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Directory disappearing under Win 2000 SP4

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.
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1 Solution
The most likely cause is that another user either deleted it or it was dragged to a different location, (I see them both happen very often). In a server environment if Data on the Share is deleted it will not appear in a deleted items folder. Deleted items on a share can only be recovered by using a file recovery utility on the server itself.

I know you aren't going to like the answer, and I am sorry for that, but outside of a Virus, I have never, ever seen a folder disappear without a reason. - makers of un-delete

Could you please give us an update as to the question, and/or close it please. Thank You ;)

cpearmainAuthor Commented:
I've been through the whole of our local network with a fine-tooth comb and the files are not present (except where restored from backup to a new directory). There were no other users on the premises at the time of the incident.

I have to agree with jdeclue that this sounds like the typical user 'I never touched a thing, it happened by itself' description of a problem and that is what I put my client's complaint down to. Having now experienced it myself (as a methodical user who started using PCs with the Sinclair Spectrum!)  I'm am still concerned that there may be an issue.

I just had the same thing happen almost verbatum.  I am supporting a W2k Advanced server SP4 with a single partition.  I have a folder called C:\DATA and a sub called \QuickBooks  All of a sudden I came in to access the folder and the mapping doesn't work.  So I look further and nothing there, not a trace of the files or directory.  I am looking for an acceptable undelete utility for a RAID1 configuration.  I know this is an old thread however I too am concerned as I have never seen this happen before either.  Someone could have deleted the directory I suppose however very unlikely.  This is a small system w/ only 5 workstations and limited access.
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