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Insane problem with Maxtor one-touch 500 Gig!

by zanyzangetsu / February 13, 2010 8:10 PM PST

I am freaking out. I received a Maxtor One-Touch 500 gig External Hard Drive for my birthday last year. I have been using it without any problems up until today.

I have all my music, all my backups, and all my videos stored on this thing.

Today, I open up the next episode of Bones with VLC media player, and it plays the first 8 seconds and freezes. Curious, I open up other files in the same folder, and they all behave the same.

So, I figure now would be a great time to defrag my external, and my computer. I also run Ccleaner, spybot, and uninstall some old programs.

The problem is now worse. It seems that around 70% of my eternal is messed up in some way, even the .txt files! I can click on an episode from House MD, and VLC or WMP will play a song from Journey! They are in completely separate directories, but are somehow connected.

The documents I had stored on there respond similarly. If they are linked to something that notepad is not meant to read, they display strange characters or boxes. I have no idea what is going on, but it seems like something has messed with the file structure and cross-linked files for some strange reason.

wiping my external and replacing all the lost media will take months, and I probably wont be able to recover everything. If there is any way to correct the file system and make it so that Bones episodes dont play music from my Turisas collection, I would love to hear it.

Things I have done:

Defraged several times
Uninstalled and re-installed VLC
Downloaded codec packs
Tried other media players
Scanned for viruses
Stubbornly clicked videos over and over, hoping for different results
Died a little inside
Googled like a madman
made a cnet account.

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Re: maxtor external corrupted
by Kees Bakker / February 13, 2010 8:34 PM PST

With a corrupted hard disk, defragging is one of the things you certainly should NOT do. Chkdsk with repair option is the only sensible thing.

All you can do now: format the drive (the partition) and start all over. And, yes, you'll lose everything that you don't have a backup of. That's a very common thing with external drives.

There are several reasons this could have happened:
1. Bad disk, bad case, bad cable. The best thing to do then: throw away the broken component.
2. Unreliable USB-port on the PC. The best thing to do then: use another USB port.
3. You didn't 'safely remove hardware'. The only remedy: don't do that again.
4. A one-time power interruption. Difficult to prevent except using an UPS.
5. A one-time software fluke. Can happen. Difficult to prevent.

Sorry to read about your loss. Be more careful in the future. Maybe the Bones collection on DVD (see for example) is a nice birthday present for this year?


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by zanyzangetsu / February 13, 2010 8:34 PM PST

So, the one thing I had yet to try was to unplug my external, and then start it back up.

Worked like a charm.

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Glad to read. Good job.
by Kees Bakker / February 13, 2010 8:55 PM PST
In reply to: Sigh...

But I assumed all that work you mentioned had taken several days, including at least one shutdown each night and reboot each morning. So either all that work was done in just one day, or you're one of that people that leave their machine on continually. That's not what Windows is made for.

Anyway, don't forget the lesson about backup of data on an external. If you read through this forum, you'll see many posts about problems with external drives resulting in data loss.


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by zanyzangetsu / February 13, 2010 9:21 PM PST

Nope, all this took place in the space of a few hours. See, I was going to have a friend over to watch the shows with me. When I started one of them to see if everything was fine and it didnt work, I freaked out.

I happen to be one of those people who leave their computer on continuously. I have read that starting up is the most stressful thing a hard drive can do, so I thought I was doing my system a service by leaving it on continuously.

How exactly is windows not made for continuous running? I thought the only time windows needed to reboot was when a program was installed.

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Re: turning off
by Kees Bakker / February 13, 2010 9:38 PM PST
In reply to: Hmm...

I don't think turning a harddrive off and on each day does have any negative influence on it's lifetime. In fact, it can be argued it has a positive influence. Mean time between failures is measured in hours of operation, without any mention of stops during that period.

There are hard drives in camcorders and mp3-players that only run when needed (to conserve battery live). Windows has energy-saving options that turn off the hard drive after a certain period of inactivity. They wouldn't do that if it's harmful.

The main effect of leaving a computer on 24/7 is a higher electricity bill. The price of the power consumed during the night in the lifetime of a PC is comparable to the price of a new hard disk.


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