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URGENT HELP : External hard disk full, but files are invisible

Discussion in 'Gadgets / Electronics / Laptops' started by dj.nish, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    Messages:
    543
    Mumbai
    I'm facing a VERY STRANGE issue since today.

    I use a Western Digital 320 GB external portable hard disk as my backup drive. I store my Movies, Music, TV shows etc in this.

    Yesterday, I connected both my external hard disks (the primary one being a 500 GB Buffalo) and transferred a folder containing video files onto the Western Digital. I do this almost everyday, as a backup measure, without any issues till date. I also always use the 'Safely Remove Hardware' option before unplugging the hard disk.

    Today when I plugged in this disk, I was shocked to see that all files are gone! The Properties tab shows space as used up (i.e. 292 GB used out of total 297 GB) and all folders are intact (ref screenshot). But there aren't ANY files there! This happened under Ubuntu 11.10.

    So I switched back to Windows 7 and enabled the 'Show Hidden files and folders' option but to no avail. I ran a disk test and it is perfectly healthy. I also ran 'Recuva' - a free software to recover deleted/corrupted files. It does show me about 80% of the missing files but still the remaining critical 20% are nowhere to be found.

    What could be the problem and solution here?

    Screenshot of WD.png
  2. jishnu

    jishnu Superiore

    Messages:
    651
    Bangalore
    Checkout in the folder $recycle.bin
    or recycled!
  3. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    Messages:
    543
    Mumbai
    Already searched there buddy. Empty as a haunted house. Im surprised that the disk is being shown as nearly full, all folders are visible, but no files?
  4. Cinju

    Cinju Esperto

    Messages:
    1,333
    Trivandrum
    It seems that the files might have got encrypted by some means. If that is the case, you wont be able to view the files. Check if the software coming along with the hard disk has got encryption option on it. It could even be a one touch backup functionality. Some WD hdd has got a button on it which does the backup when you press it. All this can be restored only with the western digital software that comes along with the hard disk.
  5. vIjAy_kHaSa

    vIjAy_kHaSa Esperto

    Messages:
    1,352
    Panchkula
    Have you checked the Trash after connecting the USB HDD in Ubuntu. ]
  6. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    Messages:
    543
    Mumbai
    My WD HDD does not have a separate backup button. There was some software that came on the disk, but I have not installed it. Also, whatever software was present, was for Windows only. Is there any way to detect whether files have got encrypted?
    Checked the Trash Bin. It's empty too.
  7. Cinju

    Cinju Esperto

    Messages:
    1,333
    Trivandrum
    I am not well versed in Linux. Are you sure the software works only on windows ? Open up the software in windows & see if the view through software makes any difference. There are some blogs which are mentioning this as a corrupt hdd.
    western digital mybook disappearingfolders - Tech Support Forum
    Can't retrieve my files from my passport drive - Western Digital Community

    For data recovery use tools life File Scavenger or rstudio. They are good tools. But dont run too many tools as that itself will reduce the chances of data recovery.
  8. @dj.nish: try to see if the folders show you the size what your expecting. if you can see the expected size of the folder correct and don`t see data on that. try to do a anti virus scan. some time it happens that you can see the folder and not the file into it. but the folder side show you big in numbers.

    if possible use other system which have a license version of antivirus software installed and do a full scan of the harddisk and try to open the folder later. you should able to see the files.
    if you have not deleted them. even you have deleted them you can get back the data but not 100%. Use getdataback software with appropriate file system type like NTFS.
  9. dj.nish

    dj.nish Superiore

    Messages:
    543
    Mumbai
    Yes, I'm pretty sure that software was for Windows. Software/Hardware vendors still have not warmed upto Ubuntu much. Plus there are so many flavors out there that they cannot possibly include software for Linux. Anyway, I can't even see the HDD software on the disk. Maybe I must have deleted that, as I never use those utilities anyway. Will read through the
    All I see is folders with zero files. The folder size is zero bytes too. That is indeed strange, because the disk usage shows 292 GB full! I have done two scans of the hard disk and it's come out to be clean.
  10. Cinju

    Cinju Esperto

    Messages:
    1,333
    Trivandrum

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