my western digital external hard drive lost some of its files. When i go into the folder they are no longer there, but the hard drive space still says i have 34% that is used. Where did the files go and why can't i access them?
were the files set to "hidden", and your settings are to only display non-hidden files? that's the easy fix. otherwise, try running the chkdsk utility in windows, its possible that your hard drive is failing/has failed.
if you don't need the files anymore, just reformat and see if you can get all your space back.
As matttimeo005 said, check to see that folders have not been set to hidden either accidentally or by some dodgy virus.
i know this sounds weird run a live "puppy linux" usb drive or CD, I had a user that had "lockafile" or sumit similar to that mess up and his HDD still showed it took up the same amount of space but we couldnt access the folders because of a weird string for the folder name, linux didnt care bout the name and just let me drill down into it, copy paste to another location and done.
Could be an 'accidental' drag'n'drop, as the used space seems to be similar.
Have come accross this a few times, when on the same drive files are moved by default.
Try a search for a few filenames if you can remember any.