS ?
    > > If it was formatted NTFS, try a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it can see the files and folders.
    > > You can get a situation where the drive gets corrupted enough so that Win
    > > NTFS doesnt like it, but any Linux distro like Ubuntu is quite happy with it.

    >
    > It is FAT32 and I bought it less than a month ago.


    It sounds as if the root directory has been 'lost' On FAT32, the root
    directory is a file that can be placed anywhere, but is pointed to by
    the BPB - often in sector 63. The fact that drive says so much space
    has been used, indicates that the FAT is probably OK.

    You need a data recovery program that will recover from directory
    stubs, or fix the BPB. However, never use a recovery program that
    tries to write to the existing disk, any recovery must recover files,
    and then write them to a new disk. The problem disk must be Read Only
    until all files have been recovered

    Michael

  8. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    > It sounds as if the root directory has been 'lost' *On FAT32, the root
    > directory is a file that can be placed anywhere, but is pointed to by
    > the BPB - often in sector 63. *The fact that drive says so much space
    > has been used, indicates that the FAT is probably OK.
    >
    > You need a data recovery program that will recover from directory
    > stubs, or fix the BPB. *However, never use a recovery program that
    > tries to write to the existing disk, any recovery must recover files,
    > and then write them to a new disk. The problem disk must be Read Only
    > until all files have been recovered
    >
    > Michael


    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for your help, but I don't know such a recovery program (to
    recover from directory stub or fix the BPB.) Will you please name
    one?

    Regards,
    Sam.

  9. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Previously Sam wrote:
    > On Sep 14, 8:55*am, Arno Wagner wrote:
    >> Previously Sam wrote:
    >> > I'm currently using a Western Digital external hard drive which is
    >> > 1TB. I have been running it for some weeks now and it has been fine up
    >> > until now. When I plug the drive in at the moment it is recognized by
    >> > windows, but not like it was before: it has lost the WD logo. Most
    >> > importantly windows recognizes a certain amount of space is being used
    >> > on the drive. However when the drive is opened no folders or files can
    >> > be seen and cannot be accessed by the computer. Help please.

    >>
    >> The WD logo is just an autostart and an icon. This sounds
    >> like filesystem corruption. Did you unplug the drive without
    >> "save removal"?
    >>
    >> Arno


    > Hi Arno,


    > I am not sure about the "safe removal". But almost half a million
    > files are gone (occupy space on the disk but not visible.) You mean
    > that could be for an unsafe removal?


    Yes. If the drive was till writing while being unplugged or had
    data buffered on the computer, that can kill part of the filesystem
    metadata, especially with FAT32.

    The way to proceed is to first make a complete copy with an
    imaging software, and then only work on the image to try to
    recover. Otherwise you are very likely to do more damage.

    As to how to do the recovery, I do not know. I have nothing
    important on FAT32. I am sure others here will make usable
    suggestions.

    Arno

  10. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Previously mscotgrove@aol.com wrote:
    > On Sep 14, 12:03*pm, Sam wrote:
    >> > How was the drive formatted, FAT32 or NTFS ?
    >> > If it was formatted NTFS, try a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it can see the files and folders.
    >> > You can get a situation where the drive gets corrupted enough so that Win
    >> > NTFS doesnt like it, but any Linux distro like Ubuntu is quite happy with it.

    >>
    >> It is FAT32 and I bought it less than a month ago.


    > It sounds as if the root directory has been 'lost' On FAT32, the root
    > directory is a file that can be placed anywhere, but is pointed to by
    > the BPB - often in sector 63. The fact that drive says so much space
    > has been used, indicates that the FAT is probably OK.


    > You need a data recovery program that will recover from directory
    > stubs, or fix the BPB. However, never use a recovery program that
    > tries to write to the existing disk, any recovery must recover files,
    > and then write them to a new disk. The problem disk must be Read Only
    > until all files have been recovered


    Actually you shopuld get a second disk, make an image copy
    with a sector imager (i.e the second disk needs to bne the
    exact same size or larger) and then work only on
    the image.

    Arno

  11. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Sam wrote:
    >> It sounds as if the root directory has been 'lost' On FAT32, the root
    >> directory is a file that can be placed anywhere, but is pointed to by
    >> the BPB - often in sector 63. The fact that drive says so much space
    >> has been used, indicates that the FAT is probably OK.
    >>
    >> You need a data recovery program that will recover from directory
    >> stubs, or fix the BPB. However, never use a recovery program that
    >> tries to write to the existing disk, any recovery must recover files,
    >> and then write them to a new disk. The problem disk must be Read Only
    >> until all files have been recovered


    > Thank you for your help, but I don't know such a recovery program (to
    > recover from directory stub or fix the BPB.) Will you please name one?


    Easy Recovery Pro.

    Not cheap if you have to pay for it tho.



  12. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Before unplugging, normally you use the Safely Remove Hardware icon in
    the tray. This is necessary if the drive is using a write cache; data
    that hasn't been written yet will be.

    Left click on the icon and left click on the drive. If it doesn't
    release it, close any program that may be using the drive. Worst case,
    restart Windows or shut down.

