I just successfully saved a ton of irreplaceable files by retrieving them from the file.000 directory. I was denied access at first and had to change the permissions following some advice from this post. After changing the permissions, I was able to copy and retrieve the files without using any additional data recovery/chk software.
The first answer didn't work for me, but the solution from AdamGoff worked perfectly.
Backstory: one of my folders suddenly disappeared my from my external drive due to some drive error. I ran dskchk and then went on to try some data recovery software (easeus & virtuallab) but after almost a days worth of scanning they didn't recover/reveal the files in the file.000 directory.
I finally found that my files still existed in file.000 with active@-file recovery software, but I have a 10 year old version and their file recovery is painstakingly tedious when dealing with the amount of subfolder structure and files I have. So I ended up using the permissions changing to access the files directly from explorer to retrieve my precious files. So if anyone else encounters a similar problem. Check your drive's file.000 folder (may be hidden).