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Lost files, Win7 x64, serious issue!

Discussion in 'General Software' started by SaiZo, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    Ok, where to start.. I turned of computer before going to bed last night. All my folders were there. Started system about 54 minutes ago to see - it's all gone. All my projects, work files.. everything - gone. And that's about 19Gb that's gone magically over the night.

    "WTF?" that is my only response. I am speechless. This was on a brand new drive, less than 2 months old. They were all in the "Documents" folder.

    Can anyone please help me? I had work that I have been working on for the last 6 months there, and I do not understand what has happened. Is this a nightmare or what?! :(
     
  2. xvi

    xvi

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    First of all, do not write anything to your hard drive

    Boot off of your Windows 7 CD, repair, open the command prompt. Try chkdsk c: /f

    Edit: Make sure you didn't just accidentally hide all your files.
     
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    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    See.. now that's the problem, I went to sleep, woke up and it's gone. And there is nothing in the Recycle bin (there were photos there, but that was 2 days ago). Also, yesterday I didn't even go in to the "Documents" folder (Folder created by Windows, not me). Was in the Downloads folder mostly.. I just can't understand..

    And what if I go back to when the system was ok? Before last update or something, then what??

    I even have "show all" files, even hidden. How can I hide them, if I wasn't even in that folder?
     
  4. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    if the files are that important with no backups IMHO get some professional help asap.
    i would disconnect the drive.



    there are some free recovery programs, there should be a sticky about this in the storage section.
    http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142222



    i have herd good things about recuava.



    the worst thing you could do right now is write anything to the HDD, that would effectively make recovery impossible for any files overwritten.
     
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  5. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    It's the main drive "C:\". What professional help?

    How about this, I found some of the files.. Somehow they seem to be shortcuts, the "shortcut" (what was a folder once) refers to "K:\", and another folder still refers to "C:\Documents\PROJECT\" The folder named "PROJECT" is gone.. Documents folder is still there.. "K:\"??


    EDIT: I used an application called DiskDigger, I'll save the files on my scratch disk, disconnect it, copy the files onto several DVD's and then the tech guys have to take a look at my system. Still, this seems to be a W7 issue.

    Thanks for the help.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  6. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    if it is indeed a windows issue then an easy fix would be to stick the HDD into another PC and navigate to the files.

    i would not use the PC if the files are on C:\ as windows writes to it every so often, so do web browsers for caching ect.





    if you can, plug it into another PC and then you can try data recovery all you want as long as you dont write to the drive.

    a full disk image would be a good idea first.






    the drive could be bad, if it is it may stop working all together.
     
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  7. kns New Member

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    Had you used a pen drive on your system before shutting it down?
    Since k:\ may refer to a pen drive or whatever external drive that may have been infected by a virus.
    I have seen such shortcuts getting created when pcs are virus infected.
    Also sometimes the original files are hidden with system attribute so they wont show up even after doing show all files so uncheck the hide protected operating system files option and see if the files show up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
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  8. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    It sounds like the pointer in My Documents has become corrupted and is now pointed somewhere else. Because if this nightmare scenario, is why I never use My Documents. I create a separate partition for all my data and call it 'DATA'. This can never somehow get 'lost'.

    If it's not a pointer problem, but the files have been physically deleted, then you're in trouble and the advice from others on here not to boot off that drive is good. You'll need disc recovery software to get your data back in that case. It's not foolproof and has a habit of costing a lot of money.
     
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  9. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    No, "K:\" Was a virtual device. All files were "moved" to temporary internet files (LOW). DiskDigger is now moving all the files to a secondary drive. This drive will then be disconnected, copy all files over to other media for storage.

    No files were hidden, they were just moved. The folders needs to be re-created inorder for some applications to function properly. Forget the shortcuts, that's another story. They were not in the Documents folder at all, they were in "Recent" folder.

    This is rather sad, there we go buy a brand new W7 license, pay an amount of cash and they spit in our faces "oh, we didn't know about this ourself, we came to know about it from another customer", oh, really? And why not do an update that corrects that issue of moving files all of a sudden?

    The system has been running without any issues except this. Virus? Sure, I'll use both ESET and Malwarebytes software to see if there is any virus.

    I am more than angry at Microsoft right now.
     
  10. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    Thanks for the heads up, qubit. I think that sounds like a wise solution. I'll follow that advice and set it as a golden rule from now on. I do believe it is a pointer problem since it just "moved" the files (DiskDigger found them all - using it right now).

    What can I do now, if the pointer is corrupted, all I remember is that last night a Windows Defender definition came along (2,3Mb), could that be a part of the issue?
    Also, one thing - it did not move ALL files from the Documents folder, only the folders I created in it (with the files). The files that are created directly in the Documents folder are still there (strange, huh?).

