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External Hard drive issues

Posted on 2006-06-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I purchased  a Simpletech USB 2.0/firewire drive with the intention of sharing it between multiple XP computers.

It came preformatted for NTFS and installed out of the box with no problem.

I changed the ID so that it wouldn't conflict with other external drives currently used on my systems and then copied files. I was able to move the drive from my desktop to my laptop with no problem, the 1st time. I copied data from my laptop to the hard drive.

When I attempted to read the data on my desktop, the drive was recognized with the name and ID is specified but I receive the message:

W:\is not accessible. The file or directory is corruped and unreadable.

I have used software to recover my data and sucessfully reformated the drive.  The identical problems have been repeated reformatting with my desktop, my laptop and my husband's desktop.

All of of systems are running Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Can you suggest anything?

Thanks,

Kim
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Question by:fentoninc
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Callandor earned 150 total points
ID: 17012087
When you disconnect the drive, you HAVE to use the software eject on the taskbar, or corruption can happen.  The reason is that OS'es like WinXP use write caching to improve performance and if the data hasn't been actually written, you can experience corruption if you remove the drive before it is finished.  The software eject forces pending writes to happen so that the data is not incomplete.
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by:Gary Case
ID: 17012717
Since you're using XP SP2 the default policy for write caching with USB devices is disabled ==> it's still best to use the Safely Remove feature;  but this shouldn't cause the issue you're having IF you (a) wait until any ongoing access to the drives has times to finish; and (b) are using the USB connection and not the firewall connection.   I don't think the policy was changed for firewall devices (but I'm not sure).

I have also seen several cases where the firewire interface with external drives was simply unreliable.  If you're using that; try using only the USB interface for a few days and see if the drive is then reliable.  If so, you can then troubleshoot a bit to determine if it's the external drive's firewire port or one of your PC's firewire ports that are causing the issue (or you can simply use the USB interface).
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Expert Comment

by:frank_rfinance
ID: 17015979
I have had a similar prob with both of my USB dirves, I overcome these issues by using the driver that can with the external cases and using the back USB ports not the ones on the case. that has seemed to work for me
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 17021008
I've had the identical problem.
It was never a problem on my desktop with no firewire.
Only occurs when I connect on a laptop via firewire. OK with laptop USB.
The problem occurred with 2 different HDDs, which rules out disc problems.
Stick with USB and, as already pointed out, to be on the safe side use the Safe Removal in your Notification area.
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