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Question Inaccessible External Hard Drive

Stepfly

Reputable
Jul 27, 2016
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4,510
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Hi

Hoping for some help with a faulty, probably dying external hard drive. Apologies in advance for any incorrect terms. I’m not very tech savvy. Working on an Intel i3 8GB Ram. Windows 10 Home. It’s an older Seagate 2TB external HDD with its own plug in power.

When connected device takes a few minutes to register, but when it does – in windows explorer – my pc “sees” it, & shows folders, files at the top level of the hierarchy. I’m able to click through to the folders. See the files within. Seems “accessible”.

However, after between 5-10 mins of being connected it disconnects and I get a ‘The last USB device you connected to this computer malfunctioned, Windows does not recognize it' error msg.

No clicking or beeping sounds from the drive itself. Sounds as if operating normally.

I ran CHKDSK as an administrator. The process seems to proceed ok until Stage 4. After 2 instances of replacing bad clusters it fails out with this message:

“A disk read error occurred c000000e
The disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters detected in file FA of name.
An unspecified error occurred (6e74667363686b2e b33).
An unspecified error occurred (6e74667363686b2e 1729)”


Reading up on “The Disk Does Not Have Enough Space to Replace Bad Clusters” I installed and ran Victoria (v5.28). It sees the drive, but any attempt to run S.M.A.R.T. on it causes the drive to disconnect as per above. Tried an earlier build of Victoria (4.3), but that just outputs an: “error reading S.M.A.R.T!” message.

Any advice on what I could try next would be really great.

I want to get as much of the content files – images, video, text – off if I can.

If not, could I clone or take an image of the drive – and how do I retrieve the files once I’ve done so? If that wasn’t possible, simply getting a file list so I can work out what I’m losing would be something.

Many thanks if you can help.

Stepfly
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
I would stop trying to repair it and start pulling files off ASAP as it sounds like it could go any time. I hope that you can retrieve the important files and then learn that backup to an external drive is no backup, as they fail many ways. Once you get off the files back them up to multiple locations, and consider cloud among those.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Just to be clear, a backup is a second (or more) copy of important files stored on different devices that can be disconnected from the PC and hopefully power as well (to prevent a surge from damaging it)

If you really need the data - send the drive out.
Otherwise imaging the drive and running recovery against theimage is the preferred method. I'm just not sure how you will get an image with the drive in this condition and with limited time the connection remains active.

Which exact model# is this drive? Perhaps it can be placed into an external enclosure and be able to remain connected longer.
 

Stepfly

Reputable
Jul 27, 2016
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4,510
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Just to be clear, a backup is a second (or more) copy of important files stored on different devices that can be disconnected from the PC and hopefully power as well (to prevent a surge from damaging it)

If you really need the data - send the drive out.
Otherwise imaging the drive and running recovery against theimage is the preferred method. I'm just not sure how you will get an image with the drive in this condition and with limited time the connection remains active.

Which exact model# is this drive? Perhaps it can be placed into an external enclosure and be able to remain connected longer.
Ok. thanks. Model is STBV2000200 Expansion Desktop. I'll investigate the possibility of imaging and/ or an enclosure. Cheers for taking the time to answer. Much appreciated.
 

Stepfly

Reputable
Jul 27, 2016
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Those typically use a Sata drive with Seagates USB adapter on them so you should be able to open it and remove the drive to use directly in another pc or in a usb adapter/dock.

Disassembly:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RQv9raiPQg
Thanks a lot for the extra information, and the youtube link. As suggested, I'm just looking to try and get as many files off ASAP before the drive fails completely.

Is there a chance that if I remove the SATA drive and use a usb adapter or install in my pc that I might be able to gain access to the files via a file manager, or would it be better to just go directly to trying to image the drive? (the latter seems a bit complex for my level - but I'll give it a go, if needs be!)

Is there any functional difference between using a usb adapter or installing in a pc i.e. is either more likely/ less to succeed, or no difference at all?

I'm just trying to decide what's the most straightforward method for someone with very minor tech knowledge, in the fewest steps to preserve the limited life of the drive before failure. At present, I simply can't access any files to remove/ copy them off. I don't have the spare funds to pay for a professional recovery job.

Cheers again for taking the time to help.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Removing the drive is a step see if the enclosures controller was the source of the issue.
  • If it was then you should be able to rescue your files fairly easily.
  • If it was not then you'll still have the same issue and be no worse off.
Given the issue, I don't think you'll be able to get a full image of the drive in the 10 minutes you have IF the problem is the issue and not the controller. But how do we test that once the drive is removed?

Does the drive currently (ie - in the seagate enclosure) 'drop out' after about 10 minutes even if you do nothing with it?
I'm trying to see if there will be an easy way to tell if the problem goes away if its out of the enclosure that also minimizes any extra damage to the drive.
 

Stepfly

Reputable
Jul 27, 2016
7
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4,510
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That makes sense. Thanks.

Yes, it seems like the drive does "drop out" after about 10 mins without any interaction (it also takes an unusual amount of time - a min or so - for the drive to register/ appear in File Explorer in the first place).

Does that imply the enclosure is the issue... Or is it an indicator the drive itself is the culprit.

It sounds like there isn't much to be gained by leaving it in the enclosure, and little lost if I try to remove it.

I'm assuming the worst outcome is that I'm in the same situation I am now?
 

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