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IDEA: Pre-copy file verification utility

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How about a utility that will simply verify that every selected file can be successfully read from the hard disk without a read error? The program should create a text file containing the filenames of every file that cannot be read. Besides simply giving one a warm fuzzy, it would be a tremendous help when trying to copy a bazillion files from a damaged hard drive to a replacement or backup storage device.

When trying to copy multiple files / folders in Windows, as soon as the system encounters a disk read error you are presented with an error dialog and the copy process is aborted. You then have to reselect the files beginning with the file after the one with the problem and try to copy again. This can go on and on if there are a lot of damaged files to be copied. This utility would allow one to quickly copy off the available files leaving one to either repair or give up on the damaged ones later.

I'm often asked to repair friend's computers (usually after a serious crash without backups :'( ) with the eventual question being: "Can you same these particular files?" This is usually followed by a list of favorite pictures, emails, letters to Mom, etc. Often I can either fix the problem or at least recover most data from a physically damaged disk; but since files are stored independently of the directories, simply being able to see a complete directory listing of files doesn't mean that the files themselves can be read.

I've spent time Googling and searching / scanning the coding snacks here and can't find anything that looks like it would accomplish this simple task without being an 800 pound gorilla utility that slices, dices, and darns your socks.

I figured the team here is the best place to come looking for help. Any help /suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I"m thinking of trying something myself, but I know my limits. I'm actually considering a Visual Basic routine using error handlers to process the problem files. Problem is, not every system has the runtimes installed, etc.

Thanks is advance.


TeraCopy already does something similar to this. It is free. They also have a Pro version with extras.

IDEA: Pre-copy file verification utility

Try Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier.

It allows you to copy all of the specified files from one location to another without stopping if it encounters unreadable files.

I've found it to be very useful.

The best solution is definitely to use a better file copier that Windows explorer. Trying to read all files just to take note of unreadable ones, then re-reading the files to copy, is a bad++ idea. First of all it increases the time to copy, which is bad enough, but if you're dealing with a dying harddrive... you want to put as little stress as possible on the drive, and get the job done ASAP.

+1 for Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier, it helped me get a lot of small files off a dying harddisk just recently.


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