Missing Files in Folder (Properties vs. Explorer)

I have a folder with 85,893 files, according to the folder Properties tab and my memory of its contents. However, Windows Explorer is currently showing just 1490 files, which appear to be the first 1490 alphabetically. AC Browser Plus finds 1811 files at the beginning of the alphabet, Bulk Rename Utility matches Windows Explorer. An image viewing program (ThumbsPlus) is finding 8041 or so files, which appear to be the first 1800 or so alphabetical plus newer ones that it has thumbnailed with its own directory information.

Obviously the files are still on the hard drive (for one thing, ThumbsPlus can access the files that it has thumbnailed but aren't appearing elsewhere) and the file directory has been damaged somehow. There must be a way to fix this, eh?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
You seem to have several third party versions of software installed. Could they be part of the problem?

Are these files something that might be effected by Digital Rights Management? Are any encrypted or secure in some other way?

Did you put the files in the directory by just transferring or some other method?

Are there any pointers in the folder that might be pointing to other directories, but the actual files are not in that directory you are checking?

Have you set the folder options/View to see all hidden and system files?

The third party software has either been used continually with these files for years without a problem (ThumbsPlus) or hardly ever (AC Browser Plus).

There are no DRM issues with these files; they're all .jpgs. They were perfectly accessible a few days before the problem happened, via both Windows Explorer and ThumbsPlus.

They have essentially all been moved to the current directory with ThumbsPlus, an image managing program. Since ThumbsPlus can access files in the directory that aren't showing up in either Windows Explorer or AC Browser Plus (the files that is has created a thumbnail image and hence its own directory information for), it seems very unlikely to be the problem.

There's nothing else in the folder, no pointers, etc. It's as simple as could be.

Since everything else on my hard drive and directory system is working perfectly, the most parsimonious explanation is a single point of data damage that happens to be in the MFT for this directory. One point of damage is more credible than two. If this were DOS, I'd have already fired up my hex editor, examined the directory, and fixed the damage. But I don't even know where the directory information is located (all I've been able to gather is that it's called the MFT!) nor how it operates. That the file list is truncated alphabetically has to be a clue. Is the file list dynamically or periodically re-alphabetized to speed access? What kind of damage would cause a problem like this despite the presence of the backup / mirror copy? I need someone with a fairly intimate knowledge of the way the Windows 7 directory system operates to make sense of this.

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