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The mystery of the missing files!

NorthPole
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The mystery of the missing files!

I had a rather unsettling experience on Saturday, when I discovered that most of the contents of my Archive folder (in which I keep copies of installation files and suchlike) had disappeared, together with the contents of the Recycle Bin. Naturally, my first thought was a virus attack; but full scans with three anti-malware programs and my anti-virus threw up nothing significant. Moreover, I would have expected a virus to display some message demanding payment to reinstate the deleted files.
After further reflection, I decided to run CHKDSK /F, which detected and fixed over 300 file system errors. Fortunately I was able to recover the deleted Archive files from a recent backup; but I am somewhat surprised that, if file system problems were indeed the cause, Windows can silently delete files without any warning. As far as I can establish, no system files or irreplacable data have been lost; but the incident has left me feeling rather uneasy.
I should mention that I am running Windows 7 x64, and have two 1TB disks configured as a RAID 1 mirror array, which reports itself as functioning normally.
Can anyone cast any further light on what might have happened here?
11 REPLIES
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

auto system cleanup might explain the recycle bin.
but i assume you weren't actually using the recycle bin for storage? if you were then that is insanity.
NorthPole
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

No, of course not! My point was that, as well as losing most of the files in my Archive folder, I also found the Recycle Bin was totally empty - previously there had been deleted files in it.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Full quote of preceding post removed as per Forum rules.

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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

it is probable that because of the file system errors the recycle bin was corrupted and hence showed empty and if the Archive folder - was it completely empty or had you lost only some of the files/folders within it but the used size was normal  as it is possible that windows decided to make them hidden

NorthPole
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

Oldjim, the Archive folder was missing most of its sub-folders, and most of the files from those that were still there. IIRC the total size shown for the folder was far smaller than normal.
Community Veteran
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

in which case it sounds like a corrupted file allocation table

it might be worth replacing the hard drive or at the very least back everything up to another drive

VileReynard
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

Can Windows display the SMART info for the drive?

If so have you any bad blocks (Reallocated sector count)?

NorthPole
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

The motherboard's hardware RAID utility reports both disks as 'Healthy' via SMART; and Windows' Disk Management utility (from Control Panel) also reports Drive C: as 'Healthy'.

VileReynard
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

The errors might have happened a long time ago, if it was some time since you accessed your archives.

Community Veteran
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

The corrupted data could have happened in memory (due to a software bug or bad RAM), if that then gets written to the disk, it could result in the filesystem corruption without there being any problem with the disks themselves.

NorthPole
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

ejs, that would be the least worst option, and hopefully a 'one-off' glitch. It certainly justifies my weekly backup routine!
VileReynard
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Re: The mystery of the missing files!

I'd definitely do a disk test of some kind.