XP Hosed 20% of my files - why?



I have alot of tv shows recorded to my computers various 8 hard drives. Yesterday on a normal start the boot sequence showed the computer was going thru and finding many “invalid file structure” and was “replacing invalid security ID” ((errors zooming by too fast to really read any more detail)). When the machine finally started, about 20% of the recorded shows on one of the hard drives showed the episodes name but had a file size of zero.

The hard drive had been recently defragged and no viruses have been reported. Yesterday it was 20 Gigabytes lost on one hard drive but I fear that the same thing could happen tomorrow with all my hard drives and with all my data?? I’ve googled this a bit and don’t find anything on point although it sounds like maybe the master file table got corrupted somehow and the rebuild from the mirrored master file table also partially failed???

Anyhow, any ideas on what did happen and how to prevent it??? Is Raiding all my drives the “best” protection against this?? I’ve been thinking of building a Raid 5 system for recording but am very concerned that a controller failure would wipe out “ALL” data. All very frustrating. — Anybody have similar experience even if the “cause” is not known? Thanks. //// Bobbo.


Check your date. I once lost some MP3s that had a future date (they were created when the clock was a couple of weeks fast).



Please check your RAM with memtest, also check your HDDs with the tools provided by their manufacturers.

Is Raiding all my drives the “best” protection against this??
No. RAID does not replace backups on external storage (like optical media, tape, external HDDs etc.). A corrupted file system would also destroy any RAID.



Sounds like a dying hard drive to me. Back up any remaining files on that drive ASAP. Run a full diagnostic on the drive, using the tools provided by the drive’s maker.


Ok–I have done everything suggested except making backups because making backups is what this is all about==keeping the files “in tact” until they are burned to dvd.

There were no future dates, the RAM is fine, dvd diagnostics shows everything to be good. Chkdsk reveals nothing, etc.

Further inspection shows that 3 of my 8 hard drives were affected. This must be important===>>all the missing files where within folders. Files that sat on any partition main root were not affected. No folder lost all their files–some folders only lost 1 or 2 files, other folders lost 70-80% or 15-20 files. When I say “lost” I mean the file name is still there but the file size is reported as zero and of course, the file ((all tv shows)) does not play.

Lately, I’ve been having trouble with 13month old fancy replacement “round” cables. They have been going bad and the original flat cables have been put back in. Don’t know why/how they could cause this but they have all been replaced. I’m getting a Ninth hard drive to copy the “most important” files to just as another level of protection, then keep my fingers crossed the event does not happen when the new drive boots up? Keep any additional ideas coming. Sounds like a rare event given my google searching and this excellent forum. //// Bobbo.


That’s a PITA. I also have too many HDDs in my home machine: 6 full time, and drive drawers for 2 more. I went through a similar mess during two periods, one on an NF2 MB and the other on an NF4. My solution was to take certain Seagate drives from my rig. The ones I had problems with were a 7200.8 300GB PATA and a 7200.8 300GB SATA. I originally had problems with a 7200.9 500GB SATA, but tech support was kind enough to provide a firmware update that fixed the issues on my NF4 rig.

I haven’t seen any controller compatibility / data corruption / data loss issues with Seagate’s 7200.10 series. I feel most comfortable with WD’s RE2 series right now… they run cool, have a 5-year warranty, and haven’t given me compatibility issues even without disabling TLER.

I’m not saying your Seagates are necessarily causing your problems, just that I’ve found them to be a bit tempermental on certain controllers. One point: the drives that caused problems on my NF rigs are doing fine on Intel 975 boards right now.

Anyway, you might go through your Event Log to see whether there was anything strange logged before your data loss.


Tropic—touchy controllers eh??? Well, it did only happen to Seagate Drives–2 of them being in the .10 series though. Still, maybe I am over-relying on the 5 year warranty and I need to get a different drive mix as you suggest. Sounds good to me. I have lost data 3-4 times with the Seagates that are in my caddies, and I just figured it was the additional electrical connections and sucked that up. The real PITA for me has been the “new” round data ribbons going bad–took awhile for me to figure that one out.

So unfair that such things are faulty==I see no reason at all for hard drives to be “touchy” with controllers, but I have no other explanation. Thanks much for the input./// Bobbo.


MY resolution–lots of time on google and with tech departments. While there are “always” too many variables to be sure, my conclusion is==

  1. Round cables more likely to corrupt data.
  2. Leaving hard drives connected to computer thru the data cable while removing the power cables is more likely to corrupt data.
  3. NTFS file system more likely to corrupt data when the same data is repetitively added and deleted in an “unbalanced” way. (Such key term not defined.)

When computer started up and found corrupted data, it went ahead and ran chkdsk to delete it.

Rebuild my system with flat cables and external usb boxes and keep my fingers crossed. Thanks for your all help. //// Bobbo.

When the comp