Fix The Error “The File Or Directory Is Corrupted And Unreadable”

By Nathan E. Malpass, Last updated: October 13, 2019

When you see the message “the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable,” it means you are unable to gain access to specific files. It will cause you a lot of headaches and extreme frustration. The good thing is there’s a fix to this issue you’re facing.

A lot of people lose their data from errors within hard drives. The error stated previously is one of those issues that lead to data corruption, and ultimately, loss. It prevents users from gaining access, renaming, copying, and doing other things you may wish to your files.

This error is rampant, not only on hard drives within PCs, but also on USB sticks, memory cards, external hard disk drives, and removable or portable hard disks. But what is the biggest cause of this type of error? How is it fixed? And, of course, how do you make sure your data isn’t lost?

Top Causes Of “The File Or Directory Is Corrupted And Unreadable”First Things First, Recover Your DataHow To Fix “The File Or Directory Is Corrupted And Unreadable”To Wrap It All Up

Top Causes Of “The File Or Directory Is Corrupted And Unreadable”

Usually, this type of error is caused by the corruption of files. In addition, a common cause would be damage to the devices where the files that are affected are put into storage. Thus, users won’t be able to access the files or manipulate them.

How do these files within hard drives get corrupted?

1 - Physical Damage

Usually, failures of hard drives are because of physical damage to the device itself. Thus, it is important to take care of your drives from dust, moisture, heat, and other things that might cause damage to it.

2 - Virus Infection

Virus attacks can lead to the corruption of data. It can be obtained online from the websites you surf and the files you have downloaded. Or, you might have plugged an infected drive to your computer.

Viruses usually corrupt drive partitions and even delete data. The worst part of having viruses is they can make modifications to your computer’s registry settings. These changes are usually unauthorized. All of these can cause the problem “the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.”

First Things First, Recover Your Data

Before fixing this error, you should first recover your data. This is because the solutions to this error usually lead to data loss. In order to restore your data, we recommend that you use FoneDog Data Recovery.

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The tool is a great way to restore files from different platforms and devices. Here are the steps on how to use it:

Step 01 - Download, install and launch FoneDog Data Recovery on your Mac computer or Windows PC.

Step 02 - On the main interface, select the device where you want to get the files restored.

Step 03 - Click “Scan.” Wait until the scanning process is complete and the files you can restore will be displayed.

Step 04 - Select the files you wish to restore.

Step 05 - Click Recover.

FoneDog Data Recovery is a software that works on both Windows PCs and Mac computers. It has two different scanning options. The first option will allow you to quickly scan the drive for files. The other option, Deep Scan, will perform a more comprehensive scan of your drive to find more files.
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How To Fix “The File Or Directory Is Corrupted And Unreadable”

Solution 01: Formatting The Drive

This is one of the easiest ways to fix the problem you are facing. However, once you format the drive, you are deleting all the data contained within it. It’s similar to giving it a clean, fresh slate. That’s why you have to use FoneDog Data Recovery to restore data first before you actually format it.

Here are the steps you should do in order to format the drive:

Step 01 - Locate the partition that is affected or corrupted.

Step 02 - Right-click the said drive.

Step 03 - Select your desired format option. This has a drop-down menu.

Step 04 - It will display a new window. Press the button for “Start.” Wait until the entire process is complete.

Solution 02: Using CHKDSK

You can also use the CHKDSK command in order to clean the drive. Usually, this will help you fix the issue and even recover important data. The CHKDSK Utility usually helps solve a lot of problems such as files that are cross-linked, lost clusters, and directory errors.

Here are the steps on how to use CHKDSK Utility:

Step 01 - Press the Windows key and then type in the word command.

Step 02 - Right-click the Command Prompt and then choose Run As Administrator.

Step 03 - Grant access to allow the command prompt to run and make changes. Do this by clicking “Yes.”

Step 04 - Type in the following within Command Prompt: CHKDSK H: /f. H would refer to the corrupted drive partition.

Step 05 - Press “Enter.”

Step 06 - Wait until the process is completed by the CHKDSK command.

Step 07 - Repeat the steps for all the hard drives that have the error “the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.”
Fix The Error The File Or Directory Is Corrupted And Unreadable

Solution 03: Reinstallation Of Windows

There are times when the C drive is the actual drive that shows the error message. Usually, when this happens, the computer will stop working. And, typically, the error would lead to your computer not booting up properly.

CHKDSK won’t be able to solve the issue when this happens. Thus, you need to reinstall your Windows operating system. This is your last resort as it will remove all data on your computer. In addition, you might want to use FoneDog Data Recovery before you do so in order to make sure your important files aren’t lost.

To Wrap It All Up

In this guide, we’ve given you various ways on how to fix the error “the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.” First and foremost, we recommend that you use data recovery software such as FoneDog Data Recovery in order to restore files. Usually, the methods of fixing the error require you to completely wipe off data on your affected drive. That’s why it’s best to restore important data first.

Finally, we’d love to know your thoughts on our guide. Do you have other methods you implement to fix the error? How do you recover your files from corrupted drives? Let us know by stating your comments in the section below. We’ll wait to hear from you!

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Nathan E. Malpass

iPhone/Android Devices’ Maintenance Expert

Staying home, listening to music, writing tech articles

Many people asked me to repair their mobile phones so I have a lot of experience in mobile phone repair, and I know a lot about Android or Apple phones.

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