By Delia / Last update December 2, 2021

Case: I got "file record segment is unreadable" when using chkdsk

Hi, I've been having boot problems with Windows 10 on my Asus laptop for a few days. The system crashed after opening a word doc and now won’t reboot. Tried chkdsk command line 3 times, but I got “file record segment is unreadable” each time. Does this mean my hard drive is no longer usable? Is there any way to save it? Or is it hopeless? Thanks

As the case shows, some users receive "file record segment is unreadable" when using chkdsk to repair disk errors. In some instances, this prompt may also occur during startup or when your computer detects any hard drive issue and runs chkdsk automatically.

What causes this error and how to fix it in Windows 10/8/7? Keep reading to learn all the related information.

File Record Segment is Unreadable

What is file record segment?

File Record Segment (short for FRS) refers to file system that store information (eg: file name, date, type, and physical address) about files on internal and external hard drive, SSDs, laptop, Western Digital, etc. 

NTFS stores these records in Master File Table (MFT) while other file systems (eg: FAT, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT) store record in File Allocation Table (FAT). That is to say, the total number of file record segments depends on the number of files saved on the partition with a specific file system, which in turn determines how many file record segments are in the MFT or FAT.

What does the file record segment is unreadable mean?

When you receive “file record segment is unreadable” in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, it means that your disk has bad sectors, and these occupied cluster storage blocks are defected and do not respond to any read/write operations.

Simply put, your hard drive may be corrupted physically or logically, and you are at risk of losing your data if there are several file record segments become unreadable due to bad sectors. What’s worse, your hard disk will become Raw or unrecognized by Windows.

How to fix file record segment is unreadable

After learning about “ file record segment is unreadable” on SSDs, western digital, Seagate, laptop, internal hard drive, you will get how to fix this error in the following. Here are two available methods.

Method 1: Connect your hard drive to a different computer

If your hard drive is slightly damaged by scratches, you can choose to connect it as a secondary disk on a working computer, find it on This PC and then copy files outside this drive to ensure data safety.

After that, you can reformat this drive and try to install Windows on it. If not, you need to replace it with a new one. 

Connect Hard Drive

Method 2. Clone hard drive with bad sectors to a new one

If there are any bad sectors on the disk, the disk will be corrupted sooner or later. It is advised to clone it to a new one with a reliable disk cloning software - AOMEI Backupper Standard when encountering “File record segment is unreadable” error, thus you can keep everything intact on this disk.

 By default, this software will clone only used sectors on a hard drive with its "Intelligent Clone" method and it will skip bad sectors as well. Thus, you can easily clone hard drive with bad sectors and boot from the cloned disk successfully.

1. Connect a new disk to your computer and ensure it can be recognized. Then, download AOMEI Backupper Standard and open the software.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

2. Click Clone and select Disk Clone.

Disk Clone

3. Select the disk with “file record segment is unreadable” error and click Next.

Select Source Disk

4. Select the new disk as destination and click Next.

Select Destination Disk

5. Confirm the settings of the source and destination disk, and then click Start Clone.

Start Clone

Tips:
If the destination disk is an SSD, it is recommended to check the box before "SSD Alignment".
If you clone a small disk to a larger disk, you can click the button "Edit Partition" to use full capacity. The last two options are only available in the advanced version, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional if needed.
The free version only supports cloning MBR system disk to MBR. To clone GPT to GPT, or clone MBR to GPT disk and vice versa, you could consider using the advanced version. For more details, you could see the edition comparison page. 
To clone only system drive to SSD, you can use “System Clone” in AOMEI Backuper Professional.
AOMEI Backupper is still a backup and restore software for Windows. You can use AOMEI Backupper to schedule backup files for data protection.

Method 3. Shield bad sectors with CHKDSK

If your disk has bad sectors, you cannot repair it. However, you still can use chkdsk to retrieve information from bad sectors.

1. Go to Windows Explorer, right click on the drive with file record segment unreadable error message, and choose Properties.

2. Navigate to Tools tab and click Check from Error checking section.

Check

3. Then choose Automatically fix system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors in Windows 7. If you are running Windows 8 and 10, these two options won't show up and you need to click Scan drive to continue with the instructions.

Besides the graphical interface, you can also use chkdsk command line in safe mode:

Go to Safe mode by “F8” key in Windows 7 or combination key “ Shift and Restart” in Windows 10, then select Safe Mode with Command Prompt, then type chkdsk g: /r (g is the drive letter of the partition having unreadable File record segment issue) and hit Enter.

Check Disk

Conclusion

Always keeping a copy of important files and folders is necessary. Because it can avoid data loss owing to computer failure, such as, “file record segment is unreadable”error.

When receiving this error, you can not only clone hard drive to a new one with AOMEI Backupper, but also create a disk image for entire drive or simply backup critical data. Because this software is a disk clone software as well as backup and restore software for Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, XP, etc.