You may not understand all of this if you aren't a computer geek, but here is what happened to me this week.
My Dell laptop came with the hard drive partitioned into a C drive (for the OS and all my programs) and a D drive (for my docs, which I wasn't really using, preferring to store my stuff on a external hard drive). However, they didn't allow enough room on the C drive, so I kept getting all these warning signals about space running out, even though I had tons of space on the disk itself.
So, I repartitioned the disk, adding space to C and shrinking D. But I didn't really use the D drive except to copy over all my music, plus some photos and videos.
So, several days ago, I went to the computer, which had been on overnight, and, upon opening it, discovered that the D drive was not being recognized. I opened up the disk management software and found that it had been renamed "unallocated space."
I plugged in my external drive and it wouldn't read that, either. In essence, all my documents were gone.
After squashing the rising panic, I looked at the ext. drive and saw that the USB port was broken, so no info could get to the laptop. It's possible that my data was not lost, just not retrievable.
So, yesterday I consulted the Staples where I got the laptop and he said the D drive must have mysteriously reformatted itself, and that I should bring it in since it's still under warranty.
Then, I went to Best Buy and got a new ext. hard drive enclosure and had them replace the Seagate enclosure. Came home.
Everything was there.
It still doesn't explain why my D partition was reformatted, but at least I didn't lose any data.
I am now breathing again. Or would, it it wasn't so hot and our AC broken.