Folder disappeared!

I was doing a manual backup by dragging and copying to an external HD as we've been having issues with my clients backup plans.  I was dragging a folder and realized I didn't have the folder I wanted open so dropped it back on itself so it wouldn't copy or move to the wrong folder.  It then disappeared.  I have done a search of the computer and can not find it.

I desperately need your assistance as I am sick to my stomach and very concerned I have lost a very important folder.  I still need to check the working backups to see if he did select it for backup.

I look forward to your response.
Mags
MagsOwnerAsked:
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JustInCaseCommented:
You can undo last operation (if that was last operation)?
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Predrag Jovic Won't work...computer has been restarted.

I have done this a million times without issue.  Any ideas of what happened and where the folder went.  It simply disappeared with no notice at all.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi Mags,
Two ideas: (1) Look in the Recycle Bin. (2) Maybe the Hidden attribute got set. So try this:

Control Panel
Folder Options
View
Show hidden files, folders, and drives

Now do a search for it. Regards, Joe
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Hi Joe - thanks for the suggestions.

I already looked in the recycle bin...he keeps it empty

View already shows hidden files, folders and drives.
Mags
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
I'm sure this was among the first places you checked...but just to leave no stone unturned...any chance that it got copied to the external HD?
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
I wish...looked there...I will triple check.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> manual backup by dragging and copying to an external HD

What product did you use to do this? Windows Explorer? Windows Backup? A third-party file manager?
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Nope...my search earlier found an old copy of the folder but not the one that disappeared.  I found a backup of it in Backup and Restore from 9/25/15.  If all else fails I may have to try and restore that one.  Thankfully it was included in that backup.
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
> manual backup by dragging and copying to an external HD

What product did you use to do this? Windows Explorer? Windows Backup? A third-party file manager?

Windows Explorer
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JustInCaseCommented:
I know that Mac OS X 10.4 had bug that if you start move folder and cancel operation files vanish, but not in Windows.
Try recuva (to search for lost files, it is free tool. But check options for additional options (since by default if something is recovered folder structure is not restored (just files), and also tree view is not  default). It is nice tool, it's handy to check are files maybe deleted (and if found restored).
But, have in mind that more you write data on partition where data were located, you minimize chance is that data can be recovered in the case that accidentally deletion was in place.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Maybe instead of dropping it on itself, you accidentally dropped it on a nearby folder...maybe the one above or below it, so it became a subfolder of that. I don't know why you wouldn't find it when searching by folder name in that case, but it's worth a peek.

Hard to imagine, but maybe something is flaky with Windows Explorer. You could try doing a search with a third-party file manager. I've been using Total Commander for many years. It's shareware, so you may give it a spin at no cost. The entire download, install, and then search should take just a few minutes.
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Predrag Jovic and Joe,
     I have thoroughly searched the files on the computer to no avail and also used the search function.  My next step was to try a third party file manager...I will wait to get the computer here physically as I am working with a remote situation now.
     Luckily the computer is not in use so I may have a chance!
Thanks,
Mags
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome. Sounds like a plan. Good luck!
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BillDLCommented:
>>> "It [the folder] simply disappeared with no notice at all." <<<
You dragged and dropped with the left mouse button, didn't you?  We have all done this before and lost folders, even accidentally catching and dragging a folder while simply moving the cursor across the screen.  That's why I always use the right mouse button to drag and drop > copy here / move here.

You say that you have searched for the folder.
Did you search for names or partial file names of FILES that were in the folder, or did you search for the name of the FOLDER?

Personally I find the Windows 7 search to be rubbish compared with the versatility of previous Windows search functions, so I now use Nir Sofer's free standalone "Search My Files" utility which is VERY versatile:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/search_my_files.html

The current version 2.62 works in Windows 2000 up to Windows 10, and is available as a 32-bit or 64-bit version.  Just unzip the download to any folder, and run "SearchMyFiles.exe".  Close the "Search Options" dialog and use the "View" and "Options" menus of the main program window to set your general preferences.  At the bottom of te Options menu you can optionally integrate a new Windows Explorer right-click context menu, but this means it writes to the registry and isn't standalone and portable using its own configuratiobn file.  Cloce te program and run it again.  This time you can use the "Search Options" dialog and filter your search very finely.

This program can also be run directly from the command line (options on download page or in the Readme file), and can be made to send results to a variety of file layouts for ease of reading.

I tend to use "DOS" commands for this type of thing so I can use asterisk wildcards.  The reason I say this is that the folder may have been given a new name including the word "copy" and/or (2).  Try this batch file to find the folder by partial name and output results (sorted alphabetically) to a text file in the same folder as the batch file:

@echo off
dir /ad /on /b /s "C:\*partialname*">folder_search.txt
pause

The more accurate the "partialname" the less time it will take and the fewer results it will find.

It would also be possible to sort the results by date using the  /o  switch.    /od = oldest first   /o-d = newest first, and perhaps then look for the rough time and date when this happened.  You can further filter the results by time using the additional /t switch, by specifying the "created" time  /tc  or the "last access time"   /ta    or the "last written time"   /tw
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
BillDL thanks for the suggestion.  I am testing it on my computer and find the program finds files not folders...running the command prompt to  what it finds.

I will try recuva then Total Commander if recuva doesn't turn up anything.

Thanks for your assistance.
Mags
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Okay...the only problem I am having is that recuva shows files that have been deleted...not an entire folder.  It could find files that he wanted deleted and I wouldn't know which ones to reinstall.

I need to find the entire folder not individual files.

BillDL the command prompt still says "Press any key to continue..."  No results as of yet in searching for a folder I know exists.

Backup and restore may be my best choice.

Thoughts?
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> It could find files that he wanted deleted and I wouldn't know which ones to reinstall.

How about recovering all the files and letting the user pick the ones he wants.

> I need to find the entire folder not individual files.

That would be ideal, but if it's not possible, then recovering individual files is certainly better than losing everything.

> Backup and restore may be my best choice.

Restoring to a previous point will recover all the files except for ones added or changed since that backup, so it seems to me like a good way to go (it will also recover files that were deleted since that backup, but that's a small price to pay for getting everything else back). You can then augment that restore by looking for files from recuva that have (1) a new file name and (2) the same file name as a restored file, but with a later Modified date/time stamp. Regards, Joe
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
recuva found no deleted files from the missing folder.

Attempting a recovery from Backup and Restore.
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MagsOwnerAuthor Commented:
Did not find the Folder.

Gave points for good ideas.

Best tip...Right click-Copy and Paste

What worked...recovered from backup.

Thanks everyone!
Mags
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> What worked...recovered from backup.

Good to hear! You're welcome. Happy to have tried to help. And thanks to you for the points. Regards, Joe
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you Mags
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