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External Hard Drive file system corrupt and unreadable

Running Windows XP home, well-protected from viruses and spyware with all the usual recommended programs. I have a 160G external firewire hard drive, NTFS system. Cannot access data all of a sudden, I am getting an error message, "file system corrupt and unreadable." In disk management, the drive is listed as healthy, 160G, but no NTFS listed. What could have caused this, and is there a way to retrieve the data? Are there any low-cost or freeware programs to do this, or is it inevitable to spend a "fortune?"

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Review...

In reply to: External Hard Drive file system corrupt and unreadable

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question for Bob (or anyone else!) about CHKDSK

In reply to: Review...

Bob, does it make a difference whether you run CHKDSK from the command line or from right-clicking properties/tools/error checking on the drive?

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Maybe.

In reply to: question for Bob (or anyone else!) about CHKDSK

Try both. Me? I'm a command line person.

Best of luck,

Bob

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Both?

In reply to: Maybe.

LOL... once you try one, doesn't it negate the effects of trying the other? Why do you prefer command line, anyway? Just trying to learn the pro's & con's.

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It was not documented.

In reply to: Both?

Microsoft didn't document how they differ, but I use the command window version when I run into this. Some people can't use a command line so they can only use the other.

Best of luck,

Bob

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Couldn't run CHKDSK, ended up using GetDataBack and reformat

In reply to: Review...

Didn't have time to mess with taking the drive out of the external case and putting it in the computer as a slave drive, so the CHKDSK wouldn't work on it. (I tried both methods, command prompt and error checking tools.) Decided to purchase GetDataBack and it worked very well. Reformatted external and put back the data, and it seems to be running as well as before.

A related question: sometimes this drive is difficult to remove -- when clicking on the ''Safely Remove Hardware'' icon on the taskbar, it says, ''Problem ejecting USB device; cannot stop generic volume'' and this is when I can't find any programs or open windows that might be trying to access it. Why would this happen, and in this case, if I really want to shut the drive off, is it safe to shut down windows completely and turn the drive off before rebooting? And what about if I reboot rather than shut down -- can I then shut off the drive before windows restarts?

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The usual

In reply to: Couldn't run CHKDSK, ended up using GetDataBack and reformat

1. Motherboard drivers are not installer or out of date.
Very few know that Microsoft does not do this for us.

2. There is an error in the external unit. Bad cable, bad housing, drive, etc.
Sadly, the makers don't supply good diagnostics.

Bob

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is it safe to shut it off after windows shuts down?

In reply to: The usual

and right before it reboots? And how do I go about finding motherboard drivers? By the way, this doesn't happen ALL the time, just too often for convenience's sake.

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It should be ok.

In reply to: is it safe to shut it off after windows shuts down?

If not, you have some toxic brew of parts or failing parts.

As to motherboard drivers, I can't tell you where since there is no detail in your post. Look up BELARC ADVISOR if you have some no-name machine or if a name machine, just go to their website. http://www.usbman.com has far too many posts about outdated BIOS and motherboard drivers and USB woes.

Bob

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Plumax PM-350C2-EPB IDE to USB2.0 & IEEE 1394 dual fan encl

In reply to: It should be ok.

Sorry to keep bothering you, but I am having no luck googling this on my own, I am going in circles. The instruction booklet says that no drivers are needed with this device for Windows XP. There is a driver CD enclosed, but I can't seem to run any of the executables... I double-click them and nothing happens.

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Just what I've learned.

In reply to: Plumax PM-350C2-EPB IDE to USB2.0 & IEEE 1394 dual fan encl

PC? Connect with USB 2.0
Mac? Firewire.

The Plumax is the drive case and no drivers should be required. http://www.usbman.com gives guidance about BIOS and motherboard drivers but I can't do that since I have no names and model numbers to work with. If you want to continue, reveal the make/model of the host machine (the PC.)

Bob

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eMachines T3092, AMD Athlon 3000+

In reply to: Just what I've learned.

It would be quite a shame if I couldn't use Firewire since I will need to go get another USB hub. Which, by the way, this problem ejecting has happened when connected with either Firewire, or USB. Just thought it might be useful to mention that. Also, the drive itself is a Maxtor, 160G, if that helps.

