WD 500 GB Data GONE ! :(

I have WD 500 GB My passport , filled in 400 GB of my own pics , vids , movies , other documents

but now and suddenly I started to see all just Shortcuts !!! please see those 2 images to know what im talking about

and this one :


What happens if you try the shortcuts? According to the disk properties your data is on there somewhere so try you could try searching for it.

If this doesn’t work you should try using som kind of recovery software. In Linux I’d use TestDisk and/or PhotoRec (both OpenSource = free and they both run on Windows as well), but I’m sure there are other more graphical tools out there for Windows that work just as well.



If you run any of these programs, you should have another disk on which you can put your recovered files. This disk has to be big enough to hold the 403 GB you have stored on your My Passport.


thank you sooooo much for the reply , at least you’ve tried to help me ,

at the beginning of the problem I could search for my data and I could found them ,

but now even if i search for them , i cant find them , 

double click on a shortcut does not open any folder !!! 

pleaseeee guys HELPE MEEEE !! :frowning:

Try some type of live Linux disk and see if you can find files then. Something like this  http://www.ubcd4win.com/index.htm or this http://www.knoppix.net/



thanks for everything , I’ll accept solution when I’m done with everything ,

but I have a question : what is live Linux disk ?? I dont have Linux computer in my house just Windows , does that mean that my issue won’t be solved ever ??

You burn it to  CD or DVD and boot from that and it runs off of the disk and probably a tempfile it doesn’t actually install. You should then be able to explore and see if you can find the files you’re looking for. I’ve used UBCD and seen the Kopix recommended a few places. I just used it for a test and not on an actual problem like this. When you’re done remove the disk and reboot or shutdown.


A Linux live disk is a CD or USB drive from which you can start your computer. If you have a USB drive with enough free space you can install a linux distribution on it. The advantage of using a USB instead of a CD is that with a USB you can choose to create a persistent system which means that you won’t have to reinstall everything if you need to reboot.

Which distribution you choose doesn’t really matter. I use Ubuntu because it’s the most used distro and there is therefore a lot of support for it. Knoppix is very popular for live disk use, but I have no experience at using it.

If you follow the instructions here, you will probably be able to create a linux disk:


To start from the Linux Live CD/USB you have to enter BIOS and change the boot sequence and put your CD drive or USB port at the top. Then reboot your computer with the CD/USB inserted.

The next step is to install the programs you need. If you choose Ubuntu you can find them at Applications -> Software Center. Search for “testdisk” and click “Install”. This will install both TestDisk and PhotoRec.


so  you mean to do these steps into my WD 500 GB that all the data have disappeared ??

please can i have full explanation with all the steps 1- …   2-…   3-…   4-…

I will appreciate this to you , ty

BTW , I dont have Linux Just Win Vista 

  1. Find a USB drive (at least 1GB) and copy everything on it to your computer (you are going to wipe the USB drive).

  2. Follow the instructions at http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download . What you want to do is to “try ubuntu”.

  3. Start from the USB stick. To do this, you may have to change the boot sequence in BIOS.

  4. Install the testdisk by clicking Applications->Software Center and search for testdisk. This will also install photorec.

  5. You now need another disk to which you can recover your files.

  6. I don’t know in detail how these programs work, but I’m sure you will be able to find a good tutorial with a Google serach.

When I bought my new computer using Windows Vista instead of the Windows XP from my old laptop, my WD 500 accidentally got reformatted by the Windows Vista program. YIKES!!! I used the Recuva program to find all my old files to save them.  You can also use Recuva if you have accidentally erased an SD or Micro SD card, like my daughter did, when trying to move music files.  She erased almost 200 songs, Recuva found all 200 songs PLUS 135 extra songs that she’d previously erased.  The program is free, doesn’t come with any spyware attached.  Most times, when we accidentally erase data, it’s not erased at all, just set to the side to be recorded over by new data. 

Here’s the link:


Hope it helps someone! :smileyvery-happy:

I had some sucess with the Recuva too. You need to use it as soon as possible before defragging.


You’re right. I was so getting into this “how to use Linux” questions that I forgot the actual question. You don’t need to use Linux at all. Just use any file recovery program.