External Harddrive EMERGENCY!!!


TPF Noob!
May 31, 2008
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Hey folks... just wondering if you could help me here.

I have just gotten a new computer and hooked up my external to it. The thing has been awesome for over a year. No problems. All of a sudden we're finding corrupted pictures throughout all my folders. Ones that were fine yesterday. I haven't downloaded anything except the Kodak Printer software that I needed, and a new Itunes, which I've been filling from the songs in the external. A few of them had some "quirks" to them also, i'm noticing.

Right now, I'm running a virus scan on it, and there doesn't seem to be any infections, YET.

Does anyone know what I should do after the scan runs? I'm thinking of hooking it up to another computer, and seeing what happens then. Currently, it's also usable by my old computer through my network.

Am I screwed here?

Thanks for any help, in advance.
I think I cleared it up. I ran a scandisk utility on it and it seems all better.

We're now in the process of triple redundancy backing up stuff. This was a scare. I didn't think you could run into problems with externals? We used to cd backup everything as well as the external, but I was waiting on this new computer with a dvd burner, so I stopped. If this thing was toast, I would have lost about ten BIG folders.

I get lazy sometimes and this put the fear into me, so it better not happen again. DUH.
Why wouldn't you run into problems with external hard drives? They're regular hard drives but just in an external enclosure other than inside your computer. They're even more likely to fail because they typically get banged around more.

I would suggest what you're doing - do another backup to another drive to be safe. Then I'd suggest reformatting the drive that was giving you problems - corrupted files sounds like there may be something wrong with the file system on the drive.

Now, if you start to hear a clicking sound, you'd better pray to whatever deity you may or may not believe in that the files are duplicated elsewhere 'cause that drive's gonna die. (Personal experience, first hard drive failure, lost 3 months' of stuff including photos to 7 national/state parks including Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.)
I guess my confusion about externals came from that they aren't in the actual enclosure of the computer and don't suffer from the heat problems that have been the culprit in my past hard drive failures.

I have my external on a shelf far away from any getting banged around possibilities. I've backed up everything again on dvd this time. So the files are pretty safe now, as far as I know. Should they be replicated again at some point down the road? I'm not sure about how long they are good for before needing to be copied again.

I hope they work better than cd backups. They often take forever to read and finally show the photo. That's never been a problem with the external. We are looking into getting a new terabyte external anyway. Thanks for the eye opening.
In general, I think 1 backup is enough if they are in separate locations (as in both drives are not in your computer). This is under the assumption that if one drive fails, you will go out immediately and get another so that you are under very little risk of the backup (or the original) drive failing, as well.
You should also take a look at External RAID drive storage.

RAID uses redundant disks so if one fails the data is still safe.
You should also take a look at External RAID drive storage.

RAID uses redundant disks so if one fails the data is still safe.

That sounds good. I'll look into that.

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