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Aha? You are using Firewire on a hard disk?

In reply to: eMachines T3092, AMD Athlon 3000+

For me it's game over. I've learned my lesson on this one. Sorry, I don't know a cure.

About drivers. Head to gateway.com or such and see if you have their latest drivers.

Bob

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sorry, Bob, now you've lost me! maybe I didn't explain it?

In reply to: Aha? You are using Firewire on a hard disk?

This external hard drive enclosure comes with both firewire and usb connections. You are supposed to put a hard disk into it. What on earth prompted that "aha" response from you? Is it so wrong to use firewire on a hard disk if the enclosure was made for it? Please explain where you are coming from. And exactly what lesson you learned. I am just trying to understand what you are talking about.

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Your choice.

In reply to: sorry, Bob, now you've lost me! maybe I didn't explain it?

But many complain about firewire, dataloss and Windows.

You can write from now to forever about "it should work (firewire)" but here's the choice:

a. Take my lesson learned and start using it exclusively on USB 2.0.
b. Keep doing what you are doing with it connecting to firewire.

If you go with b, all you you'll get from me is "Yup, I've seen that and here's the lesson I've learned."

Hope this helps you understand my outlook on this.

In closing, if you get a Mac, you're ready to use the firewire connection there.

Bob

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Oh, THAT lesson learned. This problem happens with USB too.

In reply to: Your choice.

I understand what you are saying and I will take your advice and keep it exclusively to USB. But my original problem still stands, that sometimes, even when I was on the USB connection, I had this problem ejecting the device. I am not sure exactly which drivers I am supposed to be looking for... for the external case? For the Maxtor hard disk? I thought that with XP I didn't need drivers.

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Did your E-Machine come with a CD

In reply to: eMachines T3092, AMD Athlon 3000+

with the operating system and drivers? If so, see if there are drivers for the USB 2.0 or firewire port on the disk.

Have you tried to connect the hard drive to another computer and see if it works?

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I don't even know if I NEED new drivers

In reply to: Did your E-Machine come with a CD

Everything was installed already when I got the computer, and the only disk that it came with has the xp rescue that will reformat the os if I put it in. I am not having trouble getting the hard drive to work, it works fine. The only problem I am having is that sometimes it refuses to allow removal when I click on the taskbar remove hardware icon, even if no programs are accessing it, and Bob had suggested a driver update.

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You wrote:

In reply to: I don't even know if I NEED new drivers

"Cannot access data all of a sudden, I am getting an error message, "file system corrupt and unreadable."

That doesn't sound like everything is working fine to me.


"Everything was installed already when I got the computer, and the only disk that it came with has the xp rescue that will reformat the os if I put it in."


Of course everything was installed when you bought the computer. They don't sell many do-it-yourself types. That doesn't mean the drivers never need to be upgraded.

E-machine doesn't provide driver downloads. At least I've never found anything on the web site. So if you do need updated drivers, you will need to know what hardware is installed and find them online. Good luck.

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original problem was fixed, this is an aside issue

In reply to: You wrote:

I guess you didn't follow the thread through to the end before you posted. I managed to salvage the data with GetDataBack, reformatted the drive, put back the data, and it's been working fine, except for the problem that probably caused the corruption in the first place: sometimes it is difficult to eject or remove the volume from the taskbar, and I may have inadvertently turned it off without permission. As to eMachines website not having driver downloads, I found one there. It was hiding in tech support, and you have to choose from drop-down menus for your machine. My question was still whether or not I really needed to update it, since it seems I already have that driver installed.

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external hard drive corruption

In reply to: External Hard Drive file system corrupt and unreadable

A word of warning to users of ertenal hard drives. Do not unplug them while your computer is up, unless you have checked the ''safely remove hardware'' aplet on your task bar, and it says your device is safe to remove. If you have any open files, unplugging in this state may corrupt your disc. Get in the habit of checking this aplet before unplugging an external drive while hot.

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Due to reply depth, I start here.

In reply to: External Hard Drive file system corrupt and unreadable

As to what drivers, it is the "motherboard drivers." Widely discussed at http://www.usbman.com not only the drivers are noted but workarounds for issues with some USB chipsets.

