Windows 2003 SBS deleted all moved files, but kept dir structure. HELP

As the title suggests, I was moving all the my documents(per username) over to a file on the server via GPO and it was moving the owners files over (which took about 20 mins, a few gigs if i remember correctly) and when we browsed to the MY DOCUMENTS on the client (XP, which points to the server) all the folder structure was there but all the files were missing.

I have run countless freeware and paid-ware applications on the client and the server to recover all the doc and excel files but there is nothing. It just keeps finding cookies and useless shizat like that.

I am doing all this remotely as the client is a state away. Any ideas? I have tried Recuva, Pandora recovery, EaseUS free data recovery (i am waiting on the paid license version that I own to try next) and a bunch of other programs. They all find the same useless temporary files (cookies) but they can't find the files. it's as if Windows moved them without deleting them and without actually moving them.

I have since, on the client, restored MY DOCS to it's default location and it moved everything back from the server with the same issue. All the folders, none of the files.

And before one lectures me about backups, the server gets backed up every week and that's why I was moving the MY DOCS folder over to the server, to get backed up. All the other clients (4 of them) had ZERO issues with this.

P L E A S E HELP. I am one man I.T. operation and I don't have money to send the disk out to be recovered, which it sounds like wont even work anyways.
4 answers Last reply
More about windows 2003 deleted moved files structure help
  1. What policy settings did you use via group policy?

    Here is an issue. If you set the GPO to copy the files up to the network, then the files were deleted off the local computer either by policy, user, or yourself, Offline File Sync may still have been enabled and wiped the files off both the server and local computer.

    To me, it sounds like that policy wasn't set prior to making the folder redirection policy changes.
  2. Okay it may have not been. it's too late at night for me to look up the GPO right now, but even if it was set incorrectly, any idea how I can retrieve that data back?
  3. And I believe the GPO was set correctly as none of the other machiens had this issue. Of course the most important one, prior to being backed up, is the one that failed.
  4. Check your security rights on the folder where it would have been copied. Small chance that the files are hidden or you don't have access to the files themselves.

    Otherwise I'm at a loss in providing additional direction and would consider everything being lost.

    Personally I would have backed the files up on the computer prior to attempting this. I've seen these issues happen before though and that comes from having bad experiences.
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