Help! Files Disappeared!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by furnish, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. furnish macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #1
    I am not sure that this is the right forum for this, but I can't quite figure out where to post this otherwise.

    Anyway, I'm not tech savy at all, so I need any advice people might have about this. A couple of hours ago all the files in my Documents folder disappeared. The folder is there, but only two documents are in it (the two I was working on today).

    I can't find any of my files by searching in the finder window. I have no idea where to start on this. I haven't backed up any of my files because clearly I was operating under the misconception that losing all of my documents all at once could never happen to me.

    I am totally lost here. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

    I would appreciate any advice, especially because I basically have no idea how macs work.
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #2
    This was a good choice.

    Where? Give the path. You can open the folder that this Documents Folder is in, then grab the Documents Folder and drag it into the Reply window here. That will magically make the path to it appear in your post.

    Try the upper right hand corner. That little magnifying glass icon is for Spotlight. Use that to search for a file that you know the name of. What happens?

    Apologies if that was too basic for you.
     
  3. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, I don't know if anyone is still checking this, but my documents are still missing.

    Here's what comes up when I click and drag the Documents folder into the reply:

    /Users/Susannah/Documents

    Also none of my files are showing up when I search for them specifically in Spotlight.
     
  4. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #4
    Ok, that's your User Account's Documents Folder. That's where you should be keeping your documents. Just wanted to make sure you weren't looking in the wrong place, like a Documents Folder that you created somewhere else.

    So, do you recall exactly what happened right before you noticed your files were missing? Do you have a backup of your files?
     
  5. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #5
    Are you Susannah? Could you have switched user accounts without realizing it?
     
  6. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #6
    i was trying to scan something from my printer to my computer. when that didn't work i was typing the text into a document. when i tried to save that document i noticed that all of my documents were missing.
     
  7. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #7
    i am susannah, and as far as i can tell there has been no change in user accounts...
     
  8. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #8
    Have you looked in the trash ?
    Have you logged off and looked at what other users are available? (perhaps you are logged on as the wrong user)
    Regards not backing up, did it not occur to you that your hard disk might simply fail making everything unavailable and lost?
     
  9. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #9
    Is your account, the Susannah account the only user account on the Mac?
     
  10. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #10
    yes, it is the only account.
     
  11. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #11
    yes, and no luck

    i have logged off, but i am the only user

    i will definitely back up from here on out, and have backed up some (but by no means all) files by emailing them to myself, but i guess i just took a stupid gamble here...
     
  12. Tumbleweed666, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #12
    Last chance perhaps, there is data recovery software available - 'Data Rescue' comes up here often, might be worth trying that. Never used it myself but it gets good reports here.

    The sooner you use it and the less you do on your Mac in the meantime, the far better your chances of getting at least some of your files back.

    For the future, buy another disk, you can by a 500Gb disk for peanuts, plug it in and just let Time Machine do its thing, the hardest part of using TM will be the online purchase process of the disk. That rescued me just this morning when I did something really stuuuupid in iPhoto that otherwise would have taken me a couple of days to fix.
     
  13. DewGuy1999, Nov 12, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010

    DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #13
    By any chance could you have been working from a external hard drive/network drive/thumb drive, etc.?

    Has anything else disappeared besides the files in the Documents folder?

    It's possible that you saved them (or even accidentally drug them) somewhere else on the hard drive. Do you know the names of the missing files?

    There's a nice little freeware program made available by Devon Technologies called EasyFind that I like (better than Spotlight on Tiger) to find files, it will even find invisible and system files. Maybe you could download/install it and see if you can find your missing files with it. For OS X 10.5 and newer, it's on this download page under the section Freeware Applications and Services, the second item EasyFind 4.6.
     
  14. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #14
    good tip! will do!
     
  15. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #15
    no external hard drive/network drive/thumb drive in use...

    one file from my desktop called "misc" it basically just had documents in it as well, but unlike the "documents" folder (which still exists but is virtually empty), the "misc" folder itself has disappeared.

    i have been running searches for some of the names i remember, but they don'ts seem to be there at all.

    this was a good suggestion, because i've been feeling like i'm not taking any proactive steps here, but download the software and searched for all files, and no luck.

    feels like it might be hopeless but i still don't know what i did wrong to lose the files in the first place?
     
  16. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #16
    This has got me stumped. I've been using Macs since '93 and I've never heard of anything like this spontaneously happening before.

    Do you recall doing anything/installing anything, etc. around the time of this happening that could be the cause? Even if you don't think it's related, it could be.

    Does anyone else have access to your Mac? Could they have done something? Do you have music/movies/photos on your Mac? If so, are they still there?

    Which Mac are you using? Which version of OS X?
     
  17. serega macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    I have a little different situation with disappearing files but I watch this thread to see if any solution found.
    I wanted to upgrade from Leopard to snow leopard on my IMac, so I run time machine then inserted disc for upgrade. SL did not like my HD file system (No GUID?) so I decided start from scratch, since I backed up just before. I kept my TM drive connected, so after SL installed I run TM to load my progs and files. After TM done I found that every thing for last 5 month could not be found. Even in my last backup folder of TM drive had outdated files. I'm sure I've seen them before the installation. Main HD been formatted so I don't even know what can help me. Feel so stupid.
     
  18. furnish thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #18
    I was trying to scan something from printer to my computer, but that didn't work (probably because I am so tech illiterate). But it was an image not a document, and I didn't have Word open.

    No one else has access to my mac, I have a roommate but we don't use one another's computers.

    I have a MacBook that I bought two years ago (the model identifier says MacBook4,1). The OS X version is 10.5.8.
     
  19. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #19
    Was there anything in your Trash when you discovered this problem? Is there currently anything in your Trash?
     
  20. shwc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    #20
    The day before your troubles started did you happen try to rename your home folder (the folder that has/had an icon of a house (i.e., the folder located MacIntosh HD > Users > )

    If you did that is why your files "disappeared."
    Actually your files still exist, you need to change the name back to the original.

    There is a apple support document that tells how to recover from this situation.
    The apple site is down for upgrades at the moment so I can not find it for you at the moment.

    for now here are two macrumor forum links:
    macrumor forum link
    macrumor forum link
     

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