When doing a recovery of deleted files, why would I not have gotten back picture files I had deleted?

I had a portable drive that I had put some video movies I had made and had put all my pictures I had in my computer onto this drive.  Everything disappeared (for no apparent reason, not sure why) and I have a recovery program.  I ran the program, but in the deleted files it say they are empty and when I recovered the video files, they will not open.  Is it common for picture files not able to be recovered?  Or would you even now why they all disappeared to begin with?  I hadn't even been in the drive, but everything disappeared.
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the reason is probably that the file info is recoverable, but not the file itself.
as for why they disappeared, there can be many reasons : xp updates (result : drive not seen anymore) fat corruption or disk corruption , malware etc..

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Did You try ''File Scavanger'', it worked best for me.
Set the options correctly -affiliate etc.( really made difference on multimedia files).

Basically (if You didn't do secure wipe or else) data dissappear only if You overwrite data on drive, so if data is not recoverable:

1) use better recovery program or set it up properly
2) Drive failed (I had a case that  128MB USB stick for no obvious reason fell to 1MB - works great but with capacity 1MB)

or most probable as nobus above said:
3) File system corruption.
I use  easy recovery professional and get fantastic results. If the data is recoverable...then a really good recovery program is the way to go.
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it does not matter the type eg. docs, movies, pics. once it is recoverable it can be recovered.

ps: i recovered files from a drive that had been repartitioned.
there are may very good recovery programs : Getdataback, stellar, spinrite etc . . .here a list :

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/collection/0,collid,1295,00.asp            Free Recovery
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm                              Spinrite
http://www.runtime.org/                                    GetDataBack
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                                    Stellar
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/activeundelete.html                  Active undelete
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector
http://www.handyrecovery.com/download.shtml                        Handy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartrecovery.html                  flash recovery
http://www.ontrack.com/                                    ontrack
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                  Easy Recovery
http://www.cgsecurity.org                                    Test Disk + utils
http://www.z-a-recovery.com/setup.exe                        zero assumption
http://www.stompsoft.com/recoverlostdata.html                        Recover Lost Data
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-1051391.html#            Disk Commander
http://us.mcafee.com/root/package.asp?pkgid=105                  EasyRecovery
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10031                        VirtualLab Data Recover
What recovery software did you use?

Video files normally are very large, and if they are deleted they often don't fit into the recycle bin. Also, if the file was large and something else got written to the HD before you tried the recovery software, this newly written file may have used space that originaly was used by the deleted file. If that was the case and you recovered the file later, that file wouldn't be complete anymore and therefore it'd be corrupt. If you loose data it is important to stop using that disk you lost the data on immediately. If you keep on using it chances are that you overwrite data that would otherwise have been recoverable.
KelCamp5885Author Commented:
I used R-Studio.... Have you heard of it?  And how well it works?
try the ones from my list; download the free trial, check what they claim to recover, then pay for the full version
The best one from nobus' list is getdataback (3rd in the list). If that doesn't work, only a recovery agency will be able to do better.

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