Error ‘The file or Directory is corrupted and unreadable‘ indicates that there is a problem with the hard drive or external drive, most commonly corrupted files, and those errors won’t let you copy files from the external drive to your PC. This might happen due to you pulling out your hard drive before an operation is complete, for example, or due to a myriad of other reasons.
External hard drives are a very good way to store data you don’t use very often, and clean up some space on your computer’s primary hard drive. However, they are still mechanical drives which tend to fail every once in a while. And, just like with any hard drive, files on them can get corrupted very easily, and give you errors, such as the one above.
However, there is an easy way to try and fix this, and it requires no technical knowledge at all. Just follow the steps in the methods below and see how you can solve the problem.
Method 1: Use the built-in check tool that comes with Windows
Windows, as a complete operating system, comes with plenty of useful tools, and we’ll use one of them to try and check whether the hard drive has any errors and if they could be fixed.
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type in My Computer (if you have Windows 7 or 8/8.1), or This PC if you have Windows 10. Open the result.
- Locate your external hard drive, and right-click Choose Properties from the dropdown menu.
- Click the Tools tab, and click Check or Check Now (depending on which version of Windows you’re running).
- Leave the tool to run, and let it finish. Once it’s done, restart your system and try copying the files again.
Method 2: Change the SATA Emulation
- Boot into the BIOS. This is done by pressing Esc, F2, F12, Backspace or Delete on your computer as soon as you turn it on and before it boots into Windows. It is usually one of the keys above, but for the exact key, check your motherboard’s manual.
- Locate Storage and find Storage options.
- Under Storage options, find the SATA Emulation. Change it from LEGACY(IDE) to NATIVE(AHCI).
- Exit with saving the settings, and let your computer boot up. It should be working properly now.
Even though an external hard drive seems like a good idea, you should be careful about your usage. Make sure to safely remove it from Windows before you pull out the cable, and don’t take it out while it’s copying something, as it may corrupt the files. If, however, you’re having this issue, simply follow the steps above and you should fix it in no time.