Error “The disk structure is corrupted. Unable to read” in Windows and how to fix it

In the modern world, it is impossible to imagine a field of activity in which a computer is not used, whether it is work or leisure. However, in the process of using the device, errors may occur due to software failures or hardware failures.

One of the most annoying and common problems in which access to information on the drive is impossible is the error “The disk structure is corrupted. Unable to read” (Windows internal error code: 0x80070571).

Error "The disk structure is corrupted. Reading is impossible"

Possible Causes of the Error

This malfunction may be due to the following factors:

  • Loose connector connections.
  • Malfunction of the computer itself (USB ports) or failure of the operating system.
  • Malfunction of the cord or cable through which the drive is connected to the controller.
  • Violation of the integrity of the file system.
  • Physical damage or deterioration of the storage medium (in the case of Flash and SSD drives, the resource of rewriting memory blocks has been exhausted).

Bug fix

The cause of the problem under consideration may be the poor quality of the connection of cables and loops. In the case of an external drive, sometimes it is enough to remove and insert it back, place the USB flash drive or USB cable connector in the next port on the computer, or try using a different cable to connect the external drive. Also, for external HDDs, controllers for switching from a SATA connector to USB may fail, in which case it is necessary to open the case and remove the drive from it, and then connect it to the computer itself (if there are free cables and connectors for this) or via a USB adapter . In addition, it is necessary to check the external storage medium on other computers. If the drive works on them, you need to restart the computer that was experiencing the drive access failure.

Device Manager in Windows 10

To check the USB ports on your computer, you need to connect another storage device or device to them and check their appearance in the system through the “Device Manager” (when you connect a disk, it will be displayed in the “Disk devices” section). To launch this utility in Windows 10, just click on the “Start” button and start typing the name of the program from the keyboard. When the corresponding line appears in the Start menu, just press “Enter”.

If the device is not in the “Manager”, then try reinstalling the drivers that came with the connected device or the computer’s motherboard.

Update disk drivers in Windows 10

In the case of an internal drive, the problem may arise due to the cable or connector on the drive or board coming out of the contacts, especially often this happens after transporting equipment. To disassemble the desktop system, it is enough to arm yourself with a screwdriver and unscrew a few screws on the cover of the system unit, then check all the cables connecting the hard drive to the computer motherboard, and also try to connect the drive with another cable.

IMPORTANT. Before disassembling the computer, unplug it from the mains, while removing the battery from the laptop.

For laptops, to open the lid that hides the drive, you may need to read the instructions from the manufacturer or the service video for your model on any popular video hosting.

Disk in laptop

If there is no positive effect after checking the connectors and reconnecting the cables, you can try to trick the operating system by assigning a different drive letter.

IMPORTANT. Such manipulations cannot be performed with system disks.

Item "Disk Management" in Windows 10

Right-click on the Start button and select Disk Management.

Item "Change drive letter or drive path" in Windows 10

In the program window, select the failed drive and also use the familiar action of right-clicking on it, then select “Change drive letter or drive path …”.

Change drive letter in Windows 10

In the window that appears after this, click on the “Change” button and select any free letter from the drop-down list.

Assigning a drive letter in Windows 10

This way you can back up your data.

The next step in trying to gain access to a failed drive is to reinstall the driver.

IMPORTANT. Such manipulations cannot be performed with system disks.

To do this, in the “Device Manager” select the appropriate disk and right-click on it. Select “Delete” from the drop-down menu.

Removing a disk driver in Windows 10

After that, click on the “Action” item in the main menu of the “Dispatcher” and select “Update hardware configuration”. Windows itself will offer to install the necessary drivers on the system, but you can try to install the appropriate software from the hardware package.

Item "Update hardware configuration" in Windows 10

If all of the above steps did not help, the disk is not recognized on other computers and operating systems, then most likely the reason is a violation of the integrity of the drive’s file system. The catalyst can be ejecting the disk or power outage while continuing to read or write to it (in particular, when files are open in any program). Also, do not neglect the “Eject Device” function before physically removing external drives from the computer.

Removing a device in Windows 10

In order to fix file system errors in Windows, there is a standard chkdsk program. You can run it from the OS GUI. To do this, right-click on the device and select “Properties” from the drop-down menu.

Disk Properties in Windows 10

In the window that opens, go to the “Service” tab and click on the “Check” button.

Running the Error Checker Tool in Windows 10

Check Disk button in Windows 10

Scanning a disk in Windows 10

In addition, you can use a third-party program, such as Victoria HDD or Tune HD.

Victoria HDD in Windows 10

A separate problem is when the error “The disk structure is corrupted. Unreadable” appears on the system drive and makes it impossible to start the operating system. In this case, you can use the same chkdsk utility from the command line in system recovery mode, which will be offered for boot after three unsuccessful attempts to start Windows normally. In case of more serious violations of the integrity of the disk structure and damage to the boot sector, you will need to run recovery tools from the operating system boot disk.

Troubleshooting item in Windows 10

Command Prompt in Windows 10

After booting into recovery mode, select the “Troubleshooting” item in it, go to “Advanced options” and click on the command line icon. Then run chkdsk C /F /R. Where C is the drive letter. The parameters after the disk name give the program instructions for correcting errors and bad sectors. Without these flags, the program will not attempt to correct errors. For more information about program options, run chkdsk –help.

Run the CHKDSK command

If there are no positive results after performing all of the above instructions, the disk’s performance can be restored by formatting. For external storage media, Windows itself offers to perform this action. If this does not happen, just right-click on the disk name and select the “Format …” menu item.

Item "Format" in Windows 10

In the window that appears, it is better to leave all the default values ​​u200bu200band a tick in the “Quick (clearing the table of contents)” item. In this case, the chances of recovering data from the device increase.

Item "Quick Format" in Windows 10

Data recovery

During the “resuscitation” of disks, sometimes even after the successful operation of the recovery tools and the absence of the need to format it, some information is lost. To restore it, there are both paid and free solutions. The latter are often versions of paid programs with limited functionality and only for non-commercial use. An example is the R.saver utility.

Storage with native data in R.saver

After starting the recovery program, in the general case, it scans the drives available in the computer and connected to it and displays a list of them. After selecting the required disk, click on one or another option of the button or menu item for scanning the storage device and wait for the result. The waiting time depends on the size of the drive. With a large volume of a “ruined” disk, time will help pass the search for devices and storages to rewrite all the recovered information from it.

Search for lost files in R.saver

If there is critical information on the system drive, before running recovery tools (chkdsk or others), it is better to make a backup. To do this, you can physically remove the drive from the computer and connect it to another computer. As an alternative to physically manipulating the disk, you can use any common GNU / Linux distribution with the ability to run the system in Live mode without installing it on your computer. All modern distributions of this OS do not require special skills to get started. An icon indicating the disk from which you want to copy information will appear on the desktop after loading the graphical environment. Instructions for writing a bootable USB flash drive and BIOS / EFI settings to start from it can be found on the page for each specific distribution.

Recovering Lost Files in R

At the end, a few words about the most severe variant of the occurrence of an error with a violation of the data structure – a physical breakdown of the drive. The best way to avoid this problem is to handle your hard drives carefully and securely pack them on the road. Restoring data from a hard drive with physical surface damage will require contacting specialized companies and can lead to material losses of several tens of thousands of rubles and weeks of waiting for information to be read and copied. Also, to prevent the loss of critical information due to wear and tear of the drive, periodically create backup copies of data, for which you can use cloud storage.

In the article, we tried to highlight all the possible causes of the error “The disk structure is damaged. Reading is impossible.” and options for fixing it. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments.

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