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Please Help! My FOLDERS turned into FILES.


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#1
rrincon

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Hello! I am running Windows ME with all the updates up to date.

For some reason, some of my FOLDERS turned into "unknown FILES". They still keep the same name they had when they were FOLDERS but now they are FILES that I cannot access; and all of them are 32.0KB.

It didn't happened to all my folders but it happened to folders that contained photos with jpg extensions. It also happened to folders that had mpgs. I noticed it began happening about two weeks ago when I did some recommended security updates from microsoft.com. but I can't say that's the reason.

I run various updated antivirus and and anti spyware and everything is clear. I also tried to restore the system to previous configurations -before the windows updates- but it always comes back saying that it was unsuccessful.

I also tryed a recovery software but since the files that were contained in the folders haven't been actually deleted they can't be found. It shows the "unknown files" that used to be FOLDERS but not the contents.

Any ideas of why my folders changed? And how can I recover them? I would really appreciate your help. Regards, RR
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#2
gerryf

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First, do not write anything to your harddrive...in fact, running this computer at all will write some data to the harddrive.

If it were me, I would immediately remove the harddrive from this computer and place it in a second computer and recover it from there. Is that possible? DO you have a second computer.
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#3
rrincon

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Hello and Thank you Gerry,

This is not my mean harddrive. This is a second harddrive that I use only to store files.

The recovery software that I tryed was running from the main harddrive so I don't think that I overwrote any information. But the problem is that the files don't show up as deleted since they haven't been deleted.

The recovery software just shows the FILES, that used to be FOLDERS with no problems... but the contents of those FOLDERS are missing... there's no reference to them at all. I did a deep scan of the harddrive and it only found the contents (jgps) of one of the affected FOLDERS but all the images are imcomplete or size 0.

All I have now is a bunch of unknown FILES with the original names of the missing FOLDERS. I tried to open one of them as a TXT to see contents. All it has is symbols but I can see the names of the files that were there in between the symbols. But no reference to nothing else.

Anymore ideas are very welcome.

RR
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#4
gerryf

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This is one of those dicey ones that I almost think I have to see get my hands on.

If this were me, the first thing I would do is image the second disk so I can return to this state (albeit bad) should my efforts fail. What software are you using to recover the files?

I'm confused by what it has found, since by what you describe, the files would still remain on the drive, just unaccessible by windows, but a file undelete program should be able to retrieve them, given how fat32 works--unless the disk itself is damaged, which is not inconceivable.
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