Mac OS

Question

Folders wiped on an external HDD

By mihaimunt ·
Tags: Security, Mac, Malware
Alright, this is very tough, I'm still under shock as I never experienced such a thing before... I need help to figure out what happened with my files.

Yesterday, I was organizing my media library (photos, music, backups from my phone and other documents) using 2 external HDDs attached to a OWC drive dock. At some point I decided to move a big folder (about 400 GB) from drive 1 to drive 2 while I was looking online (hiclipart.com) for some transparent PNG icons to customize few folders. I downloaded a bunch of PNG icons, and then I moved that Icons folder from Downloads to the external drive 1 to one of the folders there. Well that's the time disaster happened: 3 of my folders (one with photos, one with resources and one with music) suddenly vanished with no warning or any notification!!! 

Now, on the drive 1 I had 9 main folders and the 3 ones that got vanished had a "+" character in front of the actual name (ex. /Volumes/MEDIA LIBRARY/+ DIGITAL MUSIC LIBRARY/) (I was named it like that to be easier to identify while organizing my stuff). I didn't notice the actual wiping out immediately, only after a while (I don't know, 10 to 30 minutes maybe)... 

The storage of the missing folders (about 600 GB or maybe more) is now shown as available on the drive 1 like it was deleted and the trash emptied. I have not a single clue what happened, and you can imagine that I wasn't that idiot to delete my own files. 6 of the folders which are now left on the HDD are intact and contains RAW data that I used to extract and organize into the 3 folders that I mysteriously lost. 

Besides that, when you delete such a big amount of files 
1. you'll get notified and
2. it will take a while
3. with a regular delete process will go into Trash and then 
4. you should manually empty the Trash for files to completely be gone.

None of these steps occurred. In fact, I'm always careful when I'm deleting folders and files from trash looking always at the size of the files and folders that I will wipe.

After this scary event, I immediately stopped working with the drive and I installed few recovery apps in this order: 

Recoverit Data Recovery and then EaseUS Data Recovery, both totally useless as none of them discovered any deleted folder. Not even a trace, like never been there or existed! The hard drive is NTFS formatted, and I'm using it on Mac with the help of Paragon NTFS for Mac.

Right now I'm scanning it with Runtime GetDataBack (on my Win
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All Answers

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Re: folders on external hard disk disappeared

by Kees_B Moderator In reply to Folders wiped on an exter ...

That's a sad story. But surely it's not unusual that people that don't backup their files lose some or all of them. When yhou have them back, buy another external disk and use that to copy those files to that you don't want to lose.

As we used to say on the CNET forums: You only lose what you don't backup.
Some people learn that too late.

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If it is recoverable.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Folders wiped on an exter ...

I've had good luck with https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva/download

But then again I'm on a Windows PC unencumbered with Paragon NTFS for Mac.

Your story seems to be missing one item. The backup of what you can't lose. I know some dismiss the notion of backups but here we are.

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