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 Files on external hard drive have mysteriously vanished 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Files on external hard drive have mysteriously vanished
I have a Seagate Elements 500GB external hard drive which Ive been using in conjunction with a pvr-ready set top box to record television content. This set top box creates a folder on the drive called ALIDVR where it records / stores the TS / PS files. Just now, I accidently mixed drives up and inserted the Seagate into another pvr-ready stb of another brand. This stb did not recognise the drive. However, when I removed the drive and plugged it into the laptop, all the files within the ALIDVR folder are missing. The folder is still there but it is empty.

There are other folders on this drive and they are not affected – they still have files in them (including video files.)

Anybody knows what's going on and how to retrieve the files? I'm not a tech savvy person so I hope that any remedy proposed is not too technical.


Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:58 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:33 pm
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Location: Victoria, Canada
Post Re: Files on external hard drive have mysteriously vanished
Stop! anything you do can destroy the files that are probably still on the drive.
Do a bit of research and find some file recovery software. Lexar packs free software with the flash cards if you are doing photo recovery, for more advanced file recovery you will need something better.
When you have the file recovery software set up AND you have a drive to recover the files to, start your file recovery. Follow the instructions with the file recovery software.
Make sure that you recover the files to the empty drive. You will find lots of files you never thought you still had.
Why does this work? When you delete the file or even do a quick format, the computer just wipes out the location of where the file is. The file recovery software attempts to reconstruct the files. When you write a new file, the computer writes the file on any available space, over any deleted files, whatever is available.
The file folder system doesn't allocate particular parts of your hard drive, its a virtual structure. That is why you need a second drive to recover the files to.
Your PVR probably saw the designated folder and wiped out pointers to the files.
Restore in peace.


Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:18 pm
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post Re: Files on external hard drive have mysteriously vanished
RogerBotting wrote:
find some file recovery software.


Yea last night, I tried two file recovery programs - Ashampoo Undeleter and Recuva (both recommended.) I wasn't that impressed with the Ashampoo one but Recuva, which appeared more comprehensive, did a deep scan of the ALIDVR folder which lasted 3 hours. However, neither program could find the missing files.

Both stbs create a folder with the same name - ALIDVR. What I thought may have happened is that one brand of stb replaced the existing ALIDVR folder with it's own ALIDVR folder. However, I right-clicked the folder on the laptop and it was revealed that it was created in 2010 so it is the original folder.


Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:03 pm
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