I wasn't able to find any threads that specifically mention repair of NTFS partitions, and recently I have ran into a couple of drives where I've needed to do this.

As an example, I have a 60GB IDE notebook drive, which has two partitions. The primary is the boot partition, and works fine. It's set to about 10GB and is totally full. The other (extended) partition is the remainder of the drive and has (had!) most of the space free. However, it recently has come up as "corrupt" and unreadable. Windows runs scandisk on it at boot time and reports no problems. I pulled the drive and connected it to a desktop computer: there, chksdk /f found a lengthy list of files that needed some attention, which it seemed successful at fixing. (Cross linked files or something.)

At the end of the day, I still cannot read any files on this partition. I'm afraid to run a partition manager on it for fear that it will make the data inaccessible.

Is there some way to visualize the files on this partition, or rebuild whatever has caused it to become unreadable? The drive seems to be in good mechanical order.


The good news is there is a fairly current backup of the data, so this is not mission critical. But it would be good practice for fixing this type of problem.

  • At the end of the day the customer had a good backup and didn't want to spend any time on the old drive. However the ntfs.com information is extremely good and should be useful for the next time I run into a similar problem. – JYelton Sep 11 '09 at 21:10

There are some tools outside you may try:

NTFS Partition Repair

NTFS Repair

And there is a very good site where you can read about NTFS Recovery Concepts: NTFS.com

Personally I haven't tried the software mentioned above (no need for now) so it would be great to hear how you repaired your partition.

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  • I will give these a try and see how it goes. At this point I'm not sure the customer wants to spend the time on it, but if they'll let me I'm willing to work on it for free to learn/try. – JYelton Sep 10 '09 at 1:10
  • I selected this answer because of the additional information that helped with the project. – JYelton Sep 11 '09 at 21:08

You could give testdisk a whirl, I've always found it very good. It's cross platform http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

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  • I'll give this a try and see. Same situation as above comment! I'd like to give some of these a try and see what works. – JYelton Sep 10 '09 at 1:10

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