    To turn off write caching, right click on the drive in Windows Explorer
    (or equivalent) and choose properties. Choose hardware, properties,
    policies. Then choose Opitimez for quick removal. Even then, I would use
    the safe removal icon just to be sure.
    --
    Ed Light

    Better World News TV Channel:
    http://realnews.com

    Bring the Troops Home:
    http://bringthemhomenow.org
    http://antiwar.com

    Iraq Veterans Against the War:
    http://ivaw.org
    http://couragetoresist.org

    Send spam to the FTC at
    spam@uce.gov
    Thanks, robots.

  13. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    On Sun, 14 Sep 2008 04:48:24 -0700 (PDT), "mscotgrove@aol.com"
    put finger to keyboard and composed:

    >On Sep 14, 12:03*pm, Sam wrote:
    >> > How was the drive formatted, FAT32 or NTFS ?
    >> > If it was formatted NTFS, try a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it can see the files and folders.
    >> > You can get a situation where the drive gets corrupted enough so that Win
    >> > NTFS doesnt like it, but any Linux distro like Ubuntu is quite happy with it.

    >>
    >> It is FAT32 and I bought it less than a month ago.

    >
    >It sounds as if the root directory has been 'lost' On FAT32, the root
    >directory is a file that can be placed anywhere, but is pointed to by
    >the BPB - often in sector 63.


    AFAIK, the root directory comes after the second copy of the FAT. My
    5GB logical drive has approximately 10,000 sectors per FAT. Therefore
    sector 63 would be very early into the first copy of the FAT.

    >The fact that drive says so much space
    >has been used, indicates that the FAT is probably OK.


    AFAIK, a free space count is periodically updated and stored in the
    BPB. Could it be that the OS is looking there rather than the FATs?

    >You need a data recovery program that will recover from directory
    >stubs, or fix the BPB. However, never use a recovery program that
    >tries to write to the existing disk, any recovery must recover files,
    >and then write them to a new disk. The problem disk must be Read Only
    >until all files have been recovered
    >
    >Michael


    I would connect the drive to a Win98 box and run Scandisk, but do not
    allow it to "automatically fix errors". Win98 is smart enough to use
    the backup boot sector when the primary one is damaged or missing, and
    Scandisk can tell you if there is a difference in the two copies of
    the FATs. I caution the OP to NOT run FIXBOOT from XP's recovery
    console (assuming it can see USB HDs), otherwise he risks turning his
    HD into a 10MB FAT12 floppy drive. That's what happened to me.

    - Franc Zabkar
    --
    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

  14. Re: External hard disk files and folders disappeared

    Franc Zabkar wrote in news:a3d1d4h2eka663pnj9sqdbtvp4e8sf9a5j@4ax.com
    > On Sun, 14 Sep 2008 04:48:24 -0700 (PDT), mscotgrove@aol.com put finger to keyboard and composed:
    > > On Sep 14, 12:03 pm, Sam wrote:
    > > > > How was the drive formatted, FAT32 or NTFS ?
    > > > > If it was formatted NTFS, try a Ubuntu Live CD and see if it can see the files and folders.
    > > > > You can get a situation where the drive gets corrupted enough so that Win
    > > > > NTFS doesnt like it, but any Linux distro like Ubuntu is quite happy with it.
    > > >
    > > > It is FAT32 and I bought it less than a month ago.

    > >
    > > It sounds as if the root directory has been 'lost' On FAT32, the root
    > > directory is a file that can be placed anywhere, but is pointed to by
    > > the BPB -


    > > often in sector 63.


    Also known as the boot record (BS). What entry of the BS do you propose
    is that pointer. Closest I can find that may apply is the "First cluster of Root".
    It says 2.

    >
    > AFAIK, the root directory comes after the second copy of the FAT. My
    > 5GB logical drive has approximately 10,000 sectors per FAT.


    > Therefore sector 63 would be very early into the first copy of the FAT.


    No, really. What makes you think that.

    >
    > > The fact that drive says so much space
    > > has been used, indicates that the FAT is probably OK.


    > AFAIK, a free space count is periodically updated and stored in the
    > BPB. Could it be that the OS is looking there rather than the FATs?


    What else did you think it was for then.

    >
    > > You need a data recovery program that will recover from directory
    > > stubs, or fix the BPB. However, never use a recovery program that
    > > tries to write to the existing disk, any recovery must recover files,
    > > and then write them to a new disk. The problem disk must be Read Only
    > > until all files have been recovered
    > >
    > > Michael

    >
    > I would connect the drive to a Win98 box and run Scandisk, but do not
    > allow it to "automatically fix errors". Win98 is smart enough to use
    > the backup boot sector when the primary one is damaged or missing, and
    > Scandisk can tell you if there is a difference in the two copies of
    > the FATs. I caution the OP to NOT run FIXBOOT from XP's recovery
    > console (assuming it can see USB HDs), otherwise he risks turning his
    > HD into a 10MB FAT12 floppy drive. That's what happened to me.
    >
    > - Franc Zabkar



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