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Missing Folders And Desktop Icons


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Tom_Slick

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:17 AM

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but I know that it was within the past 3 days.
The only recent change that I've made was 3 days ago. I uninstalled my DVD Rom drive and installed a new DVD +RW drive. Installation went fine, DVD plays and I can use all of the features.
But today I noticed that alot of folders that I have created over the past year or two have suddenly disappeared. And 3 of my desktop Icons changed to the windows default icon?
When I right click on the icons and try to look at the "properties" I get a message box that says "cannot be found at that location" or something to that affect.
The folders that are missing are folders that I created inside of other folders, for example, I had created a folder inside of "My Pictures" folder and named it "My Backgrounds", inside that folder I had several pictures that I like to use as backgrounds. The entire folder "My Backgrounds" is now missing.....including the pictures.
I also had created a folder inside the "My Documents" folder and named it "Misc. Pics", inside that folder I had created 6-7 other folders with different names and I stored various pics inside of each of those folders. Now the only things left inside the "Misc. Pics" folder are pics that I had not put in any of the other sub folders, but all of the other folders are now gone...including those pics. I also had digicam videos stored in "My Videos" folder and all of those are now gone as well!
I do not understand how this can happen. Can anyone help with this?
My system info:
WinXP SP3 fully updated.
SuperAntispy, fully updated and scans are clean.
Avast! antivirus free, fully updated and scans are clean.
Windows Defender, fully updated and scans are clean.
Avast is the only program that is set to "Realtime Protection"
Thanks in advance for any help!!

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#2 Deathscythe

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:32 AM

Have you tried searching for the files? IE/ Start --> search --> "Name of file" or if you know the files type you can do *.jpg or whatever the file type was. A * is a wildcard meaning it will pull up all .jpg files. Then you have to select the drive (normally C:). As far as all your Anti-virus programs go, you really don't need all of them. I would keep the Avast, and dump defender. Super Antispyware is a great program, keep that one. Also when did you upgrade to service pack 3 for XP? I know alot of people are still having issues with it.

#3 Galadriel

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:42 AM

Have you run diagnostics on the Hard Drive? I'd run chkdsk at the least. Could be some problem with the file system, or a corrupt sector on the drive. Other than that, I can't think of what might cause this.

Open My Computer - Right click on Local disk C: (I assume that's your Windows partition, if it isn't just use the one that Windows is installed on) and select Properties. In the tools tab, error checker. Select both boxes and hit Start. You should get a prompt that it requires a restart. Select yes, and let restart the computer. Once it boots up, don't hit any key or it'll bypass the check. Just let it run, it can take a while (upwards of 30 minutes) to complete. When it's done, it will restart the computer automatically. It should show a brief summary of the results before Windows loads, but it often flashes by too fast to read.
You can however view the report in Event Viewer later.
Just after it's restarted, or soon after. Right click "My Computer" and choose "Manage". Find Event Viewer in the left hand pane and look at System (I think that's where it is... not sure, can't find it now, but I haven't run chkdsk in a while) but you need to find an entry with the source name of "WinLogon" that matches the date/time of the restart. It will have the report.
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#4 Wingman

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:50 AM

Have you tried running a System Restore...just prior to the DVD replacement?
If you perform a System Restore...even if it solves your problem...you may have to reinstall the newer DVD player...

The DVD replacement shouldn't have interfered with your other folders...but if you perform a System Restore and the folders and files are there...then, something with the install impacted your registry...
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#5 nigglesnush85

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 12:16 PM

Just to add, the files may have been set to 'hidden'
If you open My Computer and select the tools menu then folder options. Look for 'Show hidden files and folders' and enable.
Regards,

Alan.

#6 Tom_Slick

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 04:34 PM

Deathscyth, thanks for the help. After reading your reply I did do a search for any of the file/folder names that I could think of. But I found none of the "missing" files or folders.

Galadriel, I did run chkdsk after reading your reply. But I cannot find the report in the Event Viewer. Any suggestions as to where else I might look for the report? Thanks for your help!

Wingman, Actually a System Restore was the first thing I did prior to making this thread. I went back as much as 7 days before I installed the new DVD. but I saw no difference in anything and the files are still missing. Open to more suggestions! Thanks very much!

nigglesnush85, Hi and thanks for the help! I checked just to be sure but the missing folders are still missing even when showing hidden files. I would not have and did not set any of the missing files/folders to "hidden". Open to any other input you may have!
Thanks again to all of you!

#7 Queen-Evie

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 06:17 PM

My system info:
WinXP SP3 fully updated.
SuperAntispy, fully updated and scans are clean.
Avast! antivirus free, fully updated and scans are clean.
Windows Defender, fully updated and scans are clean.Avast is the only program that is set to "Realtime Protection"

Thanks in advance for any help!!


As far as all your Anti-virus programs go, you really don't need all of them. I would keep the Avast, and dump defender. Super Antispyware is a great program, keep that one. Also when did you upgrade to service pack 3 for XP? I know alot of people are still having issues with it.


Tom_Slick has only ONE antivirus-Avast.

SuperAntiSpyware and Windows Defender are malware scanners-NOT antivirus programs.

#8 Tom_Slick

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:16 PM

Queen-Evie, thanks for clearing that up. I'm aware of what those programs are and have no intention of "dumping" any of them. I appreciate your efforts! Thanks again!

