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Windows 7: files messed up after check disk - how to recover correctly?

14 Aug 2014   #1

files messed up after check disk - how to recover correctly?

a folder on one of my external HDs had problems. I ran checkdisk - first without automatic fix activated. Windows complained. said I need to turn on the option otherwise errors cannot be fixed.
next turn took forever.
in the end it seems like all files are back, but lots of them dont open and some are messed up.

for example there are lots of movie files... but the movies dont fit the titles. and some of them dont start at all in the player. windows obviously messed up something while recovering the files.

now the question. is there a chance to recover those files correctly? with a professional recovery software? if yes, could someone please point me in the right direction?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2014   #2


The correct procedure is to back up the files first before doing that repair since it should have explained it can damage files.

I would have backed up all the data, wiped the hard drive, run the maker's drive diagnostics, repartitioned and formatted and then run the full Disk Check. Then you'd know the actual condition of the disk which isn't even certain now. You can install Crystal Disk Info now to check its SMART status which is a good indicator of its condition.

I'm sorry but I doubt the files are recoverable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2014   #3


Thanks Gregrocker, I guess you missunderstood my question a bit.
My focus is not on the hardware. This disk is not broken.

Over the years I had similar problems like this. chekcdisk does a good job with revovering the files... but only in about 90% of the times.

As I said this is an external disk.
During the last 2-3 days I had 3 times a BSOD while I was running Betasoftware. I am almost positive that the filesysstem on the disk got corrupted.... maybe there were some files in the middle of writing when the BSOD occured

The data is still on the disk. windows just associated the wrong data chunks with the wrong filenames.

I have done recovery before and therefor I am a bit familiar with the procedures - but that was many years ago I expect that a lot of things have changed since then and that the up to date tools a a lot better.

The particular problem which I expect running into is that the names of the files I am attempting to fix are not marked as "lost, damaged or deleted"
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Aug 2014   #4


Whenever there are file system issues requiring Disk Check then its indicated to test the drive with the maker's diagnostics, or at least get a cursory reading of SMART, to know for certain the disk's actual condition.

I will elevate your request to make sure if there is a way to recover from not backing up before a Disk Check that repairs file system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2014   #5

Windows 10 Pro

You can try the following software to get your data back:

Five Best Free Data Recovery Tools

I have used recuva in the past, it works well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2014   #6

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

An option is my personal favourite


Makea bootable Ubuntu disk

Setthe BIOS to boot from the optical when the machine boots it will show you ascreen with TRY or INSTALL > select TRY. You can of course remove the hard drive and any otherdrives when doing this as if the optical alone is the only drive left in themachine then the BIOS will only find it to boot from.

Whenit is finished - it takes very little time you will get a screen like in thepic .

Openthe drive you want > User and dig down until you get to the data / settingsyou may be able to copy / paste the material you want to an external source orother installed drive doing this.

Iam not sure if it will but I have recovered tons of data etc using this methodboth on "dead" or just plain drives that you cannot get data fromusing Windows.
This will not have to utilize Windows at all.

Attached Thumbnails
files messed up after check disk - how to recover correctly?-ubutux.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2014   #7


just to save you from reading the rest which I already wrote earlier in this post.

>Files are all back and ALL are working correctly now!
All I did was to unplug the Disk and put it into a different (faster) external Box.
I guess windows still might have had the corrupted version of the filesystem cached. (I did not reboot after the checkdisk)
So thanks again for being so helpful!!!


Thanks to everyone.
Before I go the next step I just want to make sure one more time if I have phrased the question correctly and write down a few more details.

The real problem in this case is, that all the files that I am looking for "are basically there" as I mentioned in the first post. The problem is that the "contents" of many of these files are messed up - "swapped". For example there are contents of file "examplefile 1" visible when I open file "examplefile 3"
It's not like they were manually deleted and I am 99.9% certain that it's a disk hardware issue.
As I also mentioned I have successfully recovered lost files from HDs in the past - even rebuilt a lost RAID 0.

I have VERY rudimentary knowledge about file systems and from what I know the problem here is something like this.
Windows has some files that act like a index. this index tells it where to look when a file is opened. larger files are ususally fragmented into many smaller chunks. and the locations of these chunks are all recorded in some place.

in my case something like the following has happened:
When the last BSOD occured that I mentioned earlier, windows was writing to this index and a few parts got messed up. As a result some folders were missing in explorer. > The files are still there.... windows just did not know where they are located since the index was messed up. So I used Disk Check to fix this as I have often done in the past.
Now here comes the problem.
Windows "Fixed" all the lost files. I can see them all in explorer. its just that some of them contain the wrong data.

Recuva was actually the first program that I've used before I made the first post. But the thing is... and maybe I am making a mistake here because I havn't digged very deep yet -
Recuva doesn't seem to see any problem with the "lost" files. Because they are already there when I open recuva. They don't appear to be deleted or anything. So when I mark them for recovery it will just recover the same corrupted version - right?

Anyhow - if I have missed something please let me know
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2014   #8
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I would try to recover the files from an older restore point. See tutorial:

ShadowExplorer - Recover Lost Files and Folders
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2014   #9

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10

Yup WHS's way is really good and one that I haven't tried yet but might be worth keeping in mind is the mini tools PW - the data recovery section in the start up GUI.

Attached Thumbnails
files messed up after check disk - how to recover correctly?-mini2.png  
Attached Images
files messed up after check disk - how to recover correctly?-mini1.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Aug 2014   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

MiniTool Power Data Recovery will only recover 1GB using the free version - for larger data recovery, you will need to use a purchased version.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 files messed up after check disk - how to recover correctly?

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