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Maxtor 500GB External Hard Drive Trouble

This is a discussion on Maxtor 500GB External Hard Drive Trouble within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi guys, this is my first post and i hope i don't i don't seem too much of a noob


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Old 05-18-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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Hi guys, this is my first post and i hope i don't i don't seem too much of a noob lol
Ok, so, I've only had this Maxtor drive for around 2 months. It has one partition on it. It's worked flawlessly up until around 2 weeks ago. I'm using Vista HP 32 bit, on a HP machine. When i first plugged the HDD into the PC it installed all the drivers OK, and i was good to go. Around 2 weeks ago whenever i rebooted my PC with the Maxtor in, Vista didn't recognise the drive and said i needed to format it before i can use it (no thanks!). Other times it will say i need to scan for errors, which i do, i also scan and attempt to fix bad sectors. I try to remove the drive via the 'Safely remove hardware' on the taskbar and it says it can't. I make sure there is nothing using the drive and try again...no joy!
I then unplug from the USB port on my PC, unplug the socket from the Maxtor, reconnect everything and all is ok.
Now i have a different problem (no doubt a consequence from other errors). When i have logged into Vista, hook up the Maxtor and attempt to access it it's says "H:\ is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable".....***!!!
Right clicking on Maxtor in Computer and selecting Properties shows there is nothing on the drive (there is)
Diskpart says diffrently (disk 3)
At BIOS, it says it's initializing the USB controllers, and it even reports back the make and model and says it's OK
In disk management it's saying it's RAW, it was NTFS, and there is around 250GB used.
I've downloaded testdisk 6.11 and i've run through;
No Log>Select Disk (which does show up the correct capacity)>Intel>Analyse>Quick Search>Write>y. And then i reboot but nothing has changed.
I can see all of my files on the Maxtor when i use the list command in testdisk and i intend to copy them to my PC but i also would like the Maxtor fixed.
I'm sorry for the long post but i wanted you to know exactly what's happened. Please, please help me!

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Old 05-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #2
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Copy your files, and RMA the disk if stil under warrantee, if not then copy the files off, run teh manufacturer's diagnostics against the disk, if all pass then zero wipe with killdisk or d-ban, reinit, repartition and reformat. Copy your data back over.

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Old 05-18-2009, 05:22 PM   #3
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Hi raptor_pa, thanks for the quick reply
How do i run the manufacturer's diagnostics against the disk? Where can i find it?
What is reinit?
Can the re-partition and reformat be done in disk management?
Also, can fixing it be done with everthing still on there. Copying will take AGES!!
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsvr85 View Post
Hi raptor_pa, thanks for the quick reply
How do i run the manufacturer's diagnostics against the disk? Where can i find it?

http://www.techsupportforum.com/f234/hard-drive-diagnostic-utilities-302602.html

What is reinit?
Can the re-partition and reformat be done in disk management?

Yes

Also, can fixing it be done with everthing still on there. Copying will take AGES!!

That would be very risky
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:01 PM   #5
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Adding to what Rich said, Reinit is itialize the drive, after wiping it with killdisk or d-ban, you will have a completely blank disk, you will have to itialize, partition and format from disk management. It cannot be done with the data intact - the disk is unstable in it's current state, and ensuring it is stable with no file system issues will require removing everything from the drive ( the zero-wipe) and then starting from scratch. Recovery requires a LOT of patience - if you rush it, you end up with no data - and in this case, when you are done, this disk will be completely empty, and after the zero wipe - unrecoverable.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:52 PM   #6
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OK, thanks guys.
I'll let you know how things pan out when i'm done :)
Just out of curiosity, why has the drive decided to behave this way?
Is there anyway i can prevent it from happening again?
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:00 PM   #7
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It sounds like file system corruption, could have been going down dirty from a power failure, or hung OS, could be heat related - external drives seem to have a higher heat failure rate due to limited airflow- a dropped write back if write back cacheing is enabled. Drives have issues is the bottom line - thankfully they do - keeps us recovery guys working LOL...
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:02 PM   #8
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Yeah, lets all thank Maxtor lol
Is there anyway i can shop all of the recovered folder being shared using testdisk or do i have to stop sharing maunally?
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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You will have to stop the sharing manually. LOL, It's not just Maxtor - all drives break LOL Hitachi and WD seem to be the most prevalent recently we had a run on Toshibas for a while, and Seagate seem to come in waves...
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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LOL. You'd expect them to work for a little longer than 2 months though!
When i have finished copying & then wiping it. Can i get it going from there by using these commands?
1. diskpart
2. list disk
3. select disk #
4. clean
5. create partition primary
6. select partition 1
7. active
8. format fs=ntfs
9. assign

Do you think after i've got it back up i should return it?
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:39 PM   #11
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The sequence would work, but the same thing can be done thru disk management. Even tho I'm a command line kind of guy, might as well use the GUI - less chance of mistyping a number and blowing away the wrong partition LOL. If it is still under warrantee, I would call Maxtor before you get it back and see if they will RMA it. Chanes are there is nothing really wrong with the drive, but if they will exchange it why not! It probably wasn't the drive that failed - it sounds like something went south with the file system. You said in your OP yourebooted, was that a clean shutdown or did you hit the power button? Powering off could cause this kind of corruption. You might want to make sure write cacheing is turned off on the disk too, less chance of losing data not written. Write back cache will hold data to be written to the disk in memory and write it when throughput is lower, a bit better for performance, but worse for data safety. I personally don't think the trade off is worth the minor speed improvement you see.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:57 PM   #12
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I'm confident using the command prompt so i'll probably just use that instead of the through disk management (makes me think i'm Billy LOL) The 'aggressive' write caching is OFF and set to quick removal in 'policies'. My OS would recognise the drive is if i pulled the power plug on the drive and not just unplug/replug the USB from the port. It would give me the error that it needs formatting unless i pulled the power plug from the back (Vista left me no choice). Very strange! And as i said before, Windows won't 'safely remove it'. Any ideas on that front?
Things seem to be going well so far btw, thanks :)
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:15 PM   #13
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Once the file system is squared away, you should be able to safely remove it, although I have seen that issue quite a bit with drives when we have them connected through a hardware write blocker... that shouldn't be your issue though. I've assumed it was a command sent to the drive that was not answered correctly due to the write blocker, the same may be caused by the hosed file system.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:24 PM   #14
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How do we stop that happening then? I use this drive as a destination for all backup's and the last thing i want is for it to happen again! All the problems seemed to have started from the improper removals.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:11 AM   #15
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Best solution if you need to remove the drive, and you can't 'safely remove' is to use the start -> shutdown option then remove the drive after the PC has shutdown.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:35 AM   #16
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OK, that makes sense! Is there any way to force Vista to recognise the drive after a reboot?
I'm at 80% on KillDisk, i didn't realise it would take this long, i'd hate to use the 'secure' method! The biggeest pain is, is that i'm selling the PC and external drive and i need everything working in tip top order as i should be sending it today!!! LOL
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:47 AM   #17
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Not really any way to force it, it is either found or not.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:55 AM   #18
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All done, i killed the disk, ran those commands. Switched off my PC, unplugged the power lead from the Maxtor, switched back on the PC, when Vista loaded in plugged the power and USB lead in and it's accessible!! It can even read & write LOL
Thanks so much for your help Raptor, it's much appreciated :)

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