I havent been having a good week, hard drive wise!
First of all I bought a Medion 500GB hard drive from Aldi and then spent every night for a week burning all my music to it from CD. Countless hours and 200 odd CD's later, the hard drive crashed - wouldnt display my files and said needed formatting - nothing else would work so I lost all the data I had spent hours putting on it! After formatting, the drive worked fine and so I began the whole proces of burning CDs to the hard drive again. 2 days later, same thing happens again but I couldnt be bothered anymore so just took it back to the shop for a refund.
So.. I bought the Maxtor OneTouch 4 instead. Thought Maxtor would be more reliable than Aldi/Medion but so far I'm not impressed. I have spent the last 48 hours copying all my music for a THIRD time (this time I made a back up of the music on my computer, just in case, although I wasn't planning on needing a backup FOR my backup... at least until it was all up and running anyway!) and when I powered down my comp last night (with Maxtor drive still plugged into the USB - I didnt know you shouldnt do that) it was working fine.
I get home from work today and turned on my comp and the Maxtor drive isnt showing up at all on my system. I tried unplugging USB, repowering (several times) and waiting for windows to start before plugging back in, etc, plus the Maxtor Manager troubleshooting tips for drives not detected etc but nothing is working. The power light on the drive doesnt even come on. Tried connecting it to a different computer but still nothing!
Anyone have any other suggestions? Please dont use too much technical speak, Im a it of a novice with computers! I'm using Windows Vista btw. I'm starting to wish I never bought an external drive in the first place!
Jodee recently said, "Anyone have any other suggestions? Please dont use too much technical speak, Im a it of a novice with computers! I'm using Windows Vista btw. I'm starting to wish I never bought an external drive in the first place!"
Yes. You should call Customer Service, as mentioned by an official Seagate/Maxtor person who checks the forum periodically. There, you will find enlightenment. There is no solution posted here that reliably works, or even mostly works, or even frequently works, as you can tell by reading through this thread on OneTouch products.
The important thing to remember is that there are hundreds of thousands of completely reliable drives out there that we're not hearing about (except from Seagate), and that if there were 60,000 drive failures then Seagate would post a solution to this forum.
Uh, thanks for the tip... have just spent the half half an hour on the phone to Cutomer Services (its an American number, dont they have a helpline in the UK? I could barely hear to guy the line was so bad and the call probably cost me fortune!)
Despite telling the guy what I had already tried (powering down computer, different USB ports, all the tips on the troubleshooting guide, etc) he made me go through it all again whilst he was talking to me - waste of time, I kept saying I had already done that! After none of that worked, he simply said "Take it back to the shop, its a bad drive"!!
I kid you not!! That was the best tech support they could come up with! I amgetting so sick of this,think I might just take this back as well. Can anyone recommend a decent replacement that is gonna be RELIABLE - I didnt think that would be so much to ask when purchasing a backup hard drive!
There is a UK number. Check the Contact Us form for the UK. I'm no tech specialist but if the drive doesn't even come on, it's probably a goner. Tech Support can diagnose problems and fix SOME problems, but it's neither infallible nor omnipotent. Look, even the highest-quality, most expensive hard drive ever produced will fail eventually and it is impossible to predict when that will occur. Given that, it is absolutely essential at all times to keep a backup of your any data you do not want to lose. I urge you not to base your entire opinion of an entire line of drives on one bad experience, as this could happen to any drive by any manufacturer at any time.
Also anyone using this drive should seriously consider purchasing GetDataBack for NTFS, by Runtime Software.
Absolutely the best thing since sliced bread. You can get your databack if it gets lost somehow. The data is there, trust me.
Now, this is what I discovered.
When you first plug in this drive, XP tries to monitor it with System Restore. I will cut to the chase and say that this drive has been working fine for me now since I disabled this.
Also, if you dont want to use the drive anymore, you can merely, click on safely remove hardware icon and remove the drive, without actually touching any power or usb.
My problem wasn't losing the entire partition. What I was experiencing was data corruption, or a "cross-linked" file effect.
Chkdsk would fix it after several hours. (I filled my drive up with precious wedding, and family pictures & videos and thought; I LOST all of this)
I would play a video and another one would show, or another would say, corrupt or cannot render. None of the pictures would show up either.
I had the same problem with my nextar usb/firewire enclosure, but in that case, it was the drives firmware. So I initially thought, the same here; but the drive seems to be working reliably.
Just make sure the default setting for the drive is is for quick removal (in device manager). This will force windows to write everything to the disk. It will make the drive slow as molasses, but then if we wanted speed, we would have purchased the plus or firewire models.
So far so good with this drive. I must say that I did lose about 100GB at first, because chkdsk removed the data somehow. But it was okay, as I didnt remove it from my original source HDD, but I would have been extremely pissed. Also, this drive uses a tremedous amount of CPU somehow. Its weird, but it boggs down the USB controller.
I love Maxtor products, but I am not to crazy about Seagate. Now that I know this is a seagate, I am relieved that its not a Maxtor production issue, per se.
Seagate needs to address this quickly, or else I can see this quickly getting into a class action case much like with IBM and the "deathstar" drives, which would just lose data inexplicably.
Tekem, you mention disabling System Restore. Can you do that for this external drive only and still have it working on the internal ones ?
It has saved me quite a few times when weird things happened on my PC, so wouldn't want to disable it all together.
I had another error on the drive yesterday. Windows reported an error on Monday, and insisted on running Chkdsk when I booted it yesterday. It spent the next 1½ hours ! recreating lost files. After this was finished, I checked my data. Probably around 75% of that I checked was reported corrupt and unuseable.
