Why have my files disappeared from my USB drive?

Rajeev Dandu September 20, 2012
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I have HP v250w 16GB pendrive and have some important data in it.
I don’t know what I did, but now when I plug it to my computer this is what is happening:-

1) In Windows XP, pendrive is being detected. It’s coming with name Removable Disk(F:) in My Computer.
When I double click it, a window is appearing saying ‘Disk not formatted. The Disk in drive F is not formatted. Do you want it to format it now?’ .
I right clicked my pendrive’s icon and clicked ‘Properties’ and found that it’s having 0 Bytes disk size and 0 Bytes usage.

2) In Ubuntu, the pendrive is not being detected.
What should I do now? How to recover my files?

Actually after seeing one answer, I went to http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk and downloaded the program and tried to recover files. Files are recovered but, the names and folders are different. Ex: f3300928. How to get back my files as they were with folders?

  1. Kitty K
    February 21, 2013 at 2:15 am

    Here are 5 points may cause your files disappeared from your USB Drive.
    * Virus infection or malware action on mobile phone when you connect it to the virus infected PC
    * Improper use of format option in mobile phone
    * Synchronization errors during file transfer between phone and computer
    * Capturing photos when the cell phone is on low battery
    * Abrupt pulling out the mobile phone when camera is turned on or during file transfer

    However, no need to worry about losing your files.Some photo recovery software can help to get your photos back.
    Here are two soluitons: If you want a free way, Recuva is the best choice. However, nothing is really free. It is worth to pay a little to get precious things back ! I have tested Recuva recovery programs and some only can recover 10% to 80% .The recovery program called Tenorshare Data Recovery(Want to learn more, go to http://tinyurl.com/photosrecovery) absolutely works. I have done some tests on cards I have deliberately corrupted from 2 GB to 8 GB. All the photos have been recovered.

  2. Deekshith Allamaneni
    September 26, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Might be because your files are hidden by some virus.
    Boot into any Linux system and access your USB drive. Most probably, you will get all your files back. Copy them in a safe place.

  3. raj gopal
    September 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    either virus or file has been hidden by the u, god bless rajeev

  4. Dimal Chandrasiri
    September 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I think your flash drive is been attacked by a virus or a malware. try to recover them with a professional recovery software. or else, I would recommend a simple method. It has worked for me in the past, bt I'm not very sure that it'll work for u. just give it a try.

    in windows, you say the flash is been detected bt cannot access. run a command prompt nd target it to your flash drive. then try to DIR the flash to see whether it shows the necessary files. if it does, move them to a known location in your pc ( a new folder maybe ). after moving ( if successful ) change the attributes to see whether they have been hidden.

    A tip : if you are saving sensitive data in a USB flash, dnt use it on public machines or friends PCs. or if you have to use the flash, always keep a secondary backup in your desktop or what ever PC you use. :)

    • Dandu Rajeev
      September 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      would you please give the details(I don't know the cmd commands).But I know linux commands.
      So if you please give me the step by step procedure, I will be very thankful for you.

  5. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    September 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    There are several possible explanations. If you want to recover the files, try some different programs to see which recover the most, but don't make it worse by adding new files or reformatting the drive or overwriting the data.

    First, you may have unplugged that flash drive when it's still transferring data, so the data is corrupted. This is often the best explanation.
    Second, maybe virus hides your files and folders. Try checking folders options, uncheck 'hide protected system files'.

  6. Sachin Kanchan
    September 21, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Please keep a backup of the important files on your laptop/pc or an external hard drive.

    Try checking this option.
    >> Show hidden files and folders.

    But I don't think that would work either, and if nothing helps, you may probably have to format your usb drive.

  7. vasu gupta
    September 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

    you must have done many actions while recovery which may have led to formatting or malfunction.

  8. ahmed Fouad khalil
    September 21, 2012 at 7:59 am

    are you sure it is not virus

  9. ha14
    September 21, 2012 at 6:57 am

    try other recovery programs perhaps they will help you with he file names also or at leats partially.
    Pandora recovery

  10. Bruce Epper
    September 21, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Did you create a log of the actions performed during the recovery? If so, compress the log and post it somewhere we can get it to see what was done (& hopefully find the original folder and filenames).

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