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  1. #1
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    Files show up as folders

    Subject changed by Phil Rabichow to make it more meaningful for future searches
    Hi All,
    PC at church lost it. One of the users reinstalled OS and now all the files show up as folders. Don't remember the details. Is there a way to recover the files or are we done?
    John

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Hi John:
    Could you be more specific? Do you mean that files show up in Windows Explorer with the folder icon?

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    What happens when you open a folder ???

    Are the files inside the folder or do you get an error message or dialogue box asking which program you want to use to open the file with ???
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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Windows Exlorer shows a bunch of folders called Dir00001... a bunch of files called File00001.chx... and a few other folders that are empty (Windows, Program Files).

    Inside the folders are the contents of what we used to have, but the files won't open because it can't find the program associated with the files.

    I'm told that the PC was acting funny in the past few months. Unable to view file properties and files were dissappearing.

    What do you suggest? A few people are recommending formatting and starting all over. I'd like to recover the data first, then format and reload everything if possible.

    TIA

    John

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Are the file extensions intact (eg - .doc .jpg .txt .rtf) or is just the file name showing ??? Can you open all your programs normally ??? How does the machine behave when you first start it up ??? Are you running a firewall and anti-virus software up-to-date definitions ???

    I don't like to speculate, but from what you are saying here, there may have been or still be a virus or Trojan Horse at work. Or there's always the chance that the hard drive is damaged or failing. But before taking the drastic step of formatting and reinstalling, I'd first see if we can isolate the problem and then fix it. Unless, of course, you have a current & complete backup of any important data that was on the computer. Then I might suggest doing the format and reinstall, just to clean house and be rid of anything that was causing the problems.
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    Re: Files show up as folders

    If the files had a .chk extension, I would think they were file fragments that are created sometimes by defrag or scandisk. However, I can't find any information on .chx. You could try running a thorough scandisk to check the hard drive & also run System File Checker (Start/Run/sfc<enter>).
    Hope this helps,

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Sorry, I must have copied it down wrong while talking to the user. It is .chk. I brought the drive in to work to have my PC support buddies look at it. The drive came up fine as a slave and they scanned it and found no viruses. All the Dir0000X folders have the old data from the original file structure. Some of it is duplicated because another user had reinstalled Win98. I think our only option or best option is to copy all the data to CD, and do a complete rebuild of the HD using the OEM disk for the PC. Then ghost it or something.

    Any other suggestions?

    John

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Hi John:
    I did a search on Google & came up with this site regarding lost file fragments & recovering them. I haven't used the utilities mentioned. They also recommend renaming the extension, provided you know where they came from. Yes, I'd back up the files & folders & hope for the best. I wish I could recall where I read information on the Dir0001 folders; they sound familiar, but I can't place it.

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Sounds like a major system crash and the OS saved the data to those DIR000* files. (Phil, if you go here I think it will help clarify what the DIR0001 and subsiquent files are.) I would do just what you are thinking and save all those DIR files to CD and then restore them manually to the correct directory after you format and reinstall the OS and programs. A bit of work, but console yourself with the fact that your data is not lost. I'd guess that most of it came from the My Documents folder anyway.
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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Hi Doc:
    Thanks for the link, but I can't get any information from there. The DIRs are listed & when you click on one, you get a GIF. Nice pictures, but no info. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    That was the point. The DIR files contain the missing data. I'm still curious if the programs that opened the files previously will open and if you could then open the data in the DIR files directly from the program or if one were to right click on the file inside the DIR folder and choose Open with.... and select the program, if it would open the data file.

    John............. ?????
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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Well, I reinstalled the drive in the original pc. We were able to open some of the word files but it complained about some missing files. I reinstalled office 97 and the files opened fine. But....

    I tried to install the cdrw software but it would not complete installing. It didn't give a reason, just said there was a problem and finished without completing the install. I see the drive as a normal cd drive. But I can't install the software to make it rw.

    Under the device manager there are a couple of devices with?'s. They are the sound devices. I suspect they are somehow related to why the CDRW software does not install.

    If I had another HD, maybe I could install it, put the OS on it and maybe get the cdrw working to backup the data. Then rebuild the original hd.

    What else should I try?

    John

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    Re: Files show up as folders

    Have you run a through Scandisk and System File Checker as Phil suggested ??? They might straighten some of this out.

    The ?s in Device Manager most likely indicate that the drivers for those devices are corrupt and must be replaced or updated. If you have the install disks for the hardware in question use them. Otherwise, you may have to download them from the internet on another system and put them on a floppy disk (they'll fit) and install them on the damaged system. HTH
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