In Windows 7 Professional, a user has a connection to a network share on a Windows Server 2003 server.

The user claimed that there were more files present, but they have since disappeared. Is it theoretically possible that files automatically disappear?

(Show hidden files is on, offline files is off)

  • Could possibly be the case if they had some software installed that regularly cleans out directories, or if the filesystem was corrupted. (Not going to answer since I don't know enough about the subject.) – Wuffers Jul 7 '11 at 6:08

If they accidentally deleted the files then they would be gone. Deleting off of a network share does not move them into the recycling bin.

Do other users have access to the network share? If they deleted files then the same situation would occur.

  • This is a network share to the person's documents folder. – jao Jul 7 '11 at 6:19

I think I found out what happened.

Offline files was enabled, but did not function properly. So the files where in the Offline files cache, but never got synchronized. When working offline (network completely disconnected), the files appear.

So I copied all the files out the folder to a new folder so the user can copy them back to his profile.


The answer is normally no. Usually, it is some kind of user error, and they don't even realize they did it.

I would check my backups (see what file list a restore gives you), and compare them to the contents of the current folder, that will tell you for sure if the user is simply mistaken, which I have seen 100% of the time. In my experience, they always have accidentally draged a folder into another folder. If they can tell you the name of a specific file a simple dir PartialFileName*.* /s will find where they accidentally move it to.

Another option: I don't know if you have Shadow Copies enabled, but if so, right click on the share, and then the "Previous Versions" tab. You may find something there too, but I am not sure if moving the file also moves the shadow.

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