How to Fix File or Directory is Corrupt or Unreadable

Solved: File or Directory is Corrupt or Unreadable

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Dec 21, 2020 • Filed to: Recover & Repair Files • Proven solutions


External hard drives serve the purpose of storing important data in a separate location other than the local hard disk. These drives can be connected to the PC or laptop for data transfer at any time. This process is usually very simple. However, sometimes you encounter error messages like file or directory is corrupt or unreadable upon plugging in the external hard drive to the system.

Part 1: Overview of File or Directory is Corrupt or Unreadable

File or directory is corrupt or unreadable error is a common error message that is generated by Windows if it is unable to access the external hard drive that has been connected to the system via the USB port. This error indicates that the files you have on the external hard drive are no longer accessible and can’t be opened for the time being.

Various reasons can cause this error message to appear on your PC’s screen. The following are some of the factors that can lead to the generation of this error.

Part 2: Solution to Fix File or Directory is Corrupt or Unreadable Error

Solution 1: Format the Corrupted Volume or Partition

Formatting is your best available option if the corrupted partition does not hold any important files. This process will replace the damaged file system by configuring the hard disk with a new file system. The drawback of using this method is that you will lose all the data stored on the partition, making file recovery impossible.

Step 1 Start Windows Explorer after connecting the external drive to the PC.

Step 2 Select the ‘Format’ option after right-clicking on the corrupted external drive.

Step 3 Choose the ‘Quick Format’ option after selecting the system of the file format of your choice. Now, format the drive by clicking the ‘Start’ button.

format the corrupted volume or partition

Solution 2: Perform Chkdsk to Examine and Fix File System Error

Windows provides a command-line tool for examining and fixing partition errors. This tool is named Chkdsk and can help you to fix problems like directory errors, cross-linked files, and lost clusters.

Step 1 Press ‘Run’ after pressing the ‘Start’ button.

Step 2 Press ‘Enter’ after typing cmd in the box labeled Open to go to the Command Prompt.

format the corrupted volume

Users of Windows 7 and 8 will have to run the Command Prompt as administrator: Find ‘Command’ after clicking the ‘Start’ button using the search option. After that, choose ‘Run as administrator’ after right-clicking on it.

Step 3 Hit Enter after typing chkdsk /f g: Here g represents the letter of the corrupted partition.

If you receive the message ‘Chkdsk cannot be executed because the volume is being used by some other process. Do you wish to schedule the checking of this volume the next time the PC restarts?’ then press Enter after typing Y and restart your PC.

The volume’s capacity, resources of the system, the speed of the disk, and the number of folders and files on the disk are all factors that affect the time taken by the process to finish.

Chkdsk doesn’t solve partition issues that well sometimes and might cause problems when it comes to recovering files from the corrupted partition. Therefore, if you wish to retrieve data then you should not be using this tool for fixing this error.

The above-mentioned methods can help you in fixing the error message, file or directory is corrupt or unreadable. However, if they fail then you will be facing the possibility of losing out on all the data that is stored on your external hard drive. You will have to attempt to recover data from USB drive to ensure that your data remains accessible to you.

Part 3: How to Recover Data from USB Hard Drive

Third-party data recovery tools can help in not only fixing file or directory is a corrupt or unreadable error but also in recovering lost data from the USB drive. The best such tool that you will find on the internet is Recoverit Recovery software. It can fix all types of error messages and recover data from external hard drive within a matter of minutes.

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Your Safe & Reliable Hard Disk Recovery Software

  • Recover lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from any storage device effectively, safely and completely.
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  • Supports to recover data for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations.

With Wondershare Hard Drive Data Recovery you can easily and effectively perform partition recovery, deleted file recovery, and RAW hard drive recovery. The following is an instruction manual containing step-wise guidelines on how to use Wondershare Hard Drive Data recovery software to recover data from the USB drive.

Step 1 Choose the specific physical drive where data lost and click "Start" to scanning lost data.

recover data from hard drive

Step 2 Recoverit will start an all-around scan. Usually, it will take a few minutes to finish the scanning. Sometimes, a few hours are required if many large-sized files are present.

recover data from partition

Step 3 Preview the recovered data from a corrupted hard drive, and you can save them to your preferred location.

preview and recover data from hard drive

Witnessing the file or directory is corrupt or unreadable error message is never a good thing. It is an indication that your external hard drive has gone corrupt and its data is no longer accessible to you. Formatting the external hard drive can help in fixing this error message. However, if you want to recover data from USB drive then using Recoverit recovery is a good option to use.

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Amy Dennis

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