USB external hard drive file transfer problems!

Hello all,

I have a friend that recently bought an External hard drive. (The one in the link) Here is his problem and since I have never owned or worked on a system with one I though someone else may know how to help out. He has it connected and the software comes pre-installed on the hard drive itself so driver software is not an issue, unless there is an updated one from their website to help, which I have forgot to suggest to him, but what happens is when he moves his files over to his hard drive. Whatever it may be, the folders that they were in show up, but the files are no there. It shows the folders to be empty, but the storage space is diminishing, so it would seem the files are there they are just not accessible? Has anyone ever had this problem, and can anyone help me to try and help him fix this problem so he can see and use his files again? He deleted many of the files he has transfered over because they originally showed up for the first few times that he used the drive, but within the first day of use the problem emerged where they no longer showed up. So formating is a last resort. Also does anyone know if we do format is he will lose the original software that came pre-loaded. As in the drivers software that was installed automatically? Any Ideas? Thx in advance.


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  1. You say the copy operation creates subdirectories but does not show any files in them. Then you say the storage space decreases, so you figure the files must have been copied, they just don't show up. Check for numeric information. Just how much space should the files in one of the copied subdirectories take up? Now compare that to the apparent loss of space. Do they match reasonably? Just copying subdirectories with no files will use up a little space, so a change of a SMALL amount might indicate that's all that got copied. A simple check: in Explorer you RIGHT click on a subdirectory and choose Properties. It will tell you the total space occupied by the subdirectory and all its contents. Compare the answer on the external drive with copy to that on the original drive.

    Any chance the new external dive has been set to NOT ket you see some of its contents?

    If you format the external drive, you will lose EVERYTHING on it, including any pre-installed software. If you feel compelled to do that, first you better copy eveything ueful off the external to another drive, and be prepared to copy it back afterwards. Hope there are no hidden files you might miss.
  2. Thx for the reply, but he claims there is nothing that is keeping him from or atleast nothing to change to allow him to view the files. And yes it is taking up about 75gb he says, so it is a very odd problem. Also i figured it would all go away thx for the confirmation.


  3. :cry: Hello:
    I have experienced the same problem with a brand new USB flash drive purchased on ebay. I solicite help in understanding what is going on. I have formated the drive but that did not help.
    In addition, if the flash drive is in the USB port when I first power up the (desktop) computer, it will not boot up. I am running W2K Service Pack 4.
    Thanks for any help.
  4. What kind of file system is being used on the USB drive? FAT32 has a limit of 4 GB per file.
    You could convert to NTFS and beat the limit, but your copied files probably cannot be recuperated.
    See limits section:
  5. If the computer will not boot, go in the Bios and change the boot order.
    It should boot from the hard drive.
  6. Couple ideas:

    Can you see the files from a command prompt?

    Connect the drive to another PC. Do the files show up?
  7. I have noticed this issue with Vista (running on a Dell XPS M1330) and a WD3200MLZ 320GB external USB hard drive. The drive is formatted NTFS. Occasionally, when I transfer a large number of files using Windows Explorer copy and paste (or drag and drop), not all files actually get copied. The amount of occupied disk space reported on the USB drive is obviously lower than the original folder occupied on my internal HDD.

    Using an open-source file compare utility called WinMerge, I found that at least half of the files had disappeared, or were never copied, during the transfer. There weren't apparently any corrupted files, just ones missing.

    Then I started using Robocopy (command line copy/mirroring utility available at the command prompt). After that there were no problems with missing files. Not sure why this works, and the normal Windows drag-and-drop does not.
  8. hi i got a similar problem...
    i transferred from my desktop about 52 gigs...and i double checked the transferred images....
    a couple of days later i wan to edit those transferred images.but the first time i opened the folder on the hd it said 0 images,as i plugged it in again it was all fine,so i started another transfer back to the desktop just to make sure i got it back uped...during the transfer came up an i stated again a new transfer...same thing happened...
    so now if i go to the folder it says 0 images but if i go on informations about the folder it says 8 gb..but non of the 52 gb are showing up anymore...some how i could have a look on those 8 gb but there more than less these images im not interested in...can some body please give me a advice what happened?as i didn't deleted them on the hd,the only thing i deleted was on the desktop after i transferred the folder image to the hd to clear up some space....
    i tried a program call date recovery and i could recover nearly everything from my trash as i thought i have a chance to get back these photos i deleted on the desktop but there as well these photos im actually looking for aren't recovered....

    bad thing all these photos r from one wedding and this day i cant reshoot and i have to tell my friends/clients that this day will be lost.... please somebody got any ideas?
    and btw im working on a mac computer and my hd is a lacie brand....thx heaps for every helpful answer
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