I have a 1TB external hard drive( NTFS, my passport Western Digital).

Yesterday I right clicked on the drive in Windows 7 my computer > properties > tools -> check now > and I check both these boxes:

  • Check Disk dialog box Automatically fix file system errors
  • Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors

After about 2 hours, the process finished, but when I go to my external hard drive I just found 30 GB of my files and folder remaining and other the (about 900 gb!) were lost!

The free space of disk wasn't changed so maybe the folder and files are not deleted.

Why was the data deleted?

Chkdsk tell nothing me when it completed! If data disappears it usually is because files are damaged and the Chkdsk utility attempts to separate the damaged files out BUT there aren't any files or folders with such as these names "found.000" or "*.chk" in my external hdd. (showing hidden and system files is on)

Note: I found my chkdsk log in event view in windows cp : there were a lot of records like this : Deleting orphan file record segment 60010.

How do I get my files back?

  • 4
    "why were the data deleted?" - They were not deleted. The filesystem considered those files to be orphan files, likely because you experience a hardware failure, healthy working HDD don't have filesystem problems. "plz help to find prob and get my files back ." - restore your file from a backup. The reason the "files" are gone is because you told chkdsk to get rid of any pointer to orphan files.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 17:18
  • unfortunately I have not any backup from them.(my fault).maybe still there is (there should be!) a way to restore them(instead of using data recovery soft).For example using information provided in generated log file or allocated pathes,because disk space is still occupied Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 20:17
  • There is no other way except file recovery software then even then due to severe filesystem failure that might not be possible
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 20:53
  • which of data recovery soft recover the files with original filenames / folder structure? Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


I have the same problem, and often.

I use Piriform's Recuva, free software to find missing files. It will to an extent "recover the files with the original filenames and folder structure" if you select that option (I can't get to the options screen without performing a scan, which I don't want to do right now) but there are two options in the advanced options and one if them is to keep the structure.

I get the impression that other vendors may be repackaging the free Recuva and selling it, since there are other commercial products out there that seem to do the same thing with a similar interface.

The problem with Recuva is that it takes a long time because it deep scans the whole drive for lost files, and often it does not repair the file structure. I would like something that would simply find and repair a particular directory structure, which seems to have been pruned by chkdsk and remains almost intact along with most of the files. chkdsk junks file structures that are broken.

Another thing that I found that works sometimes is to use the search box of Microsoft explorer. Even though the file browser can't see the directory, the search function can sometime still do so.

I am going to try some others:

DFSEE commercial product that has a browser that may find "deleted" files but it is about 55USD. It was too difficult for me, and seemed garbled on my Japanese OS.

Glary Undelete is free and seems good and has a browser, but does not find anything on my damaged disk. On the other hand it is superior to Recuva in that one can browse to a directory and search that, and when one cancels a scan (search) part way through, the files found up to that point are displayed.

Pandora Disk Drill has become commercial and has no browser. I don't want to scan the whole drive yet.

Wise Data Recovery did not even display the affected disk, though Windows explorer does.

FreeUndelete is free only for personal (not business) use but it does have a browser, so one can do a scan on a directory. Unfortunately it tells me that "undelete is not supported" on the entirety of my affected drive!

Puran Utilities (free for personal NOT for commercial use) Data Recovery has worked a bit. It allows me to browse to a folder and recover files in that folder to another disk. These were said to be corrupted files but I can open at least one file using "level 4" recovery. Another file was not recoverable, even on level 1, though Puran claimed to have copied it. Puran "Disk Check" (also in Puran Utilities) will tell you which directories to attempt to recover. It recovered about half of my files in the corrupted directories. It recovers filenames and directory structure so I guess it gets my vote.

Rather than even attempt to use chkdsk I will reformat my drive, copy all my files across from my backup and add the most recent (post backup) files that Puran recovered for me, and recreate the rest by hand.

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