    Well, who ever said that Windows 7 is perfect?
     
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  11. mrw1986

    mrw1986

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    Honestly, if it was a W7 issue you'd think you would see more people reporting it? I also installed that update last night and didn't have any issues...sounds more like a HDD problem.
     
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  12. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    If you can, first clone the drive. And don't even thinkof running CHKDSK before you do this. I lost like 500GB of data because CHKDSK decided to "truncate" all the files on HDD.
    If you have a perfect clone of your drive you can easily play around without any risk of destroying actual data even if you screw up.
     
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  13. Red_Machine

    Red_Machine

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    I feel that people who blame Windows/Microsoft straight away, rather than considering other options, shouldn't be using the OS.

    If you hate Microsoft THAT much, use Linux.
     
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  14. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    Well it is not an issue with Windows Defender.. But clearly a windows 7 issue (others have had same problem I have).

    Who said I don't? But some software just will not function / is not available for Linux.
     
  15. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    Similar problem after the MS Tuesday update, but it was the Pictures folder.
    I ended up with "My Pictures" and a couple of extra "Pictures" folders(one actual and one virtual/pointer). And, all my picture files were copied over to the new folder...
    I, believe, it had something to do with my re-directing folder locations. I have re-directed the locations for storage and such, as so, my SSD(OS/Boot = C: drive) is not used for that.

    You might wanna look around and see if you have multiple "Documents" and "My Documents" folders now.
    Look in explorer under USER, Desktop, and, also, but, it works this way, under C:\Users\Your profile name.

    Just thought I would mention it, because, it was sorta odd it happened recently after the updates. Could be related to your problem, if you ran those updates on Tuesday or there abouts.

    Goodluck! And, Hope it's not hardware.:)
     
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  16. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    You're welcome, glad to help. :toast:

    I can't see how that Windows Defender update could possibly have done this. In short, I don't know why it got messed up like that, but it's possible that you did something to trigger this without even realizing it. Also, it's possible that Windows just had a bad moment, I don't know.

    However, I can give you some basic tips to vastly reduce the chances of this nasty happening again.

    If you have one copy of your data, you're guaranteed to lose it! Never forget this. Something will happen, such as a hard disc failure, virus, human error etc. The only way to protect yourself is to have two or more up to date copies of it at one time. Also, it's worth having a slightly paranoid attitude to protecting your data, because if it can be lost, it will.

    Therefore, you need a backup strategy. There's no one size fits all solution for making backups, it all depends on the individual/organization and needs. Here's what I do.

    I have 4 hard drives:

    1 system, with my main Windows on it and other Windows installations. I don't back this up, because it contains no data and I'm willing to go through the pain process of reinstalling Windows if something happens
    2 & 3 Two data drives in motherboard RAID 0 - mirror image mode. This gives me an instant backup as I read and write my data, so it's never out of date
    4 Hard drive in a separate PC on my home network. Every night, I run the free Karen's Replicator to make an image copy of the data on the RAID 0 drives. Shortly I will be adding another backup regime, where another partition on this fourth drive gets backed up to every few days, to deliberately have an out of date backup. "Why!" you say? This is in case something important is deleted and I only realize it a while later, I can hopefully restore it

    Note that the second PC has two drives in it, the system drive and that backup drive, so it's really 5 drives in all if you think of it this way.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
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  17. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    You are right.. God damn.. YOU ARE RIGHT! I have "documents" and I have "My documents".. Ok.. what now? How do I get the right one's back? I have run Malware, and ESET, none found anything related with recent actions (moved folders / renamed).

    Ok, check this out - the "K:\" is a virtual drive, one folder is selected onto it. I was working with a game for ******** *** , and today I was going to continue working with it an voilá - gone.
    Just like viper had, it has been renamed, and moved (somehow?). I also looked into the issue if a virus had changed the names with "$", they have not. I managed to get most of it back, but the folder's correct name is "My documents" not "Documents".. Any idea what is wrong here???


    EDIT: I have not re-directed any folders.
    Should I restore a point (Win7 x64 Ultimate)?

    Also the "scratch" disc is where a final "product" ends up, in this case a virtual 'game', but it has disappeared. The company that hired me has some of the most important files however, I always transfer larger files directly to their server, may it be plain documents or CAD files. Last time I u/l around 2Gb of data to their server. I'm getting the tech guy in town to look at my system on saturday, he knows more about this things than I do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  18. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    Hey 95Viper, what did you do to restore it? It would be helpful to know how to get things back..
     
  19. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    Well, it was a little involved and wierd, because your are working with Libraries.

