Stored data is unreadable., etc

Pics, movies, etc., when viewed are garbled and unrecognizable. Why is this happening?

All pics and movies, or just a few of them? Are there any good pics or movies?

A jpeg or mpeg file, for example, has a header file on it that must be read by the pic or movie viewer. If the header is not readable the viewer will indicate the file cannot be recognized. If the header is good and there are parts of either file missing due to disk errors, the files will load but will have pieces missing.

In the case of a movie, many times if the header is good, the movie will run till it encounters an error then freeze.

If only a few of your pics/movies are garbled it could be due to errors on your disk. I would immediately run the WD diagnostic then chkdsk /f. WD diagnostic won’t check the disk surface as well as chkdsk /r.

If you see any indication of errors from either diagnostic get all your photos/movies off the drive asap.

To use chkdsk run chkdsk x: /f then ckdsk x: /r where x = the drive letter. You can run /f /r together but /r checks the disk surface and can take a full day or days, if it finds a good amount of errors.

Unfortunately, all pics, movies, and everything else were destroyed. The audio of the movies were also garbled. I ran, WD LifeGuard Diagnostic and it passed. Prior running LifeGuard I ran chkdsk but it failed to run.

Don’t understand why chkdsk won’t tun. Are you using it correctly? It usually advises you that you have to reboot in order for it to work. If you run it from a Command prompt it will ask you if you want to unmount the drive. Say yes. You will have to remount it later or reboot.

From a Command prompt you’d enter chkdsk c: /f to check the C:\ drive. You would substitute the drive letter of your external drive for C. If /f runs through OK run chkdsk c: /r to do a full surface scan. That can take a day, or days.

Alternately, did you try running it in Safe Mode?

Have you run a virus check. Sometimes if you are infected the malware won’t allow certain features to run. Kaspersky provides a free scanner…Kaspersky Security Scan. It has a simple mode and a deep scan mode but it won’t do repairs for you.

I would not give up on your files just yet. There may be other ways to retrieve them.