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Windows 10 trashed my external hard drive, can it be fixed?


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#1 DoctorZero

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 05:39 PM

I just got a brand new laptop, first time ever using Windows 10.  I took my hard drive out of my old laptop (Windows 7, and was working fine by the way) and put it in an enclosure so I could copy all my data files.  When I plugged it into the Windows 10 computer, it offered to scan it for errors, which I declined (I'm used to seeing this message all the time, if you scan it the message just comes back the next time so we always skip it).  Well I was trying to copy the files and I'd drag and drop and nothing would happen.  I tried googling for the answer but couldn't find anything.  So I decided to try letting Windows scan the drive.  Well it tried to "fix" it, got to about 30%, then said the drive couldn't be fixed.  Now when I plug it in it shows up as a drive letter but if I click it it says it is corrupt.

 

I used TestDisk to restore the FAT from the mirror, rebuild MFT and write TestDisk MBR, but I'm still getting the same error.  What can I do to make it stop saying the directory is corrupt?  TestDisk, Recuva, etc are having no problem seeing the directory structure (although many of the files I recovered were corrupted, but that's a different topic I think) so I know it's still intact, but I don't know what the problem is.

 

Also wondering if anybody else had seen anything like this before?  I plugged a friend's WD drive in and copied some files, it worked fine but when he plugged it back into his computer it didn't show up for 10 minutes and I was really worried I had ruined his hard drive too.  Is Windows 10 known for trashing external drives?



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 07:01 PM

I could only find this and it was for an early build of Windows 10

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_devices/windows-10-corrupted-my-external-hard-drive-twice/08342949-e086-4e9b-82d6-b6b491586987?page=1

 

I am not sure if this would affect the external unless, and it's a big if, the external was attached during the shutdown. Windows 10 has a fast startup setting that using a kind of hibernation. 

 

See the following threads regarding hibernation and external drives.

 

https://hardforum.com/threads/warning-external-drives-and-hibernate.1345435/

 

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?p=9098378



#3 DoctorZero

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 08:06 PM

JohnC thank you, but I did find that link when googling the problem initially.  It sounded similar at first but I think it's a different issue.  I'm afraid to run chkdsk /f because I'm afraid it might actually delete some of my files, or even all of them, because I don't know exactly what Win10 did to mess it up.  I did run chkdsk without /f and it just started spewing out errors so it worries me.  I wanted to recover my files first but I'm having another problem while trying to recover the files.  I don't know if it's related to Win10 or a hardware problem, but because a lot of the files aren't recovering, I'm afraid to let chkdsk do its thing (especially because that's what screwed it up in the first place, I'm assuming Windows' "scan for error" just runs chkdsk /f in the background).



#4 RolandJS

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:45 PM

I wish you could tell me you have a fairly recent backup of your data folders/files elsewhere.  By the way, Windows 7 can also "scan and fix errors," so it's not just a Windows 10 thing.  I was going to suggest creating from an ISO a Puppy Linux usb or dvd boot, and using Linux to copy off your needed folders and files, however, in re-reading this thread, I'm not sure it will do much better than what you have already gallantly done.


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#5 DoctorZero

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 10:10 PM

I've been trying to use disk recovery software and it's giving me some really bizarre problems (as I stated in the link I provided above),but I felt like that deserved its own thread, although it's possible the problems are related and it's possible the drive is having a problem or the enclosure is having a problem that just coincidentally started right now.  It would be a really big coincidence though.  In any event if I do get it figured out (which I'm not optimistic about at this point) I will post the solution here.  This is my first experience with Windows 10 and I am not impressed.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 07:32 AM

I would be hesitant to do a chkdsk on the drive. Chkdsk can help but on a corrupted file system, it can make things a lot worse. But sometimes it's the only option left.

 

If you see a Directory Structure with TestDisk and Recuva but the files are corrupted and the data is very important to you I would recommend sending it to a professional data recovery service like DriveSavers but this is an expensive option costing from $800.

 

Are any of the files not corrupted you have recovered? I would have avoided rebuilding the MFT and scanned the drive with PhotoRec instead.



#7 Niweg

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 10:20 AM

 I've got 6 external hard drives I connect to Windows 10 systems all the time with no problems.  If you're using an old insider build anything's possible, but I've been using insider builds on 2 test desktops since 10/1/2014, and haven't seen any problems in this regard.  My laptop is running the release version of 10 Home (10586.318) without any problems as well.  The suggestion to try Linux is worth a shot, but it doesn't sound optimistic.  If you should end up doing a quick format, it would be a good idea to try Recuva again since the files are still there, just not in the file system.  Lastly there are professional recovery services, but they are very expensive.

 

 Good luck.


Make regular full system backups or you'll be sorry sooner or later.


#8 usasma

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 05:52 PM

Other topic here:  http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/614609/windows-10-trashed-my-external-hard-drive-can-it-be-fixed/#entry4004948

Please keep posts on the other topic - so as to not confuse things with multiple topics about the same thing.

If you'd like, PM a mod to merge this  topic with the other one.


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#9 DoctorZero

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 07:36 PM

Guys thank you for the advice.  I wish I had gotten it sooner.  As I mentioned, chkdsk (well, Windows scanning my drive, which I think is the same thing) is what messed my hard drive up in the first place.  I recovered everything with Recuva first, then tried photoRec, and didn't know what else to do so I used TestDisk to rebuild MFT, etc, all of which seemed to have no effect.  FWIW after I recovered the FAT from the mirror it still said they didn't match - maybe it really is a hardware problem with the drive.  Later I realized that much of the data I recovered was corrupted (I kept that in a different topic for other people who might do a search for the same issue).  Mainly here I was trying to figure out why it happened, and if it was a known issue with Win10.  I initially thought Windows 10 (should be the latest build - it's a brand new computer) was responsible, especially after the second hard drive I plugged in also failed (albeit in a different way).  It seems a really big coincidence that both hard drives failed right after I used them on my new machine.  I'm still trying to determine if the failure is physical in nature, but it's looking more that way the more I mess with it.



#10 RolandJS

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 08:03 PM

Just a wild thought, does the proc area and/or the harddrive area feel real warm to almost hot?  If so, consider adding a usb external cooling assembly; heat is an enemy of electronics.  If not hot or real warm, ignore this.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)





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