Files Disappearing from External Hard Drives
I have two external hard drives. Most all of the files are missing from all the folders and sub folders I so painstakingly set up. The folders are there, but no files. On the second hard drive some of the files are still there and there others appear to be there, but when you click on them (pdf, doc, ppt, jpg -etc) they don't open. I've looked to see if the files are hidden. They don't appear to be. I've done the chkdsk r that didn't work as it said my drives were RAW. I've done the attrib -s -h /s /d but it either says I don't have access to those files or I cannot change their attributes. I've run the MS security essentials and it finds minor stuff and I remove it. What's weird is that two days ago I had the issue, MS security finds a problem and fixes it and my files were back. Last night I sit down at the computer to back up photos from my camera and the files on both hard drives are gone or doing their thing again. I tried running spybot, but when it comes to apply the fixes it tells me I'm not the administrator, but I am. What sucks is I just got some burnable blue ray discs as was going to make offline copies of everything. Please help me. It's photos and videos of my kids primarily that I'm freaking out that are gone. I forgot to mention that the original usage file amount is still the same on both drives.
I had a similar problem a few months ago... so, in my opinion your files are there but hidden in some way that normal Windows settings don't unhide them.. you first have to remove the cause (which is a virus), to unhide the files.
I can't recall which program fixed it but I used Avast antivirus, Malwarebytes Antimalware, A Squared Free, HijackThis and ComboFix, and also did an Onine virus scan with Eset virus scan.
MS Security Essentials; In my opinion is not the best antivirus but if it removes the 'minor stuff', the reason they come back is they are backed up in the System Restore folder so it's a never ending job to remove them if System Restore is not first disabled... So, to definetely remove the infection you should disable System Restore and only enable it when the bugs are gone.
Spybot; Was a good option some 10 years ago, but not anymore... I used it regularly and found it always found only malicious Cookies and nothing more so I tried other antimalware till I found what I believe are the best antimalware applications around, so either of them used in conjunction with a good antivirus should take care of the problem.
1. Malwarebytes Antimalware
2. A Squared Free (I believe it's now Emisoft Anti-malware)
3. Super Antispyware
4. Spyware Terminator
Disable System Restore in Windows 7 or Vista