Hard Drive folder not accessible: Incorrect Function

By siedog
Feb 17, 2009
  1. Hi,

    I need help on an external hard drive problem I'm having now. I have a Western Digital 160gb IDE hard drive in an external USB enclosure. I set it to CS on the jumpers, and it detected the drive, and I was able to access all files with some permission issues. Then a power outage occurred and when I connect to the drive, it runs but I can only access certain files and folders. Other folders take along while to access then I get this message: folder not accessible: Incorrect Function (see image attached).

    I've tried connecting the drive to another computer and it opens the folder but it's blank?! The drive itself indicates that there's about 127gb stored. The folder i'm trying to access has about 117gb of data. Also when I try to safely remove hardware for this drive, it stalls for a long time.

    I've also tried another smaller 60gb WD hard drive and it works fine when I connect to the enclosure although it's a blank drive with no data. When trying to safely remove, it works fine.

    It's strange that the drive was able to be accessed prior to the power outage and now it's not and seems really slow.

    I'm running Vista Home.

    Please help.


    Attached Files:

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  3. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    I'm not sure this is the case. The folder I accessed on the external USB enclosure was able to access prior to the power outage. After the outage, it's now not able to open the folder.

    Anyways, I tried your suggestion, and when changing security on one of the folders, I get:

    An error occurred while applying security information to:


    Incorrect function.

    I've attached a screenshot of the error.

    any other suggestions?

    Remember, I was able to access all files and folders on this drive prior to the power outage.

    Attached Files:

  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    This could be a Disk consistency issue

    You will need to run CheckDisk on the drive

    Checkdisk Vista instructions
  5. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Ok, I ran the check disk but didn't have any of the options checked (Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors, Automatically fix file system errors). It took a long time then the check disk box disappeared without giving me any kind of status.

    I tried to open the folder again, and it still can't.

    What happened?

    Should I run this again with both options checked? Shouldn't it give me some kind of status without just disappearing?
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Start-->Run--> eventvwr.msc
    Click on "Application"
    In the "Source" column, look for the "Winlogon" item.
    Double-click it and you should see the results of your Chkdsk.

    But to manually create a log file of a Check Disk scan
    Type in the following:
    CHKDSK D: /F > C:\CHKDISKLOG.TXT (note: substitute D for your drive letter)

    Hit your Enter key.

    Click YES on the popup to reboot.

    After CHKDSK has run type this in Start | Run...


    Notepad will open to allow you to view the results of Check Disk scan
  7. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Remember, I'm running Vista Home, and the problem hard drive is a secondary external hard drive, not primary.

    So I got into the event viewer, and having some trouble finding the application. When I did I sort the source column and I can't understand the messages (see attached image). There are also many winlogins in the source column.

    Do I still need to do a manual checkdisk boot? The problem drive looks like it's assigned the letter i:

    So do I put this in the cmd line?: CHKDSK I: /F > C:\CHKDISKLOG.TXT

    Thanks. I'm a bit confused but patience is a virtue. Glad you're trying to help though.

    Ok, I tried your suggestion and run the chkdsk from the cmd prompt. I get an error or access denied saying I don't have the privileges. (see attached image).

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Attached Files:

  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

  9. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Ok, I ran chkdsk with admin privelages. It's now just stalling not doing anything for over 10 minutes now. (see screen shot). I'm going to let it run while I go to work and come back then see what happens.

    Any other suggestions if it's still at this screen when I come back in like over 8 hours later?
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I probably wouldn't have left it on for 8Hrs

    It should have finished by now, but either way, restart and then open that text file ( c:\chkdisklog.txt)
  11. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Ok, I came back, and the chkdsk cmd window was still stuck. I closed the window then went to the chkdsk text log and opened it. It says:

    The type of the file system is NTFS.

    Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another
    process. Chkdsk may run if this volume is dismounted first.
    Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)

    Please let me know what to do next.
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Selecting Y yes, will likely (highly likely) then come up with a prompt, "would you like to schedule a Checkdisk at next system restart?" Yes again.
  13. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    I got this message off of the text. How do I activate this "Yes" process?

    Remember, when I get the cmd prompt in Vista and type in chckdsk, etc.. hit enter, it stops doing anything. I don't get the y/n option.
  14. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes I knew that, I wrote it incorrectly. Try it again, but this time try it in Safe Mode
  15. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Ok, so i'm trying to boot into Safe Mode with the external usb drive connected and turned on. My computer is seeing the external usb drive as the boot drive for some reason. I go into the BIOS, and I don't see my internal drive at all but only the external for some reason.

