USB data lost due to Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by alicepw, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. alicepw, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017

    alicepw macrumors newbie

    alicepw

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi

    I saved a large number of files (7000 - I'm a teacher) to my USB stick from my work computer (Windows).

    Today I put the USB stick in my Mac and saw only a black rectangle with the name of the USB stick and I couldn't open any files.

    I returned the stick to a Windows computer and found that the files had disappeared and in their place was a 'shortcut' to the files which didn't work.

    I put the stick in another Windows computer and first ran a virus check before opening it. The virus checker checked all the files, even naming them. But still I can't access them.

    Are the files lost or is there another way of finding them? They are no longer on my work computer so really hoping there is! :(

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. Nigel Goodman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    A common problem I saw when helping university students in the lab was that when they brought their work in from their Windows home computer they had copied the Shortcuts rather than the actual file. Do you think this is what you have done (it's very easy to do by mistake)? Did you check that the files you copied were the real files rather than the Shortcuts? Are you sure they are not on your work computer - or did you delete them? Are they in the Recycle bin?

    Sorry, so many questions, but if you accidentally copied the Shortcuts rather then the real files they should still be on the work computer, unless you deleted them from there.
     
  3. alicepw thread starter macrumors newbie

    alicepw

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Hi thanks for your message but I don't think so as when I go to Properties it says the disk has 15GB of data on it although nothing shows in the viewing pane.

    I always check the files are on the USB when I transfer them.

    I wondered if putting the USB stick in the Mac somehow converted it from NTFS to FAT32 (it currently is on FAT32). But I'm not an expert so don't want to convert it back without knowing for sure as I might risk deleting them.
     
  4. SaSaSushi, Jul 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017

    SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Takamatsu, Japan
    #4
    After you transferred the files to the thumb drive in Windows, did you confirm they were copied properly before removing the stick and inserting it in the Mac?

    A Mac will mount PC-formatted drives in read-only mode unless you have installed third-party software for enabling NTFS writing. (like Tuxera or FUSE).

    You can format the drive in a Mac in Fat32 so that it can be read/write in both Mac and Windows but the Mac would not do this just by inserting a thumb drive. You would need to launch Disk Utility to do so.

    It sounds to me like some sort of corruption on the thumb drive itself that may have nothing to do with the insertion into the Mac.
     
  5. Audit13 macrumors 6502a

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #5
    I suggest trying to recover the files on a windows machine using a program named recuva. It's freeware and has saved me a few times.
     
  6. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2001
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #6
    I would suggest that you bring back the files once recovered on windows, and export them to your google drive or one drive account, then access them online at home.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    "Are the files lost or is there another way of finding them? They are no longer on my work computer so really hoping there is!"

    If the files were important to you, why did you entrust them to ONLY ONE storage device?

    This is what the concept of "backing up" one's data is all about.

    If the flash drive still shows "15gb" of data -somewhere-, you might try data recovery software (on the PC) to retrieve it.
     
  8. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    on the land line mr. smith.
    #8
    Agreed. Best to use a good recover tool ASAP. Many are cross platform. The easiest to use cost $, but are likely worth the money for the average user. Disk Drill is good: https://www.cleverfiles.com/disk-drill-windows.html

    I can't say what caused the issue...no way the drive was inadvertently reformatted (if it were, there would be nothing on it).

    It also begs the question what the format was before. If it was NTFS, it would be read only on the Mac, so you could not edit or change or save anything. Could have been FAT or something else.
     
  9. alicepw thread starter macrumors newbie

    alicepw

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Thank you everyone. You are right, the USB stick did corrupt. I've never had that happen before in all the years of using one, so just my luck that it somehow got corrupted in the few days between copying the material and when I was next able to back it up.

    I found a data recovery programme and looks like it was all recovered.
     

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