I have a Windows hard drive with 4 or 5 partitions. This is the partition map: Partition map as per the Windows Administrative Tools

I cannot access the F: volume, labeled above as "Correct, Primary Partition". Windows File Explorer gives the following error message when I double-click on it:

"The file or directory is damaged or illegible"

How can I repair this?

Thank you very much for your attention.

1 Answer 1


"RAW" means that Windows is unable to recognize the type of the partition. It's probably shown as "full" by default.

If there was any content on it, you need to repair it with an appropriate tool. First of all, to avoid permanent additional problems, you ought to image the disk somewhere else. You'll need 100 GB of free disk space somewhere and a tool such as WinImage.

Once you have an image of the damaged F: drive somewhere, whatever you do to your disk F: can now be undone, which gives some ease of heart for what follows.

In days gone by there was Norton Disk Doctor that would recover this kind of disk damage. Currently I'm not sure, a quick Google search turned up this. I'm familiar with other software from EaseUS and I trust the guys, but on the other hand why should you believe me? -- so I'd advise running a Google search of your own.

Another possibility to recover the files (not the disk) is Piriform's Recuva. Piriform too are great guys (I use their CCleaner). But first I'd try and recover the disk. Recuva's operation in full scan mode takes absolute ages, and it's not easy to tell between files that need recovering and obsolete copies you no longer need.

All of the above starting from the hypothesis that drive F: was ever working. Suppose instead that you shrank a 150GB VOL2 E: drive, and made it around 50 GB? Then an empty raw drive F: would appear, with nothing really on it (except old data from the unshrunk drive E:). In that case all you should do is simply format F: in order to be able to use it.

  • I understand. Thank you for your answer. I used Recuva in full scan mode, and recovered everything that was on that partition. I must say, though, that the folder structure got lost and all I got is a flat folder list. I'll keep in mind the possibility of it recovering files from changed partitions next time.
    – Andrw
    Oct 12, 2015 at 14:20

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