I then stopped the drive in the safe removal of hardware, unhooked it and cut the power for 10 secs. When I powered it up and reattached it, everything was working again. Files which were unuseable just before all worked again. Just something to try for anyone finding themselves with lost/apparently corrupt data on one of these drives.
-Seagate needs to address this quickly, or else I can see this quickly
getting into a class action case much like with IBM and the "deathstar"
drives, which would just lose data inexplicably. I'm sure that IF there is a problem, the appropriate parties are analysing it. Let me take this opportunity to reiterate again that everyone must have a backup. Always make sure your data is saved onto TWO differentstorage media.
Thank you for administering this forum, but I must finally comment on what you and two others have said - others more obnoxiously than you. I believe that most people understand the need to have data on two different storage media. Some even realize that the two different storage media should be in two different locations since physical disruption (fire, flood, etc) can destroy the main data and your backup. The concern underlying many of the comments is that this drive seems to have reliability issues that are not simply user-driven. By that I mean that many people - myself included have experienced problems with the drive if the computer does a software-driven (not a power supply failure) reboot or if the drive is connected when the system is turned on having been off "overnight" or such. Leaving the drive connected to the computer all the time while the system cycles on and off from day to day is not cautioned as being bad practice by the manufacturer (not that I've seen). To avoid problems with this drive, it seems imperative to disconnect the USB cable AFTER shutting down the computer which I believe should not be considered "unsafe shut-down" as seems to be a favorite reply. If this is the case and can be verified, then Seagate should prominently post such an advisory rather than bury it somewhere on their tech support website. I say this because I was surprised to discover out how difficult it was to learn more about their recent problem with the Maxtor 3200 (one of their vendors delivered 1800 systems with a trojan embedded that searched out gaming passwords and sent them to Beijing). Reliance on tech support is not the answer either. In the case of the Maxtor 3200, the tech support person, to whom I talked, knew nothing about it. Even after telling her the URL on Seagate web site that advised calling tech support for more information, she had a hard time finding some one in supervision to advise whether my drive was affected. Call centers are often staffed with new people to give them a good idea of the customer's problems not because they are the most knowledgeable - they are often a filter rather than a "solver". If their practice does not insist on documenting each calls problems then a sufficient database will not be collected to resolve problems until they get very much out of hand. Finally, while true, the consistent reminder that this is a user forum does little to help. First it does reside on a Seagate website. Secondly, the fact that Seagate personnel sometimes offer comment infers (obviously incorrectly) that the lack of a comment or inquiry by them for further information indicates their lack of concern for the issue being discussed. At the beginning of this thread, Seagate tech support replied quickly and asked for more information and expressed an interest in the answers but once the answers were given, tech support did not reply in the forum with any follow up. Lack of interest? No solution? Certainly nothing to be learned by the rest of us. I am sorry this is long but the thoughts have been building up for days. Again thanks for your help in administering this forum.
As an aside: for PntButterJellytime - I find your "signature" - "He who laughs last.....Probably had a backup" to be offensive and not helpful. I assume that since you have backups, you are laughing at those who did not.
I appreciate your concerns. Let me address the reason that I have the sig line I do, though I can't speak for other users.
-I believe that most people understand the need to have data on two different storage media.
You may believe it, but I have a background in Tech Support and I can guarantee you that, while "most" (as you said) people may realise the need for it, FAR TOO MANY people do NOT. I can't tell you how many dozens, nay hundreds, of times someone has called with a troubleshooting problem for an external drive, and when told that reformatting the drive is the 3rd, 4th, whatever, step to try to get it working again, the caller responds "But what about my data?" ME: "You have it backed up, right?" THEM: "This IS my backup." ME: "Then we'll reformat it and we'll recreate the backup from the original." THEM: "No, it's all on here." ME: "So, you DON'T have a backup?" THEM: "Right, it's all on here and nowhere else."
-The concern underlying many of the comments is that this drive seems to have reliability issues that are not simply user-driven.
My concern is far more wide-reaching than this. A hard drive can fail, it can be dropped, it can be accidentally reformatted, it can be unsafely removed and lose its partition, it can be accidentally erased, the dog can knock it off the desk so that it hits the ground hard after a 1 meter freefall, etc. MANY things can happen to end the life of a drive and/or to put your data out of reach. The best way to guard against this is to have a copy of the data on one hard drive and a copy of it on some other storage media. Whether CDROM, DVD, online storage, external hard drive, tape drive, it doesn't matter. Bottom line: data recovery is very expensive. I am sad to see ANYone post with a report of a screwed up hard drive/partition and now they are facing the prospect of paying $hundreds to get it back. Throwing blame around to whomever doesn't change the fact that all this could have been avoided with a little forethought, leading to a backup. I'm not even talking about fire or flood. Just everyday stuff. You won't see me suggesting everyone should get a top of the line drive, backup everything, and put it in a safety deposit box, and repeat every week. I am just trying to communicate the importance of a backup. Why don't you join me with your own sig line along those same lines? I'm serious.
-To avoid problems with this drive, it seems imperative to disconnect the USB cable AFTER shutting down the computer which I believe should not be considered "unsafe shut-down" as seems to be a favorite reply.
Ask any Tech Support member or check the knowledge base and you'll see such instructions. Shoot, we are seeing people who connect their external drives to USB ports on their monitor, shut the monitor off (thereby UNsafely removing the drive) and lose the partition as a result. Anyway, a website can only take so much clutter.
-Finally, while true, the consistent reminder that this is a user forum does little to help.
To help with what? Bending the forums to become what you'd like them to be? I'm sorry we're unable to do that at this time.
Hopefully this helps you understand the situation a little better.