Quick Fix 'The Disk Structure Is Corrupted and Unreadable' Without Losing Data

Jean updated on Sep 16, 2019 to Resource | How-to Articles


It happens that when you try to access your drive or partition, you get the error message 'drive not accessible, the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable' in Windows 10/8.1/7. Given that, we will show you how to fix the issue and restore all your precious data from the inaccessible drive with EaseUS data recovery software in simple steps.

Cannot Access Drive: Disk Structure Is Corrupted and Unreadable

"Try to access a 2-year-old WD MY BOOK ESSENTIAL, but failed with an error saying 'the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable.' What's the matter? This issue is very frustrating as all my important data is stored on this drive. Anyone can show me instructions on how to recover data when the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable?"

Error "the disk structure id corrupted and unreadable"

"The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable" is one of the most common Windows errors that happen to external HDDs, memory cards, USB flash drives, and other storage devices. Why a properly working hard drive suddenly becomes inaccessible? Generally, the error disk structure is corrupted and unreadable" can be caused by:

  • File system errors: MFT (Master File Table) or DBR (DOS Boot Record) corruption
  • Connection issue
  • Unstable power supply
  • Hardware issue

Based on the possible causes, there are different solutions to the problem "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable".

Fixes for "The Disk Structure Is Corrupted and Unreadable"

As you know from the information above, the error may result from minor issues like cable connection and power supply or be caused by relatively serious matters like file system errors and hardware damage. Thus, you can try the simple fixes first to exclude the minor issues:

  • Change the USB port/cable
  • Connect your external hard drive or other storage devices to another computer and check whether the problem remains
  • Connect your USB drives to the rear port which provides a more stable power supply compared to the front ones

If these simple fixes don't help, it's highly likely the error "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable" is caused by file system errors or by hardware corruptions in rare cases. Don't worry. You have a high chance to recover your data and make your device usable again following the methods below.

Method 1. Recover Data and Format the Disk

If there is nothing important on the problematic drive, you can format the disk directly to fix the error "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable".

You may be recommended to try CHKDSK first in other articles. But actually, the most certain way to fix the error "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable" caused by file system errors is to recover data from the inaccessible drive and then format the device.


CHKDSK can only fix a disk on which there is DBR corruption but no MFT corruption. Besides, even if CHKDSK can fix the problem for you, it may result in data loss on your external hard drive, USB flash drive, or other devices. Thus, the safest way is to retrieve your data and then format the device. The professional hard drive recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will help you recover data from an inaccessible drive, including RAW drive. To recover data from a hard disk on which the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable:

Step 1. Select and scan hard drive.

On EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, select the drive where you lose your data and click "Scan". Wait patiently until this program finishes the scanning, it will find all your lost data on the drive.

select and scan the hard drive

Step 2. Find and preview found files on the selected drive.

Check "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or use "Filter", "Search" to find the lost files on the selected hard drive. You can double-click to open and check the found files.

Preview lost hard drive data

Step 3. Recover and save lost hard drive data.

Select all found lost hard drive files, click "Recover" and browse another secure location to save them. Click "OK" to confirm and finish the recovery process.

recover data from hard drive

After getting back all your files from the disk, now you can format the disk to make it work again without any worries. There is more than one way to format a hard drive in Windows 10, here we present you the easiest one:

Step 1. Open "This PC".

Step 2. Right-click the disk reporting "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable" and choose "Format".

Step 3. Assign a file system to your drive and click "Start".

Fix disk structure is corrupted and unreadable - format drive

Method 2. Check and Repair Disk Errors

You can either perform drive error checking or run CHKDSK in CMD. Both work exactly the same way. Checking disk works to repair any error found on your disk. It may help you fix the error "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable" caused by DBR corruptions.

Option 1. Check Disk in Properties

Step 1. Go to "This PC". Right-click your drive and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Go to the "Tools" tab and click "Check" > "Scan drive".

The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable fix - perform disk checking

Option 2. Run CHKDSK in CMD

Step 1. Click "Start" and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. In Command Prompt, enter chkdsk E: /f. ("E" means the drive letter of the inaccessible partition and "f" is a CHKDSK parameter means it will fix any errors found on a disk. )

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

Method 3. Check Your Hard Drive's Health

If, after trying all the solutions mentioned above, the error "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable" remains. You should consider checking the health state of your drive. A failed or failing hard disk may lead to many disk errors like "USB drive not showing up", "the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable", and the one in discuss. There are many ways to check the health of a hard drive, including using the manufacturer's tools, CHKDSK, and WMIC. Here we will show you how to use WMIC to check your drive status:

Step 1. Click "Start" and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Enter the following commands in order:

Click to copy

If your disk status is not so well, send it for repair immediately.

The Bottom Line

Although there are many potential causes of the error "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable", many users found the main cause is file system errors, which can be perfectly fixed by formatting the device. Since there are precious files existing on the hard drive, it's necessary to recover data with software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and then perform formatting. Hope this guide is helpful for you.


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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 to better 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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