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For a few days now I have a problem with my 500GB internal hard disk. I am on Linux Mint 13 but I have the same problem with my Windows installation.

When running fdisk -l I can see my hard disk (same on BIOS) but I can't mount it even via the disk utility program. In Windows XP I can see it on the My Computer menu but when I click it, it say's:

D:\ is not accessible
The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable

Is there a way to fix it? Or at least save some of my files and format it? Should I be thinking about the worst-case scenario e.g. my HDD is dead?

Edit: The filesystem is NTFS.

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The filesystem... NTFS? –  Logman Jul 4 '12 at 17:54
    
Have you tried deleting the partition, and re-creating it? –  Mitch Jul 4 '12 at 17:57
    
I want to try first any possible solution before delete my files... I have some really important things in there. –  SteveL Jul 4 '12 at 18:01
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The first thing I would try is CHKDSK in windows (run from the installation CD if you have to).

If for whatever reason that does does not work, the easiest thing to do would be to reformat the drive, and then use a program like recuva to get the data back. There is no risk that you will lose data if you are doing this from another PC.

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on every command i tried at chkdsk it says: "unable to determinate volume version and state" . I had bad time with file recovery softwares so i am trying to step away from this solution. –  SteveL Jul 4 '12 at 18:30
    
@SteveL, try to move away towards your personal experiences, the program is highly reliable. –  soandos Jul 4 '12 at 18:35
    
Ok ,seems that format and data recovery via recuva(or other equivalent software) its my only option here . Thank you for your help :) –  SteveL Jul 4 '12 at 18:42
    
chkdsk can be dangerous in such situations. Also it is inappropriate to reformat before trying to recover any data as there obviously is a risk of losing data with any write. See my answer for a safer approach. –  Gurken Papst Jul 4 '12 at 20:34
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Before any write attempt to the disk (e.g. by running chkdsk) you should verify that the drive is healthy. Otherwise you might lose data that otherwise could still get rescued. GSmartControl is a good tool to check your drive's S.M.A.R.T. attributes and to perform a test.

Even if GSmartControl shows no signs of physical damage you should rather try to recover your data using e.g. PhotoRec than to run chkdsk because the latter might cause even more damage on a seriously corrupted file system.

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I have never heard of CHKDSK deleting data. Source? –  soandos Jul 4 '12 at 20:35
    
My experience. :( - While it will not deliberately delete files it might attempt to write "fixed" empty file system structures over damaged ones, that still contain valuable data for file recovery. Since there is no undo function for chkdsk running it before data recovery is just an avoidable risk. If recovery should indeed fail with multiple programs due to damaged structures that chkdsk can fix (which is unlikley) you can just retry after running chkdsk. Running chkdsk first gives away the first chance for recovery. –  Gurken Papst Jul 4 '12 at 20:51
    
+1, I've also seen chkdsk turn a slightly damaged file system into an irrecoverably damaged one. –  Harry Johnston Jul 5 '12 at 22:34
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