Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

External Hard drive missing half my files! Help!

Tags:
  • Hard Drives
  • Memory Usage
  • External Hard Drive
  • Storage
  • Product
Last response: in Storage
April 15, 2011 1:34:30 AM

Just the other day, when i plugged in my 1.5 TB external hdd, i noticed that all files from the letter
A to L loaded up fine and appeared but I couldn't find or see any files/folders that started with the
letter M to Z! They are just missing!

But my memory usage is still the same so nothing got deleted or overwritten. It's as if though it just became invisible and I can't find anyway to access or find those files to retrieve them!

Does anyone know what happened or how I can retrieve those files?

Notes:
-I've checked the show hidden files / system files box
-I'm running on win xp
-I've tried connecting the ext hdd to another pc and same result (m-z do not show up)
-I can still transfer data to and from the ext drive without any error messages, but anything named
with the letter M to Z will disappear the moment it goes into the external hdd.
-I tried chkdsk and error fixing options and both said after a few seconds of scanning there was an unreadable or corruption part?
-the external hdd is 1.5 years old
-I've used up 1.1 TB of space out of the 1.5 TB total. That hasn't changed at all, so the data must still
be on the hdd, I just can't see it or find it anymore.

More about : external hard drive missing half files

a c 395 G Storage
April 15, 2011 1:30:44 PM

1) Back up what you can see immediately, in case you lose K and L too.

2) Use scanning software to read the entire drive and see what files can be recovered. These utilities work even better with a corrupted directory structure than with a dying disk. Try Clonezilla. I haven't used it, but it seems to be mentioned here pretty frequently.

3) Always keep backups, just in case.
m
0
l
April 15, 2011 2:44:37 PM

Yes, I'm using Active Undelete FULL version and it was able to show me all the files from M to Z. I'm able to retrieve them but the only problem is any file larger than 71.44mb ends in "error" and I can't save those files. I can only save the ones that are 71.44mb or less in size. Why?

So I've saved A - L and backed it up on another hdd and saving some of my M - Z now but can't retrieve anything larger than 71.44mb :( 

But doesn't this mean good news for me? The fact that something is making it stop at 71.44mb? It sounds to me that my files aren't actually damaged or corrupted, but something else is corrupted like information that is telling my hdd or program that it can't read or transfer anything larger than 71.44mb?

It sounds like what you said, "a corrupted directory structure" than a dying disk.
Any other ideas how I can retrieve files larger than 71.44mb?
m
0
l
Related resources
April 15, 2011 3:49:48 PM

Quick update: by using something like Activie Undelete where I can "see" my M-Z files, I am able to manually access for example my movies. If I open windows media player and simply type in the URL address of where my movie is and press OK, it opens the movie and plays it without any error! I just can't seem to find a way to copy it safely out of my external hdd to another hdd.

So to confirm, my files are not corrupt or damaged since I'm able to access them manually and play them, but I can't seem to transfer them since they are "invisible" or don't show up.
m
0
l
a c 395 G Storage
April 15, 2011 7:43:58 PM

Joe23

I have never heard of a case like this before.

I just had an out-in-left-field thought: How is your antivirus software? This sounds more like someone playing a joke on you than any filesystem corruption that I've ever read about.
m
0
l
April 16, 2011 2:16:13 AM

Yeah, I am trying to look it up on the internet but can't seem to find much info about missing files such as letters M-Z but A to L are fine.

I actually don't have any anti-virus running on my system now. I just use anti-malware bytes occassionally to clean my computer.
m
0
l
November 6, 2011 8:11:57 PM

had the same exact issue!

run chkdsk

go to a cmd prompt type in

chkdsk c: /r

NOTE if the drive is g or whatever than instead of c: type g:

it will take a while wait it out it will fix it all
m
1
l
November 14, 2011 8:24:46 AM

thankfully the issue was resolved...i can't remember exactly what it was that solved it lol...been a few months now....i think it was the chkdsk thing.

m
0
l
June 17, 2012 7:56:50 PM

I recommend that everyone first try "Hilly's" advice (copied below):
I used it yesterday on two of my WD 1 TB portable hard drives, and it brought back all of my files beautifully.
It took over five hours per portable hard drive, but thankfully I have my files back.
Now, to see if they stay back (I have Windows XP, which, according to another blog, has problems accommodating large portable hard drives).
John, Milwaukee


hilly1 11-06-2011 at 11:11:57 PM .had the same exact issue!
run chkdsk
go to a cmd prompt type in
chkdsk c: /r
NOTE if the drive is g or whatever than instead of c: type g:
it will take a while wait it out it will fix it all
m
0
l
June 17, 2012 8:00:43 PM

Hilly, I cannot thank you enough.

I used your advice yesterday, and it brought back the files on two of my WD 1 TB portable hard drives.

