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I used the following:

find /path/to/files -name '*:*' -exec rename ':' '_' {} +

(so...)

find /media/(the rest of the dir)/archive/ -name '*:*' -exec rename ':' '_' {} +

And now all of the files have vanished, but now I have plugged the external HD into windows, it still recognises 2.xGB of data, but cannot see any files inside the folders.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as the data is vital!

Edit: Here is the output of ls -lsa:

0 drwx ------ 1 dc adm    0 <date> . 
0 drwx ------ 1 dc adm    0 <date> . 
0 drwx ------ 1 dc adm    0 <date> 2011 
4 drwx ------ 1 dc adm 4096 <date> 2012
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closed as not a real question by Tom O'Connor, SvW, Ward, Skyhawk, mdpc Dec 27 '12 at 1:55

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Huh? What? Why? –  Tom O'Connor Dec 26 '12 at 22:23
    
The files wouldn't open in windows with the colon. I was trying to mass-rename to get rid of the colon and replace it with an underscore, so I could open them in windows. –  user151000 Dec 26 '12 at 22:24
7  
I think that's a first 'tits-up' in a SF question title. –  ceejayoz Dec 26 '12 at 22:34
2  
Unfortunately this was done prior to a backup :( –  user151000 Dec 26 '12 at 22:51
1  
This is not a command...no... more like minefield courtesy of Bill Gates. :P –  ArrowInTree Dec 27 '12 at 3:56
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