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Solved: Maxtor back up drive giving me I/O Device Error


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Phil Payne's Avatar
Phil Payne Phil Payne is offline
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30-Dec-2008, 12:55 PM #1
Solved: Maxtor back up drive giving me I/O Device Error
I have a Dell Dimension XPS_GEN_3 Intel(R) Pentium (R) 4CPU 3.2Ghz 3.19 Ghz, 3.00Gb of RAM with Windows XP Pro SP2. Raid 1 (Mirror) config'n.
Archive/Backup storage (problem) device is Maxtor One Touch.

The device has been working correctly for some years.

I see the drive letter for the drive in Windows Explorer but when I click to expand I get the following error message - "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" .

The only recent activity that could have brought on this problem is my moving in a large volume of files and folders.

I need to find out how I can regain access to the files in the storage device. I can not afford to lose these files.

I have read previous thread on this type of problem but no clear solution for my situation and requirement. I hope someone can help me.

Thanks in advance.
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30-Dec-2008, 01:17 PM #2
Hi and welcome. Could be a problem with the enclosure, I think I'd take it out of the case and slave it to the existing hard drive inside and see if it will work from there.
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31-Dec-2008, 05:25 AM #3
Thanks AkaCandy,
I hope 'slaving' the drive amounts to just 'plug and play' and there are no software or other adjustments required otherwise I may have a problem as I haven't done anything lke this with hardware before.
I'll give it a go and let you know what happens.
Thanks again.
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31-Dec-2008, 06:48 AM #4
Slaving Maxtor Ext HDD to PC
Hello AkaCandy,

So, not exactly plug and play then.

I have a spare bay beside HDD 0 and 1 that I can use but when looking at the cabling for some clue as to what to connect where, my ignorance stopped me continuing further.

The connector pin configurations are slightly different between the RAID Drives and the external one. And the only spare cabling I found was a five cable with ten pin connector - in image below.



Is there a guide available that describes the exact manner in which slaving the drive is accomplished?
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31-Dec-2008, 09:03 AM #5
I'm not familiar with RAID setups, let me see who else I can find for you.
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31-Dec-2008, 09:39 AM #6
Have you tried the Maxtor drive on a different computer?
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31-Dec-2008, 09:50 AM #7
Maxtor on another PC
Hello JohnWill
Yes I have and I get exactly the same message - "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error" .
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31-Dec-2008, 09:57 AM #8
You mention RAID, but this isn't on the Maxtor, right? You're talking about your system I hope.

The best bet with USB external drive failures is to remove the drive and connect it to a working system for diagnosis, you have more repair flexibility.

I'm going to guess the Maxtor has a PATA drive, so you'll need a system with a PATA 40 pin connection. What I do at times is temporarily disconnect the CD/DVD drive and use it's channel if a free connector isn't available.

First step is to pop open the Maxtor and see what kind of drive it has.
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31-Dec-2008, 10:00 AM #9
What Candy means is to pull the drive out of the enclosure and connect it to your system. You do not have to physically install the drive; just connect power and data cable to see if it works.

Since you have tried the device in another system and received the same error, it can only be two things;
1 The drive enclosure has failed
2 The drive itself has failed.

By pulling the drive and connecting it directly to your system, you will find out which one.

External drives are really for backups of important data. They are not really meant as a primary means of storage. At least I do not treat them as such.

Remember data you do not have at least two copies of is data you do not care about.
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31-Dec-2008, 10:03 AM #10
Thanks guys
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31-Dec-2008, 11:24 AM #11
Maxtor ext drve problem
Hello crjdriver/johnwill,

I have removed the casing and reconnected the power and data cables as suggested. The results are the same which, if I have done this correctly, means that the drive is faulty.

Does this then mean the data is irretrievable?

I would have thought (hoped) that even though the means of communication between external drive and my PC is knackered the data would still be intact on the drive itself and therefore could be salvaged.

The info I can get from the Drive now it is open is as follows - Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9, 160GB ATA/133 HDD manufactured December 2003.

Next I am going to try to use a DVD drive as you (JohnWill) suggested but before I do you mentioned "PATA" and I see only ATA should I still attempt this?


Thanks both.
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31-Dec-2008, 11:39 AM #12
That's a five year old drive, keep your fingers crossed. The ATA and PATA are the same thing, a 40 pin cable. Make sure there is nothing else on the cable with the drive, and the drive is at the end of the cable. That way the jumpering won't make a difference.
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31-Dec-2008, 12:31 PM #13
Has the drive been warm this whole time? If so, you might try putting it into a ziploc bag and putting it in the freezer for about an hour, then hook it up and try again. Might buy you some time to pull files off.
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31-Dec-2008, 12:33 PM #14
The data is probably retrievable however it depends on how much you want to spend. Prices for disassembling the drive and reading the platter[s] are very expensive.

If the data is important to you, take the drive to a local shop that does data recovery and see what they charge.
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03-Jan-2009, 11:13 AM #15
Hello CRJ,

Good advice.

I will try a professional service to retrieve my data. If that fails, or is too expensive, then I'll give it a go myself following the guidelines presented earlier.

Thanks to everyone for their input. I hope you all have a great New Year.
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i/o device error, maxtor one touch

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