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Rolling back external USB drive

Posted on 2016-11-28
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Last Modified: 2017-01-04
Hi

One of my customers is literally pulling her hair out after the second occurrence of a weird phenomenon

She worked all weekend on some Excel (2016) files. These are budget tables with multiple links to other Excel files

These files reside on a Silicon Power Armor 2TB USB drive connected to her ASUS Windows 10 laptop

She saved the files and thought that all was well

The next day she tried to open these same files using another computer (Surface PRO 4) and the files were either missing, or in a version prior to her updates. All her work was lost  

Not sure if this is relevant but this SP Armor is on G: with the ASUS, and on D: with the Surface Pro 4 - it screws up the links in the Excel files but shouldn't be the cause of her unfortunate situation - is it possible to force a USB drive to always use the same drive letter on a computer e.g. G: ?

I suggested that to protect the value of all her hard work that she stop from time to time to save the file under another name to manually create different versions

Tonight she called back with the same situation : the work she had accomplished yesterday had once again vanished
The weird thing here is that yesterday she made a copy of the folder containing her files onto another USB drive as a precaution
Just to be clear : she copied this folder from the SP Armor over to the other USB drive

Today the SP Armor doesn't contain the result of the hours spent yesterday : the files are either missing or they don't contain yesterday's input

She connected the other USB drive and discovered that this second drive contained everything that has disappeared from the SP Armor (Phew !)

So, it would appear as if something is causing the SP Armor to rollback from the latest situation in which it was and lose/erase the previous day's file updates

Any ideas why or what could cause this to happen ?

thanks
yann
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Question by:Yann Shukor
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 41904667
If you use diskmanagement to assign drive-letters to external disks/partitions, it will use that same drive letter on that same PC later. So you just have to assign it G. on the PC, and then again on the Surface.

It is a good idea to save the data locally, and then copy it to the USB disk, as a backup, when ready. When you use the USB disk on the other machine, copy the data to that PC and work locally again.

All disks break, so having backups is always a good idea.
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CompProbSolv earned 250 total points
ID: 41904700
I would suggest that she try ejecting the drive (right-click on the drive letter, left-click on eject) after saving her work just to be sure (and then physically disconnect and reconnect it).  This ensures that the data is actually written to the drive.  I know it is a potential problem with USB sticks and assume that it is the same with a USB HD.

I would have thought that if she left it for a while the data would be pushed to the drive, but possibly not.  If ejecting it solves the problem, that will give you a good clue.

There is a setting for this that you may want to check.  In Disk Manager, right-click on the drive letter, properties, Hardware, click on the drive, properties, policies.  Make sure that "Quick removal" is checked and not "Better performance".
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by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 125 total points
ID: 41905095
I'd explore what happens when saving to a different, non-intelligent, USB flash drive.  It sounds like there is an issue in the PowerArmor drive.
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