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Folders suddenly dissappeared

 
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nobody91



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Folders suddenly dissappeared Reply with quote

I'm using Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit.

Since yesterday, the icons of some of my games suddenly disappeared. I didn't take it too seriously and just minded my own business. I've played a few games and nothing was wrong.

However today, when I tried to play a game whose icon disappeared, I noticed that it notified me to select the path. Then I went into the folder where I install all of my games ( C:\Games) and I noticed that it was empty ( only a game I was just installing showed up there). The disk space was the same as when the games were installed. After browsing the properties, I selected the option of restoring the folder (from the 24th of July), because it had all of my games.

I have only 1 user on my coputer and 1 account. I'm really nervous about this and I'd like to receive help as soon as possible please.

Also, I'm using the latest version of Avast as my firewall/av. I've been using Avast for year and I never had problems.

And when I click properties I see that it set itself for read-only. When I uncheck and click apply, it says that the changes have been made but when I click it again it shows that it is still checked.
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like the folder was simply deleted and put in the recycle bin. It could be you did this by accident?

If you are concerned that you have a virus or malware on your system, then run a full system scan with both your AV software and Spybot - Search and Destroy.
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

or you may inadvertently have moved the folder by an accidental drag/drop action
try scanning the drive for evidence of the games being elsewhere on the machine
if they, then try moving them back!
its unlikely to be a virus - not many people have a foler called "games" and a virus is very unlikely to be programmed just to delete a rare folder like that
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nobody91



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are multiple folders located in the Games directory, worth over 200 giga. If I had moved them I would have known Smile

I'm sure I didn't do any of those.


Also, I'm not sure if this is a virus or not. Considering the details for this problem I can't exactly classify it as ordinary. The games are still there I think, otherwise the disk space wouldn't be occupied.
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

could be they're moved elsewhere (as I said before) - check anyway, even if you think I'm wrong
could be you have a fault on the drive. If the MFT was corrupt its possible the files are there, but not visible
try running chkdsk and see if that repairs things
and of course - as Softstag suggested - check the recovery bin for deletions
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nobody91



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes they are not moved and not deleted. I'll run chkdsk and sofstag then come back with a reply.

And what about the read only thing? As I said, with admin account I cannot permanently change it as it resets.
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nobody91



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked with Tuneup and I found these located in a hidden folder called HP.

Why were they moved there? I am 110% sure I never moved them.
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

someones messing your aorund
it very much sounds as if someone has run the non-destructive version of the HP system recovery program
That restores the machine to factory settings, but relocates any user files
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nobody91



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

can you give me some advice regarding this issue?
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we need to be sure my theory is correct
is thre any evidence that anything else has changed? Other programs missing, data files moved, dead icons etc?
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nobody91



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I haven't seen any so far, but I say you can never be too sure. So even if this is not the case, any advice for the worst case scenario would be more than welcomed Smile
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JonS



Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very difficult to give any without seeing the machine
However,as I said before it looks to me as if someone has run the "non-destructive" version of the factory restore program.
If so, all programs installed by you will either have been deleted, moved or orphaned. All system updates will have gone. Your user profile will probbaly have been orphaned, and may be in the correct location, but non-functioning. or it may have been moved to that HP folder
Basically the machine is going to be a mess, with a lot of non functioning programs. Also a lot of windows system files will be "wrong" due to orphaned/overwritten windows updates

If I'm right (and its very much IF) then you have two choices
1) try to patch, update and reinstall as much as possible to bring the machine back to the state it was in beforehand. This is bound to leave a lot of debris on the hard drive
2) locate and backup any documents/data files, then run the "destructuve restore" option and send it back to its base factory settings, so wiping all the recent stuff. Then again you have to do all the updates and installations, but at least then it will be a clean install with no debris.
Personally I'd got for the latter

However, the big question in this is "how did it happen"? Does anyone else have access to the machine? Its not the kind of thing to happen by accident. The other possible cause is that you have accidentally moved those files yourself. It would not have taken long to do that as no actual files move in teh process: you just change the symbolic links which create the file system heirarchy. One accidental click and drag would do it
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