Jump to content
CCleaner Community Forums

File names & directory missing

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!

So here goes: we had a 1TB (930GB) external hard drive filled to the brim with stuff that was connected to our home network. Occasionally I would disconnect it to work with some of the files directly.

One day, the router's file sharing protocol seemed not to be working properly, as the directory was inaccessible via windows explorer. This has happened before, so I tried getting the files through FTP. However, things only got worse as the FTP interface also stopped responding. I figured out the drive was having a bad day, and just let it be.

The next day I disconnected the 900-GB-full hard drive from the router and plugged it on my pc. I got the chills reading "930 GB free out of 930 GB" on my computer. But since I never plugged it in or out improperly and have never formatted it, I knew something was up with the file system/partitions. I am no computer wiz, so naturally, I resorted to recuva pro, which I consider an excellent product for this kind of damage.

After a few hours the program found 57k files, all at an excellent state, with no overwritten clusters detected. However, the file names are missing and for most the path appears as E:\?. Therefore all or my attempts at restoring thus far end up with a zillion numerically named files, with no folders, subfolders or clues as to what they originally were.

Since opening and renaming 57k files one-by-one is going to take a century, would you happen to know if there is any other way besides this?

Could the file directory have gone completely missing?


Thank you :)


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that this is NTFS, the drive is visible to Windows with a drive letter, and you ran a Recuva deep scan.

A deep scan runs a normal scan first, so usually you will get a list of file names and associated folders before all those [001234].ext files. These file and folder names all come from a scan of the Master File Table, they are not held within the files. If youi are getting zero file names, then either the disk has been formatted or perhaps the MFT is corrupted. NTFS needs an MFT to do anything at all, so if the MFT is corrupt then the MFT mirror can be used, This only holds about 16 records so it will only identify system files, but it enables access by Windows.

A deep scan will scan all unallocated clusters for a file header, which identifies the start of a file and the file type. Only a subset of all possible file types are scanned. No file or folder names can be deduced from a deep scan. As the clusers are unallocated they will all have a state of excellent, but don't let that fool you. Only the first extent of a file will be found and be a candidate for recovery. Subsequent extents cannot be identified and will be ignored, so a recovered file may not open anyway.

I should rerun Recuva with deep scan unchecked, and (in Advanced mode, Options, Actions) check Search for Non-Deleted Files, and check Restore folder streucture. It should be fairly fast and is worth a try.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...