I downloaded some files and saved them in a folder on an external hard drive. Later when I am trying to search for the folder I couldn't find it. So I try searching using the terminal. I listed all the files in the location where I had saved that folder previously and noticed the folder was present there but it showed d????????? permission. What does it mean and how can I get my files back.

drwxrwxrwx 1 chetan chetan      4096 Jun 12 21:55 'Money Heist'
d????????? ? ?      ?              ?            ?  Naruto_Shippuden
drwxrwxrwx 1 chetan chetan      4096 Jul 20 23:51  Parasyte
  • What filesystem is on this external drive? What does file Naruto_Shippuden output? Please edit your question to include this information
    – Panki
    Aug 31, 2021 at 14:28
  • 2
    here, I would think that may suggest a broken filesystem. (It could happen normally if you only have read permission (and not access permission) to the directory, but then you wouldn't see the same information about the other files either.)
    – ilkkachu
    Aug 31, 2021 at 14:31

2 Answers 2


That is probably an issue with either the file system of the external drive and/or the permissions set. You can try to list the files as root by changing to the root user via sudo -i, root can read everything, therefore this will temporarily solve all the permission issues.

To make the files usable as your normal logged in user you can change the permissions. Set the permissions to something normal by.

sudo chmod -R 660 Naruto_Shippuden

This will set the files read and writable.

Display your login name via whoami. And then change the owner of Naruto_Shippuden to you.

sudo chown -R <user>:<user> Naruto_Shippuden

Where <user> is whatever whoami displayed. (not root!!)


I am getting the same issue. ubuntu 20.04 and RHEL8 mounting from Windows server. nfs3 works fine NFS4 has the issue. What we have noticed is if the Windows directory has more than 26 different ntfs permissions (ACLs) we are Ok. the mount is fine and I can access the directory from the windows share. once we go over 26 ACLs it gives us the all ?marks. I remove and try 26 or less and it mounts fine and I can access the directory that had the problem. We are not using kerbose

  • This is interesting information, but the question here involves an external drive, not NFS. As such, this doesn’t answer the question. You may want to write this up as a self-answered Q&A. Aug 8, 2022 at 10:01

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