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Files "invisible" and I can't access them?

Courtney

New Member
Messages
3
#1
I'm a pretty adept Windows/computer user, and I've never experienced anything like this.

A multitude of files, folders and sub-folders have disappeared (all from my "Documents"). Miscellaneous sub-folders within folders have disappeared, while other sub-folders remain intact. At first I was completely lost, as the files were there not 30 minutes prior... After assuming the worst and thinking that they had corrupted or been deleted due to a virus, I:

- Made sure my folder options were set properly (I can view all hidden files)
- Thoroughly checked the recycle bin
- Did numerous searches
- Downloaded Google Desktop and searched some more
- Ran various "undelete" and "recovery" programs with no results
- Did a system restore

* I run AVG Free (I know, I'm cheap) and it scans every night. The computer is running fast and has no other virus symptoms.

THE MINDBOGGLING PART: When you right click the folder and view its properties, it says that it still contains the correct number of files/folders that should be actually be there, but when you enter the folder they are not actually there. And, when I was running the undelete utilities it was reporting back that Windows Defender (and some other folders) had been prefixed with " ? /".

Something gone wonky with Vista, virus, or dying HD?
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Messages
32,202
Location
Oklahoma, USA
#2
Hello Courtney, and welcome to Vista Forums,

Double check using OPTION THREE in this tutorial to see if your Documents (Personal in registry) folder is set with it's default location. Sometimes if this is not correct, it can cause weird things to happen to the user folder.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Show second system?
    Yes
    Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Creative F200 webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

Courtney

New Member
Messages
3
#3
Hi Brink,

I tried Option 3 (as well as the others). The problem is that the "Documents" folder still exists, but various folders in it aren't showing up.

I've taken a screenshot. The "COMPANY" folder exist within my "Documents" folder.

As you can see, I have the properties window open for the COMPANY folder, and I'm also viewing the COMPANY folder. It says it contains 58 files and 11 folders, but in reality most are missing. Many major folders are missing/invisible from the COMPANY folder root, and many sub-folders within "Website" and "Website Orig" are also missing/invisible while their properties says the space is still taken up, and that the files/folders are actually there.

I can find absolutely no trace of these files/folders through any restoration or undelete program and they aren't searchable. My folder options are correct. I ran a CHKDSK and it found nothing wrong. I've played with the folder attributes. I've followed at least 10 different tutorials...but nothing quite fits my issue. It's literally as if they just decided they didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore and became invisible.

 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Messages
32,202
Location
Oklahoma, USA
#4

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Show second system?
    Yes
    Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Creative F200 webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD

Courtney

New Member
Messages
3
#5
Hi again Brink,

Yes, protected operating files are set to display.

Thankfully I had this data backed up, I think I'm just incredibly confused as to how this happened...and what exactly happened. I could understand perhaps my entire Documents file becoming unaccessible or having its path changed, but the fact "Folder A" contained 5 subfolders and only 3 subfolders disappeared, along with 1-2 files while the remaining data was intact well... It makes me wonder what's really at play here. After exhausting all recovery options (undelete, recovery, chkdsk, system restore, searches etc etc) I've given up. The data has miraculously disappeared with no trace.

I just want to avoid this happening again. I'll be backing up constantly.
 

My Computer

Brink

Staff member
mvp
Messages
32,202
Location
Oklahoma, USA
#6
Yeah, that has me confused to how the files would just seem to disappear for no apparent reason. I would be keeping good backups to be safe.

Do you have any disk junk cleaning program that you run, that may have deleted them? Are these network folders?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • Show second system?
    Yes
    Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS Maximus X Code Z370
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Internet Speed
    300 Mb/s Download and 30 Mb/s Upload
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Creative F200 webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB6190 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL,
    Lumia 1520 phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy Y0F94AV
    CPU
    i7-7500U @ 2.70 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB DDR4-2133
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
    Sound Card
    Conexant ISST Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17.3" UHD IPS touch
    Screen Resolution
    3480 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 SSD
Messages
11
Location
Indiana USA
#7
I had a similar problem but although with Vista I found out that the folder option(s) were in the control panel but back to a option I stumbled on you might be able to use to find the invisible file/folder Go to O.E. >Tools>Internet options>General>browser history>settings>View files. From there you will be able to see even invisible files and folders. Click on properties and unclick the invisible/hidden box.
At the least you can view hidden files including system files regaurdless if there set for hidden or not.

