Seagate external drive problems


May 29, 2010
A while ago (several months) I purchased a 1.5TB external expansion drive, Model# ST315005EXA101-RK. Since then I have filled about half of its capacity with various files, including movies/music/documents etc. Using Win 7 64bit, I've begun to notice some strange issues with the drive that make me nervous as I have lots of relatively important stuff on the disk, but don't have enough room on other drives (internal and external) to backup everything. This is what usually happens: The drive will work fine with no problems for a while, then it will suddenly seem as if there's no data on the disk. I can still see the disk in Windows Explorer and Disk Management and if I click on properties it will still show the correct total, used, and free capacities, but when I go to use or view any files or directories in Explorer nothing appears. The drive ( H: ) will still show up, but when clicked on I get a message saying "This folder is empty" rather than my data containing folders and subfolders. Also when I go to try and stop the device using the Win option to Safely remove Hardware and Eject Media, I get a error message saying the device is busy and/or in use. Now I'm usually able to solve this problem by unplugging the USB cable from the PC, then unplugging the power cable from the drive and plugging it back in a few seconds later. Sometimes I'll even get a message from Windows saying the drive must be formatted before it can be used (like it's a brand new drive) but after doing the unplugging routine it will go back to normal, and all my files appear and work fine. This has happened a few times in the last few months, and like I said I really don't want to lose all my data, but don't have anywhere to back it up to, unless I were to buy another large external drive (though that would sort of defeat the purpose of why I purchased this one to begin with). I googled this and searched these forums, but didn't see anything specific to the issues I'm having, so if anyone could offer their advice or assistance, I would be very grateful. Thanks, in advance, for your help.

This pic shows the disk properties and you can clearly see it's recognizing the correct amount of used and free data, along with total capacity. However, in the explorer window to the right it's showing the "H" drive as being empty.