Mac OS 10.6.8:
This was driving me nuts! When trying to access files on my desktop (MacMini) while working on my laptop (MacBook), some of the desktop’s folders claimed to have zero files in them! I knew this was just flatly wrong, as when I view them on the desktop computer, they’re all there and accessible.
Turns out, I like to use various punctuation marks in my file names, like *, >, &, $ or whatever (no… since OS10, I no longer use \ or /, nor should you in your file names as this can directly affect access to directory paths — though, personally, I haven’t had any problems with the occasional file I find that still has slashes). Anyway, it seems that when accessing files through the remote connection, the other punctuation marks affect the directory path and make the files appear to be missing.
TRY THIS: The fix is just to remove these offending characters from your file and folder names. As I wrote about before, a great utility to do this is A Better File Rename, for both Mac and PC. A Better Finder Rename (Mac) / A Better File Rename (Windows) by publicspace.net (Disclosure: I received a free fully working evaluation copy back in 2010 in exchange for posting a link, but I’d recommend this little shareware program anyway!!!) Trust me, it is well worth the $20 you’ll spend on the full version.