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HD not accessible

Posted on 2006-07-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
This about the 8th HD that this has happened to. They are all between 160gig and 200gig and I have used Seagate, Western Digital and Maxtor Drives on different PC's and with Win98 and WinXP and I get the same problem on all of them. I use the drives as backup drives (I am using Second Copy to make backups) and I make backups every hour.The drives will work fine for about a month to 6weeks and everything will seem fine. Then one day I will shut them down and the next morning start them up and I will get a message that I need to format the drive because it is unrecognisable. Everything is then gone, if I click on properties it shows 0bytes on size and that the format is raw. All drives I always format NTFS. I am using a 34 PC peer-to-peer network with 5 Win98 PC, 2 Win2000 PC's and the rest XP.The PC storing the Drives is connected to a surge protector and it has only XP and Second Copy installed on it.
Question by:Abrie123
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 17079628
are you even not been able to recover the data with recovery software? like these :

http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/collection/0,collid,1295,00.asp            Free Recovery
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm                              Spinrite
http://www.runtime.org/                                    GetDataBack
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                                    Stellar
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                  Easy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration

Author Comment

ID: 17079660
I have used Easy recovery and I can recover the data, but I mean this is not right , I cannot recover data and replace HD's every month. I need some stability , something I can rely on as a backup.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 17079856
i understand what you say, but the only thing i know right now, is that the USB protocol and system is very unstable.
There are many complaints over it. maybe firewire is a better choice ? But then, not all PC's have firewire
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Author Comment

ID: 17079940
I am not using external drives, I am using internal removable drives.(IDE HD) so they connect using a IDE cable. Just something else , last year I ran only Win98 and I never had this problem. This year I introduced XP and it is 8 HD's and counting.

Expert Comment

ID: 17080463
I had this problem a while ago and caused me some serious problems.

Mine was an IDE removable drive too.....

I am sure one thing that caused this was it being unplugged then another removable device was being plugged in and then using up the drive letter that was originally being used by the removable IDE caddy drive.

I have since set my removable IDE drive to letter Y instead of using e or f

i'm not 100% sure but this is bugging me and ill be back later hopefully with the correct answer if what I have already suggested is wrong.


Author Comment

ID: 17080605
I am using e and f , I haven't tried other letters, but I did allocate a letter to a specific drive so it uses the same letter for the same drive every time.

Expert Comment

ID: 17081145
Have you considered a resident Virus on the PC or Network or Data been backed up. A Virus can cause such havoc. You may need to do a thorough hunt all through your PC's Network and the transferred Data.
All the Best.

Author Comment

ID: 17081277
I have AVG installed on all the PC's that have access to the Internet, so I am not sure about a virus.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 17081689
How good is your caddy system? might the Caddy be overheating the drives? Also make sure the powersupply is powerfull enough, and that the connections to the Caddies are OK.

Author Comment

ID: 17090405
I am picking up some serious problems.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday I posted this question aswell.

I have a 34 PC peer-to-peer network with 6 Win98 PC's, 2 Win2000 PC's and the rest WinXP. One of the PC's I use as a Backup PC with the HD's shared on it(2 Western Digital 160Gig HD's). Until last week I was able to browse the drives from other PC's and copy files to and from the HD as I liked. From yesterday there is certain files within the shared drive that is not accessible, apperantly I do not have permission to access the folders.If I share that specific subfolder I can access it over the network, but if I share the main folder I cannot. The only thing that changed was the size of the data on the drives, other than that everthing is as it was. I am also trying to copy the data over to another HD but quite alot of files cannot copy because access is denied , the drive might be full or write protected or in use by another program.I can see the data and browse the folders but I cannot copy it and it is not accessible over the network.

Since that question and this one things are falling apart fast.

I was on holiday last week and it looks like some of my problems started there.

I checked the event monitor and saw some of the following errors.:

An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation.

The System Restore filter encountered the unexpected error '0xC000000E' while processing the file '~SCTEMP.TMP' on the volume 'HarddiskVolume2'.  It has stopped monitoring the volume.

{Delayed Write Failed} Windows was unable to save all the data for the file . The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.

The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur.

The Distributed Link Tracking log was corrupt on volume ?: and has been re-created.  This log is used to automatically repair file links, such as Shell Shortcuts and OLE links, when for some reason those links become broken.

The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume E:.

What is going on.

Last night I started copying the data over to another drive and this morning when it was "done" I had to run a checkdisk and it recoverd orphan files and I don't know what everything else. After that about 85% of the data was gone. I formatted the drive and tried to do everthing over and I could not copy the data because almost everthing was unaccessible.

I restrated the PC about 15 times yesterday and still access issues.

I do not know what to do anymore.

I have checked another site Hardware Analysis and the idea over there is that it could just be something that is not fixable.

Thank you for any effort.
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 168 total points
ID: 17090492
This does look like the drives going. You should be able to get to the data on them using getdataback mentioned in one of the links nobus posted in his first post. With the manufacturer's disk utility you can test the drive and lowlevel format it. If you get errors there get them replaced.

Author Comment

ID: 17090675
I downloaded the manufacturer's disk utility and it is running the last checks now again but for now it checks everything as Fine.
LVL 92

Assisted Solution

nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 17090957
if you want a good drive test, use spinrite on maintenance level 4, which will rewrite your whole disk drive.
or the hitachi drive fitness test :  http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm

http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm                              Spinrite

Assisted Solution

MrAruba earned 166 total points
ID: 17104085
making backups every hour to IDE drives generates a lot of action on these drives.
One thing you surely have to do once in a while is defragment the drives. This could help keeping your drives healthy.
Another thing, enable the SMART option on these drives so that at least you get a warning when a drive is becomming unstable.

Another thing to take in consideration is changing your backup procedure. Since you're buying new disks every few weeks maybe you could save a lot of money by buying/implementing a decent backup device and/or server.

good luck,


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