The message pops up on Windows due to a connectivity issue between the system and an external hard drive. The main cause of the error “the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable” is the faulty external hard drives such as pen drive & portable hard discs.
Reasons behind “the file directory is corrupted and unreadable”
- The USB port is not working properly.
- Your hard disc is infected with some worms or viruses.
- Hard drive got physical damage due to any reasons.
- Your external drive was removed suddenly while its data was being accessed by the system
- Corrupted MFT (Master File Table)Partition
- Corrupted FAT (File Allocation Table) Partition
How to fix the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable in Windows?
There are multiple solutions available all around the web for solving an issue, “file directory is corrupted and unreadable”. Here, we are listing the top 4 working solutions to fix your problem.
#1. Use COMMAND PROMPT to Resolve the Issue
The free chkdsk (Check Disk) commands will fix the problem if it is causing due to directory errors, lost clusters, and cross-linked files.
Follow the below steps to fix the corrupted file or directory using chkdsk:
- Open Run command directly by pressing Win+R button or by clicking on start and then search for “Run”. If you are using Windows 8 or later version of OS, you can press Win+X key to see the Run in the menu and then hit enter.
- Now, type “cmd” inside the box and press enter. A cmd window will be opened.
- Command prompt window will open.
- Now type “chkdsk H: /f” or “chkdsk /f H:” and then press the enter key. Here, the “H” is the drive name that needs to check. You can replace the letter as per the assigned alphabet to your external hard drive.
- Sometimes, it shows a message “Chkdsk cannot be executed because the volume is being used by some other process”. If you are also getting this message, you need to press Y and then restart your computer. It will complete the process automatically after restarting the system.
#2: Change the Drive Letter to fix the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable
The big problem can be solved by making a small change, isn’t it? The problem “Location is not available” or “the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable”, can be solved by changing the drive letter only. Follow the steps given below for changing the drive letter in windows operating system.
How to Change the Drive Letter?
- Insert the external storage device to your system via USB port.
- Now right-click on Computer Icon which is given on the desktop. A pop-up with multiple options will be opened.
- Now click on “Manage”.It will open a new window.
- Navigate to Storage >> Disk Management.
- Now you need to right-click on the device which is occurring the problem and then click on “Change Drive Letter and Paths…”.
- A pop-up will be opened with a pre-assigned letter. Now, you need to click on “Change”.
- The newly opened pop up will give you the option to choose a letter from the drop-down menu. Select any new alphabet and press “OK”.
- Just after clicking on the OK button, a warning will be shown to confirm the changes. Click on Yes and move forward towards closing the panel. The drive letter will be changed.
#3. Quick Format the Peripheral Drive to fix the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable
Sometimes, the corrupted directory problem gets solved by formatting the external storage device. But keep in mind; you will lose all data from that device after formatting it. If there aren’t any important files inside the drive, you can proceed with the steps given below for formatting the external hard drive.
- Open the windows explorer by pressing Win+E buttons together. You can also open the windows file explorer by double-clicking on the Computer icon given on desktop.
- Right-click on the drive which is unable to open or giving the problem of “the file directory is corrupted and unreadable”.
- Click on “Format” and then a new window will be popped up.
- Check the “Quick Format” button and then click on “Start”.
- Stay back. The process may take time depends on how much data you had in the external hard drive. After a few minutes, the problem will be resolved and then you can use an external storage device as a new one.
#4. Repair or Format your Operating System
Sometimes, your OS get affected with virus and lost some important files. As a result, it won’t work properly and unfortunately gives some errors. In this case, we would recommend you to take the backup of your drives and then repair your windows file or re-install the operating system from scratch. Now again connect your external drive to the computer and check, it will work normally.
How to play safely to avoid the issue of “the file directory is corrupted and unreadable”?
- Install good anti-virus software in your system and always keep it updated
- Don’t keep any untrusted .exe file in your external storage device
- Don’t install any harmful software to your system
- Keep the external hard disk at a safe place to prevent it from physical damage
- Always remove your peripheral devices safely after completing the task.
- Take the data backup on a regular interval to keep it safe. You can keep a copy of your data on other hard disks, google drive or cloud storage.
Follow the above steps carefully to fix the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable because one wrong click may lead you to face other problems. If possible, I would recommend you to take the backup of the external drive before following any of the steps given above. It will help you from losing any data.
In case you lost your important data during the process, you need not worry. There are many paid data recovery tools available in the market which will help you to recover your lost data on a few clicks.
If you want the list of the best data recovery software, comment below. Our experts will share the full details about the authentic data recovery software available in the market. For more guides and tutorials follow our social media platform and keep visiting our website.