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Failing drive, Chkdsk can repair but "Insufficient Space"


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#1 Access Denied

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:12 PM



Folks, please bear with a new member and a pretty convoluted problem. I have found lots of chkdsk posts but none that quite matches this situation.

I have a 500GB SimpleTech external USB drive that went kerflooey after giving I/O errors. Chkdsk in regular Windows XP Pro won't touch the disk.

I'd like to recover some data, and I have been getting somewhere.

The lovely Partition Find and Mount ( http://findandmount.com/ ) did indeed find and mount the drive, and I've gotten a lot of important files from it. That program mounts the partition as read-only and allows files to be copied off it but not deleted.

However, there is one large folder of music (Albums) that's reading as 0 kb. The demo of Recover It All recognizes and lists a lot of its contents as unlinked files. But before I plunk down $50 I'd like to definitely know it could grab them, since Find and Mount has recovered the other files I need.

I went into Safe Mode and ran chkdsk /f on it, and it started fixing index entries and finding and recovering albums from Albums--the names of the files and then "recovering" zoomed by on the screen. But partway through, chkdsk started trying to recover things and then showing Insufficient Space. I haven't let it run completely through because it's a slow process once it has to start generating all those Insufficient Space errors.

I was hoping then to go back to Find and Mount and find the re-indexed, recovered files, but no go. I'm guessing--just guessing--that chkdsk has to run completely to make the recovered files accessible--I don't know. Windows in standard (non-Safe) mode still can't read the disc, and the mounted Find and Mount partition still shows Albums as empty.

I'm wondering if there's a way to get into the drive and delete some files to make space, and then see if Chkdsk can actually fix it and get the albums back. Or if there's an affordable software that can definitely grab the unlinked files.

Suggestions are appreciated, and my apologies if this was solved before and my searches just didn't find it.

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#2 noknojon

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:05 AM

I went into Safe Mode and ran chkdsk /f

Hi A / D -
Can you please try and run chkdsk /r in normal mode -
>> Chkdsk in regular Windows XP Pro won't touch the disk <<--- Please explain what happens -
Do you have your XP CD ??
If you do, please try to run sfc /scannow (again in normal mode) to check your basic file system is reasonably complete.
Finally please give us a quick look at your system with the following directions ........

Please Publish a Snapshot using Speccy, and post a link to it in this thread:
It is a convenient and accurate way of providing us with details of your computer specifications.

Thank You -

#3 hamluis

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:51 AM

<<I'm wondering if there's a way to get into the drive and delete some files to make space, and then see if Chkdsk can actually fix it...>>

If the problem is a failing hard drive...chkdsk is not designed to repair such.

Chkdsk is a Windows file tool, always has been. It is designed to overcome certain problems with files/file structure on a Windows installation. As part of this function, it attempts (not always successfully) to overcome certain file problems that can traced to the fact that the files may lie in bad sectors on the hard drive.

This is not to say that every hard drive problem, whether resulting from bad sectors or not...can be addressed by chkdsk /r. That is why running this command periodically results in onscreen statements that chkdsk /r cannot complete or has encountered undefinable problems which it cannot cope with and must stop.

An "insufficient space" warning by Windows when performing any Windows function...always means that Windows cannot perform properly...whatever task the user is attempting...until the "insufficient space" issue is addressed and negated.

You also need to be aware that one of the possible results of running the chkdsk command...is a bunch of unuseable files with a .chk file extension. These files may indeed be "recovered" during a chkdsk /r, but that does not ensure that such are readable or useable in any normal context within Windows, in my experience.

<<The demo of Recover It All recognizes and lists a lot of its contents as unlinked files. But before I plunk down $50 I'd like to definitely know it could grab them...>>

Impossible to know, even if the program runs perfectly...until the recovery effort is made and user attempts to open/use said files. I have used recovery software which recovered files apparently...but the files were corrupted beyond use. I know of no recovery software that guarantees the useability of the files which it is capable of recovering from a troubled situation.

Louis




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