Folders visible on flash drive, but no files


For no apparent or obvious reason, the files of my usb-flashdisk (32gb) are not visible/gone.

The drive is located, I get an 'autoplay' dialogue and all the folders are visible, but all the files (photo's, documents, .rar's, everything) is not visible (or gone…)
The folders show no contents, and the properties also show 0 bytes. The drive itself, on the other hand, shows that roughly half of the space is used.

I tried several usb ports and different pc's, but there is no difference.

What is the next step?

Best Answer

  • try a data recovery tool/file system scanning to see whether the file system is just corrupted
  • open up the drive itself (most drives are snap lock designs. Easy to pry open using a sharp knife). Look for physical damage. In this case, my guess is that it's possible that the first chunk of the flash memory is unaffected but the chunk which actually holds the data is in trouble. Look for a gap between parts that should be in contact. It may only take a bit of bending to get back access to your files (had this problem before. Used a soldering iron to weld back relevant points)
  • I've seen something like this with my one of my optical drives. Basically, anything it wrote would show up as zero sized files after written. It was only when I updated the firmware would things act normally. Try on a newer machine
  • power problem. There is a malfunction electronically somewhere (on the drive itself or on your system). Power issues can result in a ll sorts of strange anomalies including possibly this
  • use a different Operating System (Knoppix, a Live Linux Distribution is probably best suited to this) to see whether it is specific to it. Had something similar before where a NTFS filesystem would show up normally under Linux but corrupt under Windows