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.