Author Topic: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders  (Read 13798 times)

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Offline madhouserevival

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Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« on: April 30, 2014, 05:07:00 PM »
Don't know what happened, but I had a special folder I just used earlier today where I kept all my tweaking and repair software. Then about an hour ago I'm missing all files inside the folder as well as in all of it's sub folders. I've taken Ownership, checked security options, made sure I have full control over the folders. I tried exploring it from another operating system and all the folders are still empty.  I even ran a file recovery program and it didn't show any of the files the folders previously contained, which is impossible unless they are hidden even from the recovery software (Easeus Data Recovery Wizard, old and new versions). I am dumbfounded. Now I'm missing tons of resources I access frequently.  I'm uploading a short video where I show just a small selection of "empty" folders. (BTW if I try to attach the video the whole thread resets)

Hope you can help. Coincidentally, not long before this happened today I ran the Windows Repair All In One program to reset file and registry permissions to fix something else I can't even remember now, but I can't imagine that it would target that one folder and it's subdirectories and not any of the other stuff on that drive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6W0aAt100U&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Offline Shane

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 05:22:52 PM »
The permissions wouldnt have done that as it is just setting permissions and none of my repair deletes any files.

Try this, I noticed you are using the libraries section on the right. Try going to the download folder directly, Open computer then go to C:\Users\Your Username\Downloads

Reason why is the libraries section will add multiple locations, so I just want to make sure that simply isnt something wrong with that, so check the folder directly and lets go from there :wink:

Shane
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 05:32:03 PM »
Already did that. Plus, it's also missing if I boot up my other OS (both Windows 7, only the newly installed one is on my SSD). Just boggles my mind. There must be some weird low level hidden flag but I've no idea how to find it. No other folders surrounding the "MicrosoftTweaks" folder are missing files. It's bizarre!

Offline Shane

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 05:41:15 PM »
Is there anything else in the downloads folder or is all the files gone? Reason why I ask is it may have been something that targeted the downloads folder and to clear it out. Dont know of any programs that do that on purpose though.

There are some programs that clean up things based on file names but again none that I can think of that would have done that.

Have you done a full system search for any of the file names that where in there just to see if somehow they got moved? And if you havent yet run a chkdsk on the drive just to make sure the file system is ok.

it is time for dinner and to spend time with the kids so I will be back tomorrow :-)

Night!

Shane
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 03:58:19 AM »
I never use the default location for downloads. I've always used a separate hard drive for those for quite a long time, especially since my system drive has been an SSD. Believe me, I've searched every thing. :) And there are several hundred individual files magically missing from all of their respective folders. All my other files and folders in the "download folder" are intact. But the microsofttweaks folder ("F:\Downloads\MicrosoftTweaks") and ALL of the many sub folders are empty, though the folders themselves are still there. I even navigated the folders via administrative cmd prompt and everything still showed empty. I'm currently running a raw recovery which, unfortunately, will produce a bunch of files with no normal extensions, but it will at least tell me if the files exist, assuming some security lock doesn't hide them, of course.

 :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry: Not even the raw recovery found any files inside the folders--ANY! Even checked my Malwarebytes quarantine.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 06:06:21 AM by madhouserevival »

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2014, 08:22:44 AM »
I have never seen anything like that. The folder wasnt even on the Windows drive, and it was the only folder hit like that including all of it s sub folders.

When you right click on the main folder and go to properties does it show size is at 0 bytes?

Are there any kind of cleaner tools you run at all? Only reason why I ask is I want to cover all bases and I want to check any logs they might have made.

If the files where deleted and now even a raw or delete recovery  can see them then the only way that could of happened is if the data gets over written on the drive, which any kind of cleaner with a data wipe option would do.

I know it is a long shot, but data just doesnt disappear. Well ok it can, but normally like one file that might have been on a bad sector. Not a single folder and all of its sub folders. Something targeted that folder and wiped it. I want to find out what. :wink:

Shane
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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 11:34:45 AM »
Yeah, the properties show 0 bytes (aside from a couple files I added today (3mb worth). Maybe system mechanic did something in the background (could have sworn I'd uninstalled that a week ago). But I never used it to clean files. I use Ccleaner and even then I manually select folders to clean (Windows temp 90% of the time). My memory (as in my brain) has taken a serious hit in the last year, especially short-term. Struggling to remember all the things I might have done since this happened. Too bad I didn't have system restore running on this drive. Currently running a surface scan of the drive.

Maybe I could look into the event history! I just don't know where to begin (always confused me). Plus, I don't know if what caused it occurred on my spinner drive system or my SSD system. Anyway, is there a way to specifically search for file deletion events in Event Viewer?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2014, 11:42:05 AM by madhouserevival »

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 11:44:20 AM »
Check any logs those programs have and do a search for the folder name to see if it shows anything.

System restore wouldnt have saved those files since they are on another drive unless system restore is set on that drive as well, and even then I am not sure system restore would do those files as it normally does important files.

