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Author Topic: an entire drive suddenly missing!  (Read 3982 times)

Curt

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an entire drive suddenly missing!
« on: May 06, 2010, 08:06:37 AM »
What do you do when Windows suddenly tells you that it has discovered a new USB device (my "G-drive"), but it will need to search for a new driver, and the USB drive isn't formatted, "would you like to format now?"? I KNOW this is not "a new device", and i KNOW it IS formatted, because we are talking about my backup drive that I have been using for maybe two years! Windows asked me to navigate to any driver suitable, but 'we' couldn't find the proper one. Somewhere I may still have the installation-CD for this USB hard drive, but I am not sure - haven't found it yet. Am I in a great risk of loosing my backups? I am really worried about this "not formatted" thing.

mouser

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2010, 08:10:52 AM »
you have reason to be concerned.. sometimes this means that the file tables on the hard drive have been corrupted.  it goes without saying that you should NOT let windows format the drive in any way.

have you tried unplugging it and re-plugging it in?

MerleOne

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 08:24:44 AM »
You have to see if it's recognized, even non formated in windows disk management (execute, diskmgmt.msc, enter). If yes, try loading easeus or active partition recovery to make an image (if possible) or recover files right away.  Alternatively, try Partition Find and Mount to see if the former partition is seen, then backup files asap.

Sometimes, a few bad blocks in the partition table cause just that.  Try also running HDTune to see if there are some physical errors.  If yes, try imaging the drive before it degrades further.  Then use something like spinrite, HDD Regen (demo version) or DRevitalize to try to repair the bad blocks.
.merle1.

f0dder

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 08:28:36 AM »
If Windows tells you it needs a new driver, something is pretty wrong. I'd suspect wonky USB ports or electronics in the drive enclosure before blaming corrupted filesystem on the drive. Try some different USB cables and ports, and if that fails, try getting the disk out of the enclosure and testing it connected directly inside your machine.

Then use something like spinrite
Don't.
- carpe noctem

Curt

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 08:32:32 AM »
Sorry; false alarm!

I closed Windows, unplugged and re-plugged the cables, booted again, and the problem was gone.

 :-\

Edited:
I see that was what mouser suggested while I was off-line. Thanks!  :up:
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 08:42:35 AM by Curt »

f0dder

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2010, 08:33:45 AM »
Probably a good idea to make sure you have a backup of the backup drive... it's never a good sign when hardware starts acting flaky.
- carpe noctem

MerleOne

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2010, 08:35:50 AM »
That's the best way to solve this !  I would still backup the important data currently on that disk...
.merle1.

Curt

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 08:38:56 AM »
Quote
a backup of the backup

That is not quite the type of person that I am. I already have spent all of my money on software that I don't really need. Why would I suddenly become reasonable and get something that I actually might need?


Money, money, money,
must be funny,
in the rich man's world

Carol Haynes

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2010, 09:30:13 AM »
I have come across this a few times with client drives. Each time it has been the USB converter that has been the problem. To recover the data I removed the drive and either plugged it in internally (they are mostly standard SATA drives these days) or used an alternative USB enclosures. Each time the drive was fine.

Glad yours is working again though ;)

ha14

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2010, 09:39:28 AM »
Well possible your drive is corrupted so basically windows will popup with that message. Try to instal UNKNOWN DEVICES (http://www.zhangduo.com/udi.html) and see what will come up

AndyM

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2010, 09:39:54 AM »
Quote
a backup of the backup drive

or simply two rotated backup drives, so even if the one with the most recent backup tanks, you still have the previous one

wraith808

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2010, 10:14:45 AM »
Quote
a backup of the backup drive

or simply two rotated backup drives, so even if the one with the most recent backup tanks, you still have the previous one

Or you could mirror the backup as an alternative.  RAID enclosures are surprisingly cheap these days, so you can set up a RAID 1 array for not much expense.

http://www.dlink.com...roducts/?pid=DNS-321 (product description)

http://www.amazon.co...5&sr=8-1-catcorr

http://www.tigerdire...52307&CatId=2670 (Cheaper after rebate)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 10:20:16 AM by wraith808 »

Curt

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2010, 10:58:37 AM »
--- you can set up a RAID 1 array for not much expense.

-sounds interesting. However, I don't *need* a server (but may of course buy one all the same! haha), so if I am to think of it as solely a backup unit, I would say it is too fragile for the purpose. I might be paranoid, but I found this mini review of D-Link DNS-323:

Quote from: Reviewer PC-PRO on Mar 11, 2010
This drive is labeled as a backup drive or basically as a simple file server. All in all, it works well, until the unit fails. I used this as a file server running RAID 1 so that I had two copies of all of my files in case a drive failed. Only when the box failed and D-Link sent me a warranty replacement, did I learn there was no way to set up the new box without reformatting the drive and wiping out all of the data. After hours (and