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Corrupted file recovery on external drive

by ramzreview / February 9, 2007 10:22 PM PST

I recently started using an external hard drive with a USB 2.0 connection to backup all my important documents. The drive is USB powered and NTFS formatted.

On multiple occasions during file transfers the drive would 'hang' and explorer would become "Not responding" and I would be unable to "safely remove USB device", forcing me to turn off the PC or yank the USB cable out.

Now many of my documents and folders have become "corrupted" and unaccessible. Is there any way I could salvage that data or restore it?

I appreciate any advice...

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Is your post "correct"?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 9, 2007 11:25 PM PST

"using an external hard drive with a USB 2.0 connection to backup all my important documents."

This means to me this is a backup and not the only copy. If the only copy then where is the backup? That is, you did write backup and not "to store all my..."

The issue of USB powered drives is not unknown. Try adding a powered USB HUB or if your unit supports it, add a power supply to it.

If it is backup, then just delete the partition, create and format a new partition and begin again but keep an eye out for corruption. If it does corrupt then make it a warranty issue.


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Sorry, meant archive
by ramzreview / February 10, 2007 12:11 AM PST

Oh sorry about that Bob, what I meant to say was archive really, not backup. The data on the disk is the only copy left of those documents.

Your advice is great for the future, but is there any means to restore corrupted files on an external drive like mine?

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Still 2 steps required.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 10, 2007 12:37 AM PST
In reply to: Sorry, meant archive

First the power issue should be addressed. The simplest fix could be to add an USB 2.0 powered hub. Most ports are "not great" power sources. Dropouts can lead to corruption. NTFS was a good choice but is damage resistant not damage proof.

OK, once you have good power to the drive you can look at solutions like GETDATABACK and ZAR (Zero Assumption Recovery) on

I strongly suggest the drive be set aside until the power issue is tackled.

-> More about the future. Backup and archive is where we have multiple copies. This area is well discussed but today you don't get this from the vendors of machines or hardware.

My backup is on a few devices, 3 kinds of media. My quick backup is to an NAS or hard disk that is on the network. This is quick so it helps to keep daily backups done. Next is another copy to a secure server of works that can't be lost. From the works that can't be lost server we have 3 sets of DVDRW media. And finally I have a distillation of what I can't lose ever on a 4GB memory stick that I can take with me everywhere I go.

I'm serious about backup.


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