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Thread: many files vanished, leaving empty directories

  1. #1
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    Default many files vanished, leaving empty directories

    Just had a scary experience: many directories were suddenly empty of files--documents and executables. The directory structure remains.
    Examined the disk with Konqueror, Dolphin, and the command line (ls after cd). Found that most data files are gone. Some directories of the form xxx_files still hold information, but the original HTML files are not visible (I hesitate to say 'gone').
    Any ideas? Malware? There have been no warnings or demands for ransom. I've not rebooted until I can get this message posted. Will wait an hour at least for replies, then I'll reboot and see what happens.
    Thanks
    Leap/KDE and a film-based photographer

  2. #2
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    Default Re: many files vanished, leaving empty directories

    Use
    Code:
    ls -a
    so that you will see hidden files (names begin with ".").

    Is this is "/home" or in the root file system? Is this on more than one partition? Is it possible that the disk is failing, and you can see only what happens to be cached in memory?

    If disk failure is a possibility, you might shutdown (if you can), or just power off. Then leave the power completely off for an hour to allow everything to cool down. And then see what happens if you try to restart.
    openSUSE Leap 15.1; KDE Plasma 5;
    testing Leap 15.2Alpha

  3. #3
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    Default Re: many files vanished, leaving empty directories

    nrickert, you lead me to a possible answer. The data files are on a HD at /home/user/...; the system is on SSD.
    Looks like the HD isn't responding. Opened gparted and see only the SSD.
    I'll shut down for a while and let the HD cool. Sysmon reports the CPU temp at 49 C, which seems reasonable, so I'm not sure why the HD would be hot.
    Get back to you when I know more (and can use the computer).
    Leap/KDE and a film-based photographer

  4. #4

    Talking Re: many files vanished, leaving empty directories

    I have seen similar disappearance of files from inside of folders of a mechanical hard drive when an application crashed because the partition was full.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: many files vanished, leaving empty directories

    Quote Originally Posted by konsultor View Post
    Sysmon reports the CPU temp at 49 C, which seems reasonable, so I'm not sure why the HD would be hot.
    It is common for hard disks to run hot.

    From my logs:
    Code:
    smartd[1333]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], SMART Usage Attribute: 194 Temperature_Celsius changed from 97 to 96
    Normally, they are designed to handle that. But occasionally the electronics on a disk is affected by that heat.
    openSUSE Leap 15.1; KDE Plasma 5;
    testing Leap 15.2Alpha

  6. #6

    Default Re: many files vanished, leaving empty directories

    I once had files "missing", and eventually thought to blast the dust out of my SATA cables and connectors. I'd give that a try first.
    Desktop : Leap 15.1 | KDE Plasma | AMD Phenom II x6 1035T | 8 GB Memory | Integrated Radeon HD4250 | Ext4
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