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Chkdsk "An Unspecified Error Occurred" -- Internet seems mystified and there's no insight into these errors

I’ve been following the LevelOneTechs youtube channel this year and enjoy the content. I’ve recently come upon a problem with very little documented solutions and insight available on the general internet and am hoping to tap the minds at the LevelOneTechs forums.

I’m working on an external SATA SSD for a client (Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD) trying to identify why a spreadsheet file became unusable suddenly. As I dug into the disk more, it seemed like that it may have been corrupted somehow over time as there was a huge discrepancy with the file size and size on disk figures, prompting me to go into data salvaging and recovery mode.

After making several backups of what’s currently available (archive, test and usable copy for client), I’ve been stuck on what should be one of the easiest steps–chkdsk.

After initializing chkdsk (all forms of it) and shortly after 0% runs for a few seconds, "An unspecified error occurred (766f6c756d652e63 470) or (766f6c756d652e63 45d) if I use the plain old chkdsk command.

exFAT 1TB, ShortDST passed, Long generic in progress (approx 10 hours, nearly complete) and drive appears very usable. The original computer this was used on may have had a faulty USB port or USB cable as remoting into it initially kept having the drive screaming at Windows for disconnecting/reconnecting and that Windows found errors on the drive but couldn’t do anything.

Still using the original NVME PCB interface as it seems the drive itself may be glued, but depending on the results of current testing I may try look deeper into removing the drive and using another interface.

Any insight or alternatives to get Chkdsk up and going, or another way to examine the drive itself?

Check disk won’t work correctly if there are open file handles.

chkdsk c: /f
  • If you choose to check the drive the next time you restart the computer, chkdsk checks the drive and corrects errors automatically when you restart the computer. If the drive partition is a boot partition, chkdsk automatically restarts the computer after it checks the drive.
  • You can also use the chkntfs /c command to schedule the volume to be checked the next time the computer is restarted. Use the fsutil dirty set command to set the volume’s dirty bit (indicating corruption), so that Windows runs chkdsk when the computer is restarted.
  • You should use chkdsk occasionally on FAT and NTFS file systems to check for disk errors. Chkdsk examines disk space and disk use and provides a status report specific to each file system. The status report shows errors found in the file system. If you run chkdsk without the /f parameter on an active partition, it might report spurious errors because it cannot lock the drive.
  • Chkdsk corrects logical disk errors only if you specify the /f parameter. Chkdsk must be able to lock the drive to correct errors.Because repairs on FAT file systems usually change a disk’s file allocation table and sometimes cause a loss of data, chkdsk might display a confirmation message similar to the following:

ddrescrue and photorec would be my first choice. When a disk is questionable I typically create a backup image immediately using ddrescue and work on the image.