folder disappeared, :( not hidden, 5 beeps, corrupted drive?

Hi to all, I have a little issue. I went on my HP laptop today and tried to access a very important folder with years of data that I really cannot afford to lose.

I transferred the data 4 days ago from a USB because I was planning to transfer it to a larger USB as I want to fit more things on the USB instead of carrying around 2 or 3. The folder contained so many precious family and friend photo’s such as weddings, Christmas, holidays, moments and other as well as video and projects I have been working on for years, word documents and countless other things that I can’t remember in order to even start to replace them. As I said it is years’ worth of things I have saved.

I understand with such important things you should back up which I usually do, but I figured I would transfer them to the laptop and run out the next day to buy a new USB, come home and put them on the new USB right away. I thought everything should be fine and did not expect an issue to come up so fast within a day or two. Nobody else uses the laptop but me, it is secured as well so that would be impossible. Something came up and I had to wait a couple of extra days before grabbing the new, larger USB. The next day I opened my laptop, on start-up I heard 8 or 9 short beeps. I was a little bit worried but also late for work so I opened CCleaner, then I “analyzed” and hit “fix selected issues” which I never had a problem with in the many years I’ve been using CCleaner so I don’t believe that is related to the issue. After words I headed off to work and hoped everything would be fine until the next time I could use the laptop… Murphy’s law.

The next time I opened the laptop, on start-up I got 5 short, loud beeps. I went to access my folder and the folder was no longer there, vanished completely. I immediately searched in the search bar for the folder and nothing even related popped up. I also tried searching for files within the folder but with no luck.
Also I then tried searching for information on Google and such to solve the issue. I tried one suggestion I found in order to fix the “hidden folders and files” problem that sometimes can occur on pcs but it did not help as that is not the issue. I was able to access the folder at first when I first transferred the information from the USB and then it just completely disappeared a day or 2 after.

I have been asking around but all I have been getting is sarcastic remarks or people saying you shouldn’t do that, back up, take it to a professional. That is obviously not an option or else I would not be posting to a site that is put up for such situations when people need help with computers. Money is very tight for me currently.
I understand if nobody can help otherwise…. Stating the obvious however does the opposite and I just thought I would give this one more shot in case somebody actually might be able to help or would also even be willing to help me in a very tough situation as I would be eternally grateful.
These family photos and memories are very important to not only me but my family as well.

Thank you so much, Vanessa.

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Clarification Request
was this USB backup a flashdrive or....

....a USB hard drive or SSD in an enclosure? If a USB flashdrive, where did you buy it? There's a lot of "Fake" USB flashdrives sold on EBay.

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not sure what you are talking about

I didn`t use a usb to back up anything yet?????

I transferred the files from a usb that I have had for years that always worked before bought at staples to a folder on my laptop that I used for a few days and then the folder vanished.


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have you done the obvious?

Used the Search function against the hard drive to see if it can find the folder? You may have just lost/forgot where you put it. Also run a search for all files modified in the past 2 days or when you did this, maybe you accidentally put the data in a folder of a different name. If you know one file name in the data, then run a search for it.

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For a clue...

Google for beep codes for your machine. Stop using that drive! Get an external case and clone your drive to that, and work on the clone. There are other ways to get your files, but lets see where we are first.

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Thank you very much for replying... I have no clue where to even start with that...

I do not know how to "Get an external case and clone your drive to that, and work on the clone"

Do you mean I have to buy a whole new computer? How much will this cost me? Also will this ensure that I get the folder and files back?

Thank you so much again, I do really appreciate your assistance today.

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The most important thing....

is recovering your files. As Bob and myself stated, stop using that drive. Clone it to another drive and work on the clone. There is a way with Linux to get your files off, but we'll come to that later.
Did you google the 5 beep code for your machine?

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I know and

I don`t care about my machine, I hope it explodes. I just need to get my files transferred .
onto something else so that I can save them.

I know that the most important thing is saving the files as you said and to stop using the drive. What do I do from there and how do I do it, what do I need to do it, ect?

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OK Vanessa...

... don't panic just yet. Your PC might just need a new drive. You didn't supply machine, model etc, so we can't look further into what ails the machine. To clone your drive you would need another PC or an external USB drive. Cloning software is available free on the web, Easeus comes to mind.
The reason for not using your drive is data may become overwritten. Your PC may possibly be fixed for a few bucks.

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ok i see, thank you

I have an hp laptop... it sucks, I hate it and I hate hp lol... miss my gateways and leanvo....

Can I just borrow a friends laptop for this purpose?? I mean without losing any of her data?? How would I use Easeus... will the program take me through easily step by step?

Also one last thing... how would I recover the vanished folder once the drive that it disappeared from is cloned onto the other pc?

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When this happens you stop using that drive.

It is never to be written to, booted from or used again EXCEPT FOR READING from and duplication to another drive for data recovery.

This basic first step of data recovery is often missed by new and seasoned techs that want to recover data. That said, we clone the drive using other PCs or a disk clone machine then we are free to run any recovery software we wish on the clone.

Many data recovery titles are at

Hope this short introduction to data recovery basics gets you off to a safe start of learning all about DIY recovery.

If you can't perform step 1, just head to

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Sorry, I am very confused by all of this. I do however thank you very much for atleast helping me.

How do I: "clone the drive using other PC or a disk clone machine`` then run recovery software?

Is this going to cost me an arm and a leg?

Thank again, Vanessa

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There are many priors on the web about such work. gets us started.

That seems to match what I would write but so much BETTER as you can pick and choose the articles you understand.

-> Take it slow and admit it won't be free to do. That is, it will require a second drive of same or larger size, some USB case, another PC and patience.

If this is totally Greek to you, you have it done for you. But the most important thing is to NEVER USE THAT DRIVE AGAIN until your files are safe.

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