Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am researching a problem for a friend, and unfortunatly do not have direct access to his computer. I've tried to gather as much information as possible and I have researched it on various websites. I've not found anyone having the same problem my friend is having. So here goes:

He has a media server in his home running Microsoft Windows XP. It has 3 drives, 1 for the OS and 2 for mass storage. Not long ago he went to access one of the mass storage media drives and it was empty, except for a single folder. His first assumption was that his roommate had deleted everything on the drive (excluding the remaining folder). He then checked the properties of the drive and it was still saying that the hard drive was nearly full. I told him to check the recycling bin, thinking that whoever deleted them didn't clear them from recycling and that they were still taking up space on the drive. My friend said the recycling bin was empty.

So we have a drive that the Windows file management system says is empty (again except for the remaining folder), but the properties of the drive say it's mostly full.

Now it gets weirder

My friend tried to create a new folder on this drive and it auto-named itself "New Folder(1)" which means that it recognizes there is already a "New Folder" in that directory. He tried to rename it to a name that he KNEW was there previsouly, and Windows wouldn't allow it because it was a duplicate folder name.

SO now it seems the folders are there, but not displaying in Windows Explorer. Both of us have no idea why this is occuring, why the folders vanished, why the one remaining folder didn't vanish, or how to make them visable again.

Anyone else ever experience this? I can get more details if needed.


Seems the hard drive error checking mentioned below was the solution to the problem.

share|improve this question

migrated from Jun 16 '12 at 20:59

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think the drive index has become corrupted. Right click on the drive in "my computer" and choose properties. Click on the TOOLS tab and click the "Check Now" button, check the boxes and start. This should fix the problem.

share|improve this answer
This was the last thing I told him to do. It was taking a while so I told him to let me know when it finished. I should know the outcome sometime today. – XenoFoxx Jun 17 '12 at 15:50
Seems this resolved everything. Thanks very much. – XenoFoxx Jun 18 '12 at 4:54
Glad it helped. We often have this problem with removable drives. – C Croom Jun 18 '12 at 22:49

Go to My Computer > Tools > Folder Options. Go to "View" tab.

Then, choose "Show hidden files and folders" and clear the checkbox that says "Hide protected operating system files". Click OK.

Now you will see any files if they have hidden or system attributes. If you are still not seeing them, go to Folder Options window again and see if the changes have reverted. If so, there is a good chance that a virus is playing in the computer.

share|improve this answer
I had him try this. The "Show hidden files and folders" option was already checked. He unchecked the "Hide protected os files" and nothing happened. He went to check it again and it preserved his previous changes. – XenoFoxx Jun 17 '12 at 15:46

Try "dir" command on this drive. This command should tell you whats going on in the drive. Also try installing some anti-virus software as it can be a possiblity the you computer is infecyed.

share|improve this answer
I had him open a command prompt and do a DIR on the directory. It listed the remaining folder, but then the next line said "File not found". – XenoFoxx Jun 17 '12 at 15:47
Also, he has an antivirus installed, Avast. However when I asked what version, I noticed it was version 5.1. The current version of Avast is 7.0. I had him upgrade the antivirus and run a scan. According to him no virus was found. – XenoFoxx Jun 17 '12 at 15:49

Go to My Computer > Tools > Folder Options. Go to "View" tab.

Then, choose "Show hidden files and folders" and clear the checkbox that says "Hide protected operating system files". Click OK. Delete if any unneeded files are there.

Defragment the chkdsk.Install spy bot search and destroy and scan the system and fix the bug if any.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .