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I have Windows XP SP3. I was copying files from my ADATA 500 GB external hard disk (via USB 2.0) when a "Delayed Write Failed" error came up.

Now I am unable to access it and it gives the error:

The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable

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Right-click on the drive in My Computer, select Properties, and under the Tools tab, click Check Now.... Set the Automatically fix file system errors check box, then click Start.

This will scan the hard drive for errors. If the check needs to be scheduled for the next boot, do so and restart the computer, leaving the drive plugged in; the system will perform the check on the next boot. If any errors are detected (which it should), CHKDSK will fix them as possible.

For more information on how to check for errors in a disk file system, see

Edit: Since you indicated that CHKDSK failed, you may be able to recover data using an application such as TestDisk. If not, your hard disk may have experienced damage and will need to be serviced; if this is the case, you may want to consider bringing it to a data-recovery service (which can be expensive) before you do so.

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The window just closes after clicking Start. Doing a checkdisk gives only this: The type of the file system is NTFS. Unable to determine volume version and state. CHKDSK aborted. Disk Management says its status is Healthy, but shows 100% free space. I'm worried that my files are already gone. Anything else? Thanks for trying. – d4ryl3 Mar 20 '12 at 12:55

If there are not important files on the drive you can just format it. Formatting may make it normal to use again.

also you can try chkdsk for the parititon, as the error message "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable" is mainly caused by file system error:

  1. Click "Start" button and click Run.

  2. Type in cmd to the open box and hit "Enter" key, then you'll get the Command Prompt. type in cmd to the run box

3 Continue to type chkdsk /f g: and press Enter. G is the drive letter of the problem partition and it can be F or other letter on your computer. Type Y and hit Enter and restart computer to resume disk check if you get the message "Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? "

Note that, even chkdsk may cause data loss, thus you need to retrieve data first if files on the disk are impostant to you.

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