I've been using a Maxtor OneTouch 4 500gb external hdd as a backup device for about 2 years. More recently, the last 6 months it has been getting random file-system errors from what I can tell. Since it is my backup drive, I don't use it that frequently, maybe once every 2 weeks. It seems whenever it comes time to use it the drive needs to be repaired by windows. The repair always works fine, fixes the problem and I've never lost any data. This problem has occurred numerous times now and really worries me for the reliability of my backup.
I always try to perform a safe hardware removal in windows before unplugging the usb cable. Sometimes windows has a problem that doesn't allow safe removal of the device, claiming that it's busy even when I'm not accessing the drive. Even if I never unplug the drive (the computer gets shut down at night) and then days later access it, I have to do the windows repair anyway.
I've used Seatools for windows to run full scans on the drive and all the scans came back with no problems. I'm at a loss for what could be wrong as I still use the drive for backup and am able to retrieve files from it when necessary with no real problems so far. Any ideas what I should do to diagnose and fix this problem? Would re-partitioning and re-formatting help? Write zeros to the drive?? Thanks for the help in advance.
I definitely didn't pay that much for this thing though! Also worth noting, I'm running Windows 7 Release Candidate. Its about to expire in 12 days or so and I'll need to rely on this drive to backup my data during the windows re-install.
Also, here is the info about Windows RC; a reminder post for all the Windows 7 users still using the Release Candidate (build 7100) that was released to the public in May 2009. Bi-hourly shutdowns of this build began on March 1, 2010. This means that the user will be told to install a released version of Windows and their PC will shut down automatically every two hours. On June 1, 2010, if you are still on the Windows 7 RC, your license will expire and the non-genuine experience will be triggered. Your wallpaper will be removed and "This copy of Windows is not genuine" will be displayed in the lower right corner of your desktop, above the taskbar. Starting on February 15, 2010, Windows 7 RC should have started giving daily prompts to remind you about the expiration.
If you want to continue using Windows 7, we recommend moving over to the Windows 7 RTM (build 7600) that was released to the public in October 2009. Microsoft explained that this would happen when it gave out free copies of the beta (which has already expired) and RC builds, and you've had plenty of time to move over. If you haven't reinstalled a final copy of Windows, do so as soon as possible so as to avoid problems in the next few weeks.