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

Abby Haines updated on Dec 04, 2018 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

Symptoms of "the File or Directory Is Corrupted and Unreadable" Error

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:

  1. 1. If you check the file system of the device, you are likely to find that it is a RAW file system
  2. 2. When location is not available error with "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" message happens, you can not access your device and might end up with huge data loss at most times.
  3. 3. '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.)

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.

Fixes for "the File or Directory Is Corrupted and Unreadable" 

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

Checking disk errors and repairing corrupted file systems can fix "The file or 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 for you to try: 

Method 1. Use CHKDSK command line in CMD

1. Right-click on Start or Windows icon --> Search --> Type command prompt.

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

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

3. Enter the below command: chkdsk /f h: --> Press Enter. (Replace h: with the drive letter of your inaccessible disk or drive.)

Fix 'File Directory is corrupted or unreadable' error.

Method 2. Use EaseUS partition tool for help

In some special cases, Chkdsk might not work as well as expected. When it happens, you can try EaseUS partition tool to do the job.

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 Windows 10 is supported


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

Part 2. Recover Data After Solving the Issue

After all the steps in Part 1, you can choose to recover your data and then format the disk for reuse.

EaseUS free data recovery software is recommended. Only a few simple clicks will do: Launch software > Scan device > Find and restore data.

Part 3. Format Disk and Thoroughly Remove the Error

After retrieving all your data, you can use EaseUS partition software to format the disk to permanently remove "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" error.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Then you will see a warning window, click "OK" in it 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 the partition on your hard drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

Possible Causes of "the File or Directory Is Corrupted and Unreadable" Error

For users who want to figure out why "The file or directory is corrupted, and unreadable" error happens, here we list four common reasons. Hope it is helpful, and you can take caution with awareness to avoid this error. 

Causes Detail Information
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.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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