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Why is my external hard drive freezing my pc?

by blownit / February 3, 2012 5:07 AM PST

I hadn't turned on my external HD for some weeks, but now when I do my pc freezes up, except that I can move the curser, which will move about the screen. I cannot open, or close any programs, and Control/Alt/Delete does not open the usual list of activities. When I try to close a program I get the message that it is "unresponsive". When this happened repeatedly I assumed there was a fault with the HD and spent £50 on a new one, only to find the pc behaves in exactly the same way with the new HD. I have run Chkdsk and no errors were found. What can I do next, please? Running XP Home.

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by blownit

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Have you tried ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 3, 2012 2:26 PM PST

the external drive on different USB ports? (I am ASSUMING a USB ecternal as you havent' told us but the same suggestion applies to SCSI, E-SATA, or Firewire externals)

While the external is NOT attached take a look at the Applications and System logs with your Event Viewer and see if any problems are noted.

Follow Bob's advice and make that Ubuntu Live CD or download this smaller purpose positioned Live Rescue CD which is only 175 meg and see if you can boot the CD with that external attached then use Midnight Commander File manager to see if you can see the external drive. This can help determine if the problem is hardware or software.

Try the external on a powered USB hub.

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Sorry, I'm stuck on making the LiveCD CD
by blownit / February 4, 2012 12:31 AM PST
In reply to: Have you tried ...

I'm following up your suggestion re. Dr Web, but find his instructions as to how to make the bootable CD a bit confusing. I have now got two folders on my PC: "BOOT" and "boot", both with content. Do I copy both the folders to the CD, or just the content of one, or both the folders? He just refers to "the Image" in the good doctor's instructions.
Thanks for your help.

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Here's a link showing every step of making the boot CD.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 4, 2012 4:41 AM PST
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When you downloaded the file it ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 4, 2012 11:55 AM PST

was named drweb-livecd-600.iso and if the file you downloaded has any other name (such as drwebliveusb.exe) click that link and download the ISO file. An ISO file is an image file and you do not copy it anywhere, you burn the image to CD using your CD burning software.

This link steps you through the burning of the file to CD:

1. Download the Dr.Web LiveCD image.
2. Burn the image onto a CD/DVD. Users of Nero Burning ROM should proceed as follows:

a. Insert a blank CD/DVD into your CD/DVD recorder
b. Click on the "File" menu and select "Open"
c. Browse through folders to the image location and select it
d. Press the "Burn" button, and wait while the image is being written to the disk

3. Make sure that the CD/DVD drive or any other device with Dr.Web LiveCD is set as the first-boot device. Adjust corresponding BIOS settings, if necessary.
4. As loading starts, a dialogue window will prompt you to choose between the standard and safe modes.

If your CD burning software is something other than Nero tell us what it is and we can guide you or better yet read this link as it tells how to use a couple of other burner applications as well as two quick and easy freeware iso burners. Also, if you have no burning software such as Nero or Ashampoo, or Roxio or NTI you could download and install CDBurnerXP which is also freeware. The splash window when you start it has writing an ISO to CD as a clickable choice.

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Acronis Image or XP Repair?
by blownit / February 9, 2012 8:12 PM PST

I seem to have established that the problem is software rather than hardware based. On this assumption I am contemplating either (1) Restoring the C Drive to an Acronis True Image (some months old) that I have on a separate internal hard drive, or (2) trying to undertake a Windows repair with the original (pre Service pack2) CD.
I have never done either before, and wonder if you experts have opinions about the advisability of these routes out of my problem with the external hard drives.

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You claim it's software but then don't tell what software?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 9, 2012 11:41 PM PST

Here it sounds like the OS on a new machine. I can't tell but there are many tomes about that. Here's the google for you to see what you are in for.

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Using Acronis True Image solves the problem
by blownit / February 10, 2012 10:02 AM PST

I took the plunge and restored the PC to an image that I had backed up a few months ago. Seems to have resolved the problem. It has made me realise that I should make these Backed up images of my Partitions more often.
Thanks for peoples replies.

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There are too many causes and reasons.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2012 6:13 AM PST
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But my new HD is empty!
by blownit / February 3, 2012 7:39 AM PST

Thanks, R.Proffitt. You suggest that there maybe some corruption on the drive, but the new HD is virgin territory. The problem has to be on the PC side. No?

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Let's say it is.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2012 7:49 AM PST

I can't find the make, model to begin asking questions about drivers.

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