Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the drive

djfl

Member
Sorry if this is the wrong forum.

Yesterday my external hard drive was working fine. Today I open it and there's a new folder called Pfiles...I am not running linux...and a tmp file. I delete the tmp file and try to delete Pfiles but it won't delete. Weird. So I open one of the folders and see that it's now empty, as are almost all of my other folders and subfolders. My daughter's folder however has her movies on the main subfolder, but subfolders in this folder are also empty.

The hard drive is showing half full...exactly what it should assuming I could access all the files. So what can I do? I've enclosed a screenshot of the Disk Management screen for this drive. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Madhur B

Dell Social Media Team
Re: Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the d

Hi djfl,

External Hard-drives come in different types, some of them are, External storage devices and Automatic back-up devices.

If it is an automatic back-up device then data might be backed-up on the External Hard–drive without user intervention.

If it is an External storage device the files might be hidden. This could be the reason why the external Harddrive is showing half full. We can check if the files are hidden, please use the following link for detailed instructions to unhide folders: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/121328-hidden-files-folders-option-add-remove.html

Please revert back for clarification.
 

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System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Custom
    CPU
    AMD FX-4100
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte
    Memory
    4Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI 5450
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900
    Internet Speed
    10Mbps

djfl

Member
Re: Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the d

Hi there and thanks for the response.

I have already selected Show Hidden Files or Folders, but still can't see them. I've tried a partition recovery but that isn't the issue. I've tried file recovery, but even 2 separate file recovery programs can't map to the files. It's really weird.

As for being a backup, I don't backup this machine anymore. I Used to do that, but that was with a separate external hard drive. Honestly, that was my thought...perhaps the backup software had kicked in and deleted everything, but there's no sign of that. Nor can I see the backup files even if that Were the case.
 

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djfl

Member
Re: Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the d

Addendum: I just fired up the backup software and it confirmed that no backup took place, and it wants my old hard drive to backup to anyway. But still...this Pfiles folder and a long tmp file just showed up in the drive and now everything is inaccessible. Really weird. I've googled it and it seems that nobody else has had this problem. It's a Seagate 1TB drive if that helps.
 

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Re: Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the d

If you have any other computer, use this harddrive in that computer and check if it is able to show any files..
 

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djfl

Member
Re: Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the d

If you have any other computer, use this harddrive in that computer and check if it is able to show any files..

I can't believe I didn't do that first...

Embarrassingly but thankfully, I can access the files on the other computer no problem. I can also see the .tmp file that I deleted with the other machine. I can also see inside the PFiles folder. The .tmp file in the main folder is DFR7D37.tmp. The PFiles folder has a subfolder called Plugins. Inside Plugins are 3 files: np-mswmp.dll, WMP Firefox Plugin License, and WMP Firefox Plugin RelNotes.

2 notes on this. 1) I don't use firefox. I don't even have it installed on my computer. I Used to have it, but every input caused firefox to lock up for 15 seconds or so. I troubleshot it, couldn't get it fixed, so I got rid of it.
2) I do use wmp...please don't laugh. But I don't think I used it between the 2 times I accessed my external hard drive. Basically, I can't think of anything I have done differently between the drive working fine and not. No popups, no weird inputs, nothing.

Anyway, so what should I do? I have a feeling the answer is going to be: transfer everything to another external and format the one I'm having problems with. Am I right? Like everybody, I'd prefer a quick fix that gets it working normally again. Something along the lines of Abra Cadabra if possible? :)
 

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Re: Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the d

Can the hard drive for virus and check if it finds anything..

Last thing would be to reformat the drive. Ensure that the data is backed-up from external drive
 

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djfl

Member
Re: Help with external hard drive. Files "missing" but still taking up space on the d

I have done a virus check and it was clean. So ya, it's looking like a transfer and reformat. Thanks.
 

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