Problem with external Hard Drive - can't access the files on it

Discussion in 'General Computing' started by Nekros, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Nekros

    Nekros New Member

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    Hi, I have some problem with my external hard drive and I would appreciate any advise you can give me to solve this.
    I have Toshiba 500GB hard drive that I bought just over 2 years ago. I am using it to backup my data from pc, and sometimes to play a movie from it. Recently I can't access number of folders on it. When I select them the drive begins to spin and I wait for a few minutes before seeing an error message that it is not accessible. Some other folders are fine and I can open them and see the files there.
    I never did any maintenance to the hard drive, I only formatted it from FAT32 to NTFS in the very beginning and then just copied files to it, occasionally.
    What can I do to get my files back? I did defragmentation of the hard drive, it took 2 full days to complete, but it didn't help. Not sure it was suppose to help in the first place. I don't mind if I can only extract the data, I'll buy a new hard drive and copy it there, hopefully it will be more reliable. Any way I can do it?
    Thank you for help.
     
  2. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    A 2 day defrag sounds like there is a hard problem with the drive. Your best bet is to copy all you can from the drive to another one then iIf there is nothing left on the drive which you need to try and save reformat the drive and see if it is still usable.
     
  3. Nekros

    Nekros New Member

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    So there is no way I can save my files from the folders that can't be open? Is it possible that only few files in that folder are problematic? Can I somehow open the folders from the MS-DOS and not from the Windows?
     
  4. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    DOS or Windows is very unlikely to make a difference - they both use the same NTFS and that is where the problem lies. 2 days defrag suggests a lot of serious read errors on the drive - errors in individual files, folders or the file directory entries. If any of the data is super critical there are techniques which might be used to help get some of the data off. If you want to try yourself then you could try something like ZAR ( Zero Assumption Recovery - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com ) - free to try but then you'd have to buy if you wanted full use. Most important thing is that you don't use the drive until you have recovered all you can - it is likely to further reduce your chances of recovery.
     
  5. Nekros

    Nekros New Member

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    Thank you for your help, I'll move all good files to the new drive first, and then I'll try this tool and see how it works. I knew hard drives are not forever, but I expected more than 2 years. Until SSDs are in reasonable prices, it's quality HDD from now on.
     
  6. patcooke

    patcooke Microsoft MVP
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    HHD's are a bit like light bulbs - they can crash on first time use or they can work for many years - all important data must always be backed up - depending on how important it is you may have just one or many more copies. I have all my data backed up to four separate devices stored in physically separate places. Hope you manage to get all the important stuff secured.
     

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