I have a few files that I'd want to try recovering from a pendrive. The thing is, when I connect it, windows popped up saying if I'd like to get my drive checked for errors.

My question is, would I lessen my chances of file recovery AFTER I go through the error checking? Because I've heard the more you write to a drive after a file has been deleted, the less likely it will be recovered as the data blocks might get overwritten.

Or would the error checking actually increase my chances of the file(s) being recovered because it may necessarily fix filesystem errors that could perhaps assist in the recovery process?

  • when you say recover, are the files showing up in the file explorer, or were they destroyed (deleted or bad file indexes)? Jan 31 '13 at 15:04
  • @FrankThomas I'm not sure what all files have got deleted, that's why I am asking this question from a general point of view.
    – Irfan
    Jan 31 '13 at 16:12
  • unfourtunately that really is the determining factor. in that case I would proceed with the disk check. once complete, if yo can't find your files, look at TestDisk and see if you can't recover the partition. if not, try PhotoRec. Jan 31 '13 at 16:49

You didn't tell what specific symptoms of damagedd filesystems did you encounter. This warning could be nothing. When you get it, there should be a checkbox enabling you to scan without repair, then you scan your pendrive and answer a question if any files are damaged at all. You can always ignore that requester and run chkdsk manually disabling repair. (start -> run -> CMD.EXE then type chkdsk <drive>, and it will run without repair).

However to answer a question if you lessen your chance of recovering - noone will tell you for sure. If the drive's cell is at it's limit, you will get read errors while copying, but after running chkdsk you will be able to copy a file without problems. I bet though it will not be complete. Other letdowns I've faced in my life include chkdsk making complete mess of my FAT, making my filenames look gibberish. Also look what I've faced on one SSD drive, which I'm still not sure whether it is responsible for this mess.

I always first run chkdsk without /F then eventually with it. Not trusting that thing. Also I've gotten into a habit of copying things to pendrives with checksums (CRC32) made by TotalCommander (shareware) or a batch file using fsum.exe (free). Assessing file integrity is trivial then.

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