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chkdsk scrambled my video files

}{eywood

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2020
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Yesterday chkdsk decided to run on my video storage drive and I wasn't quick enough to stop it. Files are now all scrambled. some play fine. Others don't play art all. Still more play fragments of various files that aren't what the filename is. This is the second time I lost a collection because chkdsk scrambled a drive, as it did it to my music video drive a couple years ago (and much of that I have been unable to replace). Is there a way to restore the master file table to what it was before the utility ran?
Please don't tell me the files were already corrupted. Many of them were in there for less than a day and they worked fine. Files I watched an hour before are now bits of other files. also, the harddrive is less than a year old and has never presented a problem. The previous time it happened it was a brand new drive. I do not believe there was actually anything wrong with the files.
The strange part is chkdsk only moves a few files and said free space marked as used was cleared, but it scrambled half the content of a 5tb drive. I spent at least 10 years getting all these files. I want them back the way they belong
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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but it scrambled half the content of a 5tb drive.
You weren't use a dock or an enclosure, were you? Did you test it thoroughly for full-capacity support, before filling it with data? Maybe once you went over the 4TB mark, it "wrapped around", and started over-writing the first TB, including the MFT, and that's why CHKDSK was triggered?
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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725
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Windows CHKDSK will not run for no reason. You probably have a sudden power shutdown earlier. Could be caused by memory error or disk error, which in turn caused file directory corruption. Check Windows Event Viewer.

Have everything on one 5TB drive? You better get another one for backup or for situation like this.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
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Oh, and contrary to some popular belief, CHKDSK is NOT a "data-recovery tool". If anything, it is the OPPOSITE. It will TRASH end-user's data, munching everything in its path. CHKDSK's sole goal, is to ENSURE A CONSISTENT FILESYSTEM (meta-data) - REGARDLESS OF THE CONTENTS OF USER'S FILE DATA.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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I personally use Runtime GetDataBack. It will find all possible file systems (it will find several) on the disk, you will have to pick the one that look most likely the correct one yourself using your own judgement. Then copy everything out to the new disk. Do not touch the old disk.
 
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}{eywood

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2020
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OK lets address this stuff.
Backups are for people who can afford harddrives on a regualr basis. I buy large capacity drives because I need that space to keep things organized. I can't afford twice as much space as I have. The problem isn't me. It's the manufacturers who make drives that only last a year or two now, whereas I still have working drives that are 20 years old. I expect this, but they have cut corners (and invented that stupid shingle tech). You want to buy me a bunch of harddrives to backup all my stuff feel free. I can't afford it.

As for filling the drive, no it only had about 3.5 tb on it. But since you mention it yes I buy a certain capacity because that's exactly what is needed. I fill harddrives til there's nothing left. Even turned off the full disk warnings in windows so I can do that without popups. Why would they make something with X amount of space if they don't intend for you to use it? If filling it is so dangerous then why not hide a portion of the capacity so they cannot be filled even if I try?

Yes there was a freeze and I had to hard stop the computer. Windows froze on a file copy. Couldn't cancel it or use any buttons (including the start button to shut down properly).

So is the GetDataBack thing going to find the correct content and fix the scramble or am I doomed to trying to replace everything?
 

mrblotto

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2007
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Been there, done that. Had that happen to me once and ONLY once. After that happened I now use Macrium to automagically do a daily diff backup to a separate location. It's a cheap ($50) investment. It's a lot quicker to retrieve stuff than it is to re-create stuff.

GetDataBack may get your stuff back, but I dont think it will 'put everything back together the way it was' unfortunately. IOW - nothing is guaranteed
 
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killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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OK lets address this stuff.
Backups are for people who can afford harddrives on a regualr basis. I buy large capacity drives because I need that space to keep things organized. I can't afford twice as much space as I have. The problem isn't me. It's the manufacturers who make drives that only last a year or two now, whereas I still have working drives that are 20 years old. I expect this, but they have cut corners (and invented that stupid shingle tech). You want to buy me a bunch of harddrives to backup all my stuff feel free. I can't afford it.

As for filling the drive, no it only had about 3.5 tb on it. But since you mention it yes I buy a certain capacity because that's exactly what is needed. I fill harddrives til there's nothing left. Even turned off the full disk warnings in windows so I can do that without popups. Why would they make something with X amount of space if they don't intend for you to use it? If filling it is so dangerous then why not hide a portion of the capacity so they cannot be filled even if I try?

