FIX: File record segment is unreadable on Windows 10/11

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Some Windows 10 users complained that they get the error File record segment is unreadable when accessing their PC.
  • This type of error usually occurs if your hard drive is damaged or failing, so be sure to use a reliable data recovery tool.
  • You should clone your hard drive to a new drive in order to salvage your files.
  • You can also perform a chkdsk scan from Safe Mode by following our guide below.
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Computer problems can appear once in a while, and while some problems are just annoying, others are more serious. Users reported File record segment is an unreadable error on Windows 10.

This error usually appears if your hard drive is failing, but there are a few solutions that you can try in order to save your files.

What to do if the file record segment is unreadable

Solution 1 – Clone your hard drive to a new drive

If you’re getting File record segment is an unreadable error, it means that your hard drive is failing. In order to salvage your files, it’s advised that you clone your current hard drive. To do that, you’ll need a new hard drive and hard drive cloning software.

Using specialized disk cloning software is the best option for this job, as it has more features, including cloning to a smaller-capacity disk by excluding files if there’s not enough space.

After cloning the problematic drive, use the new drive and check if your files are still available. Users reported that all their files and applications are available after cloning the drive, so be sure to try this solution.

We have to mention that some of your files might be permanently lost due to the damage to your hard drive. This isn’t a universal solution, but it should help you salvage your files from the problematic hard drive.

Solution 2 – Perform chkdsk scan from Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a special part of Windows that works only with default programs and drivers, therefore it’s perfect for troubleshooting. According to some users, you can fix the File record segment as an unreadable error simply by entering Safe Mode and performing a chkdsk scan.

To enter Safe Mode, you need to do the following:

  1. Start Windows normally.
  2. Once Windows starts, open the Start Menu.
  3. Click the Power button. Hold the Shift key on your keyboard and choose Restart from the menu.
  4. Your PC will now restart. Once the PC boots, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings. Click the Restart button.
  5. After your PC restarts again, you’ll see a list of options. Select any version of Safe Mode by pressing the appropriate button.

If you can’t boot to Windows 10 at all, you can also enter Safe Mode by restarting your PC a few times during the boot process.

After the Safe Mode starts, you need to start Command Prompt in order to run chkdsk. This is rather simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter chkdsk C: /R and press Enter to run it. Since you’re currently using your C drive, you’ll be asked if you want to restart your PC in order to perform the scan. Press Y and restart your PC. Wait for the chkdsk to finish and don’t interrupt it.

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After chkdsk finishes the scan, you should be able to access Windows 10 and back up your files. If the problem still persists, you can download GParted Live, create a bootable USB drive and boot your PC from it.

Now you need to use the tool to create an image of your drive for backup. After that, you can try fixing the drive by using Low Level Format tool such as Arconis True Image or HDD Low Level Format Tool.

Solution 3 – Connect the hard drive to a different PC

File record segment is unreadable error usually appears if the surface of hard drive is scratched. Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix physical damage on your hard drive. However, this doesn’t mean that your files are lost.

You can still salvage some of your files by connecting your hard drive to a working PC. You can do that by connecting the hard drive internally or by using a hard drive enclosure.

After connecting the drive, you should be able to access it and copy all your important files. After making a backup, you’ll need to get a new hard drive and install Windows 10 on it. Now you can move your files to a new hard drive and continue where you left off.

Some users are also suggesting to purchase a new hard drive and add it to your PC. Now you need to install Windows 10 on a new hard drive. After doing that, simply copy all important files from the failing drive to the new drive.

Solution 4 – Use a Data Recovery tool

If you have problems with File record segment is unreadable error, you might be able to salvage your files by using Data Recovery software.

These dedicated tools for data recovery are most useful to recover lost data due to damaged hard drive, software crash, formatted or virus infection and other unknown reasons.

After recovering the files using these tools, simply reformat your drive and you should be able to use it again. We have to mention that this is just a temporary solution. If the error is caused by physical damage on your hard drive, you’ll encounter this error again or your hard drive will fail completely.

To prevent that from happening, we strongly advise that you replace your failing hard drive with a new one.

File record segment is unreadable error usually occurs if your hard drive is damaged or failing. Since there’s no way to fix the physical damage on your hard drive, we strongly advise you to back up all important files and to replace the problematic drive.

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