Files missing but appear on Search?

Ok so I just notice a lot of my backed up files have all of a sudden gone missing from my NTFS non-system partition folder D:\Downloads\ . The folder itself was not entirely emptied however.

If I go to the folder either in Windows 7 or Ubuntu from the same PC, the folder appears to be missing the same files in either OS. If I run a search for all files "*" from Windows 7 however, it shows from what I can see would be the vast majority of the missing files. If I try and access any of the files by opening/copying from the search results, I receive an error from Windows/the application saying the file does not exist.

I've tried running a delete recovery program (Recuva by Piriform) and going down through the huge list of files I've purposely deleted overtime, I can see a few files I believe may have been casualty to this recent anomaly. I'm unable to see any overlap between the search results and the delete recovery report however.

At this point, I'm reluctant to actually run any undelete restore or in fact alter the drive at all for fear of overwriting any lost files.

It's quite an archaic backup so I don't suppose I'll ever know if all the files are showing up in search. Obviously a lesson for me to improve my backup methods.

Anyway, I'm hoping somebody might have some advice or be able to offer any explanation or precedence for what's happened!

Thanks in advance :)


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Check your user virtual files folder and sub folders:


where XXX is user name


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Does the search give you a directory you could check instead of trying to open from the search window?

Any chance the dual access of Windows and Linux could have confused or hidden the files in some way?

Do you have room on the Win 7 partition to copy the contents of the partition to, assuming all the files are still there?

Do you have just one computer, or are others on a network able to access the partition?

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