A Case of a Lost File. PLEASE HELP!!!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kriscat, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. kriscat macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2011
    Mac OSX 10.6.7

    I wanted to transfer some files from an external hard drive (WD) to my macbook pro.

    On Finder (desktop), I made a "New Folder" and dragged it to the sidebar in "Places", just below the Application icon.

    From the hard drive, I dragged the selected files for the past 3 hours to the "New Folder".

    When I was done. I ejected the hard drive and then I realize that the "New Folder" on the side bar is already gone.

    I realize that dragging was sort of a "cut-paste" action, therefore, all original files from the hard drive is gone.

    Can somebody help me please? Thanks.
  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    The "New Folder" on the sidebar is irrelevant as the sidebar is effectively just a bunch of aliases. You made a "New Folder" on your desktop. That's the one that matters because that's the only "New Folder" that really exists. If you deleted that one, then the files you copied into it would also be gone.

    Additionally, no, dragging a file isn't a "cut and paste" operation. It's a really bad analogy because it doesn't always apply. If you drag from one drive to another, files are copied. If you drag within a single volume, files are moved. Therefore, if you were copying files from your external drive to your internal, they would still be on the external unless you did something special to remove them.
  3. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Plus unlike Windows folders REPLACE not MERGE. :mad:
  4. kriscat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2011
    Please note that I directly dragged the files from the external hard drive TO THE "New Folder" AT THE Sidebar (not on the desktop).

    I did not delete anything after I finished transferring. Until I ejected the the hard drive then I saw that the "New Folder" on the sidebar (Places) was lost.

    Noted info re dragging. Thanks.
  5. mstrze, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011

    mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Where did you create the "New Folder"?

    My guess is that it was within the external hard drive's window, so it exists ONLY on that external and would indeed disappear when you ejected it. I can almost guarantee that it you plug that external back in, the 'New Folder' will show up once again.

    Make a new folder in a brand new Finder window or on the Desktop and then use that folder...i.e. drag that one to the sidebar and use it for storage/transfer of these files.

    EDIT: I am more convinced this is what happened to you after re-reading because simply dragging files from one drive to an other makes a copy on the destination and keeps the originals in place, but when dragging files from one folder to another on the same drive, it removes them from the original location and they end up in the new spot. So, if you truly made a 'new folder' on the main drive (on the actual desktop as you say), dragging files to it would not have deleted the originals without holding down an extra key.
  6. kriscat thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2011
    FOUND IT!!!

    As per Detrius, "they would still be on the external unless you did something special to remove them." -----> it seems I accidentally dragged "New Folder" to another one and that something special was me deleting such main folder when I was trying to clean up since I'm done. It was sitting nicely inside Trash (although was inside that folder).

    Thank you for all the info.

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