Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Three Hard Drive Failures? Riddle me this.


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 orion9282

orion9282

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:53 AM

I consider myself relatively computer savvy, and I even talked to my IT-professional soon-to-be brother-in-law... but now I turn to you, BleepingComputer. I really need help here.

Short Version:
I keep all of my personal files on an external hard drive. That 1TB hard drive was getting full, so I bought a new 2.5TB hard drive. I start working from the files on the new drive. After about 30 seconds or so, folders just show as 0 bytes and "There are no files in this folder". The hard drive works on other computers (HP laptop) but not my Dell desktop. This has happened (sort of) with three different, brand new external hard drives. What would cause this?

Super Long Version
I'm running a Dell Precision T5400 workstation with Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium. I keep two 1TB redundant drives at all times, synced monthly via SyncToy. The 1TB drives were filling up so I bought two 2TB Seagate external drives. And then this string of events happened:
1) Copied all of the data from the 1TB to a 2TB SEAGATE drive.
2) SyncToy'ed them to ensure that all of the data was definitely there.
3) Retired the old 1TB drive.
4) Began to duplicate the 2TB drive to the other 2TB drive.
5) In the middle of copying, I received the error, (something like) "Cannot copy files as the source file no longer exists".
6) Checked Disk Manager, and the 2TB drive shows up as RAW format now?! It was originally NTFS. Search Seagate forums and you'll find that this is a common problem.
7) Restart. Same problem. The other 2TB SEAGATE drive now has "USB device not recognized" errors.
8) Try restarting, copying over and over. Same results.
9) Plug both drives into my work laptop (Mac Bootcamp Windows 7 64bit). Both show up as "Drive needs to be formatted to proceed".
10) I format both of them and perform check disks on my Mac Laptop.
11) They're fine. Then I plug them into my Dell Desktop
12) I run SeaTools on them. One has an error and can be RMA'd. The other is "USB device not recognized". I RMA them both and mail them in.

At this point, I hate Seagate because they seemingly sold me two faulty 2TB drives.

13) I buy two new 2.5TB Western Digital Hard drives. (expensive. btw).
14) I un-retire my old 1TB drive and plug it into my Mac Bootcamp laptop. Disk has errors. Run the recovery tool. All seems well.
15) I copy my 1TB to one of the 2.5TB WD drives on my HP laptop (it's super old, and I had to go to work with my Mac)
16) I plug in the new 2.5TB drive to the Dell Desktop, and some of the folders show up empty?!?
17) Plug that drive back into the old HP Laptop all of the files show up.

At this point, I'm super confused. There's clearly something wrong with my desktop?

18) I perform the following while checking the disk in between each new trial: system restore, uninstall USB drivers/host controllers, start in safe mode. Nothing works. Same problem. Folders show as empty.
19) Plug the drive back into the HP laptop. Files are there.
20) Re-install BIOS on the desktop. Folders show as empty.
21) Run Malwarebytes, HiJackThis... nothing out of the ordinary.
22) The computer doesn't fully start up when the 2.5TB WD drive is plugged in.
23) I run startup recovery. It spits out a bunch of errors. Fixes some, some not.
24) Folders show as empty.
25) I post this long post to BleepingComputer.

If you read all of this: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I am so confused about this. Some thoughts are:
- Does my Dell Desktop not handle drives larger than 2TB?
- Is there something wrong with my USB ports?
- Other weirdness, I plugged in another USB drive (500GB) to this computer and it works fine.

Edited by orion9282, 10 January 2012 - 01:00 AM.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


m

#2 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 54,819 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 10 January 2012 - 01:36 PM

Are you saying...that you have no system problems at all...unless you attempt to use external hard drives?

Louis

#3 orion9282

orion9282
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:44 PM

Possibly. Though I have a small 500GB hard drive from work that I plugged in and it works seemingly fine. I opened a few files, unplugged, plugged back in. Seems fine.

#4 orion9282

orion9282
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:21 AM

New insight:

I've found that on my desktop with the externals plugged in, I have hundreds of "Event 51" for the external in the events log. I do not have that event logged on any of my other computers. Acronis shows that the disk is healthy. However, Acronis is showing that my internal drive has a bunch of "Event 57". Could this be the culprit?

#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 54,819 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:37 AM

What is the detail reported for the Event 51 error?

Source...module...detailed explanation viewed when double-clicking the error?

Louis

#6 orion9282

orion9282
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 11 January 2012 - 12:31 PM

It was something like:
Event ID - 51 - An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk\DR5 during a paging operation <---- This was the external drive
Event ID - 57 - The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur. <---- This was the OS internal drive

Also, the computer won't start up with the external plugged in. I think I'm ready to throw in the towel and re-install the OS. Will this fix the problem?

#7 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 54,819 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:38 PM

No, afraid not.

The error re your external...indicates a problem with it, see http://eventid.net/display.asp?eventid=51&eventno=793&source=Disk&phase=1 .

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938940

I would try MS FixIt...and I would also uninstall all USB controllers (only controllers) via Device Manager, then reboot and allow them to reinstall.