    It is just an opinion right now, but I believe something screwed up and the updates conflicted some software or that something in the updates got confused about the Libraries and actual data storage and moved data to the Library folders it created and thought it was supposed to be in.
    Hence "Documents" to "My Documents" and "Pictures" to "My Pictures".
    If I remember correctly one was used in Vista and the other was used in Windows 7 at default. Well, the links below and quotes may help begin to explain some.
    And, you need to find the files in the library and put them in the real folder or when the library gets deleted/moved the may go poof(magic sh*t). Have recycle bin on so you can undo anything you do. Took a couple of tries for me, but I got the files moved back and got rid of the added Library.

    Quote from Introducing Libraries@MSDN Magazine:

    Ah found the info on the two different names used. IMO, this is what happened to me because I re-directed my storage locations to different from defaults. But, Windows knew,because I did it through Windows with no fancy BS. Just something was not Library aware in the update or somewhere else.

    Quoted from PCMag article Windows 7 Libraries

    Include folders in a library
    How to Remove a Included Folder from a Library in Windows 7

    Hope this helps you.:)

    Edit: I am not the best at instructing one - doing yes, so if anyone wishes to step in and clarify - please do so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
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  20. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    I also seem to experiencing another problem - links. Folders turned into links.. This can't be happening, it's like a curse. Except that the folder (My Documents) was renamed to just "Documents", some of the folders within are created into bloody links. What the heck is going on?! I also started to google that problem.. Seems that has happened others aswell.

    There is no virus, no malware.. I ran Malwarebytes then I ran ESET Antivirus.

    One of the applications selects "My documents" as standard.. well most of them do.


    EDIT: I right clicked a folder and chose properties, there is me with my username, administrator (me that is), and there is an "unknown".. Am I being hacked?!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  21. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    It is possible, if you had a trojan or virus, it might have compromised your file system or registry somehow, even if you got rid of it you still may have the left over residual damage.

    It could be a glitch in windows or an app; or, even, hardware.

    Unless, you want to hunt and troubleshoot (which, is fun, if you are into it)... My best advise for a quick and easy resolution would be:

    1. back up all the data you want to save
    2. Partition and format your drives to clean state
    3. re-install windows or any OSes you are using
    4. install your A/V and/or Malware programs
    5. install all drivers needed
    6. install your apps
    7. tweak and customize
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
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  22. Towly

    Towly

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    You say there is a shortcut to the folder that was present right? To see your hidden files/folders
    Tools -> folder options -> View Untick the Hide protected operating system files.
    It's probably a virus. And to unhide the file/folders use command prompt: attrib (file/folder name) -r -a -s -h that will unhide the file/folder the properties dialog box to unhide the items is greyd out.
     
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  23. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    Yeah.. I googled that yesterday. Doesn't work, and it sure as heck does not bring back the missing folder - i.e. I have links to a folder that does not "exist".
    I have not deleted it by "mistake".
    I have seen several others over the net with same thing happen to them.
    Microsoft have no answers what so ever (they told me actually to do the same you just said). The folder contained other folders, files that were around 19Gb alltogether, they aint there anymore. It just removed that specific folder with sub folders.

    Why should it be hidden? Nothing was even in the recycle bin..

    I can't seem to find a solution for this problem anywhere.

    I can't do that. I need to find the damn folder. Also, some of the applications (software), needs to be re-installed then. I do not have the software at hand, all they left me with are the "keys" (hardware type - USB) for them.
    A re-install would take me again 2 freaking days, to setup everything.. But I need that folder..

    EDIT: What happens when I try to set the attribute is it gives me an "Access denied" message.. Just doesn't work. Doesn't work for me and a lot other people.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  24. cool_recep

    cool_recep

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    There is a virus that hides your files. Funny thing is, you can not view them when you enable "View hidden files".

    Because that bastard makes those files look like system files, you also have to disable "Hide protected operating system files".

    So, if there is a virus , you will see your files this way.

    Another scenario in your case is broken user account.

    This time, while shutting down, somehow windows can't save your profile correctly. So, when you boot, windows creates a temp user account for you. So, you can't see your documents.

    To see, you have to go to C:\Users\[Your old user name]\documents bla bla...

    Hope this helps.

    EDIT:

    Try a live linux distro like knoppix to reach those files. The virus can't be active on Linux :)
     
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  25. SaiZo

    SaiZo

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    And if I use antiviral on system (let it search & destroy), take HDD over to neighbour and mount it on his system (Vista x86), think I can reach it / see it then??

    Ok, googled the virus that could be hiding files - not found (most likely erased by AV software). But the rest of the steps does not help at all, some say do this and that in registry.. others say something else.
    That's it. It's either gone or something else is "hiding" it. Like I said - found files that used to be contained in the folder, but that's it. Some files still can't be located.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

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