External hard drive crashed

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B
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External hard drive crashed

Postby B » 12 Jan 2012, 18:05

A few months ago my external hard drive crashed (I think)

What happens when I plug in the drive is it takes a really long time to open any folders or anything. Some of the files won't open at all but I think I can at least see everything that's there. I'm guessing it's partially corrupted or something?

Anyone know if there's any programs I can run myself to see if/what I can recover?

I'm on a macbook at home, pc at work

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JQW
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Re: External hard drive crashed

Postby JQW » 12 Jan 2012, 22:39

How is the drive formatted? What version of Windows is the PC running?

If it's writeable from both the PC and Mac without any additional software then it's formatted using FAT; if it's read-only on the Mac then it's formatted NTFS.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

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B
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Re: External hard drive crashed

Postby B » 13 Jan 2012, 00:51

I've used it to read and write on both so it's gotta be using FAT?

The pc at work is on windows xp

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JQW
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Re: External hard drive crashed

Postby JQW » 13 Jan 2012, 14:42

Unfortunately FAT has none of the resilience features added to more recent file systems, such as journalling, so corruption is commonplace, particularly after crashes or power outages. FAT even pre-dates the original IBM PC, having first been offered with some of Microsoft's BASIC interpreters in the late 1970s.

The symptoms you're seeing don't look like FAT corruption, but more likely a physical problem with the drive. Attempting to repair such a drive is likely not to work. However it's possible that the slow performance could be due to a looped directory that points into itself (I've only ever seen this once), so a repair may work.

CHKDSK, the standard XP disk checking tool, will attempt to repair a FAT drive. Microsoft's bulletin on using it can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315265
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

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B
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Re: External hard drive crashed

Postby B » 13 Jan 2012, 15:49

Thanks Jethro. I'll look into that link when I'm on the pc