Microsoft Fix it Center Online - http://fixitcenter.support.microsoft.com/Portal

From the second link, I would suggest that you remove your external properly from now on, if you haven't been doing such.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 11 January 2012 - 03:39 PM.


#8 orion9282

orion9282
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:12 AM

Thank you so much for your help thus far; thank you for taking the time. Ok, I'm going to try your suggestions, but I have a few questions:

- Being that this is my third hard drive with issues, I'm starting to wonder if it is the drive hardware? Also, I haven't had those Events on the other computers that I've been connecting the external drive to? Meaning, the computers seemingly start up fine when the drives are plugged in, they don't lose "connection" with the computer, etc.

- If it is something related to the drives, would corrupt data create these problems? If so, how do I target and eliminate corrupt files? CHKDSK turned up fine for the external drive.

- Assuming that there's nothing wrong with the drive (I know, big assumption) would re-installing the OS at least alleviate potential issues on the computer side?

Edited by orion9282, 12 January 2012 - 02:13 AM.


#9 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 54,819 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 12 January 2012 - 01:14 PM

I can only answer in this manner...

If I had problems with 3 hard drives (I don't use external drives), I would think it's a PSU problem or a connection problem. The fact that it happened 3 times would not allow me to believe that it's the drive every time.

Corruption...occurs all the time on systems. Hard shutdowns and various other events can trigger such.

Causes of Data Corruption - http://ezinearticles.com/?Causes-of-Data-Corruption&id=817785

Data corruption and loss causes and avoidance - http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/datacorruption.html

A bad hard drive can result in corrupted data symptoms, of course. The hard drive is the foundation, the partition structure is the first layer, Windows and all data files form the second layer on the foundation.

There is nothing that alleviates the possibility of future system problems...but backing up routinely is the only effective way of minimizing the frustration, etc. that comes with the recognition of problems where users have no backup strategy implemented. In Windows 7...there is no reason why such should be the case for any user, since it includes backup function within Win 7.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 12 January 2012 - 01:15 PM.


#10 drwmbt

drwmbt

  • Members
  • 98 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 12 January 2012 - 02:48 PM

Also, im not sure what the sync toy program your using and what all its features are but for the amount of data you're backing up it might be more effective to be using norton ghost. possibly even more reliable.

#11 orion9282

orion9282
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 13 January 2012 - 02:15 AM

Thanks Louis, and drwmbt. Good information all around. Yes, I've actually been making regular backups of my data both on-site and with an online backup service. And yes, after this debacle, I think I'm going to switch to a more reliable backup program. The PSU suggestion is an interesting one. I never thought about that being a problem. Looks like the weekend will be dedicated to remedying this issue. Just pray that all goes well.

Thanks again, I'll let you know how this turns out.

#12 orion9282

orion9282
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:47 PM

Ok, I'm not quite out of the woods yet, but I've got one external drive working. I uninstalled some USB controllers as recommended. Can't tell if that solved the main issue. However, I have my suspicions about what might be going on:

I started to get some of the same errors on the other computers with the same external hard drives. Luckily, I had one backup drive with the data. Lucky lucky lucky. I then transferred the data from that one old drive to a new one, and it's been going well for some time. Cross your fingers.

Ok, so now, I've got that one bum external hard drive. I'm in the process of long formatting it (quick format didn't solve the problem). Any thoughts on what could be wrong with the drive? Will long formatting it fix it? I've checked BIOS, nothing weird there (regarding the windows startup issues) and as mentioned, the computer and other external hard drive are working for now. Is there something wrong with what's called the "boot sector"?

Thanks all... almost finished here.

Edited by orion9282, 18 January 2012 - 09:56 PM.


#13 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 54,819 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:12:32 PM

Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:19 AM

<<Ok, so now, I've got that one bum external hard drive. I'm in the process of long formatting it (quick format didn't solve the problem). Any thoughts on what could be wrong with the drive? Will long formatting it fix it?>>

Who can say?

Doing the long format eliminates/minimizes the possibility of some carryover effect from the previous partition/file structure.

Differences between a Quick format and a regular format during a clean installation of Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302686 . Although it says "XP", it applies to any version of Windows, IMO.

Formatting will not overcome hardware problems relating to the drive itself.

IMO, formatting gives a user the best chance of pinpointing the occurrence of a problem, if not definition of said problem. The more suspects eliminated, the less frustration when trying to troubleshoot, IMO.

Louis

#14 orion9282

orion9282
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 8 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:01:32 PM

Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:07 PM

Ok all, I think this might be the final post... cross your fingers. I believe the conundrum can be remedied by a few things:

1) Windows hangs on startup with a 2.5TB drive plugged in. I need to check my boot sequence and turn off USB. I think that should solve that problem.
2) The 2.5TB drive starts to do weird things (not respond, not copy to/from, files seemingly corrupt) when I have another USB-powered device plugged in. Could this be the power supply not providing enough juice to the USB ports? Remove the 2.5TB drive, the USB-powered device, and boom... back to normal.

Anyways, with these *fixes*, I'm up and running... though strangely.

Thanks again, all, for your help in figuring this out.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users