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External HDD problem

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

External HDD problem

External drive has stopped working on windows 7 or to be more accurate windows is asking me to format the drive. I have tried reconnecting the drive once windows has loaded and it does say driver installed, your device is ready to use but message appears to format the drive, something I do not want to do.

The drive is recognised and can be accessed using linux mint 18.2 so as the drive is a number of years old I am thinking of purchasing a new drive and transferring the data on to that.

What is the easiest way for me to do that ? I have tons of files on the drive, my thoughts were to format a new drive with windows and then gradually transfer files into linux and then on to the new drive, is this the best solution.

 

Any thoughts or comments on any of the above would be welcome

 

Thanks

 

36 REPLIES
Pete11
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Re: External HDD problem

I was once stuck in the same situation. When I asked the local fix-it guy if he could sort it, he wanted £55 to transfer data. 

I looked around online and found a prog called Drive Clone and it worked a treat. Cloned the whole drive onto new drive with no loss of data...it even booted up when installed. Works on external drives as well.  Cool smiley

Just out of curiosity, have you scanned the offending drive for bad sectors etc? 

A float tip is pleasing in its appearance and even more pleasing in its disappearance.
Growing old is inevitable...But growing up is optional.
HotwindUK
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Re: External HDD problem

The drive might be on its last legs, so, if you have a DVD writer, I would copy the files to DVD-R or DVD+R discs using Linux Mint and then transfer them to a new external drive from the discs.

Since the external drive works with Linux Mint, there must be something wrong with Windows 7.

First try connecting the drive to a different USB port.

The drive was working with Win7, so maybe just using System Restore to restore a restore point to a date - if one is available - that predates the problem could fix it.

Maybe just installing the latest Win7 driver from the drive's manufacturer's website will fix it.

You could have a look under "Disk drives" in the Device Manager (use the Search box to find it and click on the link it provides) to see if there is a warning message - red cross, yellow exclamation mark, etc - beside its entry, which should describe it as a USB device. Also have a look for problems under Universal Serial Bus controllers in the Device Manager, because external drives use USB.

Right-clicking on the entry for the drive under "Disk drives" and using the Uninstall option removes its driver, which Win7 reinstalls on the next startup. If the driver was corrupt doing that refreshes it.

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: External HDD problem

Thanks.

I was looking at clonezilla as any windows programs would be a non starter as I cannot access the external hard drive.

I assume but may be wrong is if I formatted a new external drive in windows I could then use clonezilla to transfer all the data to the new disk, hopefully someone can confirm that for me.

 

 

Pete11
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Re: External HDD problem

Clonezilla should do it but I'm not sure of limitations..this one in particular,

  • Recovery Clonezilla live with multiple CDs or DVDs is not implemented yet. Now all the files have to be in one CD or DVD if you choose to create the recovery iso file.
A float tip is pleasing in its appearance and even more pleasing in its disappearance.
Growing old is inevitable...But growing up is optional.
Community Veteran
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Re: External HDD problem

I cannot help thinking that you don't really want to clone the faulty drive because wouldn't that clone the fault?

What has been corrupted is the bit of the partition "header" that tells the OS what the partition format is.  Maybe this would help http://www.partition-tool.com/resource/windows-10-partition-manager/how-to-solve-disk-partition-not-... .  The link mentions Windows 10 but I think that is a red herring, if you can fix the "header" it will work for any OS.  

 

nanotm
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Re: External HDD problem

sounds like the drive has an error on it and your best bet is to get a second external drive that's as large or larger and just clone its entire contents across, personally I have a device I got from amazon for just that purpose https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LN0GX4I/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

it has one limitation, the drive your moving from must be smaller than the drive your moving too... having said that it works perfectly on the 4 drives I've cloned so far, normally it takes about an hour per terabyte of data, it will copy the drive exactly and leaves your original untouched.

