All desktop files and folders disappeared from hard drive


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theboot

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Hi there,
I am hoping anyone can help out with some advice.

I know there are a few options like file recovery apps/ disk warrior and disk utilties to try.

I am wondering if what I was doing (outlined below) caused an issue with the directory and if that means there's a chance the files are still recoeverable. But not having used these much or knowing the issue I am tentative to do anything that could be destructive.

It would be great to get some insight before turning to data recovery service.

(I don't have time machine and while I use an external drive to back up there is a significant amount not backed up recently)


BACKGROUND INFO:
Running Macbook Pro - MACOS 10.6.8

- Started up laptop
- Opened the design app 'pencil'.
I don't use this app much and hadn't used the app for a while. I wanted to test I could export a pdf successfully.

- Selected the option to export from the app and followed the prompts to export a pdf

-When asked to 'save as' typed 'test' and selected the Desktop as the location
I think rather than nominate a file name of 'test' this created 'test' as part of the file path

- Clicking confirmation to export then prompted the printer app to open with a job logged in the queue
I did not see any file created on the desktop so retried the process:

- Selected the option to export a file again from the app.
I noticed the file path was set to: Desktop/test

- This time I typed save as 'test.pdf'
The location file path was then: Desktop/test.pdf

- Clicked to save out and this prompted another job to be logged in the queue of the printer app

- I then noticed all files and folders disappeared from the desktop apart from the 'Macingtosh HD'.

- Searched hard drive and could not find the files

- Restarted the computer - still no files or folders showing

- Searched trash - no sign of files

- the downloads and documents folders are still populated


Thanks in advance!
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello and welcome.

That is a strange issue indeed. I would update your backup first. Then you could try the following:

Repair disk permissions with Disk Utility
How to Repair User-Level Permissions in Mac OS X

Do you have an Apple Store nearby that may be able to take a look? It can be kind of difficult to diagnose this type of issue without being able to physically see the Mac. We don't want you to lose any more files during our troubleshooting.

C
 

theboot

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Thanks Cory.
In the end I backed up with the trial version of carbon copy. I then tried disk and permission repair. That didn't resolve anything.
I downloaded a trial version of Disk Drill and was able to trace a lot of the missing files so I have bought the full version and I have been able to dig and rescue most of what was lost.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to reinstate or rescue the folder structures and could not search/find the missing folders. So I have just been trawling through untitled deleted files and rebuilding the structure manually.

I'm still at a loss as to what caused the issue or whether there was a simpler means to recover things.

On the plus side it still beats the hell out of redoing the lost work or paying an arm an leg for data recovery service.

thanks for your help!
 

tompatrick

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theboot,

It is really strange that despite an experienced Mac user, you haven’t taken the backup of your data.

Since, data is not available in time machine and also you recent data’s is missing, and then I suggest you to try these two free data recovery software.

TestDisk

Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery Software
 
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