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SBS 2003 SP2 - Folder Disappears after pasting a file over a network

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-14
running windows server 2003 with all current updates.
a client was transfering a file from his computer to their server, by doing a copy and paste. after he transfered the file, the folder disappeared.
"maybe it got moved" was my first thought, but after searching for the folder and known file names from different computers even from the server itself with no luck, I thought that maybe it got deleted. checked recycle bin and nothing there, used racuva recover for deleted files on the whole drive and nothing that would be inside the missing folder came up in the results. no traces at all as if the folder never existed.

I tried looking for the folder in the most recent backup and the folder was there but not all files as the back up was 2 weeks old. shadow copies weren't turned on for that drive. I did a checkdisk in read only mode and found no errors on the drive.
what else can i do to find this folder? thanks in advance.

here's the checkdisk results.
 
N:\>chkdsk
 The type of the file system is NTFS.
 Volume label is Data.
 
WARNING! F parameter not specified.
 Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.
 
CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
 530464 file records processed.
 File verification completed.
 2270 large file records processed.
 0 bad file records processed.
 0 EA records processed.
 0 reparse records processed.
 CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
 1784755 index entries processed.
 Index verification completed.
 5 unindexed files processed.
 CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
 530464 security descriptors processed.
 Security descriptor verification completed.
 21123 data files processed.
 CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
 34280920 USN bytes processed.
 Usn Journal verification completed.
 
937465010 KB total disk space.
 488763868 KB in 503003 files.
 153528 KB in 21124 indexes.
 0 KB in bad sectors.
 658918 KB in use by the system.
 65536 KB occupied by the log file.
 447888696 KB available on disk.
 
4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
 234366252 total allocation units on disk.
 111972174 allocation units available on disk.
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Question by:sandersinc
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 36907414
As the chkdsk ran in read only  mode what is the outcome with a true chkdsk /r
My line of thinking is the hard drive aging? Needs defragging
On the client side is the show hidden files and folders enabled?
What happens if you create a new folder for the copy transfer on the server?
Is the client connected directly to the server or via a router or switch ???
Which windows is on the clientside?
Sharing Files and Folders
 In Windows XP Professional, members of the Administrators, Power Users, and Server Operators groups can share folders. Other users who have been granted the Create Permanent Shared Objects user right can also share folders. If a folder resides on an NTFS volume, you must have at least Read permission to share the folder.

When you share a folder, keep the following in mind:
You can share only folders, not files.
Shared folders are relevant only to users who need to access data over the network.
Sharing a folder and assigning shared folder permissions has no effect on users who are locally logged on to a computer.
When you copy a shared folder, the original shared folder is still shared, but the copy is not shared.
When you move a shared folder, the folder is no longer shared.
If you have a mixed environment, use 8.3 format share names so that older client operating systems can recognize them.
Source
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457104.aspx#EBAA
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Author Comment

by:sandersinc
ID: 36911548
Hi Merete, thanks for looking into this.

1. The hard drives are about 2 years old.
2. I have Diskeeper loaded and running on that Server.
3. The show hidden files is enabled on the client side
4. Nothing happens if i create a new folder on the server, other than a new folder being created
5. The client is connected to the server thru a 3COM switch
6. we are currently running 3 operating systems on the client side:  Windows XP Pro, Windows Vista and Windows 7 (I have tried searching for the folder from all three operating systems and the folder is not there) I have looked for the folder in the server itself and no folder exist.

Sharing Files and Folders:
the folder in question is a sub folder about 4 levels down (i.e. n:\xxxxxx\xxxxx\xxxxx\folder1) i have access to every folder in this drive and dont' see the folder in question. tried a search for the folder name and for known files inside the folder with no luck. this search was done from the server itself and 3 other workstations.

P.s. the files drive, which is the drive that had the missing folder is a Raid 5 configuration. thats why i ran the chkdsk in read only mode.
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 36915887
Hi sandersinc, this area is not a strong point  for me,
directory trees and inherited permissions.
With the new Folder idea it was meant to be a shared public folder where the XP client was given permission to paste to or Windows 7 could copy the folder and sub folders to.

sub folders 4 levels down may cause a problem for the server if any of the sub folders have similar names or the permissions is set only for folders this does not cover files ?
Ot the directory where the copy is pasted to does not recognise the user rights or
 the integrety of the full copy including all the sub folders and files within may not be regestering on the server and so windows wont keep the copy on those grounds thinks it's no good and so just drops it because the sub folders dont read right or something like that
Could be a permissions problem especially since you have XP and windows 7 clients.
May I ask what they arte copy over? Without personal details.
What is within these sub folders?

