I do a lot with audio and need a huge amount of space to store classical music .wav audio files
This data is irreplaceable and I am very concerned about the danger of losing it.
My D: internal data partition is not used for audio storage or use as it is too small. I therefore use a Maxtor 1.5TB external USB hard drive (F: drive) to store all the audio files and the database.
To back this up I have another Maxtor 1.5TB external USB hard drive (G: drive).
This system has worked fine for some time, but about 5 weeks ago the G: drive suddenly and without warning said it could not find any data - I rebooted and it returned. I have since reinstalled the OS (three weeks ago) with all up to date drivers and I have not had that problem again (at least with the G: drive).
This morning the F: drive went silly. Soon after starting, I got a message saying that F: was not formatted and did I want to format it? That is not a good message to get when you know that there is over 350GB of data there. I rebooted and the F: drive was working fine again (somewhat unnerving though).
I had already decided to back up the back up drive with yet another drive and I had already ordered another Maxtor 1.5TB drive (J: drive). As it so happens, the new drive arrived this morning. (I already had a third small external drive attached - which had worked fine - so I removed that). I plugged in the new big one and changed the drive letter to J; I could access the drive fine. Everything looked great so I started the backup on to the new J: drive (which I knew would take a very very long time).
The backup of the G: drive onto the J: drive started fine (my usual backup program) and had copied over some 100 files when it just stopped. I was told that the new J: drive could not be accessed. On investigation it turned out that the drive letters had all been scrambled and I was told that the new drive was now called the "H: drive" and that it was not formatted; did I want to format it? (Incidentally the F: and G: drive letters had all been changed too.)
I have rebooted several times but the J: drive remains inaccessible, and "unformatted" which I know is not so. It never retains the drive letter I keep on giving it, but goes back to the windows default of H: I can see it fine in My Computer but I cannot access it. "Unformatted"
I have asked the supplier here in the UK (Maplin - who are huge in the UK and good) and they tell me that they have not heard of any problems with these Maxtor 1.5TB external drives and I trust them (although I have never ever had this sort of trouble with any of the many other external drives I have had over the years). At one time or another I seem to have had a problem with each of these big drives - all telling me they have no accessible data. Maplin have offered to take the drive back but I do not think it is a mechanical problem, so the problem may just happen again.
I am stuck with a new 1.5TB drive (which I think is mechanically fine, but of course I may be wrong) which will not work.
I saw your site when I was researching spyware and thought you were very helpful with a guy, so I remembered your site in case I ever had a problem. I now do have a problem!!
I should be so grateful if some kind soul could let me know what the problem is. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a solution? Are these drives simply too large for my system? Could it be a power supply problem?
5 years old Dell 8250
XP Prof: SP3
Windows reinstalled 3 weeks ago, with all the latest drivers.
110 GB internal drive partititioned C: 35GB (with OS and program files) and D: the remainder (data)
Connected to native USB sockets (ie not to hub) F: active, G: as backup and J: (just purchased) as backup of backup !
No other USB connections currently active.
Dell tell me that I have the latest BIOS available for this model and so it is right up to date.
BIOS can cope fine with 3 external hard drives on start up but no more. Anything more (even a hub) and BIOS freezes on boot up. Dell say I have to live with that and I can.