Recovering data from chkdsk corrupting it?

The other day, I did something to offend my computer. I bumped it while it was running, and it shut down. When I rebooted, I got “ntldr is missing”, meaning necesary boot information was corrupted and that instance of windows was broken.

So, a lot of headaches later, I get another instance of windows installed after having to repartition the main drive.

During the first bootup, it wants to run the pre-windows chkdsk on one of my drives. So I just let it.

First, I had about a half hour of something along the lines of “indexing value of $1 in file X is invalid, replacing with ___”, I can’t remember the exact message. Then I got another half hour of “recovering orphaned file (file) and placing it in directory #”, then another half hour of "security descriptor for ___ is invalid, replacing with default security descriptor. This was on a drive unrelated to the drive that hosted the OS when it crashed.

The security descriptor part makes sense - it was probably tied to a hash code based on the account name/SID/GUID of the previous system. As to the indexing values - I guess in order for those to be corrupt, the indexing values would have to be tied directly to the OS, rather than the hard drive/partition table. I’m not exactly, technically, what that means. And I guess if the indexing values were corrupt, and reset, they’d be “orphaned”.

Anyway - it took forever (1-2 hours) for this process to complete. Finally, when it was done, and I booted into windows, everything looked fine. The directory structure was correct, the files were all there - but they were randomly corrupted. Text files were filled with gibberish, videos wouldn’t play. The odd thing, though, is that a few files here and there, seemingly at random, are perfectly fine and functional. All of the file names and directory structures are correct - it’s just that the contents of most of the files are corrupted.

Oddly, though, it did not want to scan any of my several other partitions, and those ones worked without corruption. I had to take ownership and change the permissions before I could access them, though. (There was an issue with one, where two directories would give me “data is corrupted” type errors when I tried to access one, but after backing up important data, I ran chkdsk (through the tools menu when you right click drives) on it, those directories listed properly. When I tried to access a file, I got “access denied”, but that was because the files were attached to the old administration account, so I took ownership of them and reset the permissions and they worked correctly.

So, anyway, the partition that held the OS data is lost (fdisk), and the other problematic partition is there, seemingly functional, but corrupted (the rest are fine). Does anyone know why running chkdsk on that partition during the first boot ruined the data? And if there’s any way to recover it?

I realize this may not be the best forum for a fairly technical question - if you know of a better place to ask, could you recommend it?

CHKDSK doesn’t ruin data unless the filesystem has an underlying problem.
Check out some of those nice drive troubleshooting programs they sell.

Do you have a specific recommendation for which program?