I have been trying to backup some files up to DVD recently, and the burn process failed saying the CRC check failed for certain files. I then tried to browse to these files in Windows Explorer my whole machine locks up and I have to reboot.

I ran checkdisk without the '/F /R' arguments and it told me I had bad sectors. So I re-ran it with the arguments and check disk fails during the 'Chkdsk is verifying usn journal' stage with this error:

Insufficient disk space to fix the usn journal $j data stream

The hard disk is a 300 GB Partition on a 400 GB Disk, and there is 160 GB of free space on the partition. My OS (Windows 7) is installed on the other partition and is running fine.

Any idea how I fix this? Or repair it enough to copy my files off it?


Your drive vendor may have disk repair tools on the vendor website. I've had good luck with SpinRite fixing disks with bad sector errors.

  • Thanks. Seagate's seatools is useless. The Spinrite price tag puts me off, but it might be an option if all else fails.
    – Dan
    Mar 22 '10 at 19:43

First of all, I'd copy all the data that you are able to different physical drive - and I'd include anything of value on the OS partition. Although the disk could plod along happily for ages, it could equally collapse tomorrow; in addition, any recovery process will be risky. So rescue what you can immediately.

Next step I would try is to boot into the recovery console and run chkdsk /r from there - /r assumes that /f is required, so you don't need to specify /f explicitly.

You could also try scrapping the USN Journal first:

fsutil usn deletejournal /D driveletter

It will automatically be recreated when you run chkdsk.

There are no guarantees that this will get you any further, but it's worth trying...


Back up the data NOW, then run smartmontools to see what's happening with the drive. This should help identify any hardware problems. The corrupt files may not be salvageable.

  • bewildering set of instructions. Any ideas on what to run?
    – Dan
    Mar 22 '10 at 19:47
  • You want to run a test with smartctl. There is a windows GUI package available - gsmartcontrol.berlios.de/home/index.php/en/Home that might make it a bit easier to deal with. But basically, you want to see if the firmware is reporting problems - that will let you know if it's a hardware problem, or if its not then you can assume it's a software problem.
    – chris
    Mar 22 '10 at 22:40

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