Ext HDD file directory is corrupted or unreadable?

  Tinkey Winkey 10:59 17 May 09

Please help!

I have an extenal HD connected to my PC via USB.
It has ALL my work, family photos etc on it.

Today it says K:\is not accessible.
The file directory is corrupted or unreadable.

I have tried connecting the HD to another PC but it says the same thing.

I have googled the error message which shows these 4 web pages.

click here=

Looks like I will have to buy some HD recovery software? What's the best one please or is there snything else I can try without risking the data on the HD?

Feeling REALLY sick with worry now, please help!Don't know what to do?

  Tinkey Winkey 11:05 17 May 09

If I right click on the drive K:\ and select properties > Tools there is an error checking option. Will running this help or make the situation worse i.e less recoverable with a software prog?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:06 17 May 09

Attempt to repair the damaged file, folder or file system index using Chkdsk. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type chkdsk /f <drive>:, where <drive> is the letter of the drive on which the damaged file, folder or file system index exists.
3. Click OK.

NOTE: If the hard disk is large, Chkdsk may take several minutes to several hours to complete.

  Tinkey Winkey 11:07 17 May 09

I've noticed that when trying to access the ext. HD it makes a (quiet) repetitive noise as if the drive head is getting stuck?

Dunno if that helps diagnose the problem?

  Tinkey Winkey 11:10 17 May 09

thx fruitbat will try that chkdsk but it's a 500GB HD so will prob take some time.

(Must go pick up my daughter now so will report back in the next 1-2 hrs)

  micktrish 11:17 17 May 09
  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:20 17 May 09

putting the drive in the freezer is an absolute last resort.

There are other things to try first.

  Tinkey Winkey 13:23 17 May 09

chkdsk/f K:

It fixed a few errors & was done in a few minutes.
Can't believe it worked! Judging from the repetitive sound the external HD was making I thought it had died for sure.

Windows Disk Management says the drive is Healthy.

Not sure why this happened or if everything has been restored? I am now trying to copy everything to my PCs HD as a backup. Can't copy the whole disk in one go. Looks like I've got to copy each folder individually - nearly 500GBs worth *sigh*

I've learnt my lesson though. Never gonna just keep the data on just one HD anymore. Don't suppose there's a program that can restore my lost hair from all the worry this has caused me!

Thank you Friut Bat, you're a star.

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