Can external HD lose some info after defrag?

By clarkg4867 ·
Hi everyone,

I am an online college student in quite a bind. On my dell dimension 8200 running windows XP, I decided that my system was running really slow recently and decided to defrag my Maxtor Personal Storage 3100, which contains all of my college work.

The part of the system that was running slow was opening the shortcuts for a folder on my external from my desktop. So, I decided to run defrag of my external (F:), and after completion I opened the shortcut folder on my desktop with no problem; it even loaded faster!

I preceded to open a subfolder for a particular course I am taking, and I found the 9 individual subfolders within that subfolder; upon clicking it, I quickly realized that all the *.PDF files I saved yesterday for research on psychologist B.F. Skinner were no longer there. The rest of the 9 folders were empty as well.

I thought, "At least I still have my syllabus saved as a microsoft word document, which was only in the first subfolder, but upon clicking it I found an error stating that it could not load the file; file missing.

So, I rushed to check my 'Restore System folder' containing all the setup programs and text documents
with key codes I need to reload once I have formatted and reloaded the XP OS on the primary HD. Some of the programs were left with the generic white window icon when it does not know how to open the programs, but all the text documents were fine; the subfolders within this folder were also empty.

Also, a yellow exclamation message keeps popping up:

Windows-Delayed Write Failed
Unable to save all data for the file f:. The data has been lost.

After this it says it could be caused by a hardware failure or network problem. I have a network but it is only used for splitting the cable internet to different devices, we do not share files between the devices.

The end of the windows error says "please try to save this file elsewhere." I was not trying to save anything, so I take it that it is popping up because of the defrag.

Is it possible for me to get this information restored some how?

Can somebody please help?

I have built PCs in the past, edited registry, and worked for Dell tech support; so, I am pretty computer savvy and I am willing to try anything!

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All Answers

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Sounds like uh oh

by shasca In reply to Can external HD lose some ...

These errors would indicate to me you failing hardware. I would move all pertinent data to another location quickly. Looks like bad sectors are popping up rather frequent.

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by TNT@support In reply to Can external HD lose some ...

Shasca is right about it sounding like your drive is starting to fail. I had a teacher bring me a Western Digital external drive last week exhibiting the same problems. I plugged the drive into my MacBook Pro and all the files and folders were there, and accessible. No idea why Windows had difficulty, but I backed up her files, reformatted her external drive and put the files back and so far she hasn't had any difficulty.

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Can you fit

by Jacky Howe In reply to Can external HD lose some ...

the drive internally and run chkdsk /r.

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