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Hard Drive Not Showing All Data (Hidden Files)

Posted on 2010-09-01
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I brought out an old hard drive today that has about 300gb of media on it. I haven't used this in a while, or ever with my Windows 7 system.

I'm getting a huge discrepancy on it:
1. The System (My computer) says it has 467 gb of space with 167gb free - 300 are used.
2. When I open the drive up, select everything, and click properties, it indicates there are about 42gb in use.

Help! I need the media files on here. Where do I need to start looking?
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Question by:mnbookman
14 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:dontseme
ID: 33580315
have you allowed viewing hidden files and folders?
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 33580359
Yes, I have that selected in Folder and File options.
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Expert Comment

by:YiHateu
ID: 33580523
Are there multiple profiles on the drive?  The data may be in folders that you don't have permission to.  If you are just trying to get the files -- as an admin you could change security settings and take ownership of all files and folders gaining access to all the media.  Make sure you reset all subfolders as well.
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 33580586
Try TreeSize Free: http://www.jam-software.com/freeware/index.shtml.
It will "bubble" the folders with the largest sizes to the very top of the list.
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 33581914
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I've done three things: Rebooted, and then was able to see the files. Playing them was a different beast entirely.
I'm running CheckDisk on it, it is about 10% done and has found almost 1600 bad file records.

Yikes. What is a bad file record? Is the file actually bad, or is it some type of indexing tool?
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Accepted Solution

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dontseme earned 500 total points
ID: 33582777
Here are a couple of other ideas.
1) boot wth a live non-windows cd like knoppix and salvage what files you can.
 http://www.knopper.net/knoppix-info/index-en.html

2) boot with helix and disk clone it
http://mirrors.cmich.edu/helix/Helix2008R1.iso
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 33586293
Hello dontseme,
This is an old Lacie external drive. Booting into it isn't an issue - I just hook it up. Any thoughts on the best way to pull the data in that situation?
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Expert Comment

by:dontseme
ID: 33586302
bad file records are usually the result of a disk failing. Sometimes chkdsk can 'recover' the records other times you just get garbage. either way salvage you data fast. The two options I listed above might help you better than windows. Helix is actually a forensics data recover tool used by private investigators and law enforcement to recover data.
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Expert Comment

by:dontseme
ID: 33586312
Either of the tools will recognize most USB devices.
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 33586357
Thanks dontseme.

I'm downloading that now. Just want to verify with you:

Download Helix, create the CD from the ISO, and install. Will it allow me to pull the files to a network location, or will it want me to get another external drive and literally clone the entire partition?
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Expert Comment

by:dontseme
ID: 33587356
It is a live CD so there will be no install and it will allow both.
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 33588321
Hello,
You've been so helpful. I'm using the xfprot program to scan the drive, but I'm thinking that's not actually what I should be doing. I booted Helix from the disk... what should I be doing to start recovering the files?
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Expert Comment

by:dontseme
ID: 33588764
I would use adepto and eitherclone or dump image of hard drive to a network share. you can also just mount the volume (icon in the middle of the toolbar at the top) and browse it like windows.
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Author Comment

by:mnbookman
ID: 33596700
Hello. I ran multiple programs in Helix last night, and one of them advised me to run chdsk on the drive, in windows. I started this yesterday about 4:00. Last night, when I left, it had processed 17,000 files. This morning, it has processed ~23,100.

Is this speed normal for Chdsk? After it completes, I'm going to pull all files from it.
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