Why cant I see my photographs?

I’ve been using my WD 500 gig external hard drive for a couple of years now with no problems at all.

I keep my photo’s, movie’s, and hundreds of songs and albums on this, my K: drive. (External drive). :manhappy:

Yesterday, I went to look thru my photo’s and they appear to be gone!

All of the folders and subfolders I created to store these thousands of digital photos are still in place, but the photos appear to have gone missing. :mansad:

And yet, if I open my K: drive, and do a search for a name of one of the photo’s…like my wifes name for example…Denise…the search finds all of the photographs, with the correct file path.

But when I try to view one with my default viewer, which is my Windows Photo Gallery, they will not appear. The error message says the photos cannot be viewed because they have either been deleted, or moved to a different location.                                         ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​                                                  ​         

I would assume that the photographs are still in there, still on the hard drive, because I KNOW I DID NOT DELETE THEM.  :manmad:

What, from one day to the next, could have happened to make them disappear, or make then unviewable?

Why is my WD external hard drive not reading the jpg’s, bmp’s, etc?

Have I change my folder view options in some way?

I appreciate any help, any ideas, or the thoughts of anyone who has experienced this issue.


Razzell  :manindifferent:

Try unplugging the drive properly rebooting then plug the drive back in. Did you defrag this drive and use a third party defrag program? I just finished a post in Smartware about some thoughts on corrupt data.


Joe, thank you for your reply.

Yes, I ran a checkdsk on the drive. I ran my auslogics defrag on the drive as well.

As for rebooting, please describe in detail what you mean for me to do?

Unplug the drive while my computer is running, shut down my computer, plug drive back in, restart computer?



NO unplug the drive reboot then plug the drive back in.Hope it works.


No, didnt work Joe.

I took the drive to a local computer dude, and he wanted to run some kind of winundelete program, but Im beginning to think Ive just somehow deleted the photos.

Nothing else on the drive is gone, just a majority of the photos in a single folder and several sub folders inside that single folder.

I was playing around with picasa when they disappeared, so I just think theyre gone.

Im going to buy a new external hard drive.  Before this one goes out. 500 gigs.

Any suggestions on a really good one that will last for a long time, Joe?

Thank you for your help, friend


I would look for one that didn’t have any software advertised especially preinstalled software. I was in Walmart a few days ago and saw they had mostly WD and one Seagate drive. It mentioned some kind of software so I don’t know if it’s like the Smartware virtual CD mess or not. I’d check the manufacturer’s forums and also look at Amazon.com, Newegg, etc and look at the customer reviews. I think the WD Elements is a plain USB drive so it should be just plug and play. I saw Best Buy had them on sale yesterday for $139 for 2T.