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How To Fix WD External Hard Drive Showing Empty

I went for a studio session and took my 1TB WD hard drive along, this was a mistake because I have an extra disposable drive I usually copy necessary stuff I might need, anyway, the error was made, I plugged my drive into the computer in the studio, and suddenly everything turned into shortcuts, man, I fucked up big time.

I got home, plugged my drive into my computer to check if everything is fine, and I couldn't access anything no more, tried several fixes, from:

  • Running chkdsk
  • Using Testdisk
  • Scanning for malware (which I think might be the issue)
  • Changing drive letter
  • Uninstall WD Drive Driver
  • Hardware troubleshooting

None of the above solved my problem, the solution was accessing my drive from the WSL terminal and moving my files from  ''$'\302\240' into the root folder, looks cryptic but it could be a result of the malware moving things around or windows killing the malware and moving things to a safe location, I really can't tell.

Note that those numbers above might be different from yours, or better still, inspect every folder at the root of your hard drive and see if your files have been moved in there. If you don't have WSL, you might try PowerShell or cmd, and if you don't know how to access your external drive, leave a comment and I might consider adding a sub-topic on how to do so, for now, peace!