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Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving

GUEST,Gusty 15 Feb 10 - 02:46 PM
Amergin 15 Feb 10 - 02:50 PM
Bert 15 Feb 10 - 02:54 PM
Acme 15 Feb 10 - 02:54 PM
Gurney 15 Feb 10 - 03:18 PM
open mike 15 Feb 10 - 03:28 PM
GUEST 15 Feb 10 - 03:51 PM
M.Ted 15 Feb 10 - 04:40 PM
Tangledwood 15 Feb 10 - 05:27 PM
EBarnacle 15 Feb 10 - 11:12 PM
Acme 15 Feb 10 - 11:30 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Feb 10 - 12:20 AM
Tangledwood 16 Feb 10 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,Gusty 16 Feb 10 - 12:16 PM
M.Ted 16 Feb 10 - 12:53 PM
Bill D 16 Feb 10 - 01:14 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Feb 10 - 01:50 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Feb 10 - 01:52 PM
Tangledwood 16 Feb 10 - 04:22 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Feb 10 - 04:37 PM
M.Ted 16 Feb 10 - 05:01 PM
MikeL2 17 Feb 10 - 10:39 AM
Acme 17 Feb 10 - 10:48 AM
Jack Blandiver 17 Feb 10 - 02:58 PM
Tangledwood 17 Feb 10 - 04:50 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Feb 10 - 09:47 PM
MikeL2 18 Feb 10 - 10:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Feb 10 - 05:35 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 19 Feb 10 - 05:46 AM
GUEST,MikeL2 19 Feb 10 - 06:06 AM
MikeL2 19 Feb 10 - 06:25 AM
Simon G 19 Feb 10 - 09:50 AM
Desert Dancer 19 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM
Bernard 19 Feb 10 - 01:54 PM
Simon G 19 Feb 10 - 10:32 PM
MikeL2 22 Feb 10 - 10:57 AM
Bernard 22 Feb 10 - 11:16 AM
Bernard 22 Feb 10 - 11:18 AM
MikeL2 23 Feb 10 - 06:21 AM
Bernard 23 Feb 10 - 07:18 AM
Bernard 23 Feb 10 - 07:23 AM
MikeL2 23 Feb 10 - 09:52 AM
JohnInKansas 23 Feb 10 - 06:34 PM
Bernard 23 Feb 10 - 06:58 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Feb 10 - 07:14 PM
MikeL2 24 Feb 10 - 10:41 AM
pavane 24 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM
EBarnacle 24 Feb 10 - 12:28 PM
Bernard 24 Feb 10 - 03:16 PM
JohnInKansas 11 Mar 10 - 08:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Mar 10 - 09:47 AM
Nick 11 Mar 10 - 05:40 PM
Nick 11 Mar 10 - 05:43 PM
Acme 11 Mar 10 - 07:19 PM
Bill D 11 Mar 10 - 07:48 PM
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Subject: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: GUEST,Gusty
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:46 PM

I've an external hard drive on which I store lots of music for listening to when I'm working or transferring to my car's MP3 player.

Suddenly today it's started acting up. Clicking on the hard drive's icon I get a message telling me that 'the disc in drive K is not formatted'. Drive K is the location of said external drive.

I downloaded PC Inspector File Recovery which revealed that all of my folders on the external drive are still intact. It allows me to access them and copy them to my internal hard drive, but that's a long and laborious process.

So is there any way of persuading my external drive that it still exists?

All advice gratefully received.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Amergin
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:50 PM

Have you tried shutting it off and turning it back on?

Have you made any changes to your pc?


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bert
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:54 PM

Back it up NOW however long and laborious it may be.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Acme
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 02:54 PM

That's not a good sign. I'd suggest transferring the data over onto a new drive ASAP. You may be able to rescue the drive for another use, or you may need to be able to put it in a new enclosure. But that doesn't sound good.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:18 PM

I had an external drive, a Maxtor, which contained a number of digitised LPs, and which did exactly the same. The supplier couldn't help me with the data, but replaced the drive. I'd suggest that you are lucky that you CAN access the music.

