This article was previously published under Q246026
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When you try to delete a file on an NTFS volume, you may receive the following error message:
Cannot delete file name: The file or directory is corrupt and unreadable.
The System event log in Windows NT 4.0 contains the following message:
Event ID: 41 Source: Diskperf Description: The file system structure on disk is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the device with label "Volume_name"
The System event log in Windows 2000 contains the following message:
Event ID: 55 Source: NTFS Description: The file system structure on disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume "Drive_letter:"
If you run Chkdsk against the volume, Chkdsk may or may not make repairs, but afterwards you still cannot delete the corrupted file.
This behavior can occur if the NTFS volumes' Master File Table (MFT) is corrupted. The short and long file name pairs that are stored in the directory index record and the file names that are stored in the associated File Record Segment (FRS) contain case-sensitive characters that do not match.
NTFS supports case-sensitive (POSIX) file names, but Chkdsk does not check file names in case-sensitive mode.
For example, assume that the directory index record has a BADFILe.TXT entry but the FRS has a BADFILE.TXT entry for the file name. NTFS views this as being invalid or corrupted, but Chkdsk compares only the names and ignores the case. It does not make repairs.
To resolve this issue, back up the volume that contains the corrupted file(s) and exclude the corrupted file(s) from the backup job. Reformat the volume, and then restore from the backup.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
120716 How to Remove Files with Reserved Names in Windows NT
176646 Error Message: The File or Directory Is Corrupt...
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition