Windows 7 - dissapearing folders in USER folder RRS feed

  • Question

  • Before I came to post here, I considered every possible alternative to "it just dissapeared". I'm by no means a novice user, and also by no means a complete expert. I've been in user support for over 12+ years so I can safely assume I know what I'm talking about...and I hope you can too.

    Here's the situation..let's cut right to the chase.

    The contents of my wife's user foler (Katy) just dissapeared overnight.

    I just performed a clean install of Windows 7 (Version 6.1 Build 7600) on Friday. By Saturday, I had completed all updates and began to restore data from my backup drive. The data restored was pretty much pictures and documents from our My documents folder. All restores were completed and both our profiles checked out just fine. I finished this around 3:30pm Saturday.

    I pretty much stayed away from the computer the rest of Sat night and all day Sunday with the exception of some light maintenance. I had no errors or anything to make me think something was wrong. I didn't perform any disk defrags, or cleanups...nor did I delete any data whatsoever.

    This morning i go into setup my backups and boom, my wife's user folder is empty. There's no "my pictures", "my documents", "my videos"....nothing. Only folders in there are Contacts, Desktop and a hidden App Data folder. I went ahead and logged into her profile and it's still not there. I click on the links for document and music on her start menu and they take me to public documents and public music.

    I log back in as Admin and check the structure of the Katy folder again. Now, it's showing the "my docs", "my music"...blah blah...but all empty.

    Anyone seen this? Ideas???

    What I've tried...

    Restore previous version - Nogo. last restore point is @ 3:53pm on Saturday. All contents of her user folder of the available restores are blank
    Used various undelete utilities - Nogo. they find nothing deleted that would of been in her folder
    Checked Windows logs - Checked the time frame that things would of "dissapreared" no programs ran, no errors.

    Monday, October 5, 2009 9:56 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    When you say you've checked Windows logs, have you checked 'Event Viewer' to see if anything there may shed some light?

    If anyone is helpfull, please click the 'Vote as helpfull' icon. If anyone has answered, please click 'Suggest as answer' at the bottom of the post involved :) Thanks
    Monday, October 5, 2009 10:00 PM
  • Yes, I'm sorry...should've been more clear.

    I reviewed the System and Application logs to look for anything firing up that could contribute to this.  I sat here for about an hour going line by line througt the event logs from the last time I remember accessing those folders to now.  There's nother that even makes me go "hmmm" in there.

    I have no other way to express the issue other than those files just vanished.  I know that's a typical end user thing to say and the typical troubleshooting response would be (even if just in your mind) "ok, what did you do then?" But, honestly...all I did was restore data, check that the data was there and then get the heck away from the computer. (needed a break bad).

    Just to give you an idea of how much data "dissapeared"...it was in the neighborhood of 15GB of mostly photos.  The strange part is that I'm almost certain that my hard drive free space has not changed since Saturday.  In otherwords, I have 88GB free of an 140GB HDD.  If the files were somehow deleted, I'd expect to see 100GB+ free.
    Monday, October 5, 2009 11:06 PM
  • I will research that article...doesn't seem to apply but I'm willing to try anything.

    However, I ran through several different undelete utilities.  And my theory about the files being there but not being there were confirmed.  I'm not sure how to explain this, but the files were not deleted.  The utility tells you if the files were discovered and where they are located.  In this case, the folders I'm looking for are "lost".  Not deleted or corrupted.

    Here's the explanation...

    There is a folder named Lost. What is this folder?
    Files and directory details are stored separately on a disk. On some file systems the file entry has a directory entry number associated with it, and on other file systems the directory entry holds a list of files it contains. In some instances, the two entries do not match up or the directory details may be incomplete or missing. In this case the files are located in the LOST directory.

    I'm going to work witht hat and follow up with the solution.  Very fishy for a computer that was left alone and logged off of for almost two days.
    Tuesday, October 6, 2009 3:49 AM