Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


File or directory is corrupt or unreadable.

  1. #1


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult

    File or directory is corrupt or unreadable.


    It is an external 2.5" hard disk with USB3 interface. Is there any way to rescue it?

    The disc management shows RAW file system and 100% free space, which appears to mean it can be used after being reformatted. But I am not sure whether I want to use it again. Comment?

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  2. #2


    To rescue disk or contents ?
    If you want to rescue disk only, you can try to reformat it and than check it's health with some of the programs from here: Download Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Tools Tools for Windows - MajorGeeks If it's not damaged, no bad sectors etc. than it should be safe to use.
    To attempt to retrieve contents, you can try some programs from here; Download Data Recovery Tools for Windows - MajorGeeks
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  3. #3


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult


    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    To rescue disk or contents ?
    If you want to rescue disk only, you can try to reformat it and than check it's health with some of the programs from here: Download Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Tools Tools for Windows - MajorGeeks If it's not damaged, no bad sectors etc. than it should be safe to use.
    To attempt to retrieve contents, you can try some programs from here; Download Data Recovery Tools for Windows - MajorGeeks
    Thanks for your reply.
    Is there a way to determine whether the problem is caused by the drive itself or not?
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  4. #4


    You might have to take it out of enclosure to connect straight to a desktop computer if possible. Most of them are just ordinary 2.5" drives with SATA connector. Just to check if it's maybe because of USB3 connection adapter. But that is just final test. Before that try plugging it in USB2 port, they are compatible with USB2.
    If any of those programs can reach it, than problem might be in disk itself. Many things can cause problems so best to try all software tests before taking it apart. It doesn't have to be hardware problem, lot's of software can cause it too and even unexpected disconnection.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult


    What happened immediately prior to this incident was that the device was unplugged while the system is running but not while any file transfer was going on. Could this be it? I did this many time in the past since the device is supposed to tolerate hot plug/unplug.

    I am going to do the software test as suggested.
    Edit: Could you provide names of your recommended softwares since I see many at the website that are for the same purpose.
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  6. #6


    I'm using a payed program but for just occasional use this one for checking health is good
    Download Active SMART - MajorGeeks
    For eventual retrieve of files:
    Download Wise Data Recovery - MajorGeeks
    or
    Download Undelete 360 - MajorGeeks
    or
    Download Disk Drill - MajorGeeks
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  7. #7


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult


    Here are results by using the utility softwares:

    Active SMART did not recognize the drive.
    Wise Data Recovery recovers many small files but not install files for apps and OSes.
    Undelete 360 and Disk Drill did not recognize the drive.

    I was using two same model 2.5" 1TB drives and incrementally updating one of them(drive1). The drive2 was periodically synced with the drive1. The drive which became non-accessible is the drive1. Since they were not in RAID 1 system I lost small numbers of files.
    I decided to try the drive1 again and this time, as a backup drive and the drive2 has been backed up to the drive1.
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  8. #8


    You may have better results if you could take disk out of USB enclosure, if possible and connect to desktop by SATA. In that case SMART may be more accessible. Many manufacturers provide software for checking their drives, maybe you can find a utility on their site. IF not and If you can find which HDD is in that enclosure, on Majorgeeks, mabe you can find some utilities for particular HDD make. I feel that it's important to find exact shape a disk is in before I decide on it's use.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 185
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult


    I was not sure how to disassemble the box to take out the hard drive and I just reformated as previously posted. Your latest post prompted me to try opening the box and amazingly I could manage to do that.
    I ran the Active Smart, the drive was recognized and the Overview indicates "No abnormal drive attributes were detected. Your drive seems to be functioning normally".
    What else should I look? Since I reformatted the drive the event log for the trouble incident must have been erased.
    Last edited by churin; 03 Aug 2015 at 20:46.
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  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by churin View Post
    I was not sure how to disassemble the box to take out the hard drive and I just reformated as previously posted. Your latest post prompted me to try opening the box and amazingly I could manage to do that.
    I ran the Active Smart, the drive was recognized and the Overview indicates "No abnormal drive attributes were detected. Your drive seems to be functioning normally".
    What else should I look? Since I reformatted the drive the event log for the trouble incident must have been erased.
    Good, USB interface introduces another layer interface and may not conform to all standards SATA does so you may not see all the attributes of HDD. It also is not as secure connection as SATA is and USB may have more fluctuations too. HDDs are sensitive to movements and any sudden move or jerk can introduce errors in writing as well as reading or even head crash which can cause permanent damage to disk surface or heads. 2.2" drives usually have power supplied by USB so there's another concern about power.
    Docking stations with USB or eSATA are much better for use with desktop computers but are not as portable: HDD Docking Station | eBay.
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File or directory is corrupt or unreadable.
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