 

its relatively cheap for what it does and better than most of the software options I've come across in the past

 

as for your current drive it sounds like something it needs is missing (could be a bad sector developed in the windows file table for instance ) I've had that happen before and its made me a firm believer in having multiple copies of important files, which is why I copy stuff to the cloud multiple external drives and dvd's, once you recover your data I hope you go down that route for anything you cant afford to loose emotionally, I got lucky last time because I still had the source tapes from the camcorder but it cost me a pretty penny to get them transferred across without the original device (footage of my daughter during her 6 months of life) my wife keeps complaining about the clutter but I'm sure she's secretly glad I have 200 dvd's of all the photos and videos of the kids XD

 

 

just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: External HDD problem

Thanks for the replies, will check out the links tomorrow.

VileReynard
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Re: External HDD problem

Use Linux to make a backup to a second disk, then you will be safe from the ravages of Windows.

mag
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Re: External HDD problem

If you can access the files using linux then I would also be inclined to secure the files (working at the file level) first and worry about the disk and cloning etc later.

Any of the popular linux GUI backup tools eg Grsync, Back In Time, Lucky Backup, should do to copy your files across to a new NTFS formatted drive. I use Back In Time in Ubuntu.

Community Veteran
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Re: External HDD problem

Its been years since I used Linux, but depending on the size of all your files can you not transfer them onto a memory card in Linux, and then back to Windows. Either on a local drive or a new external drive? If you've got a CD/DVD or even better a Blu Ray burner Cool back them up on those too.

I did that because I had a row with my on-line backup company who deleted all my files and I was lucky I had a local copy (photos), so I burned a Blu Ray ASAP - I was lucky I didn't rely on them solely.

Anyway, bit of a pain but at least you haven't lost your files although it will take some messing around. When you're done I assume the old HD may not be dead and will need a format, but obviously once you've got the files off.

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Re: External HDD problem


VileReynard wrote:

Use Linux to make a backup to a second disk, then you will be safe from the ravages of Windows.


So just to be clear I would format the new drive in windows 7 and then drag across the files in linux from one drive to another ?

Perhaps there is some simple command line that would do that automatically ? I am not IT orientated so something simple has to be the order of the day.

If anyone knows of some simple linux instructions to do that please keep in mind I would copy and paste the instructions given.

Community Veteran
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Re: External HDD problem


Alex wrote:

Its been years since I used Linux, but depending on the size of all your files can you not transfer them onto a memory card in Linux, and then back to Windows. Either on a local drive or a new external drive? If you've got a CD/DVD or even better a Blu Ray burner Cool back them up on those too.

I did that because I had a row with my on-line backup company who deleted all my files and I was lucky I had a local copy (photos), so I burned a Blu Ray ASAP - I was lucky I didn't rely on them solely.

Anyway, bit of a pain but at least you haven't lost your files although it will take some messing around. When you're done I assume the old HD may not be dead and will need a format, but obviously once you've got the files off.


Problem is there are lots of photographs on the drive, many in RAW format along with loads of other stuff, the size of the Drive is 500 GB the total size of the files is over 400 GB, the new drive would be 1 TB.

nanotm
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Re: External HDD problem

dunno in windows you just push control +a when the file explorer window is open on the relevant drive then control +c open the destination drive in file explorer and push control +v and leave it to its thing, once its done eject both drives, 

 

I presume Linux uses something similar for copy n paste 

 

 

 

 

just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: External HDD problem

Yes for some reason I suspected you had many files, you could copy in batches though I can understand it'll take time and be a massive pain. It is a difficult one - they may be a windows based disk recovery utility you can use, but personally I wouldn't take the risk of it killing the drive completly.

I know things like photos, that you can't replace are important. I mentioned on another thread to someone about backing up their data when they had a rootkit, and I thought to myself "Well, I can't talk I haven't done it myself".

Had a Blu Ray burner for years I had never used and discs. I don't have as much photos as you do (12Gb roughly) so I burnt my first disc. Silly really I never used it. If I had lost my photos I would have been devistated.

But the amount of data you have is far greater than mine so yours is a bigger problem.

I haven't used Linux for around 20 years, if it is on the same device as Windows I am sure you could access the Windows partition somehow and copy the files back to it, say a local drive if you have enough space.

I may be talking rubbish but I am sure I could do that when I was a student.