If you have an NTFS filesystem on a disk or a partition (or on an iSCSI Lun) & it is corrupt, then you might see symptoms like this:

  • drive letter is shown, but cant get into the drive (says file structure is messed up)
  • drive letter doesnt show up, cant get into the drive
  • other similar issues


How to fix this? You need to essentially run an NTFS filesystem check and repair tool (see this article on fixing it with linuxhttp://www.makeuseof.com/tag/fix-corrupted-windows-ntfs-filesystem-ubuntu/ or use chkdskhttps://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee872425.aspx )

# chkdsk example. P drive not accessible / corrupt. Drive letter still shows up
# if drive letter doesnt show up you can point chkdsk at its drive ID
# check out articles online for how to do that
# /F fixes errors on the disk
# /R locates bad sectors and recovers readble info (implies /F)
# so no need to run /R and /F together, just run /R
# chkdsk has 1 of 4 possible outcomes:
# 1. might completely fix the filesystem (to the point, where you can go back to normal use of the drive)
# 2. might fix some of the filesystem (maybe enough for you to get the files out)
# 3. might not fix it, or do any changes
# 4. might mess it up more (because of this I recommend having a backup or run Active File Recovery first)
# NOTE: before running this, I recommend making an image of the drive, in case chkdsk makes things worse, or use Active File Recovery software to get your files out first - If you already have a backup, or you just wanna take the risk, then just run this:
chkdsk P: /r



Now if you just want to recover files (or the whole partition) you can use this: Active File Recovery http://www.file-recovery.com/. The File Recovery software costs 29.99$ (as of Sept 2015) however you can use the demo version to recover files smaller than 65K (they gotta make money some how…) and also see how many files it can recover. It can actually give you a peek into the directory structure. You will notice that you can right click on the things & click recover (and you can recover to a local drive or a network drive). Note that the Partition Recovery tool costs more money.

My own testament of the Active File Recovery software: Anyhow I would like to say that Active File Recovery is a good software & I used it once to recover a corrupted iSCSI Lun / corrupted NTFS volume. The iSCSI Lun was fine on the storage device (and the initiator was able to connect to the LUN, windows even made a drive letter for it, however we couldnt explore into that drive letter, it kept saying “Corrupted file structure” or something of that nature), the storage device had 0 errors, but someone disconnected the LAN cable so the writes to the filesystem didnt go as ordered and the iSCSI lun got corrupt (this is the same thing as you just pulled out a drive from a system while it was trying to write to it). Anyhow with Active-File-Recovery I was able to notice my big “VM-Backups” folder and I was able to right click click Recover (notice that I could only recover 65 K files, so I bought the software), then I pointed it at a big available share on the network (\\someshare\somefolder\) and I got all of my precious 5 TiBs out (after like 3 days, it was going at 20 MiBps)


Also you can use software like HxD to view all of the bytes (in hexidecimal fahsion) on the drive, note that Active has a Disk Editor software that does just that (Disk Editor is just a Hex Viewer)

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