Just some info that I had forget to mention.....yesterday while I was not home, we had a power outage. My PC was up and running when I left home, when I came back home my PC was off and all of my digital clocks were flashing. That's how I know that the power had been out. Very sorry that I forgot about that. Could that be what caused this to happen? Seems odd to me that only folders created by me would be affected that way. But I don't know for sure.
Ideas?
Thanks again!

Edited by Tom_Slick, 08 September 2008 - 07:17 PM.


#9 hamluis

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:44 PM

That's a pretty important item...to not mention initially.

A power outage is unpredictable in terms of consequence on an operative computer system.

The first thing I would have done is run chkdsk /r, followed by running sfc /scannow. Chkdsk /r would do what it can to sort out the file system...while sfc /scannow would replace missing/corrupt system files.

To run chkdsk /r:

Double click on My Computer
Right click on the drive you want to check
Select Properties
Click on the Tools tab
Click on the Check Now button
Check to Automatically fix file system errors
Check Scan for and attempt recovery
Hit Enter
Reboot if necessary

LEARN how to use SFC.EXE (system file checker) in this article! - http://www.updatexp.com/scannow-sfc.html

Louis

#10 Tom_Slick

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:44 PM

That's a pretty important item...to not mention initially.
LEARN how to use SFC.EXE (system file checker) in this article! - http://www.updatexp.com/scannow-sfc.html

Louis

I realize that, that's why I mentioned it. I have already run chkdsk as already suggested by Galadriel and as I mention in my reply to Galadriel I can not find the report that was created, I looked in the location suggested by Galadriel but cannot find the report. Thanks for making me feel even more like a moron than I already did, hamluis! I'm twyin' to lern honist! :thumbsup:
And it didn't help anything, the files are still missing. I'm waiting for the dwarf to come crashing through the window singing.....sorry that you lost your files who ha who ha..
LOL

Edited by Tom_Slick, 08 September 2008 - 08:46 PM.


#11 hamluis

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:08 AM

I won't bother to address your feelings of inadequacy...other than to say that every human has them, justified or not.

The report for any chkdsk run can be found on the Application (not System tab), using the other instructions provided by Galadriel.

Louis

#12 Wingman

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 02:39 PM

You could use this software...System Information for Windows (SIW) ...then once downloaded... installed...execute it.
On the left-side panel...select System Directories, under the Software Heading...
This will display all the various system directory names for the all users and for your "username"...

My thought is possibly something altered some of the default directory locations...with this you can see where your defaults are pointing and the registry key being used.
Just a thought.
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#13 Tom_Slick

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:25 PM

You could use this software...System Information for Windows (SIW) ...then once downloaded... installed...execute it.
On the left-side panel...select System Directories, under the Software Heading...
This will display all the various system directory names for the all users and for your "username"...

I downloaded and installed SIW. It seems like it may be a very useful program for those who know what to do with it. Obviously the program gives alot of info about my machine, some of the info is easy for me to understand, but alot of it is just words with no meaning to me. I'm not very computer savy.
The thing is, I've had power outages in the past that never seemed to make pictures or custom folders just suddenly disappear and I'm not even sure that the outage is what caused it. So my question now is this.
Is there a course of action that I should take to try and recover the missing folders/pics as well as any other data that may have been lost?
Have already tried everything suggested in this thread so far, files are still missing.
Also wingman, you said "My thought is possibly something altered some of the default directory locations...with this you can see where your defaults are pointing and the registry key being used.
Just a thought."
I don't understand what you're saying, what do I do with that info?
Sorry for my ignorance, if it's bothersome to anyone.
Thanks!

#14 Wingman

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 07:56 AM

No problems with not understanding something...we all have the experience and we all have learned from others...so...
If you look at the right panel when you select the "System Directories"...you will see entries for all kinds of directories...look for the "My Documents"..."My Pictures"..."My Music"...directories and jot down the path value...these should be:
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Music\
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Pictures\


This assumes that Windows is installed on C:\ drive... Username is the name of the account you are using.
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#15 Tom_Slick

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 06:54 PM

No problems with not understanding something...we all have the experience and we all have learned from others...so...
If you look at the right panel when you select the "System Directories"...you will see entries for all kinds of directories...look for the "My Documents"..."My Pictures"..."My Music"...directories and jot down the path value...these should be:
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Music\
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Pictures\


This assumes that Windows is installed on C:\ drive... Username is the name of the account you are using.

Thanks Wing Man! All of those directories are exactly as you said they should be. But all of those folders are in their proper place. It's the "custom folders" that I created inside of "My Pictures" etc. that are missing. And of course so are the contents of those custom folders.
Now, on the same page that I downloaded SIW from there is a link for "Undelete", I downloaded the demo version and ran it just to see what it would find. And it found alot! Some of it I couldn't understand so I just looked for ".jpg" files since that is pretty much all of what I noticed as being gone/vanished. And I did find alot of the missing files listed. But you can't "undelete" them with the trial version.
So, I did some searching and found "Undelete Plus" made by Touchstone Software. It's a free version and a small download so I downloaded it and installed it then ran it. Over 7100 files were listed but again I looked only for .jpg files and found alot of the missing ones, tried to "undelete" and was succesful on about 50% of what I had selected.
But there were alot of different file types listed and I don't know what most of them are so I only look for what I know suddenly fanished and I don't mess with any of the rest of them.
Any additional advice would be welcome.
Thanks alot!




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