WD Hard Drive- files are gone but folders are still there

I’ve seen this post a couple times on the boards, but no one really answers it.  Everyone just says, “Oh I have the same problem!” with no actual advice… so hopefully someone actually has real help with this.

Connecting the WD drive on the computer, the files are no longer there but the folders are.  I remember the last time I used it had “2 gigs” left or something, and then all of a sudden went back up to 500+.  Yes, I’m the dum dum who didn’t realize this was a problem when I first saw it, I’m not sure why I didn’t think twice.  But now the files are gone but the folders are there.  ?? I’m on a MacBook Pro and I’m not sure how to go about recovering the data if it is possible.  


Use Disk Warrior or other data recovery software

partition is corrupted which is a really common problem with external drives

can happen if the drive gets disconnected without ejecting but that’s not the only reason