ScanDisk and Files Marked with Directory Attributes (108493)

The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.2
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.22

This article was previously published under Q108493


If a program or utility corrupts the MS-DOS file system in such a way that a file's entry in the file allocation table (FAT) takes on the attributes of a directory, Microsoft ScanDisk (which ships with MS-DOS 6.2) may attempt to salvage the entry, potentially resulting in loss of the original file and its contents.


Use CHKDSK instead of ScanDisk to recover files that have become marked as directories. If ScanDisk has already been run, you may still be able to salvage the file by using the information in the More information section below.

NOTE: This is an unusual and specific scenario in which CHKDSK is the recommended method of recovery. Microsoft ScanDisk is considered the preferred method of disk and file system maintenance in most circumstances.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the ScanDisk program that ships with MS-DOS version 6.2. We are researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


If a file's entry in the FAT takes on the attributes of a directory, Microsoft ScanDisk tries to preserve that entry. Under most circumstances, MS-DOS CHKDSK offers the option to convert the invalid directory entry to a file, potentially allowing the recovery of that file and its contents.

If you have already run ScanDisk, created an Undo disk, and made NO OTHER CHANGES to the file system and partition table, you can use the ScanDisk Undo feature to remove the changes. You can then run CHKDSK to recover the file. If you did not create an Undo disk, the file should be considered lost and the bad directory entry and its contents, if any, may be removed using the DELTREE command.

For more information on the command-line syntax and use of ScanDisk and CHKDSK, type help scandisk or help chkdsk at the MS-DOS command prompt.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 10/27/2000
Keywords: KB108493