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File or directory is corrupt or unreadable.


churin

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#1
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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CountMike

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#2

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churin

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#3
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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CountMike

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#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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churin

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#5
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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CountMike

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#6

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churin

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#7
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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CountMike

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#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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churin

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#9
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:

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CountMike

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#10
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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churin

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#11
CountMike said:
Good, USB interface introduces another layer interface and may not conform to all standards SATA does so you may not see all the attributes
Is this in response to my post "No abnormal attributes were detected"? Note that this test was done after removing the USB to SATA adaptor.

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.
This does not seems to have nothing to do with the interface, USB or SATA.

The issue here as I see it is what caused the problem: The hard drive itself, SATA-USB adaptor, or anything else like USB controller chipset, etc. What is the probability of each of these possible causes? Depending on the assessment, I decide whether to restore the USB-SATA adaptor.
 

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CountMike

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#12
If you don't need to carry it around a lot, than you're better off to leave it inside the desktop case. Constant running is not going to shorten it's life. I would say that USB cord and connector have a greatest chance to screw something up.
I use something like this just for USB2. Startech USB 3.0 to 2.5 inch SATA III Hard Drive Adapter Cable with UASP: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories so i can connect some HDDs sitting around to do backups without having to turn computer off or to dig in.
 

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churin

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#13
You appear to suggest that I use a new USB-SATA adaptor cable because "USB cord and connector have a greatest chance to screw something up." I wonder, even if the cable is bad, how come the bad cable can cause the file corruption despite of its capability to withstand hot plug/unplug.

BTW I have such adapter cable as Apricorn USB3 to SATA Adapter .
 

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CountMike

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#14
You appear to suggest that I use a new USB-SATA adaptor cable because "USB cord and connector have a greatest chance to screw something up." I wonder, even if the cable is bad, how come the bad cable can cause the file corruption despite of its capability to withstand hot plug/unplug.

BTW I have such adapter cable as Apricorn USB3 to SATA Adapter .
During the writing to disk, if it's interrupted in any way, usual result is file corruption. Bits are not written only at storage space but also in address space at the beginning of the disk and any disturbance to it can result in part or whole disk/partition to become corrupted. That happens even during reading to disk, bits are written to change flags for each file, when it was last accessed, changed etc.
All of that and more happens even when disk is connected internally and bad SATA cables are known to produce same errors too. It's just that SATA to USB are not only cables but contain fair bit of electronics to convert SATA signals to USB and other way around and that's the other "layer" I was talking about that introduces more possibility for something to go wrong. Murphy never sleeps.
There's heck of more things going on in storage that is not apparent to user and every step has potential for something to go wrong. Many steps in between are taken in the background to prevent errors but Murphy never sleeps.
So, KISS principle applies to storage too.
 

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    16GB Kingston 3600
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    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
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    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
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churin

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#15
During the writing to disk, if it's interrupted in any way, usual result is file corruption. Bits are not written only at storage space but also in address space at the beginning of the disk and any disturbance to it can result in part or whole disk/partition to become corrupted. That happens even during reading to disk, bits are written to change flags for each file, when it was last accessed, changed etc.
All of that and more happens even when disk is connected internally and bad SATA cables are known to produce same errors too. It's just that SATA to USB are not only cables but contain fair bit of electronics to convert SATA signals to USB and other way around and that's the other "layer" I was talking about that introduces more possibility for something to go wrong. Murphy never sleeps.
There's heck of more things going on in storage that is not apparent to user and every step has potential for something to go wrong. Many steps in between are taken in the background to prevent errors but Murphy never sleeps.
So, KISS principle applies to storage too.
The file data transfer take place from 1)hd to 2)cable(wires), 3)SATA-to-USB adapter, 4)cable(usb) and 5)pc or other way around. You indicate the cause of the file corruption is due to possible disruption/interruption within 2), 3) or 4). I understand that 2) or 3) can be the culprit but not 4) because the USB device is supposed to withstand hot swap or hot plug/unplug. Did I misunderstand the meaning of "hot swap" spec?
 

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    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult
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    Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
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    8GBx2 DDR3 1866 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-16GXM
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CountMike

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#16
Hot swap does not include interrupting writes. only that you can connect/disconnect devices without turning computer off. Ideally you should use "Safely remove hardware and eject media" before unplugging. It writes data left in cache (in RAM and disk) and eventually shuts disk down.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
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    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home made
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen7 2700x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    16GB Kingston 3600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
    Silicon Power V70 240GB SSD
    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
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    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
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churin

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#17
My understanding about the hot swap is as follows:
The hot swap spec does not include any close that says file corruption may result from the hot swap operation if done while file writing operation is being taken place. Another word, any usb device in a system which supports the hot swapping, can not be harmed while the hot swapping.
 

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  • OS
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult
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    AMD FX 6300 x6
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    Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
    Memory
    8GBx2 DDR3 1866 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-16GXM
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    Radeon R7 360
    Sound Card
    Asus Xonar DS
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell P2715Q
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840Pro SSD 256GB, Samsung 850 Pro 1TBx2 RAID1
    PSU
    Corsair CX430M 500W
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    Corsair 200R
    Cooling
    Zallman CNPS5X
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    180Mbps/12Mbps
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CountMike

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#18
Got to look at it this way. A program (thru OS) reads data from a storage device, it gets transferred to RAM and channeled thru interface to another storage device to its cache and than to proper place (address) on final destination. If there's any interruption anywhere, data doesn't (or just partially) can't be saved to that storage device because it didn't get there in first place. Now, in theory at least, that shouldn't do any damage to other data on disk, only the file in question but... For data to be written, head has to visit part of the disk where addresses are stored for every block in storage area and if it's interrupted than, it can corrupt part or all of that address space (think of it as an index in a book).
 

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    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    16GB Kingston 3600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
    Silicon Power V70 240GB SSD
    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
    PSU
    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
    Case
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    CCM Nepton 140xl
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churin

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#19
It goes without saying that file transfer can not be completed if the USB storage device is unplugged while the transfer is being done.
The present problem appears to be due to corruption of the partition table. My point is that that is not supposed to happen, otherwise it is not hot swap capable system.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    W10 Pro/W8.1 Pro/ W7 Ult
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    AMD FX 6300 x6
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
    Memory
    8GBx2 DDR3 1866 G.Skill F3-1866C9D-16GXM
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon R7 360
    Sound Card
    Asus Xonar DS
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell P2715Q
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 840Pro SSD 256GB, Samsung 850 Pro 1TBx2 RAID1
    PSU
    Corsair CX430M 500W
    Case
    Corsair 200R
    Cooling
    Zallman CNPS5X
    Internet Speed
    180Mbps/12Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox & IE
    Other Info
    BD Writer LG WH14NS40, DVD RW Pioneer DVR-218L

CountMike

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#20
It goes without saying that file transfer can not be completed if the USB storage device is unplugged while the transfer is being done.
The present problem appears to be due to corruption of the partition table. My point is that that is not supposed to happen, otherwise it is not hot swap capable system.
Of course it's not supposed to happen but it did happen and most probably by datus interaptus during the writing to it.
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home made
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen7 2700x
    Motherboard
    Asus Prime x470 Pro
    Memory
    16GB Kingston 3600
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus strix 570 OC 4gb
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 960 evo 250GB
    Silicon Power V70 240GB SSD
    WD 1 TB Blue
    WD 2 TB Blue
    Bunch of backup HDDs.
    PSU
    Sharkoon, Silent Storm 660W
    Case
    Raidmax
    Cooling
    CCM Nepton 140xl
    Internet Speed
    40/2 Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    WD

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