Fix ‘the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable’ in windows 11/10/8/7 in 2 Ways

Updated to Troubleshooting Tips by William on Nov 30, 2023 | Approved by Cesar C

When you insert an SD card, external hard drive, USB, or any other storage devices in your Windows 11/10/8/7 PC, you may receive the error message, ‘the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable Windows 8’. There are many symptoms you may encounter when you see this error message. First, if you look at the device’s file system, you may discover that it is a RAW file system. Second, you would not be able to access your device when you receive this error code. Third, when you want to open a storage device on your Windows PC, you will get the "H:\ is not accessible" pop up error message. If you cannot resolve the issue of Windows 7 the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable on time, it may lead to major data loss. To avoid such a system disaster, you should use any of the methods highlighted in this post to fix the issue.

Part 1. Why ‘the File or Directory is Corrupted and Unreadable’ occurs?

Before looking at the methods to fix ‘the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable Windows 11/10 desktop’ issue, let’s look at the possible causes why you may experience the problem in the first place.

Virus Infection

Virus can disrupt the normal functioning of a computer system. When a PC, memory card, or USB drive is infected with a virus, the file system is likely to get corrupted and you may receive the error message.

MFT/FAT Corruption

Master File Table (MFT) is part of the NTFS file system and it contains the details, including the file size, access permissions, and creation time. Like File Allocation Table (FAT), which is part of the FAT file system; MFT indicates the storage location for a file. Therefore, when the FAT or MFT file is corrupted, the error will prevent the system from accessing data from the FAT or NTFS partitions.

USB Hard Drive is not safely removed from the System

When you remove an external disk from your PC while the drive is reading or transferring data or without using the ‘Safely Remove’ option, you are the risk of losing important file system information. This may be the reason you are getting the ‘is not accessible the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable Windows 11’ error message.

Physical Issues

Flash drive, memory card, hard drive, or USB drive can get corrupted as a result of permanent damage or bad sector. Usually, partition data like file system is saved in a particular location. If the location has bad sectors, the operating system may fail to access data and you will get the error message.

Part 2. Two Methods to fix ‘the File or Directory is Corrupted or Unreadable

The above entails the possible causes why you may get ‘the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable please run the chkdsk utility Windows 11’ error message. Now, let us explore the two methods that you can use to fix it.

Method #1: Run CHKDSK to Fix ‘the File or Directory is corrupted or Unreadable

Repairing file systems that are corrupted can resolve the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable error. This is especially true if the error is due to bad sectors, file system corruption, or virus infection. To fix the issue, you should use the CHDKDSK command line in CMD. Follow the easy steps below to use this method:

  1. Click in the ‘Search’ menu and type ‘Command prompt’.
  2. Right-click on the Command Prompt and choose ‘Run as Administrator’.
  3. Enter the following command – chkdsk/f h: and click on ‘Enter’. You should replace ‘h:’ with the associated drive letter of your unreadable drive or disk.

These steps should resolve the issue immediately. If you are still experiencing the problem, you should move to the second method.

Method #2: Format Hard Drive to fix ‘the File or Directory is corrupted or Unreadable

If you have tried the first method and it does not work, you may have to consider the last resort, which is to format the hard drive. This is a radical method as it can wipe out data from your hard drive. It is why you should recover data from the unreadable disk first before you format the drive. We recommend the iBeesoft Data Recovery software to recover your files from an unreadable hard disk. This is the best data recovery software that you can find in the market.

iBeesoft Data Recovery software is highly effective, secure, and 100% safe. It is designed to help you recover files from hard disk and partition, RAW drive, external hard drive, USB, and more. It works by scanning and recovering lost files at the speed of lightning. It is indeed the most comprehensive file recovery solution that you need to get all lost data from your PC.

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How to recover trapped data in ‘the File or Directory is Corrupted and Unreadable’ hard drive

  1. Select the file types you want to restore. All files are selected by default. You can deselect those that you don’t want or deselect everything and manually select the files you want. Click ‘Start’ to get started.
  2. Select the location where you want to scan. This is the location where you have the lost files. Click ‘Scan’ to run the scanning process.
  3. Preview and recover the lost files. Check the upper part of the window after the Quick Scan has completed. Preview the recovered data and save accordingly. If you want to scan for more results, use the ‘Deep Scan’ option.

Now that you know how to recover trapped data before formatting the hard drive, how do you fix the error the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable?

Steps to Format Hard Drive to Fix ‘Windows 11 the File or Directory is Corrupted and Unreadable’

  1. Open This PC/ My Computer.
  2. Navigate to the external hard drive and right-click on it.
  3. Click the ‘Format’ option and select the file system. You should also check the ‘Quick Format’ option and click the ‘Start’ button to format. This should permanently fix the issue.

There you have the clear solutions to resolve ‘the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable Windows 10 desktop’ error message. Before you use any of the methods, it is recommended that you use a data recovery tool, like iBeesoft Data Recovery software to recover trapped data on your PC.