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recovering files/folders from external Maxtor hard drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bpaolucci, Jul 29, 2007.

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  1. bpaolucci

    bpaolucci Thread Starter

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    I have an eMachine T3092 computer to which I added a Maxtor One Touch 160 gig drive, everything is out of warranty. OS = Win XP Pro w/ sp2.

    Outline of problem: On 7/21 I left home with the computer and nanny cam on. Returned 2 hours later & found the following message on screen:

    Windows Delayed Write Failed. Windows was unable to save all of the data for the file
    J: \SMft. (J drive = Maxtor) The data has been lost. The error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or a network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.

    I could not get access to this file to save it elsewhere. I could not get the Add/Remove Software list to populate. I couldn't do a system restore. I couldn't save anything to the J drive and the computer has been more than a little finicky ever since - very slow to open any/everything, insist I allow popups to open links on the web, or throws me off the internet - things like this. Anyway, tried everything I could think of to fix it, tried the things RoadRunner and eMachine suggested. Called Microsoft & pd them $59.00 to fix it and spent the entire week morning to night on the phone with them till they escalated the problem to the research team who told me that the problem is likely due to a surge, that 515K of data on the Maxtor is available to me, and that approx. 57 gigs of data is on the drive. They said I should take the drive to a local tech to have them use recovery tools to remove the data from the drive then to wipe the drive clean and then restore the data to the drive. He also said that the drive will work fine after this is done. He said the local tech should not have any problem recovering the files/folders as he can see that they are still there. Something was corrupted which caused this problem. Microsoft has refunded the fee as they could not fix the problem (or just wanted to get rid of me).

    Geek Squad tech told me that the drive is dying and that delayed write means the drive was having a hard time finding a good place to write the file.

    I'd like to know if there's a way for me, a non tech person, can recover the files myself and if I could do this safely as the fees for the recovery are high to out of this world.
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    You can try this free data recovery program: http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm
    It doesn't always work but if you're willing to try then its a good place to start.

    Also, local shops should be able to do this for you, or at least attempt to do it, without outrageous costs. Its the specialized recovery services that charge the astronomical fees.

    Also let this be a lesson, never have only one copy of any important data. Hard drives and all media fail all the time, sometimes not even the best recovery companies can get it back.
     
  3. bpaolucci

    bpaolucci Thread Starter

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    Hello and thanks for the help.

    I thought that by having an external hard drive I was protected from this sort of thing.

    Took a look at the site for the download. It doesn't rescue powerpoint or photoshop files. Will I loose them if I use this download - I have tons of art on powerpoint silde presentations and in photoshop that I can't afford to loose - I'm not sure what to do.

    I was told today that I should replace the Maxtor. What do you think?

    If it needs replacing, I'm going to try to find one that has a mirror image back up to it and does back ups automatically so I don't have to think about this. My understanding, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that with mirror image the back ups will automatically be saved to both the c drive and the external hard drive. Is this enough protection or should I still save a back up on a dvd/cd?

    Thanks again for helping me.

    Barbara
     
  4. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    If you only have copy of the file, then it doesn't matter that its on an external drive. Its still one copy and the drive is just as prone to failure as your internal drive, possibly more if you carry it with you.

    The software recovers ALL types of files, it just has special functions for certain files and thats the list you must of saw.

    You don't need any special software. Just save files to your hard drive and then copy them to the external drive to make a second copy.

    If you want something to automatically create a second copy and maintain file changes the try the free Microsoft SyncToy: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/prophoto/synctoy.mspx
     
  5. bpaolucci

    bpaolucci Thread Starter

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    I'm going to download and do my best to fix it all.

    I can see myself having a good night's sleep tonight - I've been going nuts since 7/21.

    You're very computer savvy. Unfortunately, I am not. May I impose upon you for one more question? Can you suggest which external hard drives are best - since I'll have to buy a new one. I figure I'll buy something that's about 300 gigs.

    I'll get the microsoft software too. I get very involved with creating art shows for television and as presentations for grants and galleries and I suppose I don't do enough maintenance or know enough.

    Anyway, thank you so much for the help. You've saved the day for me.

    Barbara
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    No such thing as best. All manufacturers have runs and all will have a number of drives that will fail under normal operation. I don't think I'd buy another Maxtor drive, they had many issues and eventually got bought out by Seagate but the older Maxtor products are still being sold everywhere so I wouldn't buy one for a while.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Just a thought; have you attempted to pull the drive from the enclosure and connect as an internal drive? This eliminates the enclosure as a source of problems?

    As to the "best" external drive, I just buy a quality enclosure and install one of the many old ide/sata drives laying around here.

    As Rob posted, you must have multiple copies of important data on separate physical drives. All hd will die; it is a question of when not if.
     
  8. bpaolucci

    bpaolucci Thread Starter

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    Me - attempt to take the drive out of the case and make it an internal hard drive.

    I wouldn't know where to begin. If the thing can be saved by doing this I'll see if I can find someone who has the courage and know how to do this. I wouldn't open anything myself.

    You think the case the drive is in caused the problems????

    I'll be making multiple copies and one set will be on dvds.

    My computer is 4 years old now, should I be worried about it's hard drive or is it only external hard drives that are sure to have problems?

    Barbara
     
  9. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I would definitely take the drive to a shop and have them remove the external drive from the case and install it in one of their machines and see if they can recover the data.

    I have externals brought in occassionally with the same type problem you describe and in about 80% of the cases, the drive is OK it's the external case adapter that is bad.

    If the drive is good, recovery of data is easy.
     
  10. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Yeah, if its the enclosure then its as easy as putting the drive in a new one and your done.

    However, I usually see the opposite the win2kpro. Its usually the drive inside thats faulty rather then enclosure - not that many of my customers use them though.
     
  11. bpaolucci

    bpaolucci Thread Starter

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    Well, since I don't have your knowledge or courage, I'm not going to open the drive up. I'll just replace it.

    Tomorrow I'll muster up the courage to do the download and hope that I don't do anything wrong. I'll let you know how things turn out.

    Thanks so much for the help,

    Barbara
     
  12. bpaolucci

    bpaolucci Thread Starter

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    Good Morning:

    Here's the update: I'm afraid I didn't run the software. I'm kind of stuck. When I went to run it I found I had a choice of only one type of file - jpeg.

    Yesterday Microsoft's tech called and I explained this software you recommended and he told me to just run it once and added that if I ran it a second time I'd risk loosing all data not recovered on the first run.

    The user manual for this software is lacking - I couldn't find instruction about how this works, whether you need to run it for each type of file extension or how to run it and what to expect. I know its free stuff, but, I'm not a computer wiz kid.

    I don't know what I'm doing and am afraid to try to do it at this stage.

    Can you tell me how to do this and what to expect?

    Barbara
     
  13. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    You can run it once, or more then once, it won't cause data loss as long as you recover the data to another drive. You do not need to run it once for each type of file.

    I'd ask for pricing at your local stores to see how much they'd charge if you are running into problems.
     
  14. bpaolucci

    bpaolucci Thread Starter

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    Geek Squad was the cheapest at $160.00. I'm trying to cut the cost of getting the data back so I can afford to buy a new hard drive. Starving artists don't have much extra cash.

    Downloaded the recovery software and tried to open it - got a run error dialog box.

    Will try to uninstall and install again. Just realized these guys will help people use their software so I'll contact them and see if they will give me step by step instructions.

    I'll let you know how things work out.

    Thanks again,

    Barbara
     
  15. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    What was the error?
     
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