Files corrupted in my external USB HD


I've moved tons of files to an external hard drive [Samsung external USB HD (FAT32)]. After that, I've tried to eject the device in Windows 7, via Safely Remove Hardware but Windows said that the device was in use, even though everything (applications and windows) were closed. I decided to use USB Safely Remove software to eject my portable HD. I really don't know if that was the problem, but since then I found a lot of folders inside my external HD corrupted.

In the corrupted folders, JPG files looks like this. I can't read the other files (PDFs and PSD) in those folders, Adobe Reader and Photoshop says that the file is damaged. I've tried Windows 7 error-checking but the files are still corrupted.

I would like to know if anyone ever had this problem.
Does anyone have any suggestion for this? Is it possible to recover the corrupted files?

Thanks in advance!


Re: Corrupted files in my external USB HD

I'm sorry: I was receiving an error when trying to post this thread. Now there's three of them in the main page. I can't delete the duplicated threads.

Joe S

Excellent Member
FAT32 is prone to corruption. You might try PhotoRec PhotoRec - CGSecurity Some of their other software like TestDisk is pretty good. When you get straightened out remember never trust important data to just one drive.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

In the future if you can't get clearance to shut off the drive, shut down your computer and then turn the drive off.
It's safer.

I don't have any idea about how to un-corrupt the files, (I've never had any luck when I've had jobs get corrupted in PageMaker or Indesign now I save every job twice when I'm working on it) and as Joe S said never have anything important on only one drive.


Dear Joe,

Thanks for your answer! I've downloaded PhotoRec - CGSecurity, but I can't see how it could help me. In another forum they recommended Seagate File Recovery Software, but these softwares are intended to recover lost and deleted files. In my case, I have all the files in my hard drive, the problem is that they are corrupted, I can't read them. Do you know any software to fix corrupted files?

Dear MikeHawthorne, thanks for your tip, too!

Here's another information about my problem. I've tried to move a 6GB file to this external USB drive last month, but I couldn't. I found out that the problem was with the FAT32 format. Then I tried to convert this drive to NTFS (convert drive letter: /fs:ntfs), with no success. I don't know if this caused some problem with the drive...

What would you recommend? Is it clever to move all the files from this drive to another external HD and try to convert FAT32 to NTFS?

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