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Old April 28, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Default External Hardrive Problem: Freezing, Slow, Not Recognizing

Hey guys, I always come to hardware canucks for help cause you guys are the best!

So here is what happened:

My bro had a laptop hardrive (250 GB) in which he put it in a casing with usb2.0. He formatted it to fat32 and he dumped a lot of his files on there (30 GB). Now since its fat32 I canít even put my HD movies on it, or my backups. I decide to format his drive to NTFS. I copied his 30 GB files to my computer HDD, and then did a "quick format" on the drive (windows 7 quick format). Everything seemed good, I transferred his files back and it went quickly.

I also have another external HDD in which I have all my stuff and it is full so I wanted to transfer all my brothers backed up files (over 100 GB...) to his newly formatted external. My computer did not have enough space to hold the 100+ GB of files so I just connected both hardrives to my computer and transferred directly from usb to usb. The transferring was slow... said 6 hours but then again it was like 130 GB. I let it transfer but then it just stopped. I thought it was done but i check the file size of the folder i sent and it wasn't 130 GB. It was 70 GB...so I try to see what files got transferred but when i browse through his folders and files that I just transferred...the hardrive hangs and not responds.

If I go to the old stuff that I transferred in the beginning, (the 30 GB files) then I can access them and view them... jus the stuff i transferred from my other hardrive it freezes and then i have to pull out the hardrive. I tried to delete and retransfer but the retransfer rate is SUPER SLOW, I remember seeing 5 megabytes per second. I just cancelled.

I connected it to my MacBook (I have a ntfs driver) and I transferred a 4 GB file to the hardrive and it went quickly actually! But then I connected it back to my PC to transfer it and the file was being copied very slowly to my pc.

The next day, I connect the Hardrive to my computer and it hangs for a bit then says that i need to format it to use it. I restarted the PC and same thing. BUT, when I connect it to my MacBook, I can read it and see the files in it. It is still slow though.


What is going on with this hardrive? Was it because I did quick format? Maybe it was because I did a direct transfer from hardrives. Maybe one of his files is corrupted or something? What should I do? I canít lose his files either.
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Old May 6, 2012, 03:43 PM
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Two scenarios that come to mind.
1. Hard drives are dieing. Have you run any testing tools on them to determine if there are any bad sectors, or maybe check the SMART info?
2. The USB ports on the windows laptop is not strong enough. Is it the same result on another windows based machine?
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Old May 10, 2012, 03:53 PM
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I think its dying.. I dont know what to do? It worked normally when it was fat32 now when I formated it to NTFS its just messing up. I am running some scan for bad sectors and the scan is taking super long.

it says 32103021 free clusters processed and its not even half way done. I ran this scan by rightclicking the drive going to properties>tools> errer-checking .

I also did a slow format and a quick format with still errors . I know there are errors because I copied a file to the drive and cudnt delete it from the drive saying "file is in use" .

Is there a program i can use to fix the drive and give it a nice clean NTFS format?
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Old May 10, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Are you using a Y-USB cable, or a power adapter for the enclosure?
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Old May 10, 2012, 04:46 PM
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I don't see any evidence of a drive that's dying, more like the computer doesn't like the stuff between the CPU and the hard disk (USB interface, USB cable, or enclosure). Checking drives for errors with both checkboxes in chkdsk (equivalent to chkdsk /r) is always very slow. It can actually take DAYS if you have a cheap enclosure or somehow the computer reverted to USB 1.1.

Eliminate the possibility of the enclosure or USB interface/cable having issues by connecting the hard drive internally to a PC (e.g. SATA assuming the drive isn't IDE).
Bad enclosures or USB cables can do these kinds of things, so can attaching a hard drive through a hub or extender.

If you can attach the drive inside a computer then there's a lot of tools you can use depending on what kind of drive it is:
e.g. Seagate - Seatools: SeaTools | Seagate
W.D. - Data lifeguard diagnostic: WD Support / Downloads / SATA & SAS / WD Caviar Blue / SE / SE16 (SATA II)
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