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External hard drive saving.

by Sendouka / January 14, 2010 7:07 AM PST

I own the following 500gb external hard drive, attached constantly to my Windows XP PC, saving the bulk of my non-EXE or program files (docs, pics, etc) effectively on a constant backup. I've owned it for about two years and never had any problems with it until now.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Western-Digital-Elements-500GB-External/dp/B000OS54TA

The drive is formatted to Fat32 - got it that way and just never reformatted it. Now, with just 107gb of its space used up, I try to save one image file today to my very large (over 19,000 files not counting subdirectories) image folder and this happens. Over and over.
http://yfrog.com/j3clipboard01dlp

The drive seems to hate saving files *with a long filename*, which I gather is a complaint of some external hard drives. But the problem is: Why is it complaining about this NOW? Up until now I've been able to save any file whatsoever onto there with any filename I wanted. There are files on there with names like '00711385595004928.jpg', really. So why does this cause error now? The actual size of the picture doesn't seem to make any difference, just the filename! If the name is short, images do save onto there.

1. Is there any way I can get this drive to accept long filenames once again?
2. Would reformatting to NTFS help? Would it involve deleting or corrupting anything?
3. Would using more subdirectories help?

Thanks in advance!

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Try simple.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2010 9:11 AM PST

Try a new folder. Stuffing many files into one folder is frankly, dangerous. Even more on FAT32 volumes.

Yes we can usually convert to NTFS with no loss but the moderators all know "We only lose what we didn't backup."

So before I go one step further, could you tell where the backup copies are?
Bob

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I'll try.
by Sendouka / January 14, 2010 10:18 PM PST
In reply to: Try simple.

1. ATM, the external hard drive has no backups (<_<; >_>;). All files stored on there are just there; it's where my main collected files are kept. If it comes to that I can easily copy all/most/some of them over to my internal C: drive, however it take up like 75% of the free space, so I'd prefer to do it sparingly. It would take some hours, but I have some hours free.

2. I could also use more subdividing my Image folder, which is indeed far too stuffed. It already has about 30 subs.

If I use either of these methods, would I be able to save files freely once again? I could do both, but is it going to be necessary to also backup?

Again, would reformatting to NTFS solve my problem, or help is some way?

(BTW, my C: drive is NTFS)

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Without backup.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2010 10:25 PM PST
In reply to: I'll try.

I know better than to convert it to NTFS. Yes it should fix it but since there is no backup the conversion while it works 99.99% of the time is it worth the risk of no backup?

Only you can answer that.

Since I know the risk I won't tell you how to convert. But you can find out with a google like "Windows XP How to convert to NTFS?"

Sorry to hear another no backup story. These rarely end well. Need evidence? Look at entries in this very forum.
Bob

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no risk
by Sendouka / January 14, 2010 10:43 PM PST
In reply to: Without backup.

Well, as I've said, I CAN easily back it up - I just need to copy the files over to C. That's a backup, yes? I don't want/need to reformat C, it's NTFS already. So really I'm not taking any risks. I'll certainly make a backup before messing around with my external. OK?

Thankyou for your advice. You are right about my irresponsibility regarding the drive.

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Thank you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2010 11:11 PM PST
In reply to: no risk

For not beating me up over the repeating comments about you know what.

Hope it all turns out great!

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