I'm not new to macs and have had some problems in the past which I've managed to solve, however never come across this one...

I'm running 10.5 on a mac mini and have a WD external HD that I had both my iphoto library and my itunes library on, this is (was) using a FAT32 file system and I named it media.

I back up to a second external using time machine, but hadn't taken media out of the 'do not back up' list (I know silly but you live and learn), however I did have a manual backup of the iphoto library and my itunes library on this so no problem if somthing goes wrong with 'media' I thought.

Woke up this morning to find that media isn't showing as mounted but another drive 'untitled' is... and is completely empty. Of course media is now untitled and empty!

Has anyone ever heard of this happening before? I've had drives fail, not want to mount, crash etc, but never just wipe themselves?

I've run disk utility and this comes back as all OK no bad segments or anything. I've plugged it into another mac and even a pc and it is still empty (no hidden files) even done a cd dir on the PC and it come up with no files at all.

I'm stumped, can't recover anything as there is no fragments to recover?

As I made backups I am OK apart from the fact (and I didn't know this) but iphoto library used aliases for a number of photos that I had in files on the same drive and even though I had 'copy to library' checked it hadn't done it. So the library I had backed up actually refused to open and I had to rebuild it with iphoto library manager, (I've just upgraded to iphoto 09 so that may have been the problem?) so looks like I've lost the high res of these although I managed to get low res from the data file within the old iphoto library, better than nothing I guess.

Any ideas about the drive? And has anyone ever had this problem before with a drive that mysteriously formats it's self?