    So, any other suggestions on this separate issue now?

    Can I disconnect the external, restart my computer into Safe Mode then reconnect the external back? Will the external drive get recognized and so I can start the chkdsk?
  16. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Yes USB is plug and play, you can safely disconnect it in Windows (or with the computer off) and plug it in anytime whilst the computer is on or off (in Windows or not)
  17. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Ok, I ran the chkdsk on my laptop connected to the external in safe mode. Another luck of the draw during this process gave me another power outage!!! Very frustrating... anyways, after the power came back up, i ran the chkdsk again. It took a few hours, but the results are attached as a txt file.

    I think there's a lot of errors since there were a lot of unreadable segments. Also I notice on the hard drive just a slight and faint clicking every 2 seconds.

    Do you think my hd is dying? Any other suggestions on free recovery software or anything else? I think the power outages has really something to do with the damage. I really want to get that data out though.
  18. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I can't see any "bad spots" recorded, but if you hear a faint clicking noise, it does sound as though it may fault for good (or bad rather) one day.

    Yes best to backup (recover) any User data and purchase a new internal harddrive
    Here's an excellent recovery one:
    It is free for up to four folder down, ie
    C:\Documents and Setting\UserName\My Documents\My Pictures
    1,2,3,4 folders down

    Here are a lot free ones to choose from

    But you may need to Repair Windows first, depending upon how bad it is
  19. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Hey Kim,

    Thanks for all your help. I think I might need to bring this drive into a better professional. It seems the drive might not be spinning and the faint click sounds once every 2 seconds. I tried to run ZAR but it stalls after 3 hours. There seems to be a lot of bad sectors found. (see log attached).

    I called a data recovery company (DRC for short) to get an estimate who said it would cost about $1600 not including the extra new drive to transfer the data to. While another local place is more cheaper.

    Did some research online saying that any type of clicking noise is not normal and everyone suggested backing it up the data before the drive is toast, but unfortunately I'm unable to access certain files. The guy from the DRC told me to immediately shut down all power to the drive and stop working on it since the clicking would only make the drive get worse and soon all data might be lost.

    Well, what do you think Kim? I would like to work on this drive more with more software but afraid that in doing so might damage the drive more.
  20. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    That's correct, you should stop all usage of the drive, and only use it to recover required data

    As for that massive cost you quoted (usually being recover from a dead harddrive)
    Try installing your drive as a secondary or "slave" to a working computer and then try the free alternatives from there.

    As for this comment:
    I haven't met too many (in the world) that are better than me. Certainly if you find one, I'd be highly interested in their free recovery process. (ie no need to pay just yet - I wouldn't)
  21. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Ok, I'll keep trying. Do you really think that connecting this drive directly to the computer will work?

    If I do, among the free alternatives, what programs would you suggest?
  22. ksh937

    ksh937 TS Rookie

    Siedog, were you ever able to fix your External HD and what did you do? I'm having the same issue.

    I have a Maxtor One Touch II 300gb External Hard Drive. One day, I just couldn't access some of my folders anymore (especially the large ones with music, movies, etc.). Checkdisk, defrag, etc. all freeze/fail. Some of the folders are still accessible, but the really big ones aren't.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  23. siedog

    siedog TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    I still have yet to fix this issue. I think the drive is just toast. suggest backing anything you can get off the drive or else risk not getting anything back at all.

    One other suggestion which I haven't tried yet was to get another system and hook up the drive as a slave directly to the motherboard and see what happens. If you do, tell me how it went so if I do that myself I would know kinda what to expect.

    good luck.
  24. ksh937

    ksh937 TS Rookie

    I tried hooking up my External HD to my laptop, but ended up messing up my laptop's internal HD's partition. Then I tried hooking my External HD up to a desktop and using software from Kroll On Track to recover/repair the drive. No dice.

    So I had two drives that were toast, an External HD and a laptop's internal HD.

    I gave up and called a few data recovery places. Kroll quoted me a really wide range ($400-$1800). I found another place that I used that was able to recover all of my data on both my External HD and my laptop's internal drive for a very reasonable amount. They shipped me both drives today so I will let you know how things go. I got Dell to send me a replacement hard drive as well so I can check out the data. Everything with this company has been great so far so I am hopeful that they recovered everything I need.
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