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Old 03-28-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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I have an older Toshiba laptop with MS Vista. We have saved many photos in folders and recently I've been alarmed to see that several of the folders are now empty! What could cause this?
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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People deleting them or programs deleting them. If you right click the folder and go to properties, does it say 0 (zero) bytes as the size?
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazyn View Post
People deleting them or programs deleting them. If you right click the folder and go to properties, does it say 0 (zero) bytes as the size?
We would not have deleted the photos--could it be a virus that the virus protection isn't picking up? Properties say zero bytes!
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:06 AM
 
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Viruses don't typically delete things, no one gains anything from that. If anything, they'll hide it. However, if you say that the folder says zero bytes, the files are not hidden - they're gone.

Try downloading and using this app to recover what was in the files:

Download Recuva 1.42.544 - FileHippo.com

I'm not saying you would delete the files, but accidents do happen. one false move on a keyboard if something is selected and byebye.

I do not think this is a virus/malware issue.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:01 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
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Sounds like foul-play which hints some sort of a malware infection.
Try what azyn...I mean Kazyn suggested. It is a very good program, if it fails to pick anything up, then you can also try a similar, no-install freeware called Restoration.

It would be best to download and install/extract either program onto a USB Flash drive or a different partition than where the lost files were to prevent overwriting.

I also would suggest you enable hidden files and folders to make sure they files were not moved to some hidden directory. Start > Settings > Folder Options. Make sure the ones highlighted in green and yours match:



You could actually uncheck/clear the box "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) and click Yes to confirm then OK.

Afterwards, do a file search and make sure the "hidden and system files" are included in the search. I would not put a file name or type as that might have been modified which does occur with malware infection of this sort. The less you specify the better the chance of finding them.

(I hope it is the same with Vista which I never really used)

Also, what is your current AV Scanner? Is it up-to-date? Have you tried running a deep, full system scan? You might want to at least disable it and try another product just to make sure.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:09 PM
Status: "Enjoying life..." (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
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First check your trash folder. Then download a photo program like Picasa and import all your pictures from your folders. Chances are that they are hidden or moved to another folder where you don't suspect them to be. Picasa will extract all pictures from your folders. Then just click on Picasa and see what you have in there.
I never came across a situation that my pictures or files were just "gone"...
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
Try what azyn...I mean Kazyn suggested
I laughed way, way too hard at that
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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Also, I'm about 99% sure it's not malware related.

Think about this.

The OP made some folders and added pictures. They were recently deleted somehow. Now...firstly, it'd be extremely unlikely that there is a virus out there only deleting recently made folders, just to screw with people. Not IMPOSSIBLE, just extremely unlikely. I'll be honest, and this is not to disrespect the OP in any way, but I'm thinking it was probably user error... There's no way the virus would have just deleted those specific files from those folders.

Secondly, viruses are meant to gain. Either they want you to give them your CC#, install programs that allow backdoor access to other programs, etc.

For all we know, maybe the copy/move got cancelled on accident. There's no way to tell.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:44 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazyn View Post
Also, I'm about 99% sure it's not malware related.

Think about this.

The OP made some folders and added pictures. They were recently deleted somehow. Now...firstly, it'd be extremely unlikely that there is a virus out there only deleting recently made folders, just to screw with people. Not IMPOSSIBLE, just extremely unlikely. I'll be honest, and this is not to disrespect the OP in any way, but I'm thinking it was probably user error... There's no way the virus would have just deleted those specific files from those folders.

Secondly, viruses are meant to gain. Either they want you to give them your CC#, install programs that allow backdoor access to other programs, etc.

For all we know, maybe the copy/move got cancelled on accident. There's no way to tell.
I am thinking about it....I am still thinking about it. Yes, it might still be virus related if you also include what is between the keyboard and the chair in the virus definition file, then yes, it would technically still be virus related.
True, old school virus infections/payloads are destructive and are typically designed to create mayhem and agony for users. Trojans/adwares/spyware are more inclined to remain non-destructive and hidden so they can continue to "spy".

But yes, on a more serious note, looking at the events OP describe, that has to be one twisted virus created by someone who knows and dislikes OP. So, not very likely.

I agree, likely to be a case of moved or more like misplaced unless they were holding the SHIFT key down by accident and hit DEL key and somehow clicked on the confirmation pop-up without realizing they were permanently deleting them....again a very unlikely scenario I suppose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazyn View Post
I laughed way, way too hard at that
You are a sharp guy, I knew you'd get it. Just don't tell uknowwho!
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,206,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurcoLoco View Post
I am thinking about it....I am still thinking about it. Yes, it might still be virus related if you also include what is between the keyboard and the chair in the virus definition file, then yes, it would technically still be virus related.
True, old school virus infections/payloads are destructive and are typically designed to create mayhem and agony for users. Trojans/adwares/spyware are more inclined to remain non-destructive and hidden so they can continue to "spy".

But yes, on a more serious note, looking at the events OP describe, that has to be one twisted virus created by someone who knows and dislikes OP. So, not very likely.

I agree, likely to be a case of moved or more like misplaced unless they were holding the SHIFT key down by accident and hit DEL key and somehow clicked on the confirmation pop-up without realizing they were permanently deleting them....again a very unlikely scenario I suppose.


You are a sharp guy, I knew you'd get it. Just don't tell uknowwho!

This was my first guess. I've seen a lot of people, said they saved something when they didn't, or saved it in a "wrong" location, or hit save and/or didn't hit OK.

In the automotive world we like to call this a problem with the nut behind the wheel.

First thing I'd do (and it may have been suggested already) is try saving some pictures again to a folder on the desktop.
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