How to Fix The Directory Name Is Invalid in Windows 10

Roxanne updated on Dec 11, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles

Get 'the directory name is invalid' error in Windows 10? Here, you can get the problem fixed and regain access to your data on USB flash drive, external hard drive or SD card. Part 1 - 3 ways to fix the error. Part 2 - recover data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Part 1. Fix the Directory Name Is Invalid Error in Windows 10
Part 2. Recover Data after Fixing "The Directory Name Is Invalid" Error in Windows 10

Many users who did a Windows 10 upgrade reported that they have encountered 'the directory name is invalid' error while plugging their USB flash drive, external hard drive or SD card into PC. 

The Directory Name Is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Part 1. Fix the Directory Name Is Invalid Error in Windows 10

Being caught by this problem, they will not be allowed to open the device and access your data there. Here, you can get help no matter you want to recover data in Windows 10 or get the problem fixed:

To protect data security on your USB flash drive or other storage devices, do remember to follow Part 2 for a data recovery assistance when you've removed the directly name invalid error from your Windows PC.

Method 1 - Change USB Port

When it reports 'the directory name is invalid' error in Windows 10, the first thing you can try is to re-insert or replug the external hard drive, USB or SD card via another port. Some users said changing the USB port solved the problem. 

Method 2 - Check Disk Errors

If this does not work, connect the device to another computer to check if can be opened or not. If the device can not be accessed, try to check and repair disk errors in Windows 10. Otherwise, it suggests that 'the directory name is invalid' error has nothing to do with disk corruption and you have to try other ways to get the error fixed.

Method 3 - Update Disk Driver

After ruling out the possibility that 'the directory name is invalid' error appears because of USB ports issue or disk errors, we can guess that the problem might stem from disk driver. In this case, we recommend you to try to update the disk driver and check if it helps.

  • Step 1: Press "Windows + R" Key.
  • Step 2: Type devmgmt.msc and press "Enter" to open device manager.

Fix the directory is invalid error.

  • Step 3: Expand "Disk Drives".

The directory is invalid error fix.

  • Step 4: Right-click on the external drive, USB or SD card driver and click on "Update Driver Software".

Fix Windows 10 with the directory is invalid error.

Part 2. Recover Data After Fixing "The Directory Name Is Invalid" Error in Windows 10

If 'the directory name is invalid' error still persists or any data loss happens during the fixing process, you can try EaseUS disk data recovery software to scan the external hard drive, USB or SD card to find and retrieve your important files.  

Step 1. Select a location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the partition where you lost data, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Preview and select the files.

Wait until the scanning completes. If you need to double-click the item to preview the file, then select the data you attempt to recover.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

Click "Recover", choose a location to save the recovered data, then click "OK". You should store the data in another place instead of the original one.

Recover lost data

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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