Disk corrupted and unreadable

By Fulsam
Apr 4, 2009
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  1. My external USB hard drive stopped functioning a day ago. Now it gives me an error message saying "The drive structure is corrupted and unreadable". Can this be fixed? I have some mapping projects I need to finish on there :(

    I also got that darn Google redirect virus, but I managed to fix it by reformatting, (It was on the C drive, which didn't have much on it anyway).
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,358   +167

    Run chkdsk on the drive. The link i provided is ok even if you run Vista (vs. XP).

    1. Run chkdsk /r AND be sure to also include the volume drive letter (or it defaults to check your C: drive)
    2. Understand chkdsk can take a loooong time to run (especially if it's a large hard drive). Even if it looks like your screen is hanging.. wait at least 30+ minutes before deciding the screen might not be updating any longer (if it really does hang)
  3. Fulsam

    Fulsam Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Also, when I go to the drive properties, it says it has 0 bytes free and 0 bytes full. It also says the file system is RAW

    FIXED!!! The hard drive now works like nothing ever happened to it! Thanks!

    The maps, game, and editor I was using for the project weren't even harmed at all, and worked like they did right before the incident!

    Once again, Thanks!
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,358   +167

    What was the answer? Chkdsk? or did you do something else for it to work??
  5. Fulsam

    Fulsam Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yea, I used chkdsk. Here is the parameter I used:


    chkdsk F: /f

    And after the program finished, it worked again.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,358   +167

    Glad chkdsk helped! A couple other words of advice

    Note !!NEVER, EVER!! unplug a USB drive before you first either
    • Stop the USB drive. You can use the Safely Remove Hardware icon to stop the USB device. Do not unplug the device until the device is stopped
    • Shutdown Windows
    just fyi if you didn't already know... USB devices are "hot pluggable". This means you can plug them in any time but does not mean you can unplug / power-off anytime! Doing so may corrupt your disk and result in partial or total data loss!!

    Also, you can minimize the odds of corruption by turning off write caching for your external hard drive
    • Open Device Manager
    • Expland the category Disk Drives to find your USB external drive listed
    • Rt click Properties. click Policies tab. Check Optimize for quick removal. Click OK
  7. fawn

    fawn Newcomer, in training

    i have a similar problem. But mine is that on my External Harddrive, some folders i can access. But a certain folders says that its unreadable and is corrupted.

    I havn't tried the checkdisk thing. Because i read somewhere that if you do that, you might loose some files/information...... is that true?
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