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Corrupted and Unreadable

Discussion in 'Recording' started by David French, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    This is what Windows XP is telling me every time I try to access my audio drive: "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable". Is there anything I can do, or am I screwed?

    Please see this previous thread concerning my drive.
  2. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    It sounds like the FAT table is corrupted. As long as the FAT table is undamaged the data can usually be reassambled. The fact that it is telling you it is unreadable tells me the FAT is badly damaged. This table tells the computer where each peice of data is stored and without it the drive can't be read.

    I'll see what I can do to help you but it doesn't look good, sorry
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    XP uses the NTFS filing system by default, not FAT or FAT32, but it's possible that a utility such as Norton Disk Doctor could recover your data. It sounds as though this is a result of hardware deterioration rather than a software corruption, so, I think realistically it's a new drive and the task of copying data from your backups.
  4. KingSix

    KingSix Active Member

    Try this: type CMD in Start menu - Execute and enter CHKDSK /R
    Acknowledge when system want to execute at startup. Maybe this can repair bad sector or system files error.. Good luck
  5. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    KingSix, how can I run chkdsk on a drive that I windows can't access? In cmd, I can't even switch to this drive's drive letter.
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Time to take it into a data recovery lab. If the info is there it should still be recoverable. How old is the drive?
  7. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    The drive is a Seagate SATA 150 circa 2004.
  8. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    So, it's likely just beyond the hardware warranty. Too bad. I think most drives have a 3 year warranty.
  9. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Correct, XP does use the NT file system but the table used to store the locations of data is still generally refered to as the FAT table (or File Access Table).

    Most data recovery programs need to be installed before any damage or corruption occurs as they work by taking a snap shot of the FAT table and reassembling the data accordingly. The ones that can resurect your data without this step are usually very expensive and buying a new HDD is a better bet unless it's critical data that has not been backed up.

    While data corruption can occur from drive component failure it is more likely from power issues. Voltage drops and outages cause the heads to crash into the disk surface and corrupt the data. If this occurs when the drive is accessing the FAT table that part of the table becomes corrupt. If enough of these happen or if the head continues to skate across the surface long enough (power failure when the drive spins down) the FAT can be totally wiped out rendering the drive unreadable.

    It is possible that the earlier problems were an indicator that the drive was failing or it could just be that power issues were to blame, either way the reason the drive is unreadable is that the FAT is corrupt and a new drive does seem like the best option.
  10. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    that seagate should have a 5 yr david check into it i'm pretty sure that's why i bought both of mine... wont help you recover the data though...

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