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External Hard Drive problem


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#1 FunFilter

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:01 PM

Alimoham, are you there? May I continue?

Bill253, I am running Vista sp2. I am not sure how to access checkdisk.

killerx525, I followed the link and performed the Belarc Advisor scan to determine my drive manufacturer. It only came up with the dvd drive manufacturer and the hard drive make. Is my removable drive (i.e. my usb ports and my sd card slot) the same as my hard drive? I thought it was different hardware. If it is one and the same, how do I differentiate between the Fujitsu IDE/ATA and the SCSI?

Also, I don't want to reformat my drives. My older WD external hd was where all my backup files were located. Funny, huh? Now, it cannot be accessed through this or another computer. I gave that to a friend to look at and didn't realize my E drive was in trouble until days later when I tried to download some pictures.

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#2 Bill253

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 05:49 PM

Looks like Hamluis decided that your post to Alimoham's topic was indeed a hijack, so he split this topic off. (Thanks for the clarification Luis!)

I posted this on the other thread, but here it is again for you:

OK, lets see if we can figure this out. There are some folks around here with more elegant ways of doing this, but I'll take the long way around:

I happen to be running Vista Home Premium SP 2 right now, so can work through this with the right OS. Yesterday I was running a Linux system, so couldn't check my statements for accuracy.

The goal is to get you through this without reformatting or losing any data.

ASSUMING that when you plug your external hd in it comes up as the E: drive (pluggin my external USB drive in now...)

You can read the instructions by going to Start/Help and Support/search for 'Check your hard disk for errors' (without the quotes).

This process can take a while, and you don't want your laptop running out of power or going to sleep on you, so plug it in and make necessary adjustments to your power settings...

The instructions say (paraphrasing here):

Go to Start/Computer/right click on drive you want to check (E: in this instance)/Properties/tools tab/ first option is error checking, click the 'check now' button/ if you're not logged in as administrator User Account Control will pop up asking for password / 'Check Disk <your disk name> (E:)' window should pop up, you probably want to check both option boxes, then click the Start button.

Make sure it runs to completion, it might take a while (couple of hours).

Hopefully this will restore you external drive back to 'normal'. :thumbup2: If not, we'll have to call in some of the BC 'big guns' for assistance.

FunFilter, I've some additional comments and questions for you. Please see my next post.

#3 Bill253

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 06:08 PM

OK, continuing:

Killerx525's suggestion is still a good one. Your removable hard drive is different from your internal hard disk drive (HDD).

Here's where I'm confused. You have a laptop - can you provide make and (full) model number, usually found on bottom of the laptop. Any modifications made from the original configuration? The laptop is functioning OK without the external HDD, correct?

Belarc Advisor probably gave you the internal HDD info. If Belarc didn't work properly for you there is other system profiling software available (SIW, Speccy, Everest...) Let me know if you need a link to one of these.

Do I understand correctly that you have more than one external hard drive? Can you give the make and model of the problem external hard drive as well? It is only one drive with a problem, right?

#4 Henry77

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 07:33 PM

From my personal experience with ext hd's, I had one fail on me. The problem was the cheap case the HD was in. I had to purchase a new ext case, and swap the HD over to it. I did loose some data, but the majority of the data was saved. Hopefully this isn't your problem.

#5 FunFilter

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 01:22 AM

Sorry for the delay. I was hoping I could edit the first post, but there is no edit button.

My external drive is an older Western Digital. I don't have it with me, as the folks I asked to look at it have not been available. I will probably get it back Monday in order to run the check. The problem originally occured when I had the drive connected to my laptop (Toshiba Satellite A215-S5837) and in the process of modifying and printing an Excel file. The drive was sitting on the tile floor when it was accidentally kicked over. The green light started flashing and I was not able to save the file I was working on because it said it couldn't find it. ( I don't remember the exact phrase) I thought the usb cord might have come partially unplugged, so I tried plugging it in. No difference. I tried to safely remove hardware, but was not allowed because a file was open. Tried to close file, but it couldn't be found. (Even though I was looking at it) I unplugged it and plugged it back in, and then it told me I needed to reformat the drive. At that point, I asked a trusted friend to look at the drive and tell me what was happening when they got a chance. It wasn't until later that I found out the usb ports and the sd card slot on my laptop do not respond to any media now because they are still in use. I looked up drive e: in my search and found files that are only on the external hard drive showing up on my laptop as being still open. I tried to close them, but again, I couldn't because the program couldn't find them. (And I say could not be found, but the actual phrase was something odd that I had not encountered before. The gist seemed to be that it couldn't be found)

Bill253, there have been no modifications to this laptop. When I was referring to the different drives, I was talking about the e: drive. Is it just a part of c: drive, then? A partition? And, yes, the laptop runs fine without it attached. Even now. I just can't download anything from an sd card or usb. I have tried different ones and double-checked to make sure my sd cards are working in another laptop. Unfortunately, I also checked the external hard drive in another laptop before I handed over to my friend, and it reports needing to be formatted in the other laptop, as well. I even went as far as allowing a reformat on one of my working sd cards. At the very end of the reformat, I got a message stating the reformat could not be completed.

#6 FunFilter

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 01:27 AM

Henry77, I already expected it to be a total loss on the part of the information in my hd. If anything is salvaged, I will be grateful. I don't think it is the exterior case, though. It started having a problem immediately after being knocked over. It wasn't such a hard jolt that the case was damaged in any way, either.

#7 Bill253

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:49 PM

Good description of the incident that caused the problem. Thanks. Click here for a link to the specifications for your laptop.

It shows one 160GB SATA hard disk drive, and that you are using Vista Home Premium (32 bit) for a OS.

There's not much we can do about the external drive until you get it back in your possession.

Sorry, I am unable to help much with further instructions on how to repair the USB/SD 'ports' (for lack of a better term) on your laptop. This is probably more of an OS/software issue than a hardware one. I am sure one of the other fine BC folks here will jump in with better help on this issue than I can provide.

#8 FunFilter

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 11:36 PM

Bill253, when I get the drive back, should I still run the check you suggested earlier? And thank you for all your effort. It is appreciated.

#9 Bill253

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 12:10 AM

I'd have to say that what to do next depends on what your friend finds and does. If they haven't already done a 'check disk', then I think it should be done (with repairs). Can't see where it would hurt anything, and might help.

Same goes for the C: drive on your laptop. Go ahead and try that. It may say that it can't check the disk of a drive while it's in use (or some similar message), and ask you to schedule it at the next start up. Say yes, then shut down and boot again. Restart would probably work, but I prefer to totally shut down, give it some time for the HDD to stop spinning, then start again. It should boot and automatically go into the disk checking routine. This might take a while, let it run to completion with no power interruptions. I really don't think it will find anything, but it won't hurt.

Now as far as your USB and SD card slots go, what are the names and letter designations that show up when you press 'Start' followed by 'Computer'?




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