Otherwise, you may need professional help from one of those ridiculously-expensive data-recovery specialists. If you think it is worth it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: open mike
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:28 PM

my ext. drive (a c.d/dvd player/burner) has begun to do blue screen
warnings...i found it important to use "remove hardware" feature prior
to turning it off or disconnecting it.

hope you get this sorted...


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 03:51 PM

Especially if the drive is recycled from another computer, it is likely telling you is nearing the end of its life. Get your music, etc. out and put another drive in its place.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: M.Ted
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 04:40 PM

Get a new drive and transfer the files. Then you can try to repair or restore the drive. Don't copy them to your internal drive. You'll just have to move them again at some point. I always keep my music and video files on their own drive, and it should be a 7200 rpm.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Tangledwood
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 05:27 PM

Having had the same thing happen to my external drive a few months ago I'll echo the suggestions to get a new drive. In my case it appeared that the problem may have been a corrupt file registry but I wasted a few days trying unsuccessfully to repair it. Tripping on a lead and dumping the drive on to the floor finally put paid to any other fixing attempts.
If the stored files are really important to you don't rely on a single backup either. Burn CD/DVDs of them too.

I don't know for sure, more knowledgable people here will, but I think that having multiple partitions on the external drive may, in some cases, lessen the chance of loosing all files in one go.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: EBarnacle
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:12 PM

If the drive itself is going physically bad, partitioning will do you no good. As I said above, as Guest, get your stuff out while you can.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Acme
Date: 15 Feb 10 - 11:30 PM

These are all the voices of experience telling to you rescue that stuff while you can.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 12:20 AM

There are other problems that can cause the symptom described, but odds favor the diagnosis that the drive is failing.

ONE MORE TIME: If there is any way to get your data off that drive and onto another drive or other storage place, it is very strongly urged that you start the copy NOW (although yesterday would be better) and get it in a safe place.

Saving to your System Drive (C:\?) is not generally recommended, but if that's your only option, you can make a folder on C:\ (like C:\KDriveStuff\) and copy your data there. Having everything in a single subfolder will make it a lot easier if/when you find a better place for it.

Another hard drive, new if necessary, is probably the best place to copy everything that you can recover.

(Just as a luthier cannot have too many clamps or a guitarist too many guitars, NO COMPUTER USER can have too many working hard drives, even if you don't play them all at the same time.)

Note that some USB hard drives include "startup files" and sometimes other inscrutable/unidentifiable "accessories" when new. When making a backup from one USB HD to another USB HD you should be careful to NOT OVERWRITE these files on the new HD, unless you've figured out what they are and whether they're needed.

If you make a new folder on the new drive, and copy everything on the old drive to the folder, you can safely just copy everything without fear of an overwrite, and any startup or autorun files will not normally interfere with startup files preinstalled on the new drive.

The preinstalled files that come on most new HDs are likely to include an "autorun" file that may be helpful in drive startup, and occasionally have something else useful for that specific drive; so if you decide to try reformating the old drive you may want to have saved the files from the old HD to put them back after formatting.

It is quite possible that the drive is failing. If you miss the opportunity to back up now, the data is likely to be gone later when you realize you should have saved it.

Questions, if you really need more help:

     What Operating system? WinXP? Vista? Ubuntu? ? ? ? ?

     Is the external a USB drive? (There are other kinds, and if yours is something else you need to let us know.)

     How big is the Drive, and how much data are you needing to save?

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Tangledwood
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 04:43 AM

If the drive itself is going physically bad, partitioning will do you no good. As I said above, as Guest, get your stuff out while you can.

Not now of course, I mean when setting up a new one.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: GUEST,Gusty
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 12:16 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

I should, as John pointed out, have mentioned that my operating system is Windows XP and I'm using a PC.

Virtually everything on the malfunctioning external hard drive was already a copy of a CD I own. There were just a few files of traditional song and music which had been sent to me as MP3s. I've managed to recover those.

The drive was only six months old. Not a very long life.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 12:53 PM

I generally back up music files that I've converted from CDs as data to CD or DVD. It's pretty fast, cheaper storage space than a hard drive, and is also permanent, which, for music at least, is good.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bill D
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 01:14 PM

Every week I receive emails from Iomega offering me bargains on 'reconditioned' external drives. Obviously, if they have these, someone had a drive that went 'out of condition' some way.