Yes there was a freeze and I had to hard stop the computer. Windows froze on a file copy. Couldn't cancel it or use any buttons (including the start button to shut down properly).

So is the GetDataBack thing going to find the correct content and fix the scramble or am I doomed to trying to replace everything?
we dont know what it will find or not find, we are not psychic, but we all need to prioritize our $$$$$$ and sounds like you should allot yourself some more hArd drive $$ or burn bluray backups or something. im lazy and just do JBOD.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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OK lets address this stuff.
Backups are for people who can afford harddrives on a regualr basis
Nope. BZZT. Wrong.

Backups are for anyone using a computer, that has data that they can't stand to lose. Because if you DON'T backup that data, eventually, you WILL lose it.
128GB thumb drives are what? $20 or less? 500-1TB-2TB portable external HDDs, are what, $40-70? (USD)

If you've got 10 years of "irreplaceable" videos, what are you doing with the "archive and pray method"? You're doing it wrong.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,088
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The problem isn't me.
This is really funny.
It's the manufacturers who make drives that only last a year or two now, whereas I still have working drives that are 20 years old.
You do know that "Backing up" existed even before HDDs were a thing with consumer PCs (before the IBM-PC, even).

And who said that you have to back up on HDDs? Optical discs are cheaper per GB, and used to be fairly common, before HDDs got cheaper per TB.
 
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Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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OK lets address this stuff.
Backups are for people who can afford harddrives on a regualr basis. I buy large capacity drives because I need that space to keep things organized. I can't afford twice as much space as I have. The problem isn't me. It's the manufacturers who make drives that only last a year or two now, whereas I still have working drives that are 20 years old. I expect this, but they have cut corners (and invented that stupid shingle tech). You want to buy me a bunch of harddrives to backup all my stuff feel free. I can't afford it.

As for filling the drive, no it only had about 3.5 tb on it. But since you mention it yes I buy a certain capacity because that's exactly what is needed. I fill harddrives til there's nothing left. Even turned off the full disk warnings in windows so I can do that without popups. Why would they make something with X amount of space if they don't intend for you to use it? If filling it is so dangerous then why not hide a portion of the capacity so they cannot be filled even if I try?

Yes there was a freeze and I had to hard stop the computer. Windows froze on a file copy. Couldn't cancel it or use any buttons (including the start button to shut down properly).

So is the GetDataBack thing going to find the correct content and fix the scramble or am I doomed to trying to replace everything?
Nope. BZZT. Wrong.

Backups are for anyone using a computer, that has data that they can't stand to lose. Because if you DON'T backup that data, eventually, you WILL lose it.
128GB thumb drives are what? $20 or less? 500-1TB-2TB portable external HDDs, are what, $40-70? (USD)

If you've got 10 years of "irreplaceable" videos, what are you doing with the "archive and pray method"? You're doing it wrong.
This is really funny.

You do know that "Backing up" existed even before HDDs were a thing with consumer PCs (before the IBM-PC, even).

And who said that you have to back up on HDDs? Optical discs are cheaper per GB, and used to be fairly common, before HDDs got cheaper per TB.
The OP's failure is worse than a HDD head crash. At least with that, you can pay a thousand+ or so to get recover your precious files.

People penny pinch on price(both the buyers and corporations who make the devices), and then wonder why there is duopoly now. The good stuff in the actual enterprise drives made by the companies. Yes, the corporations want to nickel and dime every cent to make a buck, but when the buyer is another big money corporation with a critical function that needs a certain level quality, the HDD has to make something good enough to survive. That's why MTBF is still published for those drives but not for consumer. MTBF is not longtiudinal measure, but rather a way to determine the probability of when one drive out of a bunch of drives running simultaneously is likely to fail.

I bought a crappy 2.5 in Seagate mobile hard drive years ago. I backed up the original IDE drive of a system to it. Then fast forward to last year. I wanted to use the old Pentium 4 computer again but with this "new" Seagate. After updating XP to SP3 and using it for maybe a day or two, and it began showing signs of dying. Thus, best practices must be followed, such as a slow format. It lasted maybe 60 hours before it started losing sectors. I also bought a 2TB Western Digital Gold. 5 or so years later with mostly 24/7 function, and it is still running strong. So, when I wanted to procure an external hard drive for my sister, I didn't buy those pre-made pretty ones sold by manufactuers. I sourced another WD Gold and a Rosewill enclosure. No helium either.

