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Encounter “The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable” In Windows 10


Trying to fix ‘F:\ is not accessible the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable’ error, but unable to fix it completely. Can anyone give me some guidance for solving such errors? This article will show you the possible reasons and responding solutions to the issue.

Let us first see what happens when you get this error.

Trying to fix ‘F: is not accessible the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable’ error, but unable to fix it completely. Can anyone give me some guidance for solving such errors #Windows10 #error Click To Tweet

What happens when the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable in Windows 10?

You cannot access USB hard drive data and get to see an error message on your screen:

file or directory is corrupted and unreadable


You need to format the disk in drive F: before you can use it. Do you want to format it?

Now, if you examine, you will see that the file system on which the USB drive works is the RAW file system. If you are unable to access your USB drive due to such an error, it shows possible file loss. What caused this error? Let’s find out about it.

Reasons behind “file or directory is corrupted” Issue

Generally, these errors can occur due to any of the following factors.

  • Corruption of the MFT (Master File Table) or FAT (File Allocation Table): A Windows user frequently works on NTFS and FAT file systems. The NTFS file system contains MFT entries that are in the form of a Master File Table. These MFT entries store all information about a file such as size, time, date, and permissions. A File recovery software analyzes this MFT information to retrieve lost data. That means that if the MFT data gets damaged, then the system cannot access NTFS data.
  • USB flash drives and SD cards come with a FAT partition (FAT 32/16/12). File Allocation Table (FAT) located at the starting area of partition helps to manage and store data for the FAT partition. It simply tells the system where the file is stored. Files get saved as discontinuous clusters; each cluster contains a pointer to the next cluster, so that system can read all the data of the file. A FAT error will lead to a partition of corruption.
  • Virus attack on the hard drive. We surf the internet, sometimes download a program to the computer. But, in this process, we become vulnerable to online threats. As a result, these viruses can delete important files without informing, corrupt partition information, damage the operating system, or even infect other devices connected to a virus-affected computer.
  • Bad sectors are existing on the disk. A bad sector means a fragment that is no longer writable or accessible due to permanent damage. Partition information such as the file system is saved on system locations. If this specific location contains bad sectors, then the system will fail to access the data. It will show an error message the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
  • Removal of the disk from the computer in an improper way. It is the most common mistake that we do improper handling of the external disk. While we are operating a USB drive from a computer, we should safely remove it after use. For that, you can click the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the notification area, the right bottom corner of the screen, and then unplug.


Keeping a check to avoid these factors can reduce the chances of the error. But, how to resolve the error once it has occurred, let’s get to know it better.

How to rectify the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable?

Method 1.Execute Chkdsk to check and repair errors

You can make use of the CHKDSK.exe tool to check and repair volume errors. It is a command-line tool offered by Windows. This tool can help in repair with problems, for example, lost clusters, cross-linked files, directory errors, etc.

For Windows 10, make use of these steps to execute Chkdsk.

  1. Tick the Start button and search for Command Prompt, then right-click it and select Run as administrator.
  2. In the message box that follows, click Yes to allow it to change your computer.
  3. In the command prompt box, continue to write chkdsk /f h: and press Enter. Here, letter h is the drive letter of the unreadable partition, and it can be any other drive letters according to your situation. The time to finish the process is solely dependent on the number of files and folders on that partition, the read speed of the drive, the capacity of the volume, etc. So, take your time until the process gets complete.

Although the method is free, you need to be precise with commands to be run in the command prompt. Also, if you see the message:

“Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts?”

You are expected to type Y and hit the Enter key, and then restart your computer to resume the disk check. It makes the process more difficult as each time the process gets interrupted, you need to perform it all over again. If the hard drive becomes RAW and CHKDSK does not work on this RAW drive, you can check the disk with the Windows Data Recovery v1.0. Let us get to know about this utility.

If the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable in Windows 10 and it didn’t get resolved with the chkdsk method, then there is an easy solution, the Windows Data Recovery. This utility gets back the maximum possible data from a damaged or corrupt hard drive. It aids the hard disk data recovery after the accidental formation. With it, easily restore the volumes and drives containing both FAT as well as NTFS file systems. Get the RAW Recovery enabled for recovering maximum possible data from a corrupt drive with Windows Data Recovery with a trial today.


Mishaps can turn the use of an external hard disk into an error showing the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable. You can use the free methods to resolve unreadable file issues in Windows 10. But, these methods do not work on a RAW hard drive. Windows Data Recovery is the best solution to instantly fix a RAW hard drive, and resolve the error.

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