FIX: There are no readable file allocation tables in CHKDSK command (Solved)

Last updated on September 15th, 2020

This tutorial contains step by step instructions to resolve error "There are no readable file allocation tables (FAT)", when running the command "chkdsk X: /F /R" in order to repair a drive that is not accessible from Windows with error "The drive is not formatted, do you want to format it now?".

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FIX: There are no readable file allocation tables - FAT

Problem in details: After executing the "CHKDSK X: /F" or the "CHKDSK X: /F /R" command, to repair a drive that is not recognized by Windows with error "The drive is not formatted, do you want to format it now?", you receive the error:

"The type of file system is FAT32.
An error occurred while reading the file application table (FAT 1).
An error occurred while reading the file application table (FAT 2).
There are no readable file application tables (FAT)."

How to fix the CHKDSK Error "There are no readable file application tables (FAT)."

The CHKDSK error "There are no readable file allocation tables (FAT)", appears because the FAT boot sector of the hard drive is damaged. At this case, follow the instructions below to repair the FAT boot sector of the hard drive. *

* Important Note: The below instructions may cause additional damage on the drive. So, before you continue below (to repair the damaged boot sector of the drive), use the instructions from one of the following articles and try to recover the data from the drive, (if they are important to you).

How to repair the damaged FAT Boot sector:

To repair the damaged Boot sector of a drive (HDD, USB , SD Card):

1. Navigate to http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk and download the Testdisk utility according your Operating System. (e.g. Windows)

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2. When the download operation is completed, right-click at "testdisk-7.0-WIP.win.zip" file and select Extract All to un-compress its contents.

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3. Explore the contents on the extracted folder and double-click at testdisk_win.exe.

testdisk file recovery

4. At the TestDisk utility first screen, press Enter at the highlighted Create option.

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5. By using the arrow keys, navigate to the damaged drive and press Enter. *

* Note: Ensure that you have selected the correct drive (the damaged one), before you continue below.

How to fix Boot Sector

6. At the next screen leave the detected partition table type (e.g. 'Intel") and press Enter.

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7. Then click Advanced.

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8. Now, by using the right arrow key, select the Boot option and press Enter. *

* Note: If, at this screen, the partition type is recognized incorrectly, (e.g as 'FAT32' and you know that is 'NTFS', then highlight the 'Type', press Enter and set the partition type to "07 HPFS-NTFS".

repair damaged boot sector

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9. Then, by using again the right arrow key select the Repair FAT option and press Enter.

10. At this point, the TestDisk program will check if the FAT boot sector is identical with its backup. When this done, proceed as follows according the result:

  • If the Boot sector is not identical with its backup, then you'll be asked if you want to restore the FAT boot sector from its backup. If this happen, select Yes by pressing the 'Y' key.
  • If the Boot sector is identical with its backup, proceed and highlight the Rebuild BS option and then press Enter, to recreate the Boot sector.

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10. When the process is completed, press q to quit and then close the TestDisk utility (window).
11. Restart your PC.
12. Normally, after restarting, you will be able to access the drive and its contents. If this happens, back up your files immediately, and then diagnose the drive for problems. If you still cannot access the drive, it may be damaged and you will need to replace it.

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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