Unable to view folders on the external hard drive

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Last night I wiped out the free space on my 256 GB FAT32 hard drive using Advanced System Optimizer. Unfortunately I am unable to see any of the folders in the external drive. The drive clearly shows 186 GB has been occupied and another 46 GB as available.
Today morning I converted my external drive from FAT32 to NTFS hoping to get back the lost folders, however it still shows 186 GB occupied and 46 GB as available but the folders are not visible Could you please help with a solution
Thank you
Salarwa

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Hi salarwa,

There is a possibility the Hard Drive and its Partitions are not allocated properly after formatting using different files systems (viz FAT32 and NTFS). The actual method of checking the available space is by looking at the Hard Drive in Disk Management. To check the Hard Drive in Disk Management, please follow the steps mentioned in the below mentioned link. Please check and ensure there is no unallocated space in your external Hard Drive. If so, format and assign a drive letter to the unallocated space:

https://ccm.net/faq/29798-manage-partitions-under-windows

Also, ensure the files are not hidden in your External Hard Drive.

Do reply with results.
Thanks Zohaib for your reply. the disk management clearly displays 232 GB of healthy primary partition. I did manage to get the files back using the (attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.*) command. The files are in file000.chk format in two different folders FOUND.000 & FOUND.001. Is it possible to get them back in their original form in their respective folders.

Thanks for the help

Salarwa
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Hi Salarwa,

".CHK" files are recovered lost cluster chains. The clusters might get lost when file operations are interrupted abnormally. In the case of an USB flash drive or a Hard Drive that might happen when you physically unplug the device before "Safely Removing Hardware" (technically, before the OS has finished writing cached data to the medium).

A single .CHK file contains:

1. a single entire file (or multiple entire files),
2. a part (or multiple parts) of a file (or multiple files) or
3. a mix of both of the above.

Recovering something useful from those .CHK files is an extremely difficult thing. I will provide a tip here; I have not tried this and can't guarantee if you will be able to recover your data entirely. The software "EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard" helps you recover the data in most of the cases. You can find instructions on how to recover the data and download "EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard" from the below mentioned link:

http://www.easeus.com/resource/recover-hard-drive-data.htm

Note : A free edition can only recover 1GB files for free.

Follow the instructions in the above page and check if you can recover the data.

Do reply with results.

Thanks & Regards
Zohaib R
#iworkfordell