Files on external hdds keep getting deleted or corrupted

meurslys0

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Apr 11, 2011
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Hi,

I have an annoying problem which causes my files to get corrupted or deleted and I am running out of patience. If you can help me with this I'd really appreciate it.

I have 4 x 3.5 inch external hdds enclosed in a 4-bay hdd raid box which is connected to the laptop via a usb cable. The hdds are not in raid configuration, they stand as simple individual disks. The hdd box has its own cooling and power. This is the product.

The hdd box shuts the hdds down after about 3 minutes of inactivity. Whenever I try to access a folder on one of the drives arter a period of inactivity, it takes a few seconds for the drive to spin up and respond. I don't mind the waiting but Windows 10 apparently does mind: before the drive can respond and display the folder contents, Windows prompts a message saying the folder is inaccessible or corrupt. Then I can access other folders on the same hdd normally, now that the drive is awaken. However the folder I first tried to access remains to be inaccessible. I have to run chkdsk via cmd to make that folder accessible again. Many times files would have disappeared from that folder after the chkdsk utility is run.

Also, very frequently immediately after I connect the hdd box to my laptop, I recieve a warning that one or more of the drives in the hdd box needs to be scanned and repaired. Again files get deleted after the scan and repair.

This problem started the first day I started using the hdd box and it occurs even with brand new hdds.

One solution seems to be to dump the hdd box which is worth about 150 $ and find one that doesn't shut down the hdds after a period of inactivity.

I know there are little programs that keep an hdd awake constantly by writing on it a small file every minute or so. However this solution decreases the life of the hdds.

What I would like to know is whether there's a way to alter Windows' reaction to the delayed access to the waking hdd? I believe if I can configure Windows to wait longer before deciding the folder can't be accessed, the problem would go away. Can this be done?

Or what can I do to solve this problem?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

 
Configure power management of your USB attached storage device
(uncheck "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" in Device Manager).


Also - I'd suggest using esata connection instead of USB (if your laptop supports it).
 

meurslys0

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I reckon the drives must be damaged by now, so a test would be useful. However as I said, this problem happens even with brand new drives.



Unfortunately, neither the laptop nor the hdd box supports esata.


 

meurslys0

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The product at my home doesn't have that esata connector seen in the picture. I believe they used the pictures from the Chinese manufacturer's identical product for another brand, however the product from the DARK brand that I use doesn't have that esata connector, only USB.
 
I actually had to return an external enclosure for a similar reason. The slow response when spinning up the drives was making my security camera program pop up a timeout error, and refuse to write data to the enclosure. Check to see if the enclosure has a setting to disable spinning down the drives. (If you're OK with the drives spinning 100% of the time when the enclosure is on. In my case this wasn't an option. Since the enclosure was for long-term storage of security camera footage, it was going to be plugged in and turned on 24/7, and I didn't want the drives spinning 24/7.)

A different enclosure worked fine despite spinning down the drives. Sometimes it takes 15-20 seconds to become ready, but Windows doesn't have a problem with it. So I suspect there's some command the HDD enclosure is supposed to send Windows to inform it that it's waiting for a drive to spin up, so please be patient. And the problem enclosures are not sending this command.

I did not encounter the corruption problem on the enclosure I returned. Though I only played with it for a few hours after discovering the problem.
 

meurslys0

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I may have to replace the enclosure after all.
 

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