Now, to see if they'll stay visible (on another blog someone wrote that Windows XP has problems accommodating large portable hard drives).

Thank you again!

Sincerely,
John Nehmer
Milwaukee, WI

m
0
l
July 10, 2012 7:18:44 PM

I had to register just to say "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!" you just saved me a huge headache and helped me to recover nearly 1.5 TB of data from my external hard drive. CHKDSK recovered every one of my "orphaned files". Thank you again, you are a life saver....
m
0
l
July 10, 2012 7:42:46 PM

hawkicompufix said:
I had to register just to say "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!" you just saved me a huge headache and helped me to recover nearly 1.5 TB of data from my external hard drive. CHKDSK recovered every one of my "orphaned files". Thank you again, you are a life saver....





hawkicompufi,
I've never been on a message board before so I am not sure if you are responding to me or to Hilly, but either way, you not only made my day, you made my week!
I am so glad that Hilly's advice helped you.
I wish I knew how to put Hilly’s advice out on another wider-reaching forum on the Web to help others with this problem!
I am so glad that his advice helped you!
Respectfully,
John Nehmer, Milwaukee



m
0
l
August 16, 2012 8:40:40 AM

hilly1 said:
had the same exact issue!

run chkdsk

go to a cmd prompt type in

chkdsk c: /r

NOTE if the drive is g or whatever than instead of c: type g:

it will take a while wait it out it will fix it all


hi hilly,
i did this but my files are not back in my driver! :(  help!
m
0
l
October 5, 2012 10:20:42 AM

i check my external hard drive it's ok. but i did not see my file? what happened to my external hard drive?
m
0
l
October 30, 2012 11:53:54 PM

I tried the chkdsk fix and got the following error message: The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives. Thoughts?
m
0
l
October 31, 2012 1:21:39 AM

Thanks for the response. I've tried data recovery software and partition fixing software. Neither can see the files individually, tho disk management clearly shows the drive as being half full eg all the files are still there. I tried tools/error checking/fix now or whatever and the window popped up and instaclosed. Can't figure that one out either.

Still need help!
m
0
l
March 26, 2013 7:23:13 AM

Same thing happened to me but i managed to recover the files using "Piriform Recuva".
Do a Deep Scan and check the option to show Non deleted files too...
Hope this helps.
m
1
l
April 2, 2013 2:13:36 AM

My problem is... if my external hard drive i put in my computer i can not see the logo of USB. what happen to my external hard drive? i try all the computer but did not work can you send me for my problem?
m
0
l
April 27, 2013 8:27:46 PM

Hi Hilly,

I got the same problem... I tried chkdsk but message appeared - Access Denied as you do not have sufficient privileges. You have to invoke this utility running in the elevated mode.

What should I do next.... please help me....
m
0
l
April 27, 2013 8:49:51 PM

Hi Hilly,

I got the same problem... I tried chkdsk but message appears "Access Denied as you do not have sufficient privileges. You have to invoke this utility running in the elevated mode."

What should I do next.... please help me....
m
0
l
May 26, 2013 12:47:23 AM

joe23 said:
Just the other day, when i plugged in my 1.5 TB external hdd, i noticed that all files from the letter
A to L loaded up fine and appeared but I couldn't find or see any files/folders that started with the
letter M to Z! They are just missing!

But my memory usage is still the same so nothing got deleted or overwritten. It's as if though it just became invisible and I can't find anyway to access or find those files to retrieve them!

Does anyone know what happened or how I can retrieve those files?

Notes:
-I've checked the show hidden files / system files box
-I'm running on win xp
-I've tried connecting the ext hdd to another pc and same result (m-z do not show up)
-I can still transfer data to and from the ext drive without any error messages, but anything named
with the letter M to Z will disappear the moment it goes into the external hdd.
-I tried chkdsk and error fixing options and both said after a few seconds of scanning there was an unreadable or corruption part?
-the external hdd is 1.5 years old
-I've used up 1.1 TB of space out of the 1.5 TB total. That hasn't changed at all, so the data must still
be on the hdd, I just can't see it or find it anymore.


m
0
l
May 26, 2013 12:57:36 AM

Hi joe23,

please try these command to recover your missing files

attrib -s -h /s /d

first you go to command prompt ( start then click run and type cmd or command on the textbox)

next, the command prompt will appear..
you need to find out what the drive location of your external HD..

then type this..
for example your external hard drive on F:

f:attrib -s -h /s /d

then enter
...
and wait after few minutes and the files will recovered..
sometimes you will see the folder with no name ..what you can do is to open it..your files is inside..

i think it will help you to out.. ^_^
m
0
l
October 21, 2014 4:27:05 AM

hilly1 said:
had the same exact issue!

run chkdsk

go to a cmd prompt type in

chkdsk c: /r

NOTE if the drive is g or whatever than instead of c: type g:

it will take a while wait it out it will fix it all


what next after chkdsk is complete?
m
0
l
December 9, 2014 2:01:20 AM

Hi guys,

I know this thread is some time back but I am really desperately needing help.