You said you did a raw check have you done a undelete recovery yet? When Windows deletes a file the flag for the file is deleted while the data isnt (The data is there until something writes over it). Raw recovery is used when the file system is destroyed or formatted, but delete recovery will look at the current file system. Worth a shot.

Shane
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 11:58:52 AM »
The first thing I did with Easeus Data Recover was a "shift deleted" file search. BTW before this happened I had run your Advanced System Tweaker. I don't see how it would affect files being viewed by my other operating system though. But I might have picked an option (there are so many!) that caused the problem. I assume there's some way to reverse all the tweaks (fingers crossed) to see if I did something wrong?

Good night's sleep gave me a clearer head. :) I am thinking there is some security flag placed on the parent folder that also affects the files in the sub-folders. So the questions is how do I discover what the security flag was so I can try and "unflag" it? Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2014, 09:43:06 AM by madhouserevival »

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2014, 12:20:21 PM »
None of the tweaks in the advance system tweaker target deleting files. I am not sure what you mean about the security flag. If anything was set it would only prevent you from opening them, it wouldn't completely hide them.

Plus even if the files where removed they should have shown up on a recovery scan unless what ever removed them also went back and wrote over all the data so it couldn't be recovered.

What happens if you move the main folder out of downloads and put it somewhere else? Also does the total size of the drive look any smaller to you as if the files where deleted the file size would be smaller, if somehow they where super hidden in the system then the size used on the drive wouldnt have changed.

Shane
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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2014, 12:56:45 PM »
By security flag I mean something make the files hidden by a  command of some sort. I even tried the unhide.exe from bleepingcomputer.com (twice). Also ran a couple file undeleters that produced zero results. As for size of drive before and after it would be a tiny percentage of the total space, so not even sure what the difference would be. Did move the folder onto another drive just now and the differences is less than 1MB.

Think I'm giving up.  Stinks because they were small programs and tweaks I always applied to a newly installed OS (from XP thru Win 8). I guess I have to start over. I've got a really, really old backup of the folder on a dvd somewhere (I think). Probably not even worth restoring from that even if I do find it. :*(


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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2014, 04:52:39 PM »
It is very odd that it happened and you cant even recover, but looks like your only option is to just rebuild your files.

Still very odd how it was only that one folder and all its sub folders and nothing else.

Shane
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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2014, 06:41:49 PM »
I blame wizards! :evil:

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2014, 11:42:10 AM »
I blame Microsoft..... Why? because we need a scapegoat lol

Shane
PLEASE EDIT YOUR TOPIC AND PUT (SOLVED) IF YOU ARE ALL FIXED.

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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2014, 12:25:49 PM »
Was just going thru your Advanced Tweaker. In the Windows 7 tweaks there is "Hide File" and "Hide Folder". Doesn't name any specific file or folder. What does that do and could it have caused such a behavior as what I experienced? Or is it just to add a context menu option in explorer?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 12:28:36 PM by madhouserevival »

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2014, 11:10:29 AM »
That is just a right click option for explorer. Any and all of the tweak files you can open with note pad to see what they do :-)

Shane
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2014, 02:06:06 PM »
You aren't going to believe this! Remember how all of my folders and subfolders were intact but missing all of their contents? Well, Everything (the famous file finder) found an identical parent folder with all of the same folders and intact files on another drive. I've searched my computer (not to mention I used file recovery programs) plenty of times and never ran across it. But Everything found it on the very same drive, But what really boggles the mind is that the existence of an identical set of folders and subfolders (all empty) could be created to begin with! Plus, I have no idea how the original version got moved. I have a spooky computer!  :evil:

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2014, 11:57:40 AM »
Would explain why you couldnt find any files that where deleted. They never where deleted!

Looks like you simply had them on another drive is all, and what ever program you had set to download to the path simply made the folders, such as IE or firefox download.

Well good to know it wasnt something that wiped it out :-D

Shane
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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2014, 12:10:16 PM »
Yeah, but it creates the parent folder, ALL subfolders and all of their subfolders! That is inexplicable.  :omg:

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2014, 12:13:15 PM »
Actually no, very easy to see how that happened.

This is just an example, there is a Windows API a program can call
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ms680352%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Where if when you call it, it will make sure that full folder path is there and if it isnt it will create it. So if you had a program that was set to one of the child folders it would have created it, and depending on the program that did it and how many folders it was looking at it could have created all of them, like a download manager :-)

Shane
PLEASE EDIT YOUR TOPIC AND PUT (SOLVED) IF YOU ARE ALL FIXED.

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(About Shane)
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When people ask "Why fix what isn't broken?" I reply "To make it better."
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile"
Honor & Respect is all that matters.

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Offline madhouserevival

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Re: Suddenly Missing All Files inside Folder and all Subfolders
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2014, 12:26:38 PM »
Thanks for making me feel smarter everyday!  :tongue: