A week or two ago a client had a folder named “Backup” disappear. He first noticed it was gone when a program shortcut on his Desktop that runs his most important program wouldn’t work anymore.
I used Search to try and locate the program the shortcut referred to but Search didn’t find it.
There was a folder named “Backup” in a folder off the root with a name like “48585938937478593” which I figured was one of those folders Microsoft Update (or whatever) leaves around, espeically since it had a handful of update-y Opsys-looking files in there dated 2008. However when I tried to click on the “Backup” folder in there it said Access Denied, even though I was Administrator, user “Owner”.
As it was XP Home I had to reboot into Safe Mode and try to give “Owner” rights to that “Backup” folder, since the Security tab is only available from Safe Mode in XP Home, but that had an Access Denied problem as well. I also tried Microsoft command line tools to grant rights but had the same problem.
I downloaded a program off the internet named Active Undelete 7 Enterprise and it shows Directory listings of both Deleted and non-Deleted files and doesn’t care about rights (since due to its nature it bypasses the Opsys and does its own drive scan to get the directory info), and using that I was able to see that the disappeared folder was the folder in the numbered folder, and then I was able to use the program to copy the “Backup” folder to another drive and get back enough rights to proceed to recover it the rest of the way using the free tool UnLocker to Move folders as well as then moving them with Cut-and-Paste one by one. (Later on deleting the moved “Backup” folder in that numbered folder was another adventure (7GB), as was emptying the Recycle Bin after that.)
So keep in mind the folder may have been deleted or it may have been moved by something to somewhere you can’t see it and Search won’t search.