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How to repair corrupted directory on Windows 10

Files stored on a disk can be corrupted. The corruption may happen when a user is moving files from one location to another, when the user saves changes to the file, or when the user tries to edit the file in a different program than the one it was created in. Much like files can be corrupted, so can directories i.e., folders. 

repair corrupted directory on Windows 10

Repair corrupted directory on Windows 10

If a folder has been corrupted, there is still a chance you can fix it and recover the files stored in it. There are tools that you can use to fix a directory but they are often paid tools that do not guarantee the folder and its contents will be recovered or the corrupted items will be fixed. Here are a few things you can try to repair a corrupted directory on Windows 10.

1. Run DISM tool

The DISM tool can fix corrupt directories provided they are Windows 10 directories i.e. system folders. 

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  3. Allow the command to complete and try accessing the folder. 

2. Run SFC scan

Use the SFC scan tool to check files for corruption and fix them.

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command: sfc /scannow.
  3. Restart the system after the command completes.

3. Run check disk tool

Check your disk for errors and fix them. Sometimes, it’s not the data itself that is corrupt but something wrong with how the files are stored or how they are being accessed. 

  1. Open Command Prompt with admin rights.
  2. Run this command: chkdsk /f D:
  3. Access the directory after the command completes.

Note: if the corrupted directory is on the C drive or the Windows drive, you will need to run the check disk tool from outside Windows 10. Use the Windows 10 troubleshoot menu to run Command Prompt and then run the check disk command for the C drive.

4. Format external drive

If this problem occurs when you try to access external storage e.g., a drive that is connected to your system, you may need to format the drive. If there is data on the drive it will be lost. 

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box.
  2. In the run box, enter diskmgmt and tap Enter.
  3. Right-click the part that says unallocated space on the external drive and select new Simple volume.
  4. Click Next and set a size for the volume.
  5. Assign it a letter and format it on the NTFS system.
  6. Once the process is complete, disconnect and reconnect the drive.

5. Boot to Safe mode

Try to access the drive or the folder in Safe Mode. It’s possible that apps you’re running on your system in normal mode are causing problems with the directory.

  1. Open the Start menu and click the power button.
  2. Hold down the Shift key and click Restart.
  3. Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Startup settings>Restart.
  4. Select the Safe mode option and restart the system.
  5. Try to access the folder.

Note: If you’re able to access the folder in Safe Mode, back up its contents. 

6. New user account

Try creating a new user account. System file corruption can get to a point with both the SFC scan tool and the DISM tool are unable to repair it. When you create a new account, you get a new Windows 10 set up.

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Accounts.
  3. Select the Family and Other users tab.
  4. Click Add someone else to this PC.
  5. Create a local account.
  6. Login with the local account and open the folder.

Conclusion

A corrupt folder can’t always be fixed. If you have no backups of the folder, you can try using apps that can fix it but you should manage your expectations. There may still be some data loss. If you frequently run into problems accessing directories, your hard drive may be nearing its end of life. Have it checked and replace it.

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