content of download folder gone!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zzoltan, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. zzoltan macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2010

    the content of my download folder, which had contained thousands of files with a total size of about 300G, disappeared. i did not delete, archive or zip it. in fact, i didnt even touch it. also, there is no trace of the files in the trash either - nor elsewhere on the hard drive (at least this is what the quick search shows). however, the download folder is still there, but empty.

    i would much appreciate if someone could advise on a.) what could have possibly happened, b.) how could i restore the previous content of the folder or recover the files, and c.) with what kind of precautions/settings could i prevent this situation from occurring again.

    many thanks!

  2. Damo01 macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    no idea...

    are you the only one who use the mac, your using?
    Do you have a backup of everything that is inside the downloads folder?
  3. zzoltan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2010
    yes, i am the only one and unfortunately, the time machine wasn't set properly, so chances to recover stuff from there are low - although i'm not an expert at all.
  4. smirk macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    Wow, that stinks.

    There are lots of "undelete" programs for Windows, I'm sure they exist for Mac too. They scan through the disk looking for file data that still exists even though it has been removed from the disk directory. You could run one of those and see what you get, although it will be messy and the recovered files might not retain their original names.

    Wait a second... here's a random question: Did the free disk space on your drive increase by 300 GB? Is there any way that the Finder is just being slow in showing the folder's contents? Sometimes when I open a folder that contains thousands of files the window sits there blank for awhile while it's loading in the file names.

    If you remember exactly the name of one of the items in your Downloads folder, you could do a search in Terminal just to make sure that the file truly doesn't exist:

    sudo find / -name "Missing file.jpg" -print
    It is case sensitive! The "sudo" part gives the command more authority, so when you hit return it will ask you for your password. If you only remember part of the name you could do this:

    sudo find / -name "Missing*" -print
    Good luck, I hope you find your files.
  5. vehder1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2011
    Any one figure this out? Exact same thing happened to me

    Exact same thing happened to me. Is it a torrent thing or a virus? More important how do you get the files back?
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There has never been a virus in the wild that runs on Mac OS X. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some education and common sense and care in what software you install:
  7. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    You need to add this to your sig as many times as you have to post it each week. :D
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, and the one on batteries and on disk formats and information for new Mac users, and... too bad there's a signature length limit! :D

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