I have been using mac all the while with a western digital 1TB harddisk for the past 2 years. Just bought a windows 8.1 laptop and wanted to transfer files over. plugged it into the windows laptop and then it ask me to repair the disk because it couldnt connect. So I did and it hanged for 15mins with the progress bar not moving at all. So I clicked cancel, still hang and I plugged it out. 300gb of data is gone. I am deperately needing advice on this. Would appreciate any help on this.
m
0
l
a c 151 G Storage
December 9, 2014 9:19:43 AM

potato have you done the chkdsk etc. as mentioned above?
m
0
l
January 2, 2015 3:15:34 AM

hilly1 said:
had the same exact issue!

run chkdsk

go to a cmd prompt type in

chkdsk c: /r

NOTE if the drive is g or whatever than instead of c: type g:

it will take a while wait it out it will fix it all


I don't know if this thread is too dead, but when I go to do that, it says: "The type of the file system is RAW. CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives." what does this mean?

m
0
l
February 13, 2015 4:14:33 PM

go to your disk management and right click on the drive. change letter and just delete the letter assigned for the drive. then try to left click and go to properties of the drive that you took the letter off. go to the security tab, go to advaced and go to owner. make sure you're the owner. thanafter that is done click ok until the property tab closes to implement the new changes. after go back to the property security tab of drive and hit edit, and delete all the users and add just yourself and give it all full permissions. than hit ok and ass a letter to the drive again and see if it works. if not i tried unmounting and remounting a couple of times and make sure permissions havent changed
m
0
l
March 6, 2015 2:28:24 AM

Hi joe23,

please try these command to recover your missing files

attrib -s -h /s /d

first you go to command prompt ( start then click run and type cmd or command on the textbox)

next, the command prompt will appear..
you need to find out what the drive location of your external HD..

then type this..
for example your external hard drive on F:

f:attrib -s -h /s /d

then enter
...
and wait after few minutes and the files will recovered..
sometimes you will see the folder with no name ..what you can do is to open it..your files is inside..

i think it will help you to out.. ^_^
said:
Hi joe23,

please try these command to recover your missing files

attrib -s -h /s /d

first you go to command prompt ( start then click run and type cmd or command on the textbox)

next, the command prompt will appear..
you need to find out what the drive location of your external HD..

then type this..
for example your external hard drive on F:

f:attrib -s -h /s /d

then enter
...
and wait after few minutes and the files will recovered..
sometimes you will see the folder with no name ..what you can do is to open it..your files is inside..

i think it will help you to out.. ^_^


This worked very well for me

Thanks alot!!

Really appreciate
m
0
l
April 6, 2015 9:01:31 AM

Hi guys

I know this is an old thread, but have a similar problem I hope someone can shed some light on. Have searched around for a solution, but with no luck.

What I experience is as follow:

I have few external hard drive that I use for different uses (Main data drive, mirror of data drive, DJ Wav drive & Mirror of DJ Wav drive).

From time to time when I connect the any of these drives, i will get the following message. "There might be a problem with some files on this device or disc. This can happen if you remove the device or disc before all files have been written to it."

So by ignoring the message, I will find that some of the files and folders will be missing on the drive. So I will select the Scan & Fix option from this pop up and when completed, the missing files and folders are recovered.

I do use the safely remove option on the task bar to safely remove the drives. Doubt it could be a virus or malicious software as I keep my anti virus up to date and don't install any suspicious software.

Any suggestions or where I can start trouble shooting?

Many thanks
m
0
l
a c 230 G Storage
April 6, 2015 9:04:48 AM

I suggest you post a thread of your own - it can be confusing otherwise.

I take it you've read all the stickies?

Doesn't ring any bells, sorry.
m
0
l
April 6, 2015 9:49:39 AM

Someone Somewhere said:
I suggest you post a thread of your own - it can be confusing otherwise.

I take it you've read all the stickies?

Doesn't ring any bells, sorry.


Thanks

I have read and searched around. And no luck.

Will start a new thread.
m
0
l
December 7, 2015 12:41:47 AM

Thank you Hilly, after all, your solution work. My solution is a bit different when i have to boot into windows xp to see all the lost file

I use windows 7, lost all the file and show hidden file method not works

Run cmd
Chkdsk /r driver:

The file still not found in windows 7, but when i boot into windows xp, all lost file appears in a directory name found000 and found 001

:D  thanks thread and hilly again

m
0
l