So you simply had image files stored in folders on your hard drive? They were not being managed by any application, they were imported from a camera directly to folders?
And all you did was install Aperture, not choose to import any images, just installed it, and your images disappeared?
And you're positive all the images were there before you installed Aperture?
When you say the hard drive is new, is this an external drive where this is all going on, or did you get a new internal drive.
Let us know, thanks.
Apple support claimed it was impossible for Aperture to delete files, as well, Allen. All I can tell you is I installed Aperture and the files immediately disappeared. I installed Aperture with the intention of learning its capabilities over the ensuing months, as I had never used it before, and so made sure to do nothing but install and launch so I could have a look at it and see how it was set up.
The network hard drive obliteration occured when I was trying to transfer novie files from my Macbook to my DNS 321 network drive, which I use to store all my backups and most of my media files. I've done this countless times with Snow Leopard without a hitch. However, when I tried it with Lion the system locked up during the transfer and I lost my connection to the drive. Once I managed to reconnect, I found that I couldn't get into the folders on the network drive anymore. All that would come up was a "My Documents" folder, which had no content. After doing a websearch I discovered that Lion no longer supports DNS 321 and that others with similar style drives had been having similar problems. What might be unique to my situation was that when I hooked up an old PC to the DNS 321 I was able to get back into my original folder set up but I found that the folders labelled from (A to J) were missing entirely and that the remaining folders had no content.
So, as I mentioned in my first post, the only input from me was installation and launch of Aperture and the only thing I was doing with my network drive was transferring movie files from the Macbook to the DNS 321 drive. If neither of those actions could possibly have caused the problems I described, I'd be very eager to learn what did.
It might just be a coincidence that the files vanished when you installed Aperture.
Maybe the file system on your disk is corrupted or the disk has a hardware problem. Have you checked your disk with Disk Utility?
Also, you might have a look at your Time Machine Backup (if you have one) to find the exact time when your pictures vanished. MAybe, that was much earlier then you suspect.