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Buggy External Hard Drive


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#1
kh1000

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My external HDD is having some problems. Its a Maxtor Ultra ATA 7200rpm 250GB HDD inside a USB enclosure. One night it was connected to my laptop and I was watching videos from it. When I was finished, I closed the video player and set the laptop on hibernate. On the next morning, I found that I couldn't access the subfolder where my videos were located. I restart the computer and then I couldn't access one of the main folders. After the second restart, I couldn't access the whole drive. I tried safely removing it and reconnecting it. Eventually my laptop started to lag or freeze when I either tried to remove it, connecting it, or accessing it. Whenever I reconnected it, sometimes it would autoplay but no files were displayed. I also got error messages like: "semaphore timeout period has expired" or "cannot access device due to I/O error" whenever I tried accessing the HDD. On the device manager or properties, it said that the device was working properly. Eventually I tried doing a system restore. During the process it said that changes wouldn't apply to the HDD since it wasn't connected during that period. I did system restore a couple of times but the external HDD still had the same problems. Finally I tried connecting my external HDD to my brother's desktop. The computer didn't lag or freeze when I connected the external. There was no autoplay and when I accessed the external, it showed the drive as empty. None of my files were shown on the screen. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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#2
The Skeptic

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Connect the disk to your brother's computer. Go to My Computer > right-click the usb drive > properties > tools > error checking > check the two boxed > start. The process is quite long. Let it run to the end.
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#3
kh1000

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I tried doing it but nothing happens. Also when I was looking around in properties, it was displaying both used and free space as bytes. I don't think its dead since I can still feel the HDD spinning. In addition, it was showing the file system as "RAW" in properties. Isn't it supposed to be either NTFS or FAT 32? Does it matter if the USB port is 1.1 or 2.0?

Edited by kh1000, 14 June 2007 - 11:20 AM.

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#4
The Skeptic

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It seems that the file tables has been corrupted you can try to recover the data by using dedicated program like this one. Or, if the data is not important, to format the disk. It is very possible that the disk can be saved.
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#5
kh1000

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Could I also use something like SpinRite?
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#6
The Skeptic

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There are many data recovery programs. Google to find out.
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#7
kh1000

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The HDD suddenly worked after my friend fixed the tables. I'm currently doing the first thing you suggested.
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#8
kh1000

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Another problem showed up. After I did the error checking procedure, one of my main folders went missing. The used space is still the same size before I did the procedure. After awhile I found the files in a two hidden system folders. They have names like found.001. One the laptop where I did the procedure, I can access the files. On other computers, it says access denied when I try to access them. Do you have any ideas to retrieve this data? Thanks.
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#9
The Skeptic

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When you right click the file and go to properties: What is the type of file and what program is needed to open it.

When you try to open the files on another computer please open My Computer > tools > folder options > view. Check Show hidden files and folders. If you still can't open the files try to un-check "Hide protected operating files". If still no good re-check "hide protected operating system files".

It might be that the files are protected and when you try to reach them on another computer you have to "take ownership of the files" first. In this link you can find microsoft's instructions about how to this.

I must admit that I have never seen this problem before. Chkdsk is a very safe procedure. I am sure it is somehow related to the recovery that was performed before but that's all that I can say at the moment.
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#10
**Brian**

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Does it matter if the USB port is 1.1 or 2.0?


It does not really matter as far as I know whether you use a USB 1.1 port or a USB 2.0 Port. The only difference between 1.1 and 2.0 USB that 2.0 is newer and FASTER - If you are running Windows XP/2000 the only thing it may complain about is that "this device can run faster" if it is NOT on a USB 2.0 Port. I have an external Seagate 160 Meg drive that runs just fine using a USB 1.1 hub - albeit a tad slow :blink:

Hope that helps :whistling:

Brian

Edited by **Brian**, 26 June 2007 - 09:10 AM.

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#11
kh1000

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I actually found a way to access the files. I just went to the HD properties and set the files as shared. Also, I failed to mention that my laptop runs on XP. As for the problem, I guess its pretty much fixed. Thanks
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