-> Please bear in mind I will not duplicate USBMAN's web content since it's there for us to read and I have to abide by the forum rules. The content is pretty deep and again, in recap:

a. Get your latest motherboard drivers.
b. Review USBMAN for possible issues about the chipset used in your machine.
c. If you ever connected with firewire, it's never clear if some filesystem damage occured.

I forgot one item along the way or we didn't get to it. Windows XP SP1 is not good enough with USB drives over 127GB. Microsoft apparently slipped in a patch in SP2 that is not available to XP SP1 owners. If you have not applied SP2 then that's yet another reason for the troubles.

Best of luck,

Bob

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I have SP2

In reply to: Due to reply depth, I start here.

Thank you for the advice, and I will read the usbman info. I hope the firewire didn't already cause irreparable damage... nobody tells you anything about this until AFTER you have a major problem! Sigh.

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about ready to give up; totally confused

In reply to: Due to reply depth, I start here.

I went to usbman and didn't know what I was looking for. So I guessed that I should check for clues in the device manager on my computer. Under Computer, it says ACPI Uniprocessor PC. Under system devices, it listed Microsoft System Management BIOS driver. So I went back to usbman and clicked on Microsoft in the alphabetical list for driver updates, and it just sent me to the Microsoft site, where I ran around in circles. So I went back to the device manager and clicked on properties on the Microsoft System Management BIOS driver and clicked on "update driver." I had Windows search the internet and it came back telling me there are no more appropriate drivers than the one I have. Is there nothing more I can do? And did I even take the right steps so far? I am still such a newbie in so many of these issues.

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For example.

In reply to: about ready to give up; totally confused

But first a note about motherboard drivers. The first place to get those is the machine's maker. They usually put them under 'drivers' on the web page for your machine.

The USB CHIPSET is easy to sniff out if you try EVEREST http://www.snapfiles.com/get/everest.html or BELARC ADVISOR. Armed with that, FOR EXAMPLE ONLY...

You can see VIA and SIS patches and drivers noted at http://www.usbman.com/USB%202%20News.htm Elsewhere workarounds are noted such as http://www.usbman.com/Guides/VIA%20Tips%20and%20Tricks.htm where some common problems are noted.

Hope this helps.

Bob

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Installed Everest Home Edition... it's cool, but now what?

In reply to: For example.

I must be REALLY REALLY stupid, because I am still going around in circles. According to this Everest program, my chipset has Device Description
North Bridge: nVIDIA nForce2 IGP, revision A2,and also Device Description South Bridge: nVIDIA MCP2-T, revision A4. I couldn't find anything related to that on usbman, but I went on the eMachines site and went to the download page for T3092, and they had this driver available for download: Motherboard driver nVidia MCP2 Driver Set version 3.77. I downloaded it, but can't figure out whether this is the version I have, or a newer version. Would it do any harm to install it ''again'' over the one I have, if it is the same version? *whine* Am I almost there yet?

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Looks good.

In reply to: Installed Everest Home Edition... it's cool, but now what?

I checked around and that's a current version for the nforce2 boards. Reading a bit more found this passage inside some driver file.

"This application note addresses the compatibility of the NVIDIA

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LOL! I've been USING a usb 2.0 hub all along!

In reply to: Looks good.

So did I understand you correctly, that I already have the most recent driver and don't need to re-install what I've downloaded? This still doesn't give me ideas for change, since I've been using the 2.0 hub anyway. But at least I've been made aware that there was a problem. Now what?

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Bad choice of words.

In reply to: LOL! I've been USING a usb 2.0 hub all along!

The latest drivers address the USB issues. I found it interesting that there is some issue and copied the passage I found interesting.

When I see such problems I tackle what I can update. BIOS and motherboard drivers.

Bob

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Huh? Sorry, I'm so confused after struggling with this all

In reply to: Bad choice of words.

Bob, I know you like to talk a little bit in code and have people figure things out for themselves, but I'm all thinked out for now. Please just tell me straight, do I have the latest drivers, or should I install what I downloaded from the eMachines website? You said use the hub, which I've been doing all along. I'm still just not clear on whether my drivers are up to date or not, based on the info I gave you from Everest and what I've downloaded.

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