1.    14 Oct 2015 #1
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    W10

    Strange, Massive Deletion of Files


    I encountered a very strange problem last night. A bit of backstory first:

    This is my second 'reset' of Windows 10. My first attempt to update into W10 went smoothly for about 1.5 months, then I got a black screen that looped continuously and would not get past startup. After trying many solutions, I figured the installation was corrupted, and started anew.

    Everything on this incarnation of W10 has been fine, for about a month. However, last night, something VERY STRANGE occurred. As I went to switch the video I was watching in VLC, I double-clicked a video to load into VLC. VLC changed the video, but my PC lagged for about 20 seconds (unusual for my PC to lag at all). When it stopped, I went to look at my desktop, which is on my first monitor (second monitor has video playing on it), which was previously covered by full-screen explorer to look for the video. I was extremely surprised when I noticed that every. single. icon. was gone from my desktop, except the folder that housed the video I picked to watch.

    The only things left were the Garbage Bin and that folder. I figured they went into the Garbage Bin on mistake. Checked. Nothing.

    Long story short, after I went into 'My PC' to look in other folders, I was utterly baffled to notice that 400 GBs of data had been deleted from my computer. Yes, everything that was on my desktop (massive amount of videos, games, etc) were gone. Simply.. deleted.

    After looking EVERYWHERE for the files, included my Program Files, Windows.Old, etc, and realizing that the items had not only been deleted, but REMOVED FROM PROGRAM FILES in many instances, I did a System Restore. Unfortunately, this did nothing except restore the FOLDERS, as the files themselves are still gone, and the 400 GBs is still missing.

    My question is (if it is answerable): is this W10? Is it corrupted? I don't know of any issue with a PC that would cause this kind of data loss instantly. My hard drive has never had issues, nor the rest of my PC. Never experienced any kind of massive problems before W10. Someone help!
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    14 Oct 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts : 193
    Windows 10 Pro

    Were the files actually on the desktop or were they just shortcut links to somewhere else? Did you use File Explorer search to search your entire computer? Check for viruses and malware.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    14 Oct 2015 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    W10
    Thread Starter

    I did. The files are gone. The space on the hard drive has been freed up, which is further evidence that they were permanently deleted somehow.

    I've checked with Windows Defender, and nothing. I was hesitant to reinstall BitDefender as it caused massive problems with W10 during my first install.

    Any other ideas? :/
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    14 Oct 2015 #4
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts : 193
    Windows 10 Pro

    Obviously you've checked the recycle bin. Now download and run the free utility called Recuva (it's safe - I have used it a lot) and it can dig deeper into your system. Just don't use the computer much until then so as not to overwrite any areas where these files might be.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    14 Oct 2015 #5
    Join Date : Dec 2014
    Posts : 289
    Win 10 Pro x64 16299.15

    Quote Originally Posted by zero275 View Post
    I did. The files are gone. The space on the hard drive has been freed up, which is further evidence that they were permanently deleted somehow.

    I've checked with Windows Defender, and nothing. I was hesitant to reinstall BitDefender as it caused massive problems with W10 during my first install.

    Any other ideas? :/
    Using an SSD?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  6.    14 Oct 2015 #6
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 3
    W10
    Thread Starter

    The recycle bin was the first place I looked. :-)

    I have not had a chance to download the program you suggested but I will do so as soon as I am at my computer. In addition, I do not have an SSD. However, the return of my files is a secondary concern to me at this point; my primary concern is ensuring that this does not happen again..
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    15 Oct 2015 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 10,168
    W10 Insider + Linux

    It seems like a good combing with different types of AVs and other antimalware is in order. If you have any claning and optimization programs with automatic maintenance could be a culprit.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  8.    15 Oct 2015 #8
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts : 193
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by zero275 View Post
    However, the return of my files is a secondary concern to me at this point; my primary concern is ensuring that this does not happen again..
    A good lesson in why data backups are important
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    15 Oct 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 10,438
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Hi zero275,
    Data recovery:
    Definitely support the use of Recuva - ideally you'd install it on a different disk or partition to the one you're concerned about, or use a tool run from a bootable disk to avoid overwriting any area from which you wish to recover data.

    Indeed, do not run your PC to reduce the risk of overwriting data with temporary files, say- instead connect the drive as an external drive to another PC, then attempt recovery.

    Bitdefender:
    For me, I had this installed on Win 8.1 and upgraded, then was told to uninstall it and install a new version. Works fine.
    However, best practice is to uninstall any AV/Firewall before upgrading.

    Clearly - as CountMike recommended- once you've recovered any data you want (and it's worth looking to see if you learn anything about how it was deleted) - you need to do a full scan with a reputable AV.

    Perhaps having a top class AV and firewall will protect you in the future, but we're guessing about what might have caused you to lose files.

    I would also recommend you run chkdsk to ensure there's no disk problem.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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