Old 22-04-2012   #1
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Having some problems with my external hard drive (Toshiba)

Hello everyone,

while searching for a solution to my problem i've come across this website and decided to sign up hoping you could help me out.

So here's the thing:
In January I bought an external removable hard drive from Toshiba (http://www.toshiba-multimedia.com/eu...ives/alu-2-25/) and it worked perfectly fine for 3 months. One day I lend it to a friend of mine, and when it returned it had a trojan horse. I couldn't copy files into my drive, it would stop in the middle and say it would take hours to end up copying. And if it happened to copy to the hard drive then it would not copy to another computer or even open the files.

I dealt with the trojan horse, and format the hard drive.

Now it copies the files in the regular time, but it won't copy to another computer and it will take a long time to open a file (for instance a wordpad) or it won't even open.

Anyone has experienced any of this problems?

Thanks

P.S.- If it's necessary I'll send it to repair (it's still in the warranty period).
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Old 22-04-2012   #2
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There are some varities of "viri" that are very difficult to remove and one method that has always worked for me is to employ what I call the "zombie clone" method.

On a drive you KNOW is infected with a windows "pathogen", clone any known clean drive over the "infected" drive using clonezilla and make sure to say "yes" to copying the BOOTLDR.

This wipes "everything" that was previously on the drive.

The Virus will not affect clonezilla which is Linux (debian) based
AND runs from a CD-ROM disc

Another method has been to install that Hard drive into any computer with no other hard drive installed and feed the computer virtually any windows installation disc and run the installer, using "advanced options" Delete all previously exsisting partitions and let the installer format the drive... what Windows OS you use is entirely irrelevant because this method of "cleaning" the drive is called "the Waster Installation" method.
as it overwrites everything including the BOOTLDR by default

it's crude but effective (like most crude solutions are)

MY Father liked to run "Scan disc" and other utilities to check the physical condition of hard drives but I found a more reliable method...

IF you copy the drive FULL of data files, mp3 files with included CRC error checking, then copy the files from the questioned drive to another drive
the copying software I use (an old DOS based program called Ztree)
will interrupt the copying operation of the CRC's don't match on even one file.

IF the drive is then formatted and the process repeated and the CRC error happens on the same file again you have a pretty hard indication that there is a physical error on that specific position of the hard drive.

Again the method of testing may be crude but it takes minutes instead of hours to generate a presumptive indication of a fatal problem
and most importantly if you make a third and forth attempt with a different collection of files and you get an error in the same approx location of the drive you have demonstrated "repeatability" that cannot be argued against.

...shortly followed by a whistling sound as the drive in question follows a ballistic flight path towards my (large) recycling bin.

I've also been known to use the "Wasted installation" method to test drives, if the installation crashes
more than once before a Windows XP installer from a known good disc in a known good optical drive
the hard drive in question either gets RMA'd (if in warranty) or sh!tcanned (if NOT in warranty)

in my experinence physical hard drive failures or "errors" account for more than 90%
of all computer issues.

For some reason people find it more comforting to believe in some random act of malice
to simple (random) physical failure.



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Old 23-04-2012   #3
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Re: Having some problems with my external hard drive (Toshiba)

I agree, this is most likely a hardware failure.
It would be perfect if Toshiba had some diagnostic software available. You might have a look on their support website. Additionally, you might try this tool here: http://www.heise.de/download/h2testw.html
Originally designed to deal with fake USB sticks, it can also be used for checking (external) HDDs. Website is german, software UI is switchable (de/en)

Michael
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Old 24-04-2012   #4
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Re: Having some problems with my external hard drive (Toshiba)

Thank you a lot for the time you took to respond.

I'll try first the tool mciahel recommended in order to understand if my hdd has a hardware problem.

Thanks
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Old 04-05-2012   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mciahel View Post
I agree, this is most likely a hardware failure.
It would be perfect if Toshiba had some diagnostic software available. You might have a look on their support website. Additionally, you might try this tool here: http://www.heise.de/download/h2testw.html
Originally designed to deal with fake USB sticks, it can also be used for checking (external) HDDs. Website is german, software UI is switchable (de/en)

Michael
Michael, I used the tool you recommended and after a while it occurred an error "Error reading file 'H:\1.h2w', offset 0x2c00000", does this mean there is a hardware malfunction? Thanks!
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Old 04-05-2012   #6
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Re: Having some problems with my external hard drive (Toshiba)

According to the error message it's very likely to be a hardware issue.
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Old 04-05-2012   #7
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to me it seams a wrong memory config in the bios of the other computer.
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Old 04-05-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liggy View Post
According to the error message it's very likely to be a hardware issue.
Agreed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by macnavarra View Post
to me it seams a wrong memory config in the bios of the other computer.
Could you please elaborate?

h2testw does this: It writes a bunch of test data onto the storage device. Then it tries to read back these data.

Michael
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Old 07-05-2012   #9
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anarproenca formated the external HD and on his Computer werked just fine on the other computer it taked ages to copy files i would sugest to put the memory config to auto and see if the problem on his other computer is solved.
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Old 07-05-2012   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macnavarra View Post
anarproenca formated the external HD and on his Computer werked just fine on the other computer it taked ages to copy files i would sugest to put the memory config to auto and see if the problem on his other computer is solved.
I disagree completely.

It's obvious there is a problem with the HDD.
Large sections of bad sectors, or a failed read head cause issues like these.

Temperature variations during operation often allow the HDD to work for a short period of time, but once it heats up, the drive fails ... and windows attempts to maintain the writing operation, because the drive was working ... and it has to finish writing the buffer out.

It's likely he's performed a quick format of the HDD, which only basically just zeroes the file table .. and then written info to the HDD ... quite possibly ignoring the Delayed Write Failure messages popping up.

Error handling for failing (failed) HDD's leaves something to be desired.

If you want to confirm the problem, you can download an ubuntu (linux) livecd, and then repartition and format it with GPartEd ... and then use one of the disk information tools to pull up info on the drive, and/or drop files onto it to confirm that the drive is failing, and it's not a trojan.

You can also use Crystal Disk Info on Windows to review the SMART data in the drive.
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Old 07-05-2012   #11
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agreed. but he should take in consideration that it might be an I/O inssue and should replace his external HD case with another HD external Case USB controller chip.
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Old 07-05-2012   #12
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Re: Having some problems with my external hard drive (Toshiba)

An external HDD is usually sold as a unit and only covered by warranty if the unit is not separated. Even attempting to separate drive and enclosure might void the warranty.

Michael
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Old 08-05-2012   #13
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Re: Having some problems with my external hard drive (Toshiba)

Agreed, if it was bought as a complete unit from Toshiba, don't open the case, it will void your warranty.

Try checking the disk using windows scandisk, and/or use Crystal Disk Info to see whether the drive is reporting anything bad.

If either fails, it's time for an RMA with Toshiba.
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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. --Terry Pratchett

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