Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

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D Canard
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Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by D Canard »

Hi,

I am not sure that this is the right place to post this problem or not. Sorry if this is the wrong place, but nothing else seemed an exact fit.

I am trying to help a friend who backed up data folders from his Windows 7 system to an external hard drive, installed Linux Mint 19, and copied folders back to the computer from the external hard drive. The external hard drive was borrowed and is now gone.

For the copied data, the head folder sizes, in some cases, are huge, 30 Gb or more. But when sub-folders are opened, they all appear to be empty. Clicking on Show Hidden does not change anything.

As an experiment, I have tried copying a head folder to a different location. The copy progress bar goes along and thousands of file names are listed along the way. But when the sub-folders are opened, nothing appears in them. The sub-folder properties say the folders are empty with no files. The head folder lists a large volume of data.

I am wondering if my friend inadvertently encrypted his data or if the multiple virus infections he was struggling with did so.

I didn't think to open a sub-folder in a terminal and run dir. I have asked my friend to do this and report back. I am waiting.

The folders contain the guy's life history in photos, and of course there is no back-up.

Any ideas?

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lsemmens
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by lsemmens »

If they are all photos, what happens if you right click in the space where a file name should be and open properties (assuming a menu pops up to do so. I'm just wondering if something has changed the screen colours to white on white, or something as silly.
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D Canard
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by D Canard »

lsemmens wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:38 pm
If they are all photos, what happens if you right click in the space where a file name should be and open properties (assuming a menu pops up to do so. I'm just wondering if something has changed the screen colours to white on white, or something as silly.
Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I have not heard back from my friend. I will check out your suggestion when I next have access to the computer. It is an hour's drive away across town.

It is curious that the sub-folders' properties say that they are empty with no files. If it were only a display issue, the folder properties report should list data. There are no files in the head folder, only sub-folders, which all appear to be empty. And yet the head folder lists more than 30 Gb of data.

More later. Thanks again.

D Canard
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by D Canard »

OK. This is weird. The friend is desperate to get his data back, but I am not allowed near the computer - approaches made offering to look at it in person are rejected with a suspicious level of emotional distress.

Hmmm.... Discussing this issue with techie friends and kicking ideas around, a possible cause was postulated. There is apparently Windows software that will purposely corrupt file attributes to hide the files from display; they then both exist and don't exist. The software can apparently toggle the corruption on and off.

So if this is the case, it begs the question, just what is being hidden?

I may never know, but then there are somethings you just don't want to know about people.

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kevin987
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by kevin987 »

D Canard wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:11 pm
OK. This is weird. The friend is desperate to get his data back, but I am not allowed near the computer - approaches made offering to look at it in person are rejected with a suspicious level of emotional distress.

Hmmm.... Discussing this issue with techie friends and kicking ideas around, a possible cause was postulated. There is apparently Windows software that will purposely corrupt file attributes to hide the files from display; they then both exist and don't exist. The software can apparently toggle the corruption on and off.

So if this is the case, it begs the question, just what is being hidden?

I may never know, but then there are somethings you just don't want to know about people.
I wouldn't waste any more time on this guy.

If he brings the subject up, just say you don't know how to help without looking at it. He can hire and pay for a professional if it's that important to him. :mrgreen:
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pbear
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by pbear »

I agree with kevin. Unless you're being paid or owe this fellow a huge personal debt (because he saved your kid from drowning or some such), I'd say, "Sorry, can't help under those restrictions. Good luck."

OTOH, it's an intriguing question, as I've never heard of super-hidden files before. Turns out it's a "thing" and a search for Windows hide files turned up a bunch of hits. Only looked at a few. This How-To Geek article might explain your friend's situation, i.e., that the copy process somehow changed the file attributes, designating them as system files.
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ganamant
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by ganamant »

I would have that guy write on a blackboard like Bart Simpson:

Code: Select all

I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files
I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files    I shall back up my files

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Flemur
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by Flemur »

D Canard wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:11 pm
OK. This is weird. The friend is desperate to get his data back, but I am not allowed near the computer - approaches made offering to look at it in person are rejected with a suspicious level of emotional distress.
I was going to suggest you do this in a terminal, but if the guy is goofy, don't bother:

Code: Select all

cd /to/the/files
du -d 1 
du -a | sort -n 
If it complains about permissions, put 'sudo ' in front of the commands.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?

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lsemmens
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Re: Folder Size Large But No Files Visible Inside

Post by lsemmens »

if the multiple virus infections he was struggling with did so.
Tell him, he's on his own until he let you have access to his collection of kiddie p...., seriously, Without access to the computer, there is nothing you can do.
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