(Defrag) the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable

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Thread Starter
Aug 28, 2011

So I had decided to defragment my external hard drive yesterday, and used "Defraggler" to try and make the pc run a bit faster. I left it running all night, because last time I did it, it did take over six hours to complete. Woke up this morning, to find the pc off. Which was strange, cause I didn't ask it to turn off after it completed it. after turning it on, a little error appeared for the briefest second then went away. I then went to event viewer and found the following error which appeared through the whole list:

"The device, \Device\Harddisk1\D, has a bad block."

I went into my External HD, and clicked on one of my most important folders, and got:

"Sarah's Documents

the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable"

Please tell me I can get it back. This is my backup, the real backup.


OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Service Pack 3, 32 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6550 @ 2.33GHz, x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 11
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 2047 Mb
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT, 256 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 131061 MB, Free - 20056 MB;
Motherboard: , ConRoe1333-DVI/H.
Antivirus: avast! Antivirus, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled
Apr 26, 2003
What program did you use to create the backup. Is it an image file?


Jan 17, 2004
Hard drive makers do have drive diagnostics and repair tools available, so check your brand such as Western Digital or Seagate at their web sites. You can run the file system checker tool, (chkdsk) by open the My Computer then right click your external hard drive and select properties, Tools, error checking.
Aug 1, 2003
Unfortunately, something that people often forget to do is to check their drives for file system errors before attempting to defragment them. When a drive has errors on it, a defragmentation can really do a lot of damage because it is moving parts of files around that may not really even exist in the places they are operating on. Files that may have had a small error in them are shredded into multiple parts and placed throughout the drive. It can make it impossible to recover anything useful, at least from the files that were moved by the defragmenter.

Most good defraggers will check the disk's status before starting a defrag to be sure the volume is not dirty. It will not run if it is. Others do a disk check themselves.

You could try recovery software like Recuva or Testdisk.

Any file that is not backed up is a file you should expect to lose. Make backups in the future if you don't want this to happen again.

DO NOT run chkdsk before trying to recover files. Chkdsk can make files completely unrecoverable by even CSI if it gets incorrect data from the MFT or partition table. Try recovery both before and after chkdsk.
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