Question

CHKDSK appears to be stuck.

I am running chkdsk on a 320 GB externally attached hard drive. I selected both "automatically fix file system errors" & "scan for & attempt recovery of bad sectors". It has now been at "37531 files processed" for about 18 hours. No error messages and both the internal & external drives show signs of activitty. Is it hopelessly stuck or will it eventually move forward if the current file is irretrievable? Note: the externally attached drive was an internal drive that failed to boot and was replaced. There is data on there that I really need to retrieve. Are there better options for retrieving all salvagable data?

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Re: chkdsk

Still not ready? See https://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/running-chkdsk-on-external-hd/

It will be much faster if you mount it as an internal hard drive instead of external. So maybe wait for a while and then abort it and do that.

There's no obvious relation between failing to boot and not being able to access other files. Just checking for file system errors would have been enough.

Then copy what you need and that's certainly not all. If the normal Windows or Linux programs fail at certain files, use roadkil's program from http://www.roadkil.net/program.php?ProgramID=29 . You could even try that when it's still mounted externally.

Things like this are why most people make a backup of files they don't want to lose. Much easier than recovering and usually with more success. Didn't you do it?

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NOTE: Longer story at link.
https://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/running-chkdsk-on-external-hd/

I've refrained from commenting that the "recovery of bad sectors" is a bad idea if the real goal was data recovery.

For data recovery we NEVER repair the file system but head to tools like RECUVA to get the files out first. DATA RECOVERY trumps DRIVE RECOVERY.

Since the drive is on USB then the time is exponentially longer than an SATA INTERNAL CONNECTION. This chkdsk could take days depending on the drive, PC and so on.

But this chkdsk is not done if data recovery is the goal. The reason for an extended chkdsk like this is to retry the bad sectors marked in the drive table and bring them back into use. Not used if data recovery is the goal.
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Can't coulda/woulda/shoulda!

Yes, I know I should have backed up more frequently.
Now I know chkdsk wasn't meant for data recovery.

The question remains, what do I do now? Chkdsk is still at "37531 files processed" for over 24 hours now. If I stop it, there's the risk of further data loss, right? But will it eventually finish on its own?

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If power and the computer stays up.

Eventually finishes. USB is a fraction of the speed of SATA and the scan for sectors is the most work you can ask CHKDSK to do. So it's going to take many days to complete.

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should have bought two new drives.
' Note: the externally attached drive was an internal drive that failed to boot and was replaced. There is data on there that I really need to retrieve.'

How long has it been external? Should have backed it up long ago. At this point I'd pull the drive, put back in the computer, boot to something like Hiren's or a Linux distro like Mint or Ubuntu (from LIVE DVD) and check the drive that way, and backup what I wanted from it to a known good drive.
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Hope they learn from this.

I usually bring up RECUVA to see what can be copied out. Running ANY file repair can damage files beyond what a data recovery house can get back.

It's a shame but this is how most folk learn about backup copies and do it yourself data recovery.

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Can't coulda/woulda/shoulda!

Again, the post was about trying to get help for what to do now. Yes, lesson learned. How kind of you to continue rubbing my nose in it.

Post was last edited on September 10, 2019 10:48 PM PDT

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both help AND advice given here.

We gave you both. Some of your problem may be caused by the external drive case, which is why I suggested putting the possibly bad drive back into the computer, then boot a linux distro (Mint, Ubuntu) and see if the drive can be accessed that way. Those are complete operating system on DVD or USB, something windows will not give you on such media.

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