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  1. #1
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    To all you computer buffs, help!

    I recently have been having trouble with my external hard drive disk (320 GB 2.5" Western Digital Scorpio Blue) which I bought January 2009. I have about 130 GB of used space, mostly WAV music and pictures.
    A couple months ago the computer stopped recognizing it, but that only lasted a day. A month later, I noticed music in specific files were corrupt and had glitches during playback (sometimes a 1 second passage from another track takes over the original track, either that or you hear white noise and other bizarre stuff). This damage appears to be permanent as I hear the same glitches at the same times when I play the track again.

    Also, in specific picture folders, certain pictures are corrupt, similarly to the one here:
    To all you computer buffs, help!-christmas2.jpg

    As you can see, the same thing happens with pictures: a part of an other picture (a distorted one at that) ruins the original. Some pictures plain refuse to open (I get 'drawing failed' using Windows Picture and Fax Viewer).
    I've used the extended SMART test using the Western Digital diagnostic program but that states that everything is fine. The HDD doesn't make bizar noises or anything. At this point, I can't actually use it because everything new that goes on to it basically becomes corrupt.
    Any ideas as to what is going on and softwares i could use?
    Just to specify, it's connected via usb, the version prior to 2.0.

  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I recently have been having trouble with my external hard drive disk (320 GB 2.5" Western Digital Scorpio Blue) which I bought January 2009. I have about 130 GB of used space, mostly WAV music and pictures.
    A couple months ago the computer stopped recognizing it, ...
    Any ideas as to what is going on and softwares i could use?
    Just to specify, it's connected via usb, the version prior to 2.0.
    Your hard drive is toast. Replace it and restore your files from backup.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Your hard drive is toast. Replace it and restore your files from backup.
    I was hoping for a more optomistic outcome. What makes you so sure it is toast?
    Is there no software i can use to check this/fix it, anyone?

  4. #4
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    I had the same problem and it was the hard drive! You can scan it and you will see that it has many bad sectors or viruses! I couldn't play some songs and with the time I couldn't play almost any songs! Even if you format it, it is still the same! Just the hard is trash and you can't do anything! I lost all my music and some pictures! I am sure it is the hard!

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I was hoping for a more optomistic outcome. What makes you so sure it is toast?
    Is there no software i can use to check this/fix it, anyone?
    You can check it out like Dakata suggest. In particular you want to make sure it's only the external drive that has the problems, (which is what you suggest, I think). All said and done, chances are 99% that it's the hard drive. If a scan reveals very many bad sectors, don't bother reformatting the drive; it will start to show the same problems again almost immediately, (within hours). Well, if the disk format is FAT32, you might try reformatting to NTFS which is a much more reliable file system -- however don't rely on the drive for any important data.

    The moral is all hard drives eventually fail; some after a decade; some in a few months, (hopefully within warranty). Always back up your data frequently, and at least daily in case of essential information.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    You can check it out like Dakata suggest. In particular you want to make sure it's only the external drive that has the problems, (which is what you suggest, I think). All said and done, chances are 99% that it's the hard drive. If a scan reveals very many bad sectors, don't bother reformatting the drive; it will start to show the same problems again almost immediately, (within hours). Well, if the disk format is FAT32, you might try reformatting to NTFS which is a much more reliable file system -- however don't rely on the drive for any important data.

    The moral is all hard drives eventually fail; some after a decade; some in a few months, (hopefully within warranty). Always back up your data frequently, and at least daily in case of essential information.
    I did use Windows to scan for bad sectors, which starts after the computer has been reset and it took most of the night to complete. It didn't show any results of any kind, so I just suspected everything was fine. However, in the option box for the test it asks if you want the computer to fix the bad sectors, should I un-check that box and try the test again?
    I've no doubt the issue is with the drive and only the drive. The main computer (internal) drive is fine and has been for 6 years going. They are both NTFS. One thing I haven't done, is make a thorough check for viruses.
    As for warranty, I bought it off Amazon UK, but I can't find anything about warranty policies and how to return it if it's still covered. I'm a little worried though as it has been a little over a year. I think I may be out of luck on this one

  7. #7
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    I've use a lots of portable drives transporting DVD and CD images. Occasionally a drive will fail. If it fails within the warranty period, all you should need to do in contact the manufacturer. I know for certain Seagate has an online utility which will tell you if your drive is still covered under warranty.

    I was able to return the two failed Seagates I had for replacements. They require you ship the bad drive to them in specific packaging so the drive isn't damaged further during shipment. They will attempt to recover the damaged drive. If not recoverable, they send a replacement.

    Sorry to hear about the drive failure. As with all computer files, it's just good risk management to have backups. Buy a Blu-ray drive and save files to BDR. I'd recommend BDR25GB since the dual layer 50GB discs are much more expensive. If you buy the BDRE re-recordable discs you can reuse them, but they're more expensive than BDRs.

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by audio amateur
    I did use Windows to scan for bad sectors, which starts after the computer has been reset and it took most of the night to complete. It didn't show any results of any kind, so I just suspected everything was fine. However, in the option box for the test it asks if you want the computer to fix the bad sectors, should I un-check that box and try the test again?
    I've no doubt the issue is with the drive and only the drive. The main computer (internal) drive is fine and has been for 6 years going. They are both NTFS. One thing I haven't done, is make a thorough check for viruses.
    As for warranty, I bought it off Amazon UK, but I can't find anything about warranty policies and how to return it if it's still covered. I'm a little worried though as it has been a little over a year. I think I may be out of luck on this one
    The disk scan program ought to report bad sectors whether or not they are "fixed". Which terms really means designating those sectors as bad so they will not be used by the file system. Sophisticated hardware and firmware in the drive controls its operation and I imagine that this might fail under some circumstance, rather the problem being the actual disk surface -- but I don't have the expertise to be sure of this. Either way the disk would be pooched.

    Or maybe there are other possibilities than the drive. Perhaps the USB interface is unreliable and caused some data to be incorrectly written to the disk -- but again I don't have the expertise to know how likely this is. You could try the drive on another USB controller. Of course, it sounds like the data is already damaged so you probably you would first need to completely reformat and restore from back up. In any case it might be a precaution to avoid that USB controller; (most computer have more than one USB controller, or you could buy a PCI card USB controller).

  9. #9
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    It appears the warranty is actually 3 years. I may be in luck!! I'll let you know what happens.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    The disk scan program ought to report bad sectors whether or not they are "fixed". Which terms really means designating those sectors as bad so they will not be used by the file system. Sophisticated hardware and firmware in the drive controls its operation and I imagine that this might fail under some circumstance, rather the problem being the actual disk surface -- but I don't have the expertise to be sure of this. Either way the disk would be pooched.

    Or maybe there are other possibilities than the drive. Perhaps the USB interface is unreliable and caused some data to be incorrectly written to the disk -- but again I don't have the expertise to know how likely this is. You could try the drive on another USB controller. Of course, it sounds like the data is already damaged so you probably you would first need to completely reformat and restore from back up. In any case it might be a precaution to avoid that USB controller; (most computer have more than one USB controller, or you could buy a PCI card USB controller).
    Thanks Feanor. It's a laptop, so no PCI upgrades possible here... And the other problem is I only have two ports, and only one of them seems to have the juice to power the drive...
    I think I might contact WD at this point, unless I contact a computer geek friend of mine

  11. #11
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    Here's a pretty good discussion forum for things computer related: http://www.techimo.com/?

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