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trouble with external Maxtor OneTouch 300GB USB HD

I have a Maxtor OneTouch 300GB external HD (USB) which is behaving very erratically.

First of all I'm not able to copy large files to it (and I think from it too).
Large files seem to be 4GB and more in this case.
Whenever I try to copy such a large file to that disk, I get the error message
"Cannot copy <filename>: the parameter is incorrect"

Second problem is that files get regularly corrupted on that disk.
Example:
This weekend I created an image of the windows partition on my laptop with Acronis True Image.
The image was written to another partition on that same disk as I know writing directly to the Maxtor Disk (over the network)
is not a good idea.
After the image was created, I verified it with Acronis True Image and everything was OK.
Then I moved the image to the Maxtor disk (mounted drive on my laptop) without problems
(BTW, I made a spanned image of 2GB parts because of the problem with large files mentioned earlier)
Yesterday I wanted to restore the image, but Acronis True Image told me the image was corrupt.

Another annoyance is that the disk is not always detected at boot time.
This means no drive letter is assigned to it and thus the disk is not shared on the network
and thus all backups fail because the drive is not available
Just switching the disk off and on again makes the disk re-appear.

I already googled for this, but didn't find any info to help me further.

 
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guydeschepper
Asked:
guydeschepper
2 Solutions
 
garycaseCommented:
Let's look at one issue at a time:

First, copying large files:  the drive is likely formatted with FAT32, which has a 4GB file size limit.   You can confirm this by going to My Computer, highlighting your external drive, right-clicking, and selecting Properties.   What does it say for "File System" ??

Second, the "frequent corruption" ==>  the drive MAY simply be failing.   But assuming that's not the case;  do you ALWAYS use "Safely Remove" before removing the drive?   If you've unplugged it (or turned it off) without doing that, that's likely the cause of the corruption.   You may want to simply do a complete reformat of the drive.   The BEST test of the drive would be to run Spinrite (from http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm) on the drive -- not free, but far-and-away the best disk testing utility you can get.  (and it does a non-destructive complete reformat of the drive -- preserving all of your data in the process)

If you want to fix the 4GB limit (assuming the drive is indeed formatted with FAT32), you can simply do this:
(a)  Connect the drive and note the drive letter
(b)  Open a Command Prompt window (Start - Accessories - Command Prompt)
(c)  Type "convert X: /fs:ntfs"  where X is the drive letter of the drive
(d)  Wait for it to finish -- you can now copy large files to the drive with no problem


As for the drive not always being detected at boot time -- is it always ON ??   If so, you may have an issue with your USB ports.   Try using a different USB port for the drive.
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pgm554Commented:
I have a customer with a Maxtor One Touch(250 gb).

I have had similar issues .

Maxtor drives are pieces of garbage and the folks at Maxtor don't have a clue.

If you can return it ,do it.

Otherwise I would be VERY wary of it's reliability.


See my thread:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_21849079.html
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garycaseCommented:
I've also seen a lot of issues with Maxtors -- and don't use them anymore.   But that's water over the dam if you already have a Maxtor :-)   Hopefully a simple reformat (and I would really suggest spending the $$ for Spinrite to refresh and test the drive) will resolve this.

pgm554 -- I looked over your other thread => I'd suggest you remove the drive from the external enclosure and attach it to an internal IDE (or SATA, as required) port.   Recovery software generally works better with a direct port connection.

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pgm554Commented:
It's allready fixed,but if you break the seal on the enclosure,you void the warranty.
So no quick fixes.
Maxtor seems to have come with another winner.
I hope Seagate can do something with them to improve the QA.
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pgm554Commented:
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pgm554Commented:
Check out these reviews:

http://www.shopireland.ie/electronics/reviews/B00068DHR4/2/

I realize this doesn't solve your problem,but if anybody reads this thread doing research,they will be informed of the horrendous issues with this line of drives and not buy them.
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guydeschepperAuthor Commented:
@garycase:
I just verified and the file format is indeed FAT32 (doh)

The reason for the corruption shouldn't be that the drive is failing I think, as this has been always the case (from day one).
Ok, I know a new disk can be bad too, but currently I have no reason to think that's the reason why files get corrupted.
This brings me to your next question: Do I always remove the drive using "Safely Remove Hardware" ?
Well, that's a difficult question ;-)
In fact I never remove the drive as I want it to be avaialble all the time (as it is for backup purposes).
But from time to time, the server gets rebooted and then I don't first disconnect the drive using the "Safely Remove Hardware" option.
Also, whenever the drive isn't recognized after (re)boot, I have to switch off and back on the drive.
Maybe this causes the corruption ??
But if so, what else can I do ? The drive isn't recognized, so I can't use the "Safely Remove Hardware" option in this case.

Hereby your last question is also answered, but I'll answer it explicitly:
yep, the drive is always on (although I think the drive has some kind of sleep function build in,
which may be causing the "not-detected" behaviour, but I'm not sure about that)

Maybe I'll buy spinrite as I heard lot's of good response about it, but first I want to find out what's causing the corruption.

@pgm554:
thanks for the links, I'll read through them and see if I can get any helpfull information out of it

@both:
Thanks for the great and fast help so far
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norganCommented:
i have the same problem with  a 500Gb external network maxtor drive, it just reaffirms my feelings about maxtor being a heap of Sh**.

internal or external i have had nothing but probs with maxtor drives, it;s a real shame that maxtor swalloed up quantum and now seagate have swalloed maxtor. lets just hope that seagate decides to scrap the maxtor plants and drive models.

my fingers are crossed.
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