Okay, first thing, I now have a backup solution in place, but unfortunately I didn't when this went down. And obviously I'm deeply regretting it. I hoping that someone here will recognize my issue and help discover a solution.
Here's what happened:
I moved a secondary drive 120gb (FAT32) out of one computer directly into another system of mine. Both are running Win2000. When I moved the drive it was setup as a secondary drive in the new system, but it had a slave DVD drive under it so i needed to make a minor change to the jumpers. When I first booted the system up, it recognized the drive. All seemed good, but when I went to get some data from the drives I realized that many of the directories (almost all of them) were represented by random symbols and numbers. I ran a checkDSK on the drive which started after reboot. It stopped almost half way through due to lack of space on the drive. It stopped and rebooted. I noticed that when windows came back it had the directory structure back, but in some cases (about 30-40%) where there was once directories, now there we just files with the same name as the directories that were missing. I've attached an image that illustrates this. The weirdiest thing is, is that although there doesn't seem to be a direct way to get to these "missing" directories, the data space is still taken up. My hard drive doesn't have anymore free space than it did before this happened. So, all this being said I think the data is still there, I just can't get to it. I've run additional diagnostic test on the drive and everything is coming back fine. I've tried a few different recover software programs and it's not seeing these directories. If anyone has any advice on this issue, please help, this has been a 4 day hellish run for me and I would really like to get this data back... Thanks in advance for any suggestions...
p.s. I have put everything back to the way it was, yet the damage had already been done. It's a 120gb drive with only 40 gigs of data on it, yet its telling me there is only 40gigs of space available. That other 40gigs is what I'm missing...