I have 3 networked machines running Windows 2000 Pro SP4. One is used as a fileserver (1 drive,2 NTFS partitions, OS on C:, data on D:) and the other two as workstations. This afternoon I was browsing a directory on the fileserver (locally d:\Music) from a workstation with Windows Explorer when the directory simply disappeared along with over 5 Gb of MP3 files. No delay while the files were deleted or activity from the drive that would accompany a 'Delete' command, Just no directory any more.
I rebooted the server and ran a disk check; no sign of the directory or of damaged data. I checked the drives on the server and on the tow W/S. The directory has not been moved or had its name changed; the files have disappeared.
Each machine is loaded with up-to-date copies of AVG, Ad Aware SE Plus, Spybot and Zonealarm and are checked regularly. The hardware is all relatively new and shows no symptoms of failure. The software installations are all stable and relatively lightly loaded. No Domain is defined nor Active Directories implemented.
I have come across something similar to this about 2 months ago at a client's site (12 W2K workstations and a W2K Server installation). A user complained of 'Losing' a directory from the server. I scoured the system but couldn't find it. I assumed it was user error and replaced the data from backup. A week later it happened again. No problems since.
I find this issue very worrying; I'm used to seeing problems with Windows installations, but have never had an innocent data directory vanish before.