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External Hard Drive Problem


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#1 Kira20

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:32 AM

Hello community of Bleeping Computer, I have an issue that I would like to get some help and suggestions on. I have a 1 TB Seagate External Hard Drive and I have trouble accessing/opening the files in it. This happens on yesterday's evening where I was able to access it just fine. But later that night, there's an issue with it. So I will list on the state and issue that I am facing.

  • Connecting the external hard drive is fine. Windows detects it, the disk shows under my computer and there's the USB connected icon on system tray.
  • There is no weird sound or beeping of any such produced by the hard drive when its connected.
  • A full scan of antivirus shows clean, did a defragment and such.
  • Viewing the hard drive under Windows partition shows it as healthy.
  • All files are still inside the folder, there are no hidden items or such that is made by virus.

The issues:

  • When trying to open any files other than the hard drive itself (Double clicking F: for example), windows explorer will not respond and sometimes the green loading bar takes time to load and shows nothing. But not responding occurs more often.
  • If I get lucky and manage to access one folder inside it, it shows up empty and under properties shows the size of it as 0kb as in no files despite if viewed under My Computer, the hard drive does have files in it. All hidden folders and items including Windows related are checked as shown, not hidden.
  • When trying to attempt a copy paste the contents of the hard drive into my internal, the action window pops out but nothing was copied.
  • If I try to eject the USB drive safely, the error window of the drive is in use always pops out and won't allow me to eject it. The only way I can eject it safely is when I shut down my laptop.

So basically, my computer detects the external and under My Computer, it is there. And when connected, it seems to be just fine as Windows Media Player detects it and syncs with it and etc but the major problem here is that, I can't access the files in it despite they are being there. Any help is much appreciated.



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 08:22 AM

I have run across problems like this where the drive refuses to open on one computer but works fine on another. Have you tried the external on another computer? Have you tried using a different USB port?

 

You can also try accessing the external with a live linux distro. For this I recommend Fatdog64. Burn the iso to disk by right clicking on any Windows 7 or later computer and selecting Burn disk Image. Boot the CD and at the Fatdog desktop you will see your internal hard drive partitions listed as sdaX. Attach your external and a USB icon will appear on the desktop. Click once on the USB icon. If Fatdog can mount the disk a File Manager window will open. Click one on a folder to open. You can double click on a txt file to see if Fatdog can open the file. Note: If you have Windows 8 or later then you may need to disable SecureBoot in your UEFI settings or use the boot menu.

 

If Fatdog can see your files I can give instructions on copying from the external using Fatdog as the method is a little different using fatdog. Once all your files are copied I recommend you wipe the disk and reformat the drive on the computer that is having issues. 

 

http://distro.ibiblio.org/fatdog/web/

 

Fatdog64-702.iso



#3 Kira20

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 09:32 AM

I have run across problems like this where the drive refuses to open on one computer but works fine on another. Have you tried the external on another computer? Have you tried using a different USB port?

 

You can also try accessing the external with a live linux distro. For this I recommend Fatdog64. Burn the iso to disk by right clicking on any Windows 7 or later computer and selecting Burn disk Image. Boot the CD and at the Fatdog desktop you will see your internal hard drive partitions listed as sdaX. Attach your external and a USB icon will appear on the desktop. Click once on the USB icon. If Fatdog can mount the disk a File Manager window will open. Click one on a folder to open. You can double click on a txt file to see if Fatdog can open the file. Note: If you have Windows 8 or later then you may need to disable SecureBoot in your UEFI settings or use the boot menu.

 

If Fatdog can see your files I can give instructions on copying from the external using Fatdog as the method is a little different using fatdog. Once all your files are copied I recommend you wipe the disk and reformat the drive on the computer that is having issues. 

 

http://distro.ibiblio.org/fatdog/web/

 

Fatdog64-702.iso

 

Thank you for your suggestion, I will try your posted methods and see how things go. Also this is a screenshot from disk check running on command prompt if it can be of help anyhow.

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#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 09:37 AM

This possibly is a failing hard drive of a problem with Windows reading the drive. Have you tried a different USB cable?