I have 2.. one is 3 years old, and one a year and ½ old, and have had no problems at all...but I do try to do CDs of data I'd hate to lose.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 01:50 PM

This post, headed, How to protect against hard drive failure, from a pro photographer friend's blog starts with the statement, "You need to think of hard drives as lightbulbs. They burn out."

He has 12 drives attached to his Mac Pro for his photography, so he's got some experience and good advice...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 01:52 PM

(The friend, Doug Plummer, is a contra dancer and has some great pics and video of dancers & musicians... browse his site!)

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Tangledwood
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 04:22 PM

I generally back up music files that I've converted from CDs as data to CD or DVD. It's pretty fast, cheaper storage space than a hard drive, and is also permanent, which, for music at least, is good.

Easy, fast and cheap, but unfortunately not permanent. I've had a few reasonable quality CDs become unreadable. I still say for anything important don't rely on only one backup.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 04:37 PM

There is a possibility that the problem here is with the USB controllers in WinXP and not with the hard drive itself.

Microsoft hasn't provided the advice merited by the number of questions I've seen unanswered. For WinXP however there is at least one page that might be helpful.

I would still recommend a good backup before diving in, but you might try:

Advanced troubleshooting tips for general USB problems in Windows XP

There is another "more advanced" troubleshooting page that looks like it more closely describes the "symptom" seen here, but the page warns that it applies only to "Server 2003," and appears to require use of management functions not present - or not accessible - in WinXP.

Note that the procedure at this link tells you do disable/remove all USB controllers and then reboot (if you have to go that far). You probably have a USB mouse, and/or a USB keyboard, both of which will cease to work when you disable the USB controller that's running them. I've found no simple way of determining what device attaches to which controller.

It appears not to have occured to Microsoft that some people may have trouble rebooting and reinstalling things without a working mouse or keyboard. You may need to "think ahead" about what's going to happen next if you try to work through the steps given.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Feb 10 - 05:01 PM

On the other hand, Tanglewood, how much of what we have needs to be preserved for the ages? My old vinyl LPs were pretty vulnerable to wear and tear, but it didn't occur to me that they needed to be backed-up. I've now got the same sort of stuff on the iPod, on a dedicated hard drive, and backed up on CD, not to mention the original CD. How much reduncancy to we need?


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: MikeL2
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 10:39 AM

Hi

I know that this is slightly off-thread but I think it suitable to post here instead of opening separate thread.

I have two external hard drives -

1. 250 gbs Medion - NTFS
2 500 gbs Buffalo   FAT32

I have now archived all the data that I want from these and want to re-format them.

They were both formatted for use on my desktop running XP.

I want to now re-format and run on my laptop in Vista. I would be pleased tro hear if I can do it and how.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Acme
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 10:48 AM

Becky, thanks for the link to Doug's blog. That's useful information.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 02:58 PM

We've sold our souls to the digital devil, folks! I've lost count of all the crashed hard drives (internal & external), corrupted floppy disks, unreadable mini-disks & CD-Rs, DVD+/-Rs, CD-RWs that have been the bane of my life this past decade or more. Countless hours worth of material lost or backed up again & again necessitating cataloguing skills that are quite frankly beyond me.

In the immortal words of Catweazle: 'Nothing works!'


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Tangledwood
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 04:50 PM

On the other hand, Tanglewood, how much of what we have needs to be preserved for the ages?

Not much if we can discipline ourselves to throw junk out. But there's always something - important family photos for instance. I've never been concerned about the longevity of forty year old negatives or 35mm slides but digital images become a worry after only a few years. Some people would feel the same about their music.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 09:47 PM

MikeL2 -

Either of the drives should be okay as is for Vista. WinXP and Vista can both use NTFS format, which is the preferred format for both of them, and both can also use FAT32. If you don't want to mess with formatting, you could just delete the files you don't want to keep on them and use them as they are.

The FAT32 format is still widely used, since it allows the drive to be read by other operating systmes - older Windows versions like Win95/98 or Unixy ones. Vista, in particular, doesn't do as good a job of "indexing" unless the drive is NTFS, but since Vista search (the only reason for indexing) is a total loser anyway I've never considered it worth a worry.

