External Hard Drive Files Completely Gone?

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smptrds | 21:17 Thu 19th Sep 2013 | Computers
6 Answers
I have Kaspersky Pure 3.0 protection and yet I am infected with 'Top Arcade Hits' popping up all the time and also 'A Message Alert' to win an Ipod.
I was advised to back-up my computer before carrying out procedures to remove this virus.
During the back-up onto discs, it stopped and a 'Trojan' warning appeared. I highlighted the file/files, then deleted them.
Sometime during this procedure, and without me being informed, my Maxtor 500g external hard drive lost ALL it's files.
Can I get them back? Any advice out there?
I have copied to the hard drive again without a problem.


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Does your PC recognise that the external hard drive is there (but simply show it as having no contents)? If so, it's unlikely that the files have actually disappeared. It's probably far more likely that the 'index' has simply become corrupted.

If you're still running XP, I'd recommend trying PC Inspector to look for your files:
(It's a superb program but, unfortunately, it's not been updated to more recent versions of Windows).

Otherwise give Recuva a try:
(It's widely recommended but, unlike PC Inspector, I've not used it myself).

Both are those programs come from highly reputable sources, so they're 100% safe to download and use. They're also both completely free!

Question Author
Hi Chris,
I am very grateful for your support with my nightmare and YES my External Hard Drive is recognised by my PC and I have no problems when I troubleshoot it.
I have used both web sites you provided without success.
However, The properties on my 'F' drive (External Hard drive) is showing Used space as 23.1GB and FREE space as 442GB. Does this confirm that you were right and that my files are still there?
When I use the and follow the sequence, all is fine till I get to the final box where I highlight the 'F' file and click on 'Re Scan Drives'
How do I know if this is scanning as I see no movement anywhere?
I would welcome your extra support with this.
Many thanks again.
Before going any further with those programs, try 'taking ownership' of the drive.

Go to 'My Computer' and right-click on icon for your F drive. Then follow the instructions for 'How to take ownership of a folder', here:
Question Author
I understand what your saying Chris and I think that I have done that ok.
I am so grateful for your support.
I hope that you will understand if I say that I will leave the next stage till tomorrow as I am a pensioner who has CFS/ME and being on this most of today will only lead to mistakes at this time of night.
Hope will sort tomorrow.
Thanks again.
Question Author
Hi Chris, My apologies for not getting back to you sooner with my results, but even now, I have been on a nightmare journey with one problem after another.
You were right with the 'ownership' not allowing me to search my external hard drive and I have now used
I have saved these on another external device because I still need to get rid of the 'Top Arcade Hit' Trojan on my main computer.
I have also backed up my 'C' drive.
I googled the 'Trojan' and followed instructions to get rid which I may have been successful?
Now only see a small pop-up saying that I have 1 message!
Doing Full scan on all computer then possibly 'Format' my external drive and start again?
Hopefully, just need to get rid of pop-up after?
Just been quoted £35 to back-up my computer and re-install windows 7 to get rid of the 'Trojan' but isn't this the same as going into my Control Panel and returning the computer back to 'Factory Settings'? £35 saved?
Question Author
Just found out that the small popup IS 'Top Arcade Hits' Trojan AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!

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