EaseUS Partition Master

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Fix The File or Directory is Corrupted and Unreadable in Windows 10/8/7

Roxanne updated on Nov 12, 2020 Partition Manager | How-to Articles

When you encounter the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable issue, you may take the following feasible ways to solve the problem.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Run Chkdsk to check and repair errors You can run the CHKDSK command in the Command Prompt or use EaseUS partition management software to check and repair disk problems, such as lost clusters, cross-linked files, directory errors...Full steps
Fix 2. Format the hard drive partition Format the problematic hard drive to fix file or directory is corrupted and unreadable issue. But remember to use a professional data recovery tool to restore files on the hard drive to avoid data loss...Full steps

The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" Symptoms 

Sometimes, when you plugged in an external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, or some other storage devices into your computer runs Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista or some other previous versions, Windows prompts error message: "Drive H:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.".

The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable error

Here are some symptoms of 'The file or directory is corrupted' error:

  • If you check the file system of the device, you are likely to find that it is a RAW file system
  • When location is not available error 0x80070570 the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable error message happens, you can not access your device and might end up with huge data loss at most times.
  • 'H:\ is not accessible' error message pops up when you try to open a storage device on Windows PC. (H represents the drive letter of your inaccessible storage device.)

If you can't solve the problem timely when file or directory is corrupted and unreadable, your data will most likely be lost. To avoid the disaster, next, we will show you how to fix the error in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista with three simple steps. Let's do it together. 

How to Fix "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" 

The file or directory is corrupted, and unreadable can occur four various reasons, including virus infection and MFT/FAT corruption. Whatever the cause is, you can try the following simple and useful solutions to troubleshoot. 

Fix 1. Check and Repair Disk Errors or Corrupted File System

Checking disk errors and repairing corrupted file systems can fix the file directory is corrupted and unreadable error caused by bad sectors, virus infection, or file system corruption. To do so, two tested, and effective methods are available here. 

1. Use CHKDSK command lines in CMD

Step 1. Click Search > type command prompt.

Step 2. Right-click on Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator".

Run CMD to fix 'file directory is corrupted' error.

Step 3. Enter the below command: chkdsk /f h: and then press Enter. (Replace h: with the drive letter of your unreadable disk or drive.)

Fix 'File Directory is corrupted or unreadable' error.

2. Use partition management software 

In some special cases, Chkdsk might not work as well as expected. Or if you're new to computer and afraid to use the command line, you can resort to a simple-to-use partition tool - EaseUS Partition Master to do the job. This partition management software is specialized in organizing your hard drive and optimizing disk partitions to extend your computer's life and capableness. 

Step 1: Open EaseUS Partition Master on your computer. Then locate the disk, right-click the partition you want to check, and choose "Check File System".

Check Partition - Step 1

Step 2: In the Check File System window, keep the "Try to fix errors if found" option selected and click "Start".

Check Partition - Step 2

Step 3: The software will begin checking your partition file system on your disk. When it has completed, click "Finish".

Check Partition - Step 3

With EaseUS partition master, you can check and repair files system to fix the file or directory is corrupted problem within seconds. EaseUS Partition Master is known for partition management with following full around disk management solutions: 

  • Resize/move partitions (the Pro version allows to move space from D drive to C drive), create, format, delete, and merge partitions
  • Copy and clone an entire disk to another even the target partition is smaller than the source
  • Convert a logical partition to primary or primary partition to logical, FAT to NTFS partition, MBR disk to GPT, or GPT disk to MBR
  • Completely wipe out all the data on the hard disk to prevent information from being leaked or recovered

Fix 2. Format Disk to Solve "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" Issue

If a disk check doesn't work, you can try to format your external hard drive or USB drive to solve the issue. Format configures hard disk with a new file system, after which the corrupted or damaged file system will be replaced. 

However, as we all know, the disk format will definitely cause data loss. Therefore, to settle the file directory is corrupted and unreadable issue without any data loss, we highly recommend you recover your data from your hard drive before format.

1. Recover data from unreadable hard disk first 

Download and use EaseUS free data recovery software to recover data from external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, and more devices with only 3 steps.

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, choose the external hard drive or USB drive where you lost data. Click Scan.

Step 2. The software will start immediately to scan all over the selected drive for all lost data. During the scan, you could see more and more data showing up in the results.

Step 3. After the scan is over, check the scan results for the desired data. You can preview the file by double-clicking on it. Click Recover and choose another location to save the recovered data.

2. Format the unreadable partition

After data recovery, you can begin to format the inaccessible hard drive. You can format the hard drive in Disk Management or using EaseUS Partition Master. 

Windows Disk Management doesn't allow you to create/format a partition to FAT32 when the partition size is larger than 32GB. What if you just want to format your hard disk partitions to the FAT32 file system for using on PS4? Use EaseUS Partition Master, which can help you do it without limitation. 


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

"The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" Error Causes 

We provide detailed information for users who want to figure out why "The file or directory is corrupted, and unreadable" error happens. Here we list 4 common reasons. We hope it is helpful, and you can take caution with awareness to avoid this error. 

Cause 1. MFT or FAT Corruption 

MFT is short for Master File Table and is included in the NTFS file system, containing all the information, including file size, creation time, and access permissions. Like MFT, FAT (File Allocation Table) is included in the FAT file system. It tells the operating system where the file is stored. Thus, FAT or Master File Table corrupted error will disallow the system access data from the NTFS or FAT partitions.

Cause 2. Virus infection

When your computers, USB flash drive, memory card get infected with a virus, the file system might be corrupted and show "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" error. 

Cause 3. Physical issues

Hard drive, USBs, flash drive, or memory card can be corrupted due to bad sectors or permanent damage, which will cause your device no longer accessible or writable.  Partition information such as file system usually saved in a specific location.

If this location includes bad sectors, then the operating system will fail to access data. Then you'll get "The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable" error message.

Cause 4. USB drives are not safely removed from PC

If you unplug a removable disk from the computer without using Safely Remove while the drive is transferring or reading data, you will risk losing vital files system information. This is one of the most common reasons for "The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable" error.

Useful Tips for Protecting USB Drive from Damage/Corruption 

  • Handle your USB drive with care to avoid physical damage
  • Disinfect the disk regularly to prevent virus attacks that can lead to partition no accessible error
  • Remove your external hard drive properly after each use to avoid corrupting caused by improper operation
  • Always back up important files on your USB drive
  • Be sure to recover data before formatting your USB drive to avoid data loss


It can be nettlesome when your hard drive has the "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" problem, as it prevents you from accessing your hard drive and read the data. The issue can occur due to the causes mentioned above. You can fix the file or directory is corrupted issue by performing disk error checking and repair, or hard drive partition formatting. But before you format, remember to recover and back up your crucial files in advance. It is wiser to recover data in advance than to retrieve it after formatting.

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