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Error checking to fix bad sectors, but it's not moving?

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 14, 2012 3:50:28 PM

I have an 700gb external hard drive that I use to download to, and it's been giving me trouble now and in the past.
I know there's probably bad sectors so I've tried to run error checking to fix them in the past but to no avail (maybe I was just too impatient to wait multiple days)

I ran it again last night and once it hit '51742022 free clusters processed', it hasn't moved in the last 10 hours.

My friend suggested that I just leave it on for another day and see if it progresses, but I don't know what I should do right now
August 14, 2012 4:09:45 PM

700gb should take a while, but shouldn't take multiple days to complete. I have a 1TB external drive that used to become corrupted from time to time because of the crappy Maxtor software, but I digress. Anyways, it would typically resolve the issue (corrupted clusters in the file system) in about 1/2 to 3/4 of a day's time.

Are you running error checking within Windows or outside of windows (recovery mode or preboot environment)? This might be my mind playing tricks on me, but I've always seemed to think that it did error checking using "chkdsk /f /r" from recovery mode or a preboot environment to be quite a bit faster.

With my experience, if it consistently freezes on the same cluster, it could potentially be a faulty hard drive.

Are you able to access/read/write to the hard drive, what does "trouble" actually mean. If you use a SeaGate hard drive, you can use SeaTools to help troubleshoot issues with the drive you don't already have a good diagnostic program. Most other manufacturers provide some type of tool as well for diagnosing hard drives. Note: Some brands of external hard drives have a different brand of hard drive than the brand of what is printed on the external enclosure (i.e., Rocketfish using Hitachi drives) so take that into account when looking for diagnostic software.

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/

Hope some of that helps.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 6:27:32 PM

Is this drive used on a laptop or a desktop computer? Externals with desktops seem to function longer then laptops do. With my experience laptops can get hot easily and may cause undesired effects to external drives, especially when you get BSOD errors or random restarts. Although this might not be your problem i have considered using external as storage/backups and not for regular usage.


Try the seagate tools and if that doesn't work if it's still under warranty i would talk to the manufacture or the store you bought it from. If it's not under warranty and your kind of a techy person, with making sure your not in a static electricity environment & your fully discharged by touching a metal case repeatedly, open the case and see if the drive will work in a computer that functions. If you hear the drive spinning up it should function but if the drive is making noise & bios won't detect it you might have a bad drive. I would check with the tools as well just to make sure and checking disk management might detect the drive.

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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 6:33:56 PM

if its not progressing at all, means the head has hit an unrecoverable area of sectors and most likely will never move past that point. get your data off the drive and replace it.
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August 14, 2012 6:57:47 PM

It is a Maxtor One Touch, and I'm pretty sure a little while back I ran the diagnostic tool and it said that my drive was working just fine even though I had previous problems with it.

and an update on the progress of my error checking: it still hasn't moved from that one free cluster

Previously when I torrent stuff, I sometimes get cyclical redundancy errors, especially when the drive neared full.
Just yesterday, I was downloading stuff and there were cyclical redundancies in the downloading file as well as files that had been on there for at least a year.
I just decided I would delete some of these old files I wasn't using, but then of course I was having problems deleting those files.
This prompted me to do the disk check, which still hasn't really progressed...

EDIT: I've had this drive for quite a while so there's no warranty on it
I use it with my self built desktop, so no laptop connection there
Also, once I started my disk check (or maybe before it started and I never noticed) the disk became closed (access denied). Is this normal? I don't recall this happening before.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 7:01:09 PM

this is an external driver? maxtor is (imo) the worst manufacturer of hard disks.... get your data off and replace. also you shouldnt be using an external driver for 24/7 use
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August 14, 2012 7:07:50 PM

not moving for a couple of hours give up. It is not normal.

That being said. Harddrives are not too expensive.

If I were you i'd get a new one at the first sign of problem, rather then try to fix it. I've deactivated harddrives that were otherwise good but like have one error popup maybe once a month.
The potential risk of future failure is not worth saving the money (to me).
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August 14, 2012 7:08:03 PM

Yea, I feel that it's been dying for quite a while, but I need to buy myself another drive sometime soon.
I wouldn't say it's 24/7 use, but it's on whenever I turn my desktop on, which is quite a lot =\

Should I just stop my error check right now and see if I can salvage my data?
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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 7:20:40 PM

yes those drives are not meant to be connected to your pc 24/7, get an internal drive from a decent manufacturer
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August 14, 2012 7:21:32 PM

Something I should have recommended earlier for sure, salvage your data first as I'm sure it is more important to you than that hardware itself (most of the time that is the case). I am using the exact same drive except in the 1TB flavor, SeaTools should work for it since SeaGate bought Maxtor and I believe their diagnostics work on those drives.

The CRC errors are kind of odd though, I would say that is typically evident of an integrity loss somewhere during transmission/writing. If it isn't being corrupted by a bad portion in your RAM, then I would say it is trying to write to a portion of the disk that otherwise unreadable or the file system is junked up (which takes us back full circle to your chkdsk issue).

The access denied sounds like it isn't being ran in an elevated mode. I typically have to use the "run as administrator" prompt when using chkdsk. This could also happen if the file system is too corrupt and becomes unmounted by the OS.
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August 14, 2012 7:25:34 PM

No, not true. They "should" be able to run 24/7. If you crack open the enclosure, you will see it's the same as an internal drive.

You just got unlucky or it got dropped or dust inside the actual disk, or it's just plain old.

Unless you really get military specced "ruggedized" equipment, all consumer level disk drives are in the same boat and ALL could fail. Yes they will say server-level drives are more reliable than home-level, but it's relatively the same.

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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 7:29:40 PM

yes crack one open. notice the regular drive. then notice the lack of airflow. these drives are NOT meant for constant use.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 7:32:34 PM

Yeah try to salvage your data and if your really desperate i'd open the external casing and connect the drive directly to your computer. The problem with externals are the extra connections that are being used. If something were to happen to the main board casing it could cause the drive to fail. It's more reliable to hook it up directly to the computer. Less to hook up as it's directly onto the motherboard, it's all internal and if you have your PC on a stable, flat surface the drive is better protected from being hit by something.
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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 7:37:56 PM

Theoretically externals can be used 24/7 (long as it has good airflow) but as i said before there's more hooked up to it, your using a USB hookup instead of the motherboard. Even though internals can fail as much as externals, generally externals have a greater risk being out in the open, even if your lucky enough not to drop a drive, someone can come along and yank out the usb cord without properly removing it causing data corruption & sometimes hard drive failure.
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August 14, 2012 7:43:49 PM

The Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) metric that is used to judge the expected life of a hard drive is essentially the same between internal and external drives simply because mechanically they are exactly the same. The hidden variable in this equation is the enclosure and the amount the drive gets used. If the enclosure makes the drive too hot while it is being used, then it will fail faster and if the drive is moved a lot and the enclosure allows too much movement, the mechanics will likely suffer.

I've been using the exact same drive as you are (1TB version) for almost 4 years and it is still mechanically sound. The only thing that is terrible about it is the crappy backup management software that comes with the drive.
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August 14, 2012 7:44:26 PM

Alright, I'll try my best to find space to store all this data on the drive

Any recommendations for another hard drive?
Internal or external
Honestly, I don't really want to dig into my desktop if I don't have to. It's probably full of dust right now

But that's just me being stubborn and lazy
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a b $ Windows 7
August 14, 2012 9:43:37 PM

Hi :) 

Bad sectors = drop in BIN...

All the best Brett :) 
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