All my description data disappeared

A couple days ago, i was surprised when Windows told me, it's going to repair some issues on drive K. Now i found, that ten folders in my large photo directory are missing, there should be over 1200 of them, but ten session are definitely gone.

Also, all description data has gone. I have checked it in three ways, the column is empty, no content when i use my SetAttr Description command, and no infotip content. It is definiteley gone. Only the description for my most recent session is visible, so i can rule out, that the content is somehow hidden.

Maybe the repair has destroyed the ADS? Is there any chance to restore that data? I'm not sure, if that content is included in some backup files (meaning only Windows), but if so, maybe there is a chance to retrieve those infos, if they are somehow included in the OS files.

Sounds like you will need to restore the folders from your backups.

Fortunately there are some other backups (talking about those ten missing folders), but not in my place. I'm glad i found an old list, so i already found out, which folders exactly are lost.

What worries me more, how to get the descriptions back. Maybe i will try to restore my backup, which is just two weeks old. If the ADS data is stored there, in the Windows image, i could get them back. Otherwise i would have to copy them back by hand, from some other hard disk. But that would be a lot of work, talking about almost 1200 folders. Unless there is sn easy way to automatize it. I still wonder, how it happened. I hope my (quite new) drive isn't about to crash anytime soon.

Hindsight is great I know but you really need to set up a decent backup solution. Relying on a single hdd and luck doesn’t work - even a brand new drive can fail.

Not sure theres anything that can be done if Windows has removed (lost) the metadata then its probably gone. An undelete program might find something if Windows hasn’t overwritten the existing files but I doubt it.

Nir Sofer offers a tool that might help you.

AlternateStreamView is a small utility that allows you to scan your NTFS drive, and find all hidden alternate streams stored in the file system. After scanning and finding the alternate streams, you can extract these streams into the specified folder, delete unwanted streams, or save the streams list into text/html/csv/xml file.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/alternate_data_streams.html

Unfortunately the exported streams cannot be used directly to replace the lost ones. A script might be able to parse the exports and add the info to the folders and/or photo files.

Restoring the backups is probably the easier solution. It should be, at least that's what I thought was the idea of backups :wink:

Good luck!

Thanks, guys. Then i will have to collect the files from my other sources, which would work. Not sure about the lost metadata, though. I just wonder, why the folder descriptions are all gone, while the image tags are still there. It must be different streams then, i guess. But if all the image metadata would have been lost, not only those from the folders, that would be even worse, of course.

lxp, by the way, i also found Nir's program yesterday, had a brief look, but didn't see those folders so far. I will give it a full run later. Or, what would be part of another option, i would copy the empty folders from my familie's backups. As i just tested, the descriptions are preserved. The only problem would be, how to get them from the empty folders over to my original ones. If there is some way, Jon and Leo or any other real expert here :slight_smile: , please give me a hint. I know, i could do it manually, all 1100 of them (i have the most recent 100 folders or so mirrored to my SSD, saving me a bit of work), but maybe there is some way to mass copy the metadata to my damaged folders? I also wonder, how this could happened in the first place. That disk is quite new, so i wouldn't expect it to be already wonky. Anyway, stuff happens.

Hmm, doesn't look so promising. Lots of zero sized stream items, and even those with content show no sign of the expected metadata. I think i will try the other solution then.