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I feel sick.. think my external hard drive has corrupted itself

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ~Kev H~, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. ~Kev H~

    ~Kev H~
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    Hi all.. This is looking bad :(

    My laptop had not had a reboot for quite a while and XP tends to get a bit unstable on me after 60+ hours without one.. I was looking at a website this morning when everything froze, no mouse movement, couldnt get task-manager up.. no nothing. So I forced it to power down by holding down the power button for about 5 seconds.

    I left my external hard-drive (USB) connected up, and running, and powered back up after giving it about 30 seconds. Now I cannot access any files on my external and in the My Computer window it shows the "Local Disk E:" but not any info on the Used/Free space and when I try to double click on it I get the error:

    "E: is not accessible. The parameter is incorrect" :confused:

    This is a BIG worry.. I've moved so many of my digital photos onto there, about 4 gigs worth i think. A lot of the other stuff on there would be a massive inconvenience to lose, but would not be irreplaceable like the photos :(

    If any of you have had any experience with this I'm open to any suggestions.. as a friend just pointed out "they've never not come up with the answer" (reffering to AVforums) :smashin:

    I've googled for half-hour or so.. and it is looking like I might have to remove the drive from its enclosure and fit it into someones desktop PC via an IDE connection, but are there any alternatives?

    Thanks in advance.. appreciate any help

    Kev
     
  2. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Can you not connect it to a USB port on another PC ?
     
  3. ~Kev H~

    ~Kev H~
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    I will try that on my mates computer first of all but I get the gut feeling this is something on the disk, or wrong with the disk, not my machine or its USB ports. My camera and mobile still connect up just fine through all the ports. Also when I googled for this problem people who had experienced it seem to have had the same error appearing regardless of the machine they try it on :(

    Cheers - Kev
     
  4. Moosh

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    Hi Kev

    You may have already done this but have you tried another USB socket on the same or different PC?
     
  5. JonMace

    JonMace
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    Might be worth posting on the entertainment PC forum
     
  6. Dr Diversity

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    The hard drive is almost certainly a normal hard drive housed in a USB housing. Try taking the hard drive out and connecting it via the IDE lead inside a PC. Long shot but maybe worth a try.

    How is it formatted? Could you try booting off a DOS disk and accessing it that way (connected via IDE of course)
     
  7. The Dude

    The Dude
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    If Windows can still see the drive, ( best to confirm by restarting without the drive, so Explorer config refreshes, then restart, and attach the drive )

    Then, remove the USB device for the drive in device manager, and then 'rescan computer' etc... it should find the drive?

    If it does all this, it looks like the file system is the problem.

    Try running chkdsk on the drive affected, and see what it reports?

    None of this should affect the data on there if any still exists, I'd give this a go before you start de-installing the IDE drive anyway.. ;)
     
  8. The Dude

    The Dude
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    Have you got Alcohol or anything similar installed?

    Disable anything like this first, you don't want any virtual drives hanging around just now...
     
  9. ~Kev H~

    ~Kev H~
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    Thanks for all the replies :smashin:

    i DID have alcohol 120 installed beforehand. I'm wondering whether that software had anything to do with this whole saga. hmmmm.

    I tried connecting to flat-mates USB port and my gut feeling was right.. exactly the same error. But I dismantled it and connected the drive up to his spare IDE connection.

    Get this.. we didnt have to do a thing! XP took ages to load, but then came up with a bluescreen saying something like "one of your disk-drives has problems" and performed a scan disk or chkdsk, cant remember which. And then went through a phase of saying

    "Replacing invalid security ID with defualt security ID for file (number)" for numbers from 1 to about 16,000 ! (i'm sure there arent even that many on there)

    Then XP booted and the disk was present and correct with nothing missing.

    NEXT STEP:
    The disk is a Seagate Barracuda, what I thought was one of the best drives available, and I'm sure its not even a year old.

    I missed the last stage of what chkdsk was doing but do you think this was caused by a failure of the disk or something XP had accidentally done to it when it crashed this morning? This has taken up my whole day and i'm in just the right frame of mind to make an angry phonecall to Seagate and try and get myself a replacement drive.

    What do you reckon?

    Cheers peeps :thumbsup:

    Kev
     
  10. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    You can try, my Seagate Barracuda has developed a bad cluster in the boot area so I'm in for one hell of a weekend trying to save data from that. :(
     
  11. The Dude

    The Dude
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    It's not the drive KevH, I'd be fairly confident of that based on what happened to cause this.

    Windows being shutdown forcibly caused the problem, a very common problem not just specific to removable drives.

    It's quite possible Windows was still trying to write to this drive as you shutdown, causing a 'chkdsk' scenario..

    Chkdsk runs automatically on any Hard drives at bootup, if there are any problems detected, but on removable volumes it sometimes needs a kick first..not sure why.

    I wouldn't worry at all about the drive, if you have had no problems with it previously..?
     
  12. The Dude

    The Dude
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    No worries at all with Alcohol either KevH... I run dozens of mounted drives myself, without any problems.

    It's just a good idea to unmount any drives before troubleshooting, the SW itself doesn't cause any problems that I have found so far.. apart from laziness. :D
     
  13. michaelm

    michaelm
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    kevH

    If you cannot read the data on the disk, try Easy Recovery Pro. It is one of the best data recovery tools on the market.
     
  14. overkill

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    Alcohol can cause problems with some PC's with SP2 already installed. For example..... it crashed mine on Wednesday. The PC went into a perpetual loop as a result. The solution? Uninstalled Alcohol 120 in safe mode. Now fine.
     
  15. The Dude

    The Dude
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    this is worth a try Overkill.. ( if you still wish to use alcohol? )

    install alcohol, then immediately afterwards re-install XPSP2..

    Does the PC boot?
    Does Alcohol still work?

    I always use this method, when troubleshooting application problems..
    ( it's good practice to always re-install latest windows service pack too, after making 'system software' installations.. it often saves the day. )
     

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