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[SOLVED] External HardDrive issue-Empty folders?

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] External HardDrive issue-Empty folders? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a SimpleTech 500 GB external hard-drive. I generally leave it plugged in my computer at all times (Even


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Old 06-02-2008, 01:48 AM   #1
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I have a SimpleTech 500 GB external hard-drive. I generally leave it plugged in my computer at all times (Even during reboots and such). I know this is not very wise but I store all my music, videos, images, etc... on it so I am using it very frequently.

I have had the Hard Drive for about a year now and haven't had any issue with it until approximately 2 months ago. 2 months ago I had an issue were explorer.exe would crash whenever I opened a specific folder (Videos). Only that folder made it crash. The folder contained about 28 GB of video content. Just recently (About 3 weeks ago) this problem just went away and the drive worked fine again.

Now I have run into a new problem that is somewhat more severe. My drive is shown along with all the main folders. Even files outside the folders are shown. However, when I mouse over a folder it will say, " Folder is empty". If I open the folder nothing shows. The odd thing is that when I view the drives properties it shows all the data is there (Used Space - 361 GB, Free Space - 104 GB).

If I try to open up my media player (Media Monkey Gold) it will freeze. It scans my external hard-drive on startup for new files but it can't access the files. I tried using Windows Media Player to play some songs listed from my external hard-drive but it just skipped through them and grayed them out saying they could not be found.

I attempted to do some research on the issue but only came up with a few hints. I made sure the "Show hidden files and folders" was selected but that didn't help along with a few other minor things.

I read about someone with a similar problem. They said they just rebooted and the issue was fixed. I tried just rebooting and at first my computer wouldn't even start up. The motherboard splash screen came up and just stayed there. I couldn't even access the BIOS or anything. I rebooted again and the computer started up fine again. I logged in to find that my external hard-drive was not even shown! I unplugged the USB and plugged it back in to have a Windows warning come up saying that the device had malfunctioned and to either retry or replace it.

I removed the Hard-Drive and powered the drive off as well as unplug it. I tried using it on a laptop laying around to find it worked fine. I brought it back over to my system and it was fully operational again. A few hours went by and I again I am having the issue with the empty folders.

Is there a way this can be fixed and why is this happening?

Thank you for ANY and ALL help!

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Old 06-02-2008, 09:23 AM   #2
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Hi

I'd say the cable has gone bad. Have you tried another USB (or firewire) cable?
Does the enclosure have a separate power supply? See if you can have that replaced.

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Old 06-02-2008, 09:33 AM   #3
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I have yet to try another cable. The connection to the actual external hard-drive is through firewire I believe but is a little loose. I am running an Error Checking tool on the drive and set it to "Automatically fix file system errors" as well as "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors".

Right now it's in phase 4 and the drive with the custom name I assigned it but it doesn't show a "Total Size" or "Free Space" and it also won't open. If I try to open it I get an warning saying it's not accessible...Access is denied.

If this does not work I will look around for another cable or purchase another one. The USB cable that came with it has a tag on it that says, "High Speed USB". I looked in my Device Manager and it says I have a "Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller" rather then a "NEC PCI to USB Host Controller". Could this cause a compatibility issue or effect which cable I purchase?
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Sounds like either the cable or the firewire port is wonky.

The USB controller shouldn't cause compatibility problems - but if it isn't USB 2 the transfers will be slow.

(BTW - I have removed the links in your signature. They don't work anyway)
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:04 AM   #5
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Do you think it is the actual cable or the port itself? I would hate to buy another cable to find it not working properly due to the port. If it is the port (On the External Hard-Drive) is there a way to either fix it or retrieve the data to transfer onto a new external Hard-Drive?

(Thank you for removing the links. I have been meaning to fix them. I was cleaning up my web hosting and moved a few files into different directories causing broken links.)
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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Impossible to say if it's the cable or the port.
I would replace the enclosure with a better one. The necessary cables will, of course, come with the enclosure.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:32 PM   #7
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The Error Checking finally finished and my drive showed back up along with all the folders and files. Hopefully it stays that way without any further issues. If I get the same problem again I will replace the enclosure/cable as you suggested.

Thank you for your assistance :D
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:02 PM   #8
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Good news.

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