Another option to consider is viewing and changing attributes in the DOS prompt using the elevated command prompt.http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/181765-elevated-command-prompt.html


I sincerely wish to help, though I cannot take responsibility for anything you do with my advice - help me help you, and don't give up! For the fastest help, type your problem in Google. Seriously

Mike
My System Specs
If you find some one's post helpful, please click the scales to give rep.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 5520 Lap top
    CPU
    AMD Dual core 64 AthlonX2 1.7Gig
    Motherboard
    Nivida
    Memory
    1 Gig RAM. 4 Gig ready boost flash drive.
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15" Flat screen
    Hard Drives
    160 Gig
    Case
    Laptop
    Mouse
    touch pad / optical mouse
    Keyboard
    Lap top / voice activation
    Internet Speed
    12 Meg / 3.0 Meg up
    Other Info
    100 / 50 meg/sec Netgear router, : Norton A.V. Security Suite,Version: 4.3.0.5

sassofalco

What bad, bad,habit?
Vista Guru
#8
I had a similar problem but although with Vista I found out that the folder option(s) were in the control panel but back to a option I stumbled on you might be able to use to find the invisible file/folder Go to O.E. >Tools>Internet options>General>browser history>settings>View files. From there you will be able to see even invisible files and folders. Click on properties and unclick the invisible/hidden box.
At the least you can view hidden files including system files regaurdless if there set for hidden or not.

Another option to consider is viewing and changing attributes in the DOS prompt using the elevated command prompt.http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/181765-elevated-command-prompt.html


I sincerely wish to help, though I cannot take responsibility for anything you do with my advice - help me help you, and don't give up! For the fastest help, type your problem in Google. Seriously

Mike
My System Specs
If you find some one's post helpful, please click the scales to give rep.
I too have recently experienced the exact same problem, but in my case, the Pictures Folder has 'disappeared' from the Windows Photo Gallery tree of Folders. In trying to locate it, this is one of the Error messages that I received;

Folder Problems.JPG

.... I've tried as much as I can to locate and restore the missing folder, but without success. Would you please expand on your suggestion to go to "O.E....etc." What do you mean by "O.E."?

I did try to restore the Folder from a backup that I have of it, but that too...3.87GB of it, has also disappeared into the 'Vista Mista'.

For some reason, in expanding the Apps Data Folder, I seem to have many duplicates of the the same list of Folders, with many shown as empty, unless I check out their Properties. I've been searching for Folders in excess of 3.87GB in size. No luck.

Frustration is not a strong enough word for this crazy situation:shock:
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire Notebook 5633WLMi.[5630 Series]
    CPU
    Intel Centrino Duo Processor - Intel Core 2 CPU.
    Memory
    4GB DDR2 [3.07GB maximum real available]
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GeForce Go 7300, 128MB
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio, Ver. 6.0.1.5717, 2.08MB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer Aspire Notebook - 15.4"; Acer LCD Monitor X223Wsd - 22".
    Screen Resolution
    1280x800x60Hertz [max.]
    Hard Drives
    Notebook - Samsung HM320JI 320GB HD installed 07 August 2009.
    External HDs [4];Maxtor One Touch4 - 500GB External HD [Drive M:\].Western Digital WDXMS1200TA - 120GB External HD [Drive G:\ - Windows Defender Backup Files only]. Two x LaCie 320GB Mobi
    Mouse
    Logitech Wireless V320 for Notebooks - Model M/N: M-RCD125
    Internet Speed
    Down 20000kb/sec / Up 1000kb/sec [Bigpond-Aus]
    Other Info
    Brother MFC-465CN; PC to Fax/Scan/Copy/Photo MFC. Epson Perfection V300 Photo Scanner. Siemens Speedstream 6520 Router. Wacom 'Bamboo Fun' CTE-650 PC Tablet, Stylus and Mouse. UAC - On;Activated. Browsers; [1] FireFox v3.6[2] IE8. Honorary R.S.M. to the 4th [Assault Pioneer] Troop Pune Sepoys , and 3rd Troop Jodhpur Bengali Lancers.
Messages
11
Location
Indiana USA
#9
Internet Explorer
My appoligies. It's I.E. as in Internet explorer. The > mark indecates to go to next option ( ie. Menu bar go)> to tools >(goto)> Internet options>ect... You will be able to see all files / folders from there you should be able to change file attributes to unhidden.


I.E. >Tools>Internet options>General>browser history>settings>View files. FROM HERE YOU WILL SEE ALL FILES / FOLDERS

OR open Dos prompt with a right click of the mouse and run as administrator and or DOS prompt dir\X . you can use the DOS/help or DOS/? for directions.
Another option to consider is viewing and changing attributes in the DOS prompt using the elevated command prompt.http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/18...nd-prompt.html
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 5520 Lap top
    CPU
    AMD Dual core 64 AthlonX2 1.7Gig
    Motherboard
    Nivida
    Memory
    1 Gig RAM. 4 Gig ready boost flash drive.
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15" Flat screen
    Hard Drives
    160 Gig
    Case
    Laptop
    Mouse
    touch pad / optical mouse
    Keyboard
    Lap top / voice activation
    Internet Speed
    12 Meg / 3.0 Meg up
    Other Info
    100 / 50 meg/sec Netgear router, : Norton A.V. Security Suite,Version: 4.3.0.5

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