Unintentionally powered off external HDD when moving some files with the move command. Now the move target folder is "The file or Directory is corrupted and unreadable".

chkdsk E: /f /r /x

Failed during the process ("An unspecified error occurred").

NTFS is said to can tolerate power outage with something like transaction logs, then how can this happen? The external HDD is NTFS and set to "fast remove" mode too.

(1) Can HDD tracks be damaged in a hardware way during power outage? Won't The magnetic head be lifted when the HDD detects an under voltage to protect the tracks?

(2) If tracks are not damaged, then the maximum damage will be some inconsistent written file contents and directory entries. But NTFS as a robust FS with logs, why can't even chkdsk recover the problem and the whole folder is just unreadable and not fixable? Doesn't NTFS have backup mechanism for the directory entries?

updated: Although chkdsk doesn't work, I connected the external HDD to PC again and a message box asked whether to repair the problem and I choosed repair and the unaccessible folder disappear and appears in the folder one level up, all contents are there. This is how the problem is solved, but not an answer to the question (1)(2).

  • 1
    What is “failed during the process?” Provide a specific error message. There is no reason to use /r. If chkdsk is failing during its tests sometimes you need to run it first with the /i or /c parameters. Then run it again without. – Appleoddity Feb 19 at 2:47
  • I don't think you can write a script for pulling the plug on a hard drive while writing. For CHKDSK to fail means some bad damage. Before you do too much, determine if you may need a recovery company and if the data is worth recovering – John Feb 19 at 2:47
  • @Appleoddity It is "An unspecified error occurred". – jw_ Feb 19 at 3:06
  • @John I mean, this is the most important situation a FS need to protect: don't let a power outage destroy the directory entries - How can NTFS still can't do this and you need luck for your file to be there? Not I already use "fast remove" mode to prevent such nightmare to happen. – jw_ Feb 19 at 3:09
  • There are hardware errors that NTFS cannot protect against. One of my own desktop hard drives failed and the recovery company was not able to get the data back. Fortunately the data was old, not current so I just let it go. – John Feb 19 at 3:14

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