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The Vanishing MP3s - Where did they go, and HOW?

(3 posts)
  • Started 6 years ago by nickfs
  • Latest reply from ScottW
  • Topic Viewed 627 times

nickfs
Posts: 3

This one has got me stumped. After purchasing my first iPod, an 8gb touch, I finally started using iTunes on a regular basis, sometime back in Feb of this year. I've since added (legitimately) a good 25-30GB of music and video to my iTunes music folder in My Music. I previously had maybe 5GB of "questionably obtained" music that I had accumulated over the last several years, and had not added to iTunes mostly because the songs were single, random, mis-named, and otherwise all sorts of wonky. They were in a sub-folder of a folder on my root drive. My plan was to eventually take the time to edit the ID info for all the songs and add them to iTunes, but I have had more important things to do, like work and sleep and generally have a life. I finally found a bit of free time recently to begin my cataloging, when I discovered that *POOF* the magical folder of mp3s was now a whopping 688kb. Hmm, that's a bit odd. I did a system search for any MP3 files, and was only able to locate those in my iTunes music folder and the MP3s associated with games and applications. I also checked my iTunes music folder and my iTunes master playlist to make sure the files didn't accidentally get added, which they were not. I was a little upset, but to be fair, the majority of the files were ill-gotten from my Napster and Limewire days, and maybe I'm better off without them. I do still have a Ghost backup, although it is a good 6 months old and I don't feel like doing a full system restore just to get some stupid mp3s. I'd have to re-image my current system, install the old image, backup the files, re-install the recent backup, and on and on.

What is troubling me is how the files disappeared. I've had bad luck with bad sectors and failing drives in the past, and I'm hoping this was not a drive snafu and an indicator that my drive is about to kaput. On the flipside, I'm also worried about network vulnerabilities, and the possibility that someone or some bot got into my system. The only reason I'm thinking this is that I have my hard drive marked a shared, and the folder the MP3 files were in is also marked as shared. I am also running a wireless network. I am using WPA protection with a strong password, but I am announcing my SSID for easy connection for my iPod, Wii, Laptop, Axim. I am current with AVG protection and Spybot, which I regularly update. Windows Firewall is also active. I'm pretty sure all my holes are plugged, but with the disappearing files, I'm not so certain. I'm probably a bit paranoid, I have more valuable files than mp3s that don't seem to have vanished or have been manipulated. The only clue I have is that the MP3 folder was modified sometime in April, I assume that's when whatever happened, happened.

I've also ruled out the vindicative wife deleting files, half the songs were hers anyway. No one else touches this machine.

Any thoughts? IS there anything I should be concerned with? Do I maybe just need some meds;) ?

Posted 6 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

I think with some Ghost versions there is a program named Ghost Explorer that lets you open an image and copy the files out of it you need. If you have it then that could help.

Posted 6 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 6609

Nick, I got a good chuckle from your post. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after your MP3s. I don't think you need to start a permanent course of medication, but you could start with just a single chill pill. :-)

As jd2066 says, you can retrieve individual files from a Ghost backup. If all those MP3 files are in there from 6 months ago, you should be all set. If you need help with Ghost, tell us what version you are on and give a holler.

BTW, all of the security measures you have are good, so I wouldn't worry that hackers had invaded your system to erase your MP3 files and leave. It's good to be cautious, just don't fall over the thin line into real paranoia. To check your hard drives, get the diagnostic tool from the manufacturer and run the "long" test to check for bad sectors. SeaTools for a Seagate, Lifeguard for a WD, DFT for a Hitachi and so on.

Posted 6 years ago
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