How do I "unfilter" my hard drive listing?
April 18, 2005 5:15 AM   Subscribe

Earlier yesterday, I was about to translate into SVCD the newest episode of Doctor Who for my roommate, when I was simply unable to find the file. My media folder only shows files and folders from 0-AL, and nothing else. The funny thing is that the other files have not been deleted. When I have a direct link to a file, it plays perfectly. A direct link to a folder displays all the contents, but the folder itself doesn't appear in the root. Some investigation showed that there's a couple of bad sectors on the disk. Any suggestions so that I can get the main directory back, if only to make a backup of everything in case of a possible crash?

(Yes, I've ran both a virus scan and AdAware/Spybot. Yes, I've run CHKDSK. I've tried a defrag, but it hangs the computer.)
posted by Pinwiz to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Shot in the dark: can you see the file(s) from a command window? Perhaps the files are hidden. From a command prompt, change to the directory in question and type 'dir /ah' and hit enter. Do you see your file(s)? If you see your filename(s) in that listing, do 'attrib -h ' and then you should be able to see your file(s) in the Explorer.

(From an Explorer window, you could also go to Tools->Folder Options, View Tab, and click the radio button for 'Show hidden files and folders', click 'OK' and see if you see your files ... but I like doing things the hard way!)

posted by kuperman at 5:56 AM on April 18, 2005

Sounds very much like a problem with the 'table' on your hard disc that point to where all the files and folders are. If this is the problem, it will need repairing, and quickly, before you accidentally start writing over good data.

Have you tried Windows' built-in disc error-checking utility? (Right click on the hard drive -> Properties -> Tools -> Check for errors, or something like that.)
posted by chrismear at 8:31 AM on April 18, 2005

chrismear, he said he ran chkdsk. But the fact that a defrag hangs is a very bad sign.

Now is an especially good time to backup all the data you want to keep.
posted by grouse at 12:27 PM on April 18, 2005

(Sorry, I am confused and behind the times: in my head chkdsk is still the poor DOS cousin of the Windows scandisk, but according to Google only chkdsk is available in Windows XP. Those crazy Microsofties!)
posted by chrismear at 12:58 PM on April 18, 2005

To make things even more interesting, I woke up to find that everything appeared to be back to normal. I have no idea what happened to make my hard drive freak out like that.

I'm going out and buying an external hard drive for backup first thing tomorrow.
posted by Pinwiz at 3:08 PM on April 18, 2005

If you try and CHKDSK the main drive in XP, it'll try to do it, but if it can't (which it invariably will not be able to), it'll wait til the next reboot before doing it. This could be what happened. The backup drive is a good idea though.
posted by seanyboy at 3:51 PM on April 18, 2005

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