Another disaster for was a 2TB Toshiba hard drive. It was working an caught an aggressive HOA overseer crossing the line. But it was left in service until it filled up. Big mistake. It died and took the valuable footage away. Yeah, another bad experience with a consumer grade drive going belly up after heavy use. Thankfully these purchases were not for system drives that I really cared about and that I had backups to recover from.

I think there is more to this crisis than the OP is letting on. Namely, user error. One, that hard drive warning in Windows exists because the operating system might need to use that space because it just does. Updates, temporary files. Fill it up to the brim and freezes and the like can occur. Is that drive a Seagate? I wouldn't be surprised with their made in China tolerances.

Having a SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE on a wear item will lead to eventual and inevitable failure. There are free options. There is google storage and numerous other file hosting sites. for non-pirated materials.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
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This is really funny.

You do know that "Backing up" existed even before HDDs were a thing with consumer PCs (before the IBM-PC, even).

And who said that you have to back up on HDDs? Optical discs are cheaper per GB, and used to be fairly common, before HDDs got cheaper per TB.
I couldn't imagine losing my pictures/videos/music/documents all because I was too stubborn/cheap to pay $15 - $50 to back it all up (depending on drives or DVDs).

Yet how many times have we seen this type of post over the years from new users who signs up here with this exact same issue? I just don't get it in this day and age when things really are so inexpensive and there's really no logical reason not to back up anything that someone couldn't afford to lose.
 

}{eywood

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2020
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15-50 dollars? How about over 100 every time. All my drives are 5tb or more. To back them up would cost me about $1000.

OK sure I may be in error trusting things to work based on past experience. Yes it's a Seagate. I was a loyal buyer of their produicts sine I built my first computer, and the harddrive from that computer is still functional. I have two 160gb HDDs that have been working fine for many many years. My OS runs on one. I've got a 1500gb drive that is for downloads only and is literally in a constant state of read and write. It's been running since 1.5s have existed in heavy wear and tear mode, and I see no end to this in the near future. Only in the last few years have Seagate's products come down to lasting 2 years and done, and even then it seems to be just the high capacity drives that fail quickly. I'd prefer to stop trusting Seagate than to stop trusting technology altogether.

I'm not here for criticism. You should just assume I've learned my lesson. I'm here to find a solution to the data I lost, as it's still intact on the drive, just needs a corrected file table
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Yeah seagate IMO has been coming down in quality for a while. While unfortunately I don't have a solution for the data recovery, other than taking it to an expert service for recovery, I can recommend buying better quality drives for storing data. Many of the seagates these days only have 1 year warranties, and that can tell you something. I feel much safer going for a quality drive like the WD reds or blacks, but they will be more expensive. That said, they have 3 to 5 year warranties. Other drives to consider are some of the good Hitachi ones, (owned by WD now). And of course later on SSD media may be cheap enough to replace these 5 TB spinners.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Oh, and one more suggestion, be sure to check all your existing drives for smart errors. You can use any free SMART utility, such as CrystalDiskInfo.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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725
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OP can download GetDataBack Pro demo and see if it works before you buy the lifetime license.


No matter what, OP need one extra 5TB drive to recover the one disk that's got corrupted file system. If OP can afford so many drives larger than 5TB, why couldn't OP afford one extra drive for emergency situation?

No one can tell you how much % of files you can get back thuogh.

By the way, I'm still using 10 years old Samsung 5400RPM 1.5TB drive.

Make sure you keep your HDDs cool all the time.

==

If OP has so many drives, better consider using an NAS system.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,088
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Here's some (IMHO, decent) QNAP NAS unit bundle deals with WD Red NAS drives:


I would highly recommend something like these. (I use several similar, if slightly older, NAS units. IMHO, go for 4-bay over 2-bay.)

And OP, if you thought I was harshly criticizing you, I realize that you lost data. I was pointing out the fallacy of your arguments, for the edification of readers and Google searchers.

What you didn't see, was the inevitability of your poor storage planning process, that led to losing data.

I've got a little anecdote, about data storage and backups. I knew someone, that had a MASSIVE music collection. All on one huge external desktop drive. (Their ONLY copy...) Well, I suggested that they back up their collection, and I gave them, for free, several spindles of DVDs, and I think that I told them that I could give them more if they needed them. Well, fast-forward a month or two.

