MyPassport 500GB with 25GB used shows "this folder is empty"

(Platform: Win7/64U)
There are about 200 files on this drive (photos + video) occupying ~26GB. When I connected it today, Windoze Exploder shows nothing - “This folder is empty.” Yet the Properties tab shows the usage correctly.

This drive contains images that were archived so that they were not in the pooter’s on-line drive, for security and to free up space there. Now they are seemingly lost. Tools->Error Checking shows files are present and nothing amiss.

How do I get access to these files?

You’re probably facing some issues with the permissions. Click on the link below, the instructions provided might be helpful.

No, I’ve followed that process and the result is the same. I’m stuck.

If taking ownership didn’t work try enabling access to hidden files, folders, and protected system files in the Control Panel (Large Icon View> File and Folder Options> “View” tab). There’s a box for showing hidden files and folders, and a second one that recommends hiding protected system files.

WARNING: Please be sure to revert the configuration once you’re done checking. Enabling hidden file access can lead to accidental damage to the system by deleting/modifying files you are not supposed to.

If your files are still not listed then you are looking at dead/corrupted sectors in the hard drive.

Hidden Files was already selected (my default).

Selecting “show Protected System Files” gave me $RECYCLE.BIN and a couple of others bits.

When I explored the recycle bin it showed a wanted folder (“MOVIE”) so I clicked on “restore”. It then gave a “Do you want to merge this with existing folder MOVIE?” message pop-up.

Huh! Existing folder? Backed out of that and went back, and there was the original folder “MOVIE” now visible. Properties showed read-only which is fine.

Thanks for pointing me in that direction. Clearly it hadn’t been deleted (aka sent to the recycle bin) or the “merge” warning wouldn’t have come about. So what was going on is beyond me, but at least the files are now back from the brink.