In either WinXP or Vista, if you hold down the Shift key when you delete something it does not go to recycle bin so it's a complete delete without later emptying the bin.

Both WinXP and Vista offer a "Convert FAT32 to NTFS" that works one way, but there's no "covert back" and a FAT32 converted to NTFS does not get all the "benefits" of a drive formatted directly to NTFS. The differences are probably not anything you'd notice, though. For use as an external drive there's little benefit in not just leaving it at FAT32.

If you're not installing "System OS" files on them (not recommended for external drives anyway) just delete the trash and use them. Run disk cleanup and disk check once the trash is gone and the drives should be fine for either WinXP or Vista. (And if you install a new OS on one of them, the installer usually will format them for you, as part of the installation process, unless you tell it not to.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: MikeL2
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:25 AM

Hi John

Many thanks for your advice. I will just delete them and start filling them up again.

Just to advise others here, I have been through both of them and copied the files I want on to DVD's. I have created two DVD's just for safety for the most important files.

Many thanks

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:35 AM

One advantage of a portibale drive with FAT32 is that, if you've got a DVD player or a TV which takes a USB connection, you can quite likely plug the drive in and play AVI files of films on the telly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:46 AM

Oh Lordy, my external drive has been misbehaving for a while now....I'm just hoping I don't get arrested for it! ;0)


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: GUEST,MikeL2
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 06:06 AM

Hi lizzie

You have a lot of external drive.....lol

regards

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: MikeL2
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 06:25 AM

sorry that last post was really me - forgot to log in


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Simon G
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 09:50 AM

I may have missed it, but I don't think there was mention of running scandisk on the apparently wayward drive. If it was run what were the results. If it didn't find lots of errors then the problem is probably soft, ie the file system has incorrect information in it. Did scandisk fix this or not?

Google's research using 100,000 disk showed that SMART was useless at predicting disk failures. It did agree with much of what has been said here

- Once a disk starts producing errors it is going to fail and fairly quickly.

- Disks older than 3 years have a high risk of failure - 1 in 10 per year.

They also found 5% of disk failed in the first few months.

The most significant finding in the context of external drives if that cold drives fail more often. A drive at 15C is 6 times more likely to fail than one operating at 37C. Following the trend of their graph would indicate colder would be much worse.

I would deduce from this that external drives should be kept in the warmest place in the house. If the drive has been in a cold place let it warm up in the warmest place available for a couple of hours before using it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM

Ha! Warmest place in the house in the U.K., maybe!

~ Becky, often in Tucson (Arizona)


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bernard
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 01:54 PM

Best way to identify the warmest place in the house? Get a cat!


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Simon G
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 10:32 PM

Even in Tuscon 37C is on the warm side for inside a house. In the UK it would be a miracle, as it would be here in Nova Scotia.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: MikeL2
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 10:57 AM

hi john

I deleted all the files off one of my external hard disks as discussed earlier.

I tried to do a backup to the disk and It keeps getting thrown out.

It tells me that an Error type ox80070570 ocurred.

I can copy files to it but the back-up won't work.

Have you any thoughts about what it might be??

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:16 AM

It's a missing registry key - see here to find a detailed account of how to fix it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:18 AM

Oh, and you don't need to register with the website or click on anything, just scroll down.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: MikeL2
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 06:21 AM

Hi bernard

Many thanks for your reply to my plea FOR HELP.

as a "non-techy" I have always been advised to avoid messing with the registry unless you really know what you are doing.

I don't and have never done so. Therefore I am a liitle nervous about this fix. I am thinking about it.

This leads me to a question raised in my mind. Does this mean that it is Vista back-up that has the problem and not the external drive itself??

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bernard
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 07:18 AM

Exactly that, Mike. The registry entry for a 'backup job' is either missing or corrupt, and backup is trying to load it as the default.

If you're not happy tinkering with the registry, DON'T DO IT! You could end up with a non-working PC.

Safest bet is to get someone who knows what they're doing to sort it for you, or use better backup software.

To be honest, a freebie from Microsoft called 'SyncToy 2' is as good as any.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bernard
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 07:23 AM

SyncToy download page...


