Disk structure is corrupted and unreadable

December 27, 2010 at 08:35:39
Specs: Vista 64 sp3, Intel core 2 duo E8400 / 3 Gb ram
I have Vista 64 installed on a dual boot computer. It worked fine until I put someone else's hard drive in my computer to see if there drive was bad. I tried running system restore and bootrec.exe and under every option I tried to run I get "the disk structure is corrupted and unreadable". Now what? Is the drive toast? When booting it tries to run CHKDSK but aborts with master table corrupt.

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December 27, 2010 at 09:11:40
Try Testdisk. It can fix your type of problems. You will probably need to know how your disk was structured i.e. how many partitions and type of partitions.

TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.


It should be able to repair your MFT

Repair An NTFS MFT

The MFT (Master File Table) is sometimes corrupted. If Microsoft's Checkdisk (chkdsk) failed to repair the MFT, run TestDisk. In the Advanced menu, select your NTFS partition, choose Boot, then Repair MFT. TestDisk will compare the MFT and MFT mirror (its backup). If the MFT is damaged, it will try to repair the MFT using the backup. If the MFT backup is damaged, it will use the main MFT.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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December 27, 2010 at 10:24:50
How do I find out about the partitions?

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December 27, 2010 at 10:53:09
You don't. You either know how it was before the problem or you don't.
If you don't, then let test disk try and see what you get.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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Related Solutions

December 27, 2010 at 11:53:44
Here's what I got.
Boot sector OK
Backup boot sector OK
Sectors are identical

A valid NTFS Boot sector must be present in order to access any data; even if the partition is not bootable

MFT and MFT mirror are bad. Failed to repair them.

Can't open Filesystem. Filesystem seems damaged.

I had it analyze the entire disk and it came back OK.

I'm confused now. it seems like it says it's bad and good.

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December 27, 2010 at 12:08:22
Also, I have a windows 7 upgrade disk. Do you think the problem would get fixed if I tried to install the update?

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December 27, 2010 at 12:37:32
That is unfortunate.
Normally both MFTs do not go bad and test disk can use the good one to restore to the bad and affect a repair.

However, in your case both MFTs are bad. Thus there is no way to recontruct your files and directories.

MFTs contain the glue that binds the hard drive sectors into files and directories under the control of the OS.

Conceptually each file has a header track on the hard drive with a marker pointing to the next track, the next track has a header pointing back to the header followed by part data of the file and then a tail which points to the next track and so on till the final track which has an end of file marker.

The only way forward now is to try and recover your data from the faulty hard drive to an empty functioning hard drive with enough free space as the amount of data lost.

There are utilities which scan the hard drive disk tracks and sectors as explained (conceptually) above and recreate your files and directories using their file fragments.

So first if you want to recover the data then do not format your hard drive and do not write anything to it until you have completed the recovery exercise.

RECUVA from piriform.com is free and capable of recovering data from your hard drive.

A good one I have used (but is NOT free) is GetDataBack from Runtime.

There are a few more listed here

Good luck

To answer your question:
I do not believe that you will be able to do an upgarde to Windows 7 using your upgrade CD due to the fact that it will see the hard drive as having a fault and will not progress any further.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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December 28, 2010 at 09:08:45
Thanks for your help. Recuva works pretty good. It takes awhile though.
With my Windows 7 upgrade, would it upgrade from Windows 2000? Thats the latest full version disk I have.

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December 28, 2010 at 11:34:50
Yes, but only Windows Vista users will be able to do an in-place upgrade. Windows XP or Windows 2000 users will be forced to do a clean install. So you will have to backup your data and then transfer it to Windows 7 after you have installed Windows 7.

See comment by Andre Da Costa in the thread below:

Also this says pretty much what I have said already:

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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December 29, 2010 at 06:50:35

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