HELP! I/O device error? Toshiba 1.5T external hdd problem

Up until a week ago my 1.5T Toshiba external drive worked just fine. But as of 4 days ago, anything that I have downloaded WITHIN those 4 days will not play (mp3's, mpeg's, avi's, etc.) or allow me to copy them to any other drive or location...I get a "Cannot copy (whatever filename), I/O device error". Strangely enough, anything that was downloaded BEFORE a week ago opens, plays and copies as it should. What's up with this thing? How can it all of a sudden selectively choose what I can open? I have two years of rare videos and ump-teen million songs on it that I do not wish to re-track and download again, so a reformat is not going to happen. And like I said previously, all of that stuff opens and plays with no problems. It's only anything and everything downloaded in the last 4 days that keeps giving me this error, won't open, play or copy/move. I just need a fix for this...and fast as possible. Any takers???
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More about device error toshiba external hdd problem
  1. Before trying any trouble shooting, I recommend making a backup of all the files you want. You can pick up a USB drive for relatively cheap.
  2. Thanks for the response,
    The Toshiba drive in question here is a USB external drive. To be clear, are you suggesting I just go grab another one to back up what I want (which is everything, if possible) to keep?
  3. Exactly, it's most likely a dying drive, or a bad USB port or cable. But if you can backup the data, there's a lot less risk involved, and you can freely format it.
  4. *UPDATE*
    So after some tinkering with some of my files on the drive, it seems like everything that I downloaded in the last week from one certain website (rare and obscure DJ mixtapes from the 90's) are the only ones that seem to not want to play or be copied to anywhere else. All other files on the disk from years before, and even from the same week as the others were recently downloaded from other sites work properly. Still, how is this that just these won't work or allow me to move them? Anyone ever heard of this before?

    Well I must admit I was hoping for a more diagnostic answer than just go and buy a new one. I mean, if it comes down to it as a last resort - forking over dough for another is what I'll end up having to do.
  5. Best answer
    It's not "Go and buy a new one".

    It's "backup all of your data before you troubleshoot a hard drive that contains information you want to keep."

    If you start unplugging, replugging, uninstalling drivers, deleting files, updating firmware, etc. etc.; you risk losing all of your data. No one wants to be accountable when it comes to data loss.
    If these files are important to you, you should maintain a backup in case anything like this ever happens again.

    Don't buy a replacement drive. Buy a second drive as a backup. Than we can use the Harddrive manufactures diagnostic tools and see if there are any smart errors.

    ..but you made it clear you want to keep the data, so back it up before we do anything.
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