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: MikeL2
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 09:52 AM

hi bernard

Many thanks once again for your speedy response. I will look at SyncToy2 when I get a chance.

It is not desperate at the moment. I have very little stuff on my laptop and it is easy just to do a weekly copy.

All my other stuff is on my desktop running under XP and back-up runs OK there. Though I do copy my most valuable data manually to another External Drive.

Many thanks once again.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 06:34 PM

I've seldom attempted to use backup programs due to inability to find clear and complete information on what the individually available programs do, and a history of notorious failures in which backup programs make excellent backups but "Restore" (which apparently Microsoft never tests) fails completely.

If your valuable documents are in one or two places, you still can open a command (DOS if you're old fashioned) window, go to the place you want to copy the files to (for the sake of argument call it H:\).

At the H:\> prompt, type

XCOPY C:\MyValuableStuff\*.* /s /d /c

and hit enter.

"C:\MyValuableStuff\" is the folder you want to copy from.

The *.* includes all filenames.

The s/ says copy subfolders and everything in them.

The d/ says check the date and only copy things that are newer than what's already in the target folder.

The /c says "continue on error" and lets the copy skip over any file that can't be copied (usually due to a DRM lock?) and continue copying.

This lets you copy only the files that are newer than what's already in the backup. For even moderate amounts of data, skipping the stuff that hasn't changed can save a whole lot of time.

The only real problem - minor in my opinion - is that files deleted from the working machine since the last backup aren't removed from the backup copy, so eventually some "housecleaning" may be in order. If you've got a backup drive with some spare space, this isn't something I worry about. (I treat the copies more as an archive than as what most think of as a backup.)

Microsoft says you shouldn't use XCOPY since there's a newer "more powerful" utility called ROBOCOPY; but they don't give usable and complete instructions that mere mortals can follow to be assured of getting useful results, and at least through Vista XCOPY still works and is pretty simple.

On some machines, XCOPY may run into a memory limit and will abort before finishing, if the source is "very big." If you just run it again, (eventually) the copy will contain enough that the "new files that need to be copied" is sdmall enough that it will run the smaller "updates" flawlessly to completion.

Of course if you want to include system and program files, you do need to make a true "backup," but I save all my installation disks and the programs are mostly obsolete anyway. This method is for data files.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bernard
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 06:58 PM

Essentially, that is what SyncToy does... it's not a 'backup' program per se, but a configurable synchronisation tool.

You a choice of complete synchronisation (which I don't like to do) where the 'left hand folder' and the 'right hand folder' are both mirrored - deletions and renames are also 'copied' on both sides. It would eliminate the need for 'houskeeping', though. I don't like it because I may inadvertently delete a file on the left which would then be deleted from the right as well...

'Echo' is similar, but only from left to right, and 'Contribute' (my preferred method) copies new, renamed and updated files from left to right with no deletions.

One neat trick it has is to put deleted files in the recycler, and the other is a 'preview' where it only tells you what it would do if you let it.

Not often I get enthusiastic about something from Microsoft - and this one is free, too.

I was brought up on DOS, so things like XCOPY hold no mysteries for me - SyncToy seems to be aimed at people who need simplicity!


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 07:14 PM

The "Synchronise" function is one that has been a concern in using the built in Windows backup; and it is among the "features" not described satisfactorily. For most people, it's probably an academic thing, since Sync is not included in lower priced recent Windows versions.

Assuming a "mirror" from a source drive to a "target drive," if your travelling salesman mirrors your accounts to a laptop, but gets bored and deletes them to make room to download a movie while waiting for his return flight, the default Sync would appear likely to delete youre account files from the Source drive when he returns and connects up to update the work done during the trip?

I'm sure there are overrides and selections; but after all he is a travelling salesman.

Microsoft (and other backup program providers) do not describe how their programs work in sufficient detail to make them safe to turn on even once, IMO. (But of course one can say that about everything Microsoft since Vista and Office 2007 came out.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: MikeL2
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 10:41 AM

Hi John & Bernard

Wow you have both left me with something to ponder over...lol

As I said to Bernard yesterday at the moment this is not all that urgent and I can manage by dragging and dropping and then copying the files that I want to protect.