So what to do next, what if you zipped them?
Here's a script from Robocopy
Copy files and/or directory trees to another folder.
By default Robocopy will only copy a file if the source and destination have different time stamps or different file sizes.
http://ss64.com/nt/robocopy.html
Shared Folder Permissions
http://www.tech-faq.com/shared-folder-permissions.html
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Author Comment

by:sandersinc
ID: 36917850
This is the first time that this has happened in more than 4 years. The Client has their folder structure by City, then District, then Owner, and then Project. inside the project folder, the client will have various sub-folders containing different files types for different phases of a project. the folder in question had only PDF's and Some Word Files.

The client has a folder template where every time they need to start a new project the folder gets created from that template in some cases they will just right click and create a new folder right there and then. this has been done over and over for more than 4 years without having a problem with folder permissions. in short the folder in question was already there with files in it, the files inside the folder in question had been uploaded by 2 different workstations one running windows 7 and the other running windows vista. when the folder dissapeared the workstation running windows 7, was updating the files he had worked on to the server by doing a copy/paste, after the one PDF file that he was pasting finished transfering the folder just went "puff" and the folder was no more.

hope this makes more sense, I don't want to sound like i'm going in circles explaining the same thing. please let me know if you need more info to better help resolve this issue.  If I didn't answer any of your question above let me know as I may have not understood it. thanks.  
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 36921665
I have get data back and would use that to analyse find this missing folder/s using the look in hidden files and folders
I think when he moved the files, first they are copied, and I suspect that the copy didn't complete, so they have been marked as hidden, but not actually deleted. Windows will have stored them with a new header
There is a fully functioning trial here which can be run and then see if you find these missing folder/s.
That would be enough you dont even have to buy it as you would then know where to look for it and can be satisified knowing what happened to it and is recoverable
It comes in a few different version select the on ethat suites your Raid
I think this is the one you need
NAS Data Recovery
http://www.runtime.org/
the How to
http://www.runtime.org/howto.htm
Hope it helps as a step I have found this tool invaluable
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Author Comment

by:sandersinc
ID: 36943381
Hi Merete ,

I was out sick for a couple of days, much better now. I'm currrenlty doing a scan and i will post back once the results are in. Thanks
0
 

Author Comment

by:sandersinc
ID: 36950078
Hi Merete,

finishing the search thru NAS Data Recovery and no luck. I think this one will stay in what I like to call now the "Network Purgatory". If a file indeed didn't transfer correctly over a network, that would cause a whole folder to dissapear? well really appreciate the time taken to figure this out. i feel like I hit a Brick Wall on this one.
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Accepted Solution

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Merete earned 500 total points
ID: 36954060
I feel the same sandersinc I like your reference "Network Purgatory". Windows just makes un-welcome events,
Good thing he used the copy not cut.
When we consider the facts of moving a file, you delete it from its original location.
But when you copy / paste a file/folder, you duplicate it in another location.
With that in mind, was there a folder already there from a previous copy and paste? and this was to over written and instead deleted?
 if the file/s folder/s were in use by the program and not saved correctly through the sub folders and files nothing would have actually moved.
If it was pasted into a shortcut  or copied while some folders were currently open maybe the copy was never instigated.
If the copy was executed and paste was done and the copy is very large in size and the user didnt wait until it was done and started to rename or open things from those same folders may have stopped the paste.
Check the recent files and folders shows the folders and also in the software that is used.

Without being able to replicate this in your enviroment the only reference I have to a similar situation with an XP system on a network the problem was the hard drive and replaced it.
As the drive had bad clusters  copy paste simply never happened or just dissappeared.
Does it happen often?
Try this
FileSystemWatcher Class
Use FileSystemWatcher to watch for changes in a specified directory. You can watch for changes in files and subdirectories of the specified directory. You can create a component to watch files on a local computer, a network drive, or a remote computer.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.io.filesystemwatcher.aspx
I found one reference here at Experts Exchange, and suggestion was to use  XCOPY @ a command promp
Lost files using cut and paste in Windows Explorer
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_21759160.html
These may assist you
Copy files on your server while preserving permissions
http://www.techrepublic.com/article/copy-files-on-your-server-while-preserving-permissions/1056063
Have you considered the Briefcase option
the Briefcase is a special folder that supports simple ... the briefcase behaves just like another folder, i.e. with support for copy-paste and ... with those in any other folder, even on a removable writable media or the network drive.
Merete
0
 

Author Comment

by:sandersinc
ID: 36956404
just to answer the first question...

was there a folder already there from a previous copy and paste?
yes there was a folder already on the network drive with maybe 8 to 10 pdf documents that the user had uploaded from his workstation on previous days.
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Author Comment

by:sandersinc
ID: 36956496
Does it happen often?
nope this is the first time ever.
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