Drive was perched on top of a PC or shelf or desk or something, running, sitting logitudinally-vertical, and BOOM, they were drinking, and knocked it over. BAM! Music collection, so carefully curated over YEARS, gone in an instant of poor decision-making.

They had ignored my pleas to back up their collection onto DVDs. (Certainly, a time-consuming process, but still, considering that their music archive was potentially years in the making, probably would have been a wise decision.)

I'm not saying that you're a drunkard, OP, or that your data will be gone in an instant like that, but rather, it shows the importance of backups, should un-expected situtations arise.

Edit: Nota Bene, that would have been an ideal situation for a NAS unit with remote internet access, such that they could have copied their music collection to a NAS unit at their home, on their home internet connection, and then connected to it remotely at a friend's house, and stream their music collection that way, rather than physically have to move the HDD around to various locations to play their music.

Also, SSDs are basically immune to shocks like dropping or knocking over, and if I were doing the same thing today (*it wasn't me that this happened to), I would use an "external SSD" instead. AND a NAS.
 
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}{eywood

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2020
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Actually I never lost data. It's all still there. Just the MFT is scrambled and needs to be fixed.

I looked into the GetDataBack thing and it seems like it will help me in more ways than just this. I have a 3tb that the interface circuit board went on, but the drive itself is fine. The software claimed it can rescue from a drive that no longer shows up in windows, so I may be able to get stuff back off a drive that's been in a drawer for 3 years.

I don't have many drives compared to many people I know. I have a friend that has over 30 externals on a hub. I have 4 internals and 4 externals. All are fairly large capacity drives (3,4,5,6 TB) except the over 10 year old 160gb that the OS is in (made back when harddrives lasted. I have 2 160s and 2 320s that are ages old and all still work fine)
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,088
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Actually I never lost data. It's all still there. Just the MFT is scrambled and needs to be fixed.
This is what bothers me (not you). There is a backup MFT, on NTFS filesystems. If CHKDSK was unable to use that second MFT, to straighten things out, then things are likely to be more serious.

That's why I was asking about usage of a dock. If you DO use a dock, be VERY careful of capacity liimits in the translation firmware of the dock. Once common failure mode is, the HDD appears to work fine, ONLY UNTIL you cross the 4TB mark of the HDD (for GPT-partitioned HDDs larger than 4TB), then it "wraps around", and instead of writing to the last (in your case, 1TB past the 4TB mark), it instead starts scribbling back onto the first 1TB, which in your case, would include the MFT.

Hence why I asked if you used a dock with your 5TB HDD, and I don't believe that you ever answered that question. Possibly, this could have been avoided, and if it did "wrap around", you might not be able to fully recover the data, because it has been partially over-written.
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
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I have a 3tb that the interface circuit board went on, but the drive itself is fine.
Wait. I really hope I'm misunderstanding something here, but you just don't swap a drives circuit board. These things aren't mix'n'match, since they might contain different firmware revisions, and the drives factory set low-level format.

If you're doing that, there is nothing outside of professional recovery firms that can help you, and I severely doubt even they can.

I'm not even going to comment on your attitude to backups.
 

}{eywood

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2020
7
3
36
I have two identical drives bought at the same time with matching boards and firmware. One is the drive with my scrambled music video from a couple of years back. I always thought the drive was scrambling things and retired it. This recent occurrance of scrambling showed me it was Windows that did it and the drive is fine. I was planning to use the same board to read the drive with the bad board, rescue the data, then put the board back on the first drive and use it again. This event a couple days ago just freed up a drive, so HEY I may be able to back stuff up after all, as I just realized this is a good drive and free space I don't need right now.

Back to the main problem: @VirtualLarry: No dock. Mounted internally
 

Torn Mind

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2012
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As a general rule, I would blame the OS last regarding data corruption. Malware or defective hardware are more likely causes. It could even be a bad cable.
 

}{eywood

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2020
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A forced hard stop caused the chkdsk to run. This is the first time it ran since the last scrambled drive. Therefore I blame the utility since 2 out of 2 times it ran it scrambled the drive. Both were new drives with content recently moved to them. Honestly this is a blessing in disguise. I may have lost some data buit I gained a drive I thought was broken. You may see me as stubborn, but your advice has benefited me.

I'm still not going to make backups. Just have to start replacing the drives with ones that last 20 years or more. Ofc this will lead to the old drives going in a drawer, so backup achieved as well. And I'm disabling chkdsk on all drives so that thing never runs again
 
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