 

Hopefully you will be able to successfully pull files off the drive with Fatdog. 



#5 Kira20

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 12:41 PM

I'm having a bit difficulty understanding the fatboy method. Do I need a Linux OS to do so? Coz if yes then I don't have one and I sure don't have extra unused laptop/computer lying around.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 01:11 PM

No you do not need linux. What OS are you posting from?

 

Click on the iso file I linked to in post#2. Are you planning on booting from a CD or USB?



#7 Kira20

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 06:40 PM

No you do not need linux. What OS are you posting from?

 

Click on the iso file I linked to in post#2. Are you planning on booting from a CD or USB?

Using Windows 10



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 06:46 PM

But a blank CD or DVD in your burner. Right click the iso file you downloaded and select Burn Disk Image. You may need to Disable SecureBoot in your UEFI settings. What is the make of the computer? You should have a boot menu you can access by tapping a key at boot to select your boot device.


Edited by JohnC_21, 31 October 2016 - 06:46 PM.


#9 Kira20

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:20 PM

But a blank CD or DVD in your burner. Right click the iso file you downloaded and select Burn Disk Image. You may need to Disable SecureBoot in your UEFI settings. What is the make of the computer? You should have a boot menu you can access by tapping a key at boot to select your boot device.

Currently testing the external hard drive on a different laptop running Windows 7. As usual, the system detects it and such but a window prompting for a scan and fix pops out so currently doing that. However as of the moment I am typing this, it seems to be stuck at 10% progress. Will give it some time and see how it goes. Also I know how to access the boot menu but I will wait on how the fix and scan thing turns out.



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:26 PM

I would not have recommended doing a scan if this was the chkdsk command. It can cause more problems on a disk with file system corruption but I would not stop it now.



#11 Kira20

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:31 PM

I would not have recommended doing a scan if this was the chkdsk command. It can cause more problems on a disk with file system corruption but I would not stop it now.

Understood and yeah I would not stop the can now as it is. Also just to be clear, download the fat dog file, burn it to a CD or DVD, access the CD by the boot menu and wait for it to load and when it does, plug in the external hard drive where a USB icon will be shown. Click the icon and then sees where it goes from there. Is that the methods? If there are any other specific steps to be taken, do type it down, thank you.



#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:40 PM

Yes, that is the procedure. If it detects the files I will post instructions on copying from the external to your internal hard drive or to another attached USB drive.



#13 Kira20

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:47 PM

Yes, that is the procedure. If it detects the files I will post instructions on copying from the external to your internal hard drive or to another attached USB drive.

Thank you, I will report back in a few hours. Trying to see how the scan goes :)



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 07:59 PM

Fatdog copy instructions;

Boot Fatdog to the desktop. In the lower left of the desktop you will see your partitions listed as sda1...sda2...sda3...etc. On a Windows 10 computer or an upgraded computer from 7 or 8 you will see quite a few. Normally your Windows partition will be on sda3 but it may be different in your case. Click once on the partition icon. The partition should mount and a File Manager Window will open. If you do not see your files/folders then close the Window and click on another sdaX icon. Once you find your correct partition with your Windows files attach your external USB flash external drive if not already attached and mounted. A USB icon will appear on the desktop. Click once on it and the File Manager Window will open. You can resize and move the two windows until they are side by side by left clicking and dragging the corner and title bar similar to Windows. Once you have both windows side by side highlight the data you want to copy by pressing Ctrl and left clicking or left clicking and dragging a window around your files/folders. You only need to click once to open a folder in Fatdog. Once you have your files/folders highlighted drag them from the external drive window to the sdaX partition window. A small dialog window will open. Select Copy and check the quiet box. Once all your files are copied exit out of Fatdog. You may want to open a few to see if the copy was successful


Edited by JohnC_21, 31 October 2016 - 08:04 PM.


#15 Kira20

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 12:35 AM

So the file scan and fix are not progressing at all, it seems to be stuck at 10% and has been like that since 4 hours now. Should I click cancel? Just want to be sure






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