Folders & files have suddenly disappeared

I'm using several internal hard drives with my computer, one of which is 1.5Tb in size (on a single partition). On this HD I store a number of multi-media files, which I've sorted/placed in specific "main" folders (Audio files - Picture files - Video files - etc.), and within each of these main folders are a number of other folders where the contents (pictures, etc), are sorted/filed for easier access.

This evening I noticed that all the files (several years of pictures), which were within a main folder labeled "Pictures", have disappeared (they were there a few hours before)!! T he main folder was still there, but now shows as being empty, but all the sub-folders and their contents have suddenly disappeared. Everything else on the hard drive is still where it should be.

I checked the main recycle bin on C drive, but the files weren't there (there was one photo there which I deleted yesterday. I did a "restore" for it and it left the recycle bin but didn't show up where it came from - the HD where the other pictures have gone missing from - or, as far as I can see, anywhere else).

I also checked the recycle bin on the actual hard drive where this mystery occurred and discovered one "folder" containing almost 5Gb of something - - I can't open it. A check in properties shows this folder to be marked as "hidden" and the box is shaded out, i.e., blocked to prevent being changed. The box immediately above the hidden box (Read-only), isn't checked - but, instead of being blank, it's blue (and if I click it the blue is replaced by a blank box)!!

I've read in this forum of some similar experiences - but usually they're program files on C drive that have disappeared and not actual "stored" files on another HD, so I wasn't able to receive any help from them - - except to be comforted in the strong possibility that the files are still there, they've just been hidden by windows (7 Ultimate, 64bit).

I also contacted a company (BitMart) who's product (Restorer 2000 Pro), I purchased several years ago. I'm told that my product does not support either W-7 or 64 bit but their newest version does - - however, there's no guarantee that a recovery can be made if the files haven't been deleted from the drive and are only in a hidden state.

Any help the members of this forum can provide me will be very much appreciated.

4 answers Last reply
More about folders files suddenly disappeared
  1. Have you tried this in Windows Explorer:
    Click on Tools
    Click on Folder Options
    Click on the View tab
    Under Hidden files and folders click in the circle next to "Show hidden files, folders, and drives"

    If the files are just hidden and not deleted you should see them. If they are hidden there is a way to unhide them.
  2. Since posting this dilemma the entire hard drive suddenly shut down (but has since recovered long enough for me to remove everything else off of it).

    I spoke with the people at Seagate (the maker of my hard drive), and they said I "might" be able to recover the files using their file recovery software ($99.00), or having them do whatever it is they do to recover missing files, for the bargain basement price of only $1000.00.

    I'm now looking at an alternative to their software in the hopes I'll be able to recover the lost files at a much lower price.

    In fairness to Seagate, they were most helpful and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase another hard drive from them if/when the need arises (despite my "sarcasm", above :o)
  3. If you want to try something for free you can try Recuva:
  4. kenrivers is right. Recuva is amazing. There's a paid version but the free version will more than satisfy your needs unless you recover files for a living.
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