Hard Drive appears empty

I'm having a problem with both of my drives (one solid state, one HDD) where when I try to browse files within any kind of program other than windows explorer they appear to be completely empty except for files under the "My Documents" directory.

An example of this situation would be trying to open a document in word. If I try to use word to browse for the file and open it, the drives show as empty. However when I browse the folders in windows explorer they show as empty.

I can't find any information on this issue and I've got no clue how to approach fixing it. It's not entirely crippling as most programs I can drag and drop relevant files from the explorer, but there are some where this doesn't work and it renders them completely useless.

Any help would be appreciated,
Thank you.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
The first question would be, have you done any changes recently? New software, new hardware?

Its a problem I've actually had for several months now. Any software changes that took place I wouldn't be able to remember now. There have been no hardware changes


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
You have a security program set to wipe clean "Recent Documents", or something?

No, Recent documents is still accessible. As is everything through the normal windows explorer. Its only when I attempt to browse for files within a program that they dont show up.


Noob Whisperer
Hello Tanners and welcome to the forum.

These types of issues can often be cause by problematic add-ins to your Office Suite.
There are any number of ways to start programs such as Word in "Safe Mode" or with "No add-ins".
It can be slightly different for your individual version so you might want to Google something like "Start winword.exe in safe mode" or "Start winword.exe no add-ins" You may have to include you version, like 2010 or 2013 etc., to get the correct syntax for your particular version of Word.

If preventing add ins from starting resolves the issue then you will need to Google further on how to disable add-ins in your particular version of office (word, excel, ect.,)

The problem is not only with word, I simply used that as an example. Other examples I've encountered would be:

Firefox: Uploading Images
Mumble: Uploading Images
Bloodshed C++: Opening files
Gimp: Opening Files
Warcraft logs Uploader: Opening files

These are just programs I remember off the top of my head or have used recently. Literally any program that is not the Windows explorer cannot show files that are on any of my hard drives. If you navigate to them theyre completely empty.

As an example heres what my C:\ Drive looks like when i try to use the Upload a File button on this site.

Heres the same location in the Windows Explorer:

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Noob Whisperer
I'm not sure what is masking the contents like that.
The first thing I would try would probably be a safe mode boot and see if the thing performed the same.
If it seems to work fine then you'll probably need to do a Clean Boot http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/929135 and commence trying to find the culprit.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
Well there's something obstructing you or, like Trouble put it, masking. It would seem evident that your problems are with images or related. You see anything on Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools\Event Viewer

Besides what Trouble mentions, I would uninstall the programs you mention, and try to get a fresh start without them. With a complete scan of your computer, with your AV, Malwarebytes and CCleaner.

I twice lost my Internet, soon followed by two losses of my Windows, and it was all about someone(s) not liking what I wrote on Youtube. Harassment can't be counted out. You could get all members of groups stopped from your computer? Get yourself a proxy or safe way, through your AV?

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