I seem to have the worst luck with external Hard drives lately - I had a Seagate Backup Plus 8TB drive fail within 4 months of buying it when windows 10 did a "scan and fix" on it claiming there were errors with the drive. Thank goodness I had warranty on it - or so I thought - Seagate didn't send me a NEW drive - they sent me a "Re-Certified" drive that Windows 10 saw at first and I was able to access, then I formatted it to erase the software they preloaded on it for back up. After the reformat, the drive went invisible under "This PC". I was able to see it on Disk Management and found that the drive had 3 partitions on it - I merged the partitions and was able to assign the drive a letter which made it visible under "This PC". I thought that fixed it...until MICROSOFT forced the Anniversary Update 1607 on me which once again made the drive vanish and lose its letter label. I assigned it a letter and that fixed the issue. Why did an update make my PC not recognize the external drive and automatically assign it a letter when I plugged it in?
This past weekend, I had an incident with my other Seagate 3TB external drive - it got knocked off a table which caused the base to fracture and thought the drive inside was toast and that I lost all the music and videos on my drive - I hadn't been able to back it up onto my new drive since the anniversary update screwed things up again. I took apart the external enclosure, saw the drive seemed unscathed inside, bought a new enclosure and installed the drive inside it, powered it on and listened to the drive - no noises and it was spinning. I connected the external drive to my PC and the PC wanted to format the drive. I ran testdisk on the drive - it saw the partition, however I got an error saying "partition unrecoverable - drive is too small". Of course, Googling the issue showed that I should just direct install the drive in my PC, which I did, however now the PC was telling me "drive cannot be accessed, parameters are incorrect" Under Disk Management, it showed my partition on the drive had gone "RAW". I ran TestDisk again and thank god, the program found the partition again and listed all my music and videos, so now I'm copying the bad drive to my new drive which is being a very slow procedure.
I've ordered another brand new Seagate 8TB external drive from Amazon which I will create another backup once this copy procedure is complete. I plan on re-formatting the bad drive once done with the copy procedure to make it usable again, because it passed all tests.
I do have questions though - why do updates make my PC not automatically assign the drive a letter so I can access what's on them? How do I prevent my drives from becoming inaccessible? My PC is once again waiting with another update to the anniversary update that it will apply automatically once it sees that my PC is no longer being used or shuts down. I'm kind of afraid that my data I'm backing up onto the re-certified drive will become lost next time I plug in the USB after this update is installed as the PC no longer assigns letters to the drives that are plugged in the USB port. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong here with formatting the drives, or if this is a common issue now that Windows 10 has been forced upon us.