Sync.toy at my admittedly quick glance does seem appealing to me as some-one that wants something simple.

Many thanks to both of you for your valued effort.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: pavane
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 11:37 AM

Did anyone ever produce a Windows version of that wonderful DOS program XTREE?


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: EBarnacle
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 12:28 PM

I, too, live with and loved, XTREE Gold. Gone but not forgotten.


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bernard
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:16 PM

Well, Norton Commander wasn't too different, and in some ways better - and there is a Windoze version of that... I'm still using it!


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:16 AM

A new article by PC Magazine editor Neil Rubenking gives a glowing report on his trip through the clean rooms at one hard drive data recovery facility, with vague indications that these guys might be more "customer friendly" than the majority of such types.

Specifically, he sort of says that they'll take a look your hard drive without an up front fee, and then will tell you how much it might cost to do a recovery. Must data recovery businesses want a fairly substantial fee before they'll look, and then quote how much more recovery will cost.

Whether you're looking for help now, the article might be interesting, at:

Inside the DriveSavers Clean Rooms
ARTICLE DATE: 03.10.10
By Neil J. Rubenking

Notably, Rubenking doesn't give a clue as to how to contact these guys, but does give a link to a "slide show" that illustrates some typical failures, and there I found a "call 800-440-1904" hint.

The slide show is interesting (but rather noisy unless you're prepared to adjust the sound down).

Online Hard Disk Drive Simulator is worth looking at, if only out of curiosity.

I can't vouch for the "free first look" but it might be worth putting the phone number in your phone book if you anticipate that you might have something on that drive - that you didn't back up - that might be worth a few (???) bucks to save.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 09:47 AM

Trouble is with a mirror as opposed to a backup is that if you get filesystem corruption you risk mirroring that. A mirror at hardware level (Raid 1 for instance) will often use block to block mirroring, regardless of the filesystem. If the whole filesystem screws you could loose both copies but chances are there will be safeguards.

Things like sync should be OK as they mirror at file and folder level. The trouble with automatic syncing is that if you get a corrupt file or folder or a virus, you may end up syncing that as well.

Trouble with having both disks close to each other is that if you have some sort of disaster, heaven forbid, you risk loosing both copies anyway.

Idealy what you would have for any data that you genuinely cannot do without is a mirror of your disk on a hardware raid array. You would then keep a multiple versions of the same files so you can recover easily to a version betweed a day and a week old and then you would have an offsite copy - either on tape or to an offsite agency.

Of course you can make your data absolutely secure and still loose it due to operator error or malice...

As a high availability and distaster planning consultant of sorts (amongst other things!) the first thing I ask clients is how long could they do without their systems, what would it take to re-create the data from scratch and how much are they willing to pay to secure it. They usualy say the need their systems 24/7, all the data back to 1872 and will pay anything for it.

When I tell them how much that will cost the pick themselves up off the floor, realise that they can manage with no system at all for a week and they will only ever need to recover back to last Tueday...

In a nutshell - most things are achievable at the right price.

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Nick
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:40 PM

I had an external 320gb (Maxtor I think) which failed. The drive was perfect and works perfectly to this day but the caddy it sits in was rubbish and they fail often.

Detach the thing from it's bunch of USB rubbish that surrounds it and stick it in a machine as a second drive and it will probably be fine.

The drive's probably happy as a pig in stuff


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Nick
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:43 PM

Stick the following search into Google and realise you are not alone:

"maxtor hard drive caddy problem"

without the inverted commas


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Acme
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 07:19 PM

I have at least one perfectly good enclosure here. It was the power supply cord that failed, and they never make two the same.

Still waiting for a sale to an updated version of Ghost. There is a Nero backup program that came with Nero 9. Has anyone used that? Is Ghost still the best one around?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: My external drive has begun misbehaving
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 07:48 PM

for backup? I have seen 2 or 3 free ones recommended. I have always used Cobian backup. It has been recommended for years. It does incremental backups and is configured like YOU wish.

When we had a serious problem on one computer a few months ago, the tech geek who came out said that Cobian is what THEY used.

Karen Kenworthy's Replicator also gets good reviews, but I have never tried it.


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