Recovering Lost Files from Portable Hard Drive

Okay you save all your important files to that expensive portable hard drive so you won't tie up space on your machine right?  I know I do.

But then one day the unthinkable happens-- that portable device starts indexing itself and it won't start-- and even worse when you click on the icon some of those files that you've been saving seem to have disappeared-- panic time?


Okay, here's what happened.

I had three folders open on my Mac desktop-- I'm editing graphic novel pages and saving them (respectively) as PDF, PSD and TIF files, hence the three folders.

Photoshop starts to act a bit wonky and knowing that I haven't shut my computer down for a few days I opt to restart.  I close the folders and go through the restart process.  When my computer starts up again I notice something in the trash and without thinking much of it I empty it.

No worries.

Everything starts up fine and I click on the TOSHIBA EXT icon on my desktop and search into the Main folder to access the sub folders-- only now the incredibly important FINALS folder is no longer there.

Not a sign of it.

No panic yet, but a slight chill.  This is two years worth of work that will be gone if I can't find it.

I go to the Search Icon and type in the name of the folder-- nothing.
I go through EACH and EVERY other folder on the hard drive-- literally hundreds of them thinking that maybe I inadvertantly dragged it into something else.

Not there.

Worse, the Hard Drive is listed as INDEXING-- in fact endlessly INDEXING.
That's a problem.

Concerned that I might have accidently deleted it I download a program to recover deleted files-- I run a scan and it finds a deleted folder which MIGHT be the one I'm looking for.  Problem is you have to buy the serial code for it to work.

I do a Google search of the program (Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery) and I'm met with horrid reviews. Saved myself $100 there.

I restart my computer-- re-access the hard drive and the folder still isn't there.

I go to eject the hard drive but it's still indexing.  A google search as to whether ejecting an indexing Hard Drive is dangerous gets me no answers.

I let it continue indexing overnight and awake to find it still indexing.

I throw caution to the wind and I eject the hard drive, mid index.

I also physically UNPLUG it from it's USB cord and restart the computer again.

After it comes back up I plug it in and VIOLA!  The folder is back in place.

Apparently what happens is occasionally and without warning your portable hard drive will hide certain folders.  It could mean a virus attack, it could mean martians landing-- regardless.  Simply follow these steps:

1. Eject the disc on your desktop-- wait for the icon to disappear.
2. Unplug the USB cord from the hard drive.
3. Restart your computer.
4. After it boots, plug the USB back in.

Hopefully this works for you because it saved my life.