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Windows was running chkdsk, battery emptied during that, and laptop shut down. When I start it up, I get something like:

Disk read error

I tried booting from Window's disk and running chkdsk /f /r, that didn't work. I have another partition with Linux installed. I tried to run ntfsfix from there, but it outputs:

Mounting volume... $MFT must be non-resident.
Failed to load $MFT: Input/output error
FAILED
Attempting to correct errors... $MFT must be non-resident.
Failed to load $MFT: Input/output error
FAILED
Failed to startup volume: Input/output error
Checking for self-located MFT segment... OK
$MFT must be non-resident.
Failed to load $MFT: Input/output error
Volume is corrupt. You should run chkdsk.

I also tried testdisk to Repair MFT. It also errors with:

MFT and MFT mirror are bad. Failed to repair them.

What can I do at this point? I want to get my files back in the very primary place.

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  • Can you try repairing the boot partition and just boot into Windows or do you need the Linux partition? from CMD: Bootrec /fixmbr and Bootrec /fixboot
    – LSxCPU
    May 5, 2017 at 14:53
  • @LSxCPU I absolutely need me Linux partition. Would running that make my Linux partition not bootable?
    – OverCoder
    May 5, 2017 at 14:56
  • @OverCoder It would overwrite the bootloader, but you can reinstall that pretty easily, and there are plenty of guides online for how to do that. Make sure to pick one for the bootloader you are using (probably GRUB 2 these days, but no guarantees).
    – user
    May 5, 2017 at 15:02
  • 1
    "What can I do at this point? I want to get my files back" Are we to assume that you don't have backups?
    – user
    May 5, 2017 at 15:02

1 Answer 1

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Your output shows several I/O errors, which is not a promising sign. The most common cause of such errors is failing hardware. Thus, I suspect that you're looking at a hardware issue -- either something that just coincidentally showed up at this point or that was somehow caused by the power failure. (You don't say why you were running CHKDSK in Windows. If it was because the disk was acting up, the hardware problem may have preceded everything else, and just got worse after the power failure.)

You might want to check the SMART status of the disk. I'm not a Windows expert, and of course given the nature of the problem, you can't do this from your regular Windows installation. See this question for some pointers on getting SMART data from Linux. Alternatively, you could try doing it from a Windows emergency disk, but I can't help much on that approach. Note that SMART is a diagnostic tool, not a repair tool. If you see SMART errors, you'll know that the disk is failing, but it won't really help you recover your data beyond knowing that you need to get a new disk. This is far from certain to work, but it's worth trying.

If SMART suggests the disk is failing, stop using it! Some types of disk failures can spread over time, causing one bad sector to become ten, then a hundred, and so on. Thus, the longer you use the disk, the less likely it is that you'll be able to recover data from it. If SMART says there's a problem, shut the computer down, buy a new disk, and power up again only when you're ready to move data to the new disk.

If you do get a new disk, you could do a low-level copy from the old disk to the new one. Again, as I'm not a Windows expert, I can't suggest a specific Windows tool to help with this; but in Linux, you might use ddrescue, which does its best to recover data from a failing disk and transfer it to another one. There's a chance that repair tools could then work on the new disk.

In a worst-case scenario, if you can't coax the system into working well enough to mount the volume, you could use a tool like PhotoRec to recover individual files. The last I heard, though, PhotoRec did a poor job of recovering filenames, so you'll be left with a huge mound of poorly-named files to sort through. I've heard that some Windows-specific tools do a better job of recovering filenames, but I don't know the details, so I can't recommend a specific tool.

One final comment: ntfsfix in Linux does next to nothing; it just checks some very basic NTFS features and then marks the filesystem as needing repair in Windows. Thus, I wouldn't suggest wasting any more time with that tool.

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