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Corrupt hard drive


FPCH New Member
Mar 24, 2009
PC Experience
Some Experience
A friend's laptop suddenly decided not to boot into Win XP, and none of the options from F8, including safe mode worked.
In order to retrieve her files before attempting a re-build I bought an external enclosure to extract the files, however when I try to read the drive I get "The directory or files are corrupted and unreadable".
Can anyone suggest anyway I can get to her files to copy them off?


Hello Sambat

Welcome to FPCH

Well in all honesty this hard drive sounds to be beyond help if you cannot access any part of it.

Professional file retrieval, if possible at all, will be very expensive.


FPCH Member
Oct 16, 2008
If the hard disk is not faulty you could run checkdisk over it and tell it to repair any errors found.

If you do that and subsequently find the disk actually has faults such as bad sectors, it is likely more of your data will be unrecoverable.

So, your choices.....

1) Send it away and spend upwards of £150 retrieving the data.

2) Attempt to repair the filesystem so the disk is readable and copy over what data you can find.

To do number 2, go to My Computer, right click over the drive and then down to Properties. Select Tools, then Error Checking.

Tick both boxes and click Start.

You are in hands of the Gods from then on.

There are other options, but without knowing the health of the disk, we really cannot advise any further on a forum.