I recently placed about 3 GB worth of my university files on a USB drive. After a few days, I tried to access the files on the USB. So, I opened the 'My computer' folder, which is when I noticed that the removable drive showed '164 MB of 3.93 GB free' but there was a red bar (instead of blue) that signified the amount of space covered. I found that a little puzzling.

Anyway, I opened the USB drive to find that all my folders had become files. There was no symbol (i.e. it was empty) beside the names to indicate the program which would open the file. And each of them had 4.00 kB of space. I was in panic. And I was also surprised because although the USB had more than 3.00 GB covered, each of the folders(/files) was only 4.00 kB.

So, I clicked on Properties. Then I went to Tools to check the drive for errors. After the analysis, I found a hidden folder called FOUND.000. I found more than 5000 CHK files in it. I copied them to my Desktop, ran the Disk Defragmenter program on Windows and used Unchk to recover the data. The program recovered only the first 1192 files and a lot of them were in Winrar format (even though the original files were not). I could not recover the rest of the files.

I checked the USB drive for errors several time afterwards. After the first such analysis, FOUND.000 became a '002 File(.002)' file with 180 kB of space and all the CHK files were in FOUND.001. After the second analysis, FOUND.001 became a '001 File(.001)' file with 180 kB of space and all the CHK files were in FOUND.002. After the third analysis, FOUND.002 became a '002 File(.002)' file with 180 kB of space but none of the CHK files were in FOUND.003 (It had zero of 0 bytes of data, as I checked). The USB still showed only '164 MB of 3.93 GB free'.

I found the following after the third analysis:

"Some problems were found and fixed.

Any files that were affected by these problems were moved to a folder named "Found" on the device or disk. Your device or disk is now ready to use.

If you removed the device or disk before all files were fully written to it, parts of some files might still be missing. If so, go back to the source and recopy those files to your device or disk.

Volume Serial Number is 00D7-54A2
Windows is verifying files and folders...
Unrecoverable error in folder \FOUND.002.
File and folder verification is complete.
-240709632 bytes in 5689 recovered files.
Windows is verifying free space...
Free space verification is complete.
Windows had made corrections to the file system.

4,227,952,640 bytes total disk space.
552,960 bytes in 3 hidden folders.
184,320 bytes in 1 folders.
4,054,298,624 bytes in 5,699 files.
172,912,640 bytes available on disk.

4,096 bytes in each allocation unit.
1,032,215 total allocation units on disk.
42,215 allocation units available on disk."

This is the rundown on what I have done so far. If there is any way to recover the files intact, I must do it. (either from the CHK files, or the USB, or the hard disk becuase I cut and paste the documents onto my USB).

Could anyone please help me recover the files?

You can download a software called easus data recovery wizard . Trial version allows recovery of 1GB data. To recover unlimited data you'll have to buy it. Search for the software in Google or download.cnet.com.

commented: looks like spamming +0

And I was also surprised because although the USB had more than 3.00 GB covered, each of the folders(/files) was only 4.00 kB.

Don't know if this works for you, but the last time i had such error, here's what i did. But one thing i know is that your files still exist in those folders that's they show 4kb but when you right-click and check the folder property, it gives you its original size.

Had such attack and it converted all my folders into shortcuts and even folders of 20GB showed 5kb.

> If you know the folders that exist in the flash drive, access them via the address bar in the open window (e.g.G:\New Movies. If your Flash were Drive G and there exists a folder named New Movies).

> This would show you all the contents of the folder in the original state so you can copy them out to some other safe directory. I did this because double-clicking on the folder gives errors and right-clicking and selecting the 'Explore' command on the drop-down still produces same error.

>Once you're done copying all your files, you can format the flash and keep it clean

Lets know if it worked