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External Hard Drive Problem

By blkwls ·
Hi Everyone,I am running a pc with xp,athlon 64.I've had an external drive(E/: Drive) for 4 months or so now and had no problems.Then last night my pc chucked up a message'E/:reading error etc' Now my pc does not recognise my external hard drive in 'my computer' anymore. Any suggestions. Thanx

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Basic troubleshooting

by stress junkie In reply to External Hard Drive Probl ...

Presumably you've done the things that I'm going to list but just in case, try these things.

1) Check the cable on the disk drive and the computer. Make sure it's snug.

2) Remove the cable connectors from the disk drive and the computer, then reinsert them.

See if these two things have helped. If not then continue.

3) Shut down and power off the computer. Then power off the disk drive. Let them sit for five minutes. Then turn on the power to the disk drive. Let it spin up. Turn on the power to the computer.

If that doesn't help then continue.

4) Shut down and power off the computer. Power off the disk drive. Remove the cable connecting them and replace with a new or known good cable. Power on the disk drive. Let it spin up. Power on the computer.

If THAT doesn't work then I'll say the disk drive is probably dead.

What is the brand of the disk drive? Is it a Western Digital drive?

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Good News-Bad News-Good News?

by blkwls In reply to Basic troubleshooting

Hi everyone,GOOD NEWS-Drive works again now,managed to sort out my problem by reformating my drive(Cant help wondering why it had to be reformatted though,What went wrong? Any suggestions?) it now works fine(strange!!)BAD NEWS-Lost all my files in the process. GOOD NEWS-Most of my files were fortunately backed up on dvd. Phew!!

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Well in that case try not to keep it running constantly

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Good News-Bad News-Good N ...

Sounds as if heat has adversely affected something it could be in/on the drive itself or in the Interface card which has allowed the MBR/FAT to become corrupt.

By all means use it when required just remember to turn it off when it's not required. These things make excellent Backup devices but don't work overly well when used as a slave drive on any system. I've mostly found people experiencing problems with these types of drives when they are in an all plastic case and they overheat. HDD's run hot enough to begin with you don't need to place them in a container which prevents the heat escaping and locking it into the enclosure.


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In Addition -

by jdgretz In reply to External Hard Drive Probl ...

In addition to what has already been said, try hooking the drive to another machine. If it works, immediately backup your data. If not, find someone with a copy of On-Track Easy Data Recovery Professional and get what you can off the drive. This assumes the drive can be seen by some machine.

Good luck,


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Another PC

by brandon.aiken In reply to External Hard Drive Probl ...

First thing I would do is try the disk on another PC. That should tell you if the USB disk has failed or not.

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The two biggest killers of HDD's are heat and vibration

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to External Hard Drive Probl ...

So if the external HDD is in a Plastic Caddy the most likely scenario is that its got cooked as the plastic acts as a heat insulator and prevents it dissipating heat and allowing the HDD to stay relatively cool.

But follow the above lists and if all else fails remove the HDD from the enclosure and fit it as an internal drive to a computer with an adaptor if required and then see if it works. If it does backup your DATA immediately and then once everything is safe you can start to run tests on the drive to see if it is working properly.

It's just possible that the USB Interface Board has a faulty component on it that is stopping the drive being read.

If you can not remove it from the Caddy and you have important data on it you'll have to contact a Data Recovery Business to get your data back which isn't cheap and will most likely void the warranty as well as trash the drive. What I do is buy my own caddies and fit my preferred HDD to these so that way I know that I have decent drives and good enclosures but even still these where never designed to be run constantly but only used to save data or transfer data back to a corrupted system after a fix. As well as a bit of routine maintenance once in a while. I backup once a week to an external USB drive and then run Defrag just to clean it up so it is faster to get data back if required the rest of the time it remains switched off waiting until it is needed again.


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Is the same apply to Internal HDD?

by shuja52 In reply to The two biggest killers o ...

The same error is being noticed in some internal HDD too, I have two cases, Windows XP running fine and the second day, it was an F8 situation asking the options..
and system reboot alwayes.
HDD was atached to the system and when we try to access the partition the error message appear.

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Sounds More Like....

by Nacromancer In reply to External Hard Drive Probl ...

I see that after a reformatting of the drive the issue was corrected. One thing I have found out about External HDD's is that when saving work created by certain file formats that act contrary to the Ext.HDD's default format the reason is that your Primary Drives format and Ext. HDD format are not acting in accordance with each other. I see this a lot with people who have dual boot systems, especially when one is formatted NTFS (with drive compression enabled) and the other FAT32 or FAT. It seems they develope a glitch when opening contradictory formatted apps. or files into each other. You usually do not see to much when going form fat32 to NTFS, but many when going the other way.
If you are using the Ext. HDD as a drive to boot from in a dual boot system with a different format from that of your Primary Drive, you should not have a problem with the drive performing as any HDD drive should. But if you are using the drive to store files and or a partitioned Backup, then it must always be formatted in the same way the primary drive is.
You must understand external HDD's used for storage of files and or APP's are not capable of converting the format of a file or an app. upon download to the format of the primary drive if the Primary Drive format is different eg;NTFS than the default format of the Ext HDD by default is Fat32. SO you download a fat32 file or app. from a friend and save it directly to your EXT HDD. and then you do a back up of the primary drive to that same EXT. drive, guess what? Two conflicting formats are now on the drive and your OS and the drive is going to fail to communicate. I see it happen everyday. There is no OS on the EXT. HDD, no means for the drive to understand to convert all files and apps to anything other than what is by default the format it is. It is an empty shell that needs to be made to be in synch by formatting it with your primary HDD and OS. Again unless you desire it to be a dual boot system and then you can install a seperate OS on it and designate it to be a bootable partitioned drive in the system Bio's. COurse most of those I help I walk them through stripping the EXT. HDD's to do a mutititude of functions but to much to say here in a blog. I am glad to hear though your issue was fixed, but let your friends know, EXT HDD's need to be able to be formatted and seen by the primary drive and OS as being of the same language.

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Same problem.. dont want to reformat

by yuppie In reply to Sounds More Like....

Hello everyone

I am facing the same problem with my external hard drive on Windows XP. It is a 100Gb Western Digital NTFS formatted HDD in a metal enclosure with an Ali USB-IDE chipset.

I had been using it with windows XP for over a year when it suddenly gave me a "delayed write failure" and disconnected all access.
I can see the drivers, they are all fine , the drive shows up in "my computer" but when i try to access it i get a "error performing inpage operation" error.

This drive however works absolutely fine with Fedora (same computer, dual boot), no problems whatsoever, i can read and copy data freely.
So i assume it's a fault with the windows XP drivers, i've tried everything, uninstalling and reinstalling USB host controllers, installing Ali specific USB drivers, toggling various storage services and still havent been successful in getting it to work with XP.

Any advice regarding a solution is apppreciated.

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Re-format and recover

by shuja52 In reply to Same problem.. dont want ...

The only way at present is reformat and recover the data using GetDataBack

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