folder entirely unreadable


M

Marta Bailey

My laptop (using Windows 2000) got infected a few months ago and I haven't
been using it. I've just got round to disinfecting it, using HijackThis and
AVG, and it seemed to be clear. Today when I turned it on, it said I should
check the disks for consistency. Immediately it started giving "folder
entirely unreadable" messages and removing the contents of what are in fact
photos of our baby. I switched the machine off and back on again without
doing the consistency test. When I open the two folders that have been
emptied, a message tells me the drive (D:) is unformatted and asks me
whether I want to reformat it.

The drive and the (other) folders seem actually to be okay, so why did I get
this problem? Why does my machine think the D drive is unreadable? (The hard
disk is split into a C and a D drive.)

And how can I get back the two lots of photos that have been deleted?

Thanks, Adrian
 
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A

Adrian Bailey

Marta Bailey said:
My laptop (using Windows 2000) got infected a few months ago and I haven't
been using it. I've just got round to disinfecting it, using HijackThis
and AVG, and it seemed to be clear. Today when I turned it on, it said I
should check the disks for consistency. Immediately it started giving
"folder entirely unreadable" messages and removing the contents of what
are in fact photos of our baby. I switched the machine off and back on
again without doing the consistency test. When I open the two folders that
have been emptied, a message tells me the drive (D:) is unformatted and
asks me whether I want to reformat it.

The drive and the (other) folders seem actually to be okay, so why did I
get this problem? Why does my machine think the D drive is unreadable?
(The hard disk is split into a C and a D drive.)

And how can I get back the two lots of photos that have been deleted?

Thanks, Adrian
D'oh. It's Windows XP. But the situation's the same. A
 
P

Pegasus \(MVP\)

Marta Bailey said:
My laptop (using Windows 2000) got infected a few months ago and I haven't
been using it. I've just got round to disinfecting it, using HijackThis
and AVG, and it seemed to be clear. Today when I turned it on, it said I
should check the disks for consistency. Immediately it started giving
"folder entirely unreadable" messages and removing the contents of what
are in fact photos of our baby. I switched the machine off and back on
again without doing the consistency test. When I open the two folders that
have been emptied, a message tells me the drive (D:) is unformatted and
asks me whether I want to reformat it.

The drive and the (other) folders seem actually to be okay, so why did I
get this problem? Why does my machine think the D drive is unreadable?
(The hard disk is split into a C and a D drive.)

And how can I get back the two lots of photos that have been deleted?

Thanks, Adrian
It is a myth that the damage done by viruses can be cleared by
cleaning agents. Sometimes it's possible, sometimes it is not.
If a malicious virus damages the file structure of your hard disk
then the best cleaner in the world cannot undo the damage. This
is one of the reasons why it is standard practice to back up all
important files to an independent medium. A 2.5" hard disk in
an external USB case is a low-cost but highly effective backup
medium.

In your case I fear for the worst. You can try some of the links
below but you may well have to accept this unfortunate event
as an unpleasant reminder to back up your important files
regularly.

http://www.restorer2000.com/r2k.htm
http://www.hddrecovery.com.au
http://bootmaster.filerecovery.biz (has NTFS undelete tools too)
http://www.runtime.org/ (GetDataBack - has a trial version)
http://www.softwarepatch.com/software/filerecoverysecdownload.html
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html
www.acronis.com (RecoveryExpert)
 
A

Adrian Bailey

Pegasus (MVP) said:
It is a myth that the damage done by viruses can be cleared by
cleaning agents. Sometimes it's possible, sometimes it is not.
If a malicious virus damages the file structure of your hard disk
then the best cleaner in the world cannot undo the damage. This
is one of the reasons why it is standard practice to back up all
important files to an independent medium. A 2.5" hard disk in
an external USB case is a low-cost but highly effective backup
medium.

In your case I fear for the worst. You can try some of the links
below but you may well have to accept this unfortunate event
as an unpleasant reminder to back up your important files
regularly.

http://www.restorer2000.com/r2k.htm
http://www.hddrecovery.com.au
http://bootmaster.filerecovery.biz (has NTFS undelete tools too)
http://www.runtime.org/ (GetDataBack - has a trial version)
http://www.softwarepatch.com/software/filerecoverysecdownload.html
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html
www.acronis.com (RecoveryExpert)
Thanks for replying so promptly. You're right about backups, of course. I
was scared to even turn the laptop on when it was infected (still less go
online), so it's ironic that now I thought it was safe to start using it
again (and the first thing I knew I had to do was back up any precious data)
something like this hits me.

Hunting around the Net to find other people's experiences, it seems that
people have been able to find their removed files in, for example,
"FOUND.nnn" folders. There are some of those folders on my C drive, a couple
of them quite large, but none dated today. And the problem itself may be a
disk (hardware) problem, rather than a virus problem.

I'm pleased that I stopped the consistency check, instead of letting it
trash everything, but I wonder whether maybe my switching the machine off
has prevented the formation of a "FOUND.nnn" folder for the files that were
removed?

Adrian
 
P

Pegasus \(MVP\)

See below.

Adrian Bailey said:
Thanks for replying so promptly. You're right about backups, of course. I
was scared to even turn the laptop on when it was infected (still less go
online), so it's ironic that now I thought it was safe to start using it
again (and the first thing I knew I had to do was back up any precious
data) something like this hits me.

Hunting around the Net to find other people's experiences, it seems that
people have been able to find their removed files in, for example,
"FOUND.nnn" folders. There are some of those folders on my C drive, a
couple of them quite large, but none dated today. And the problem itself
may be a disk (hardware) problem, rather than a virus problem.

I'm pleased that I stopped the consistency check, instead of letting it
trash everything, but I wonder whether maybe my switching the machine off
has prevented the formation of a "FOUND.nnn" folder for the files that
were removed?

Adrian
"Found.nn" folders are the result of people running chkdsk.exe. The
files inside are generally considered useless. I do not recommend that
you run chkdsk.
 
T

Tony

Marta Bailey said:
My laptop (using Windows 2000) got infected a few months ago and I haven't
been using it. I've just got round to disinfecting it, using HijackThis and
AVG, and it seemed to be clear. Today when I turned it on, it said I should
check the disks for consistency. Immediately it started giving "folder
entirely unreadable" messages and removing the contents of what are in fact
photos of our baby. I switched the machine off and back on again without
doing the consistency test. When I open the two folders that have been
emptied, a message tells me the drive (D:) is unformatted and asks me
whether I want to reformat it.
For future reference,

NEVER swtich a amchine off WHILE the hard drive is being checked for errors. You almost
guarantee that you will make things much, much worse.
 
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A

Adrian Bailey

Tony said:
For future reference,

NEVER swtich a amchine off WHILE the hard drive is being checked for
errors. You almost
guarantee that you will make things much, much worse.
Are you seriously suggesting that if your machine was telling you that it
was trashing your D drive, you'd let it carry on?

Adrian
 
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P

Pegasus \(MVP\)

Adrian Bailey said:
Are you seriously suggesting that if your machine was telling you that it
was trashing your D drive, you'd let it carry on?

Adrian
When it tells you that it's thrashing drive D: then it's already too late
to do anything about it.
 

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