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The system cannot find the file specified

#1
My dell inspiron laptop died recently (we were unable to get it to start) but it was alright because I had the entire computer backed up on my seagate FreeAgent Goflex 500 GB external hard drive. I never had a problem connecting it to my home computer before, a vista home premium. But now all of a sudden I can't find any of the files on it. I try to view them but all I get are empty folders. It says that I have 423 out of 465 GB free of space, but its contents are empty, which makes no sense.

I tried opening the security tab and claiming ownership but all I got was an error stating that "the system cannot find the file specified." It was like Vista couldn't find any of the files on that external hard drive. I tried opening it to view the files, but again everything was empty.

I tested the external on a different computer and it worked just fine. All the files are in place and perfectly fine. It's only when I plug it into my vista desktop that I'm getting this problem. I don't know what's going on.
 
#3
Two things to try
Download and try to recover with recuva
Download and try shadow explorer, first, thats the best way to go.
ShadowExplorer.com - About
Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download
Oh, let me clarify: I'm not having any issues with my laptop. I'm done with that piece of crap. It's my desktop that's suddenly giving me problems. And if I can avoid downloading random programs off the internet, that would be great. I don't want to harm my computer with unnecessary stuff.
 

richc46

Staff member
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#4
This is what you do then.
I would keep both, they are very good software, but if you dont want them just uninstall after you are done.
Run an antivirus scan.
 
#5
This is what you do then.
I would keep both, they are very good software, but if you dont want them just uninstall after you are done.
Run an antivirus scan.
...how does that help? Running an antivirus scan isn't going to make my computer start to recognize my external hard drive. What I want to know is how can change ownership when I keep getting this error? And why does it appear empty when I know for a fact that it's not? :sarc:
 
#8
This might be worth trying:

In Device Manager, right-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers > Scan for hardware changes
Tried that already. There's nothing wrong with device itself. DX



If it appears empty, it may have been caused by a virus. Just check to be sure.
For both Seven and Vista
Permissions - Allow or Deny Users and Groups - Windows 7 Forums
Oh, I see what you're saying. No, I did a virus scan and there's nothing detected.
 
#10
Try with malwarebytes you may be surprised. Save malwarebytes for a once a week scan, too.
I have McAffee Antivirus Plus and that's worked fine. I mean, there's nothing wrong with the rest of my computer. It's just this one little problem of not being able to access/read this USB. It's rather annoying.
 

richc46

Staff member
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#11
Malwarebytes specializies in Malware, I have MSE for the AV and use Malwarebytes, too. If you feel that it is not necessary that would be your choice.
 
#12
guys it sounds like his hard drive isn't compatible. check the file system perhaps.


I.E. Start>computer (right click the drive and hit properties, check that the usb or serial connection you use is compatible with the hard drive.)
 

roy69

47,65,65,6B
Vista Guru
Gold Member
#13
My dell inspiron laptop died recently (we were unable to get it to start) but it was alright because I had the entire computer backed up on my seagate FreeAgent Goflex 500 GB external hard drive. I never had a problem connecting it to my home computer before, a vista home premium. But now all of a sudden I can't find any of the files on it. I try to view them but all I get are empty folders. It says that I have 423 out of 465 GB free of space, but its contents are empty, which makes no sense.

I tried opening the security tab and claiming ownership but all I got was an error stating that "the system cannot find the file specified." It was like Vista couldn't find any of the files on that external hard drive. I tried opening it to view the files, but again everything was empty.

I tested the external on a different computer and it worked just fine. All the files are in place and perfectly fine. It's only when I plug it into my vista desktop that I'm getting this problem. I don't know what's going on.
Is your drive USB or a NAS?
I have tried on of these drives the 2T version and had to take it back to the shop I bought it from. Compatability with vista is very bad with this drive.

If it is a NAS drive can you access the web interface on the drive and have you installed the programs to access the drive?
The problem that you may be having is permissions.
 

ilikefree

Vista Guru
Gold Member
#14
You could check the permissions by going to the drive, right click,properties,security.
give yourself full control
 
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#15
Ok, the thing that doesn't make sense to me is that I've never had this problem before. The external hard drive was always recognized and I had full permission to use it/change it whatever etc. But now all of a sudden my computer can't access it and the files don't show up when I explore it. I've already given myself full control. That's the issue I'm having now. I get this error when I try to do that. I've already checked under the security tab and tried to fix that, but that's where the problem lies. I can't do anything with it because my computer doesn't seem to know what to do with it. It's frustrating me beyond belief, especially since it has worked just fine in the past. Why now all of a sudden it doesn't work? It works fine on every other computer I plug it into, but not my vista home desktop. -_-
 

newblueboy

Ask and Recieve
Member
#16
I think it's the USB port. Your hard drive is most likely one that spins around. To spin around, it needs power. And maybe your USB port isn't giving it enough power. It could be a problem where you need a USB 2.0 port. Since it's a desktop, you can easily do it yourself (I think). If you don't know how, just go to a Computer Tech Store that can help you. Like Geek Squad.
 

ilikefree

Vista Guru
Gold Member
#17
Try updating your USB drivers but don't go to device manager and use the update driver section there go to the site and get the driver directly from them.
If all else fails you could put the drive into a computer where it works and transfer the files by USB stick back to your computer. Then we could try other things to get your drive recognized without fear of dumping data.
 
#18
ok.. i have a couple questions, did you determine the computer was disabled by virus or bad hard drive? it seems it could also be that your antivirus(i assume you use one) detected a virus, or thought it did, and perhaps somehow removed the files. could you tell us what anti virus you use ( if you do)