I have an external disk which has received some power cuts due to power failures in the office and not having power backup.

The disk for now works correctly but I have noticed that there are some files with 0 bytes and other files which have been "lost".

Reviewing the hidden files of the system I see that in the root of the disk there are several hidden directories with the nomenclature found.000, found.001 ... etc and inside each directory, several directories called dir0000.chk.

Within these directories there are many of the files that I could not find, check them because there are videos etc. and they do not seem to have problems.

I already did a check to the disk and it did not show errors, although when there were cuts it did report errors and a message requesting repair.

In short, I would like to know how to restore those files inside the dir0000.chk directories to their original locations (there are a lot of files and in many cases I don't remember where they were) and if It is possible to know how to restore files with 0 bytes.

  • 3
    If the full path info for where they belong was still available on disk, they probably wouldn't have ended up as lost+found in the first place. If you're using FAT32 or some other craptastic legacy high-compatibility filesystem on your external drive, you should switch to a filesystem that supports journaling for better power-cut resilience. For Windows, that means NTFS. Aug 10, 2021 at 4:58
  • 1
    If it was easy to figure out where the files should go, the disk recovery tool would have done that for you already. Aug 10, 2021 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


You could try disk scavenger/recovery software, but I wouldn't hold high hopes.

When you use chkdsk to repair the file system, that's what it does - it repairs the file system. It doesn't care what files it has to sacrifice to achieve that. If it finds stray sectors it thinks should have been parts of files, it shuffles them to one side & numbers them sequentially. The chances of untangling that back into actual files is slim to none.

You will probably need to get those files back from your backup.

Test the drive to see if SMART is still good & that these power-cuts have not further damaged the drive itself. If you're uncertain, replace it.

  • Update suggestion: If the recovered files are single unfragmented files, they can still be opened and manually identified. Is there a file(1) like utility for Windows? to identify the correct type and open the files with the right program.
    – Oskar Skog
    Aug 10, 2021 at 13:28
  • @OskarSkog TrID
    – gronostaj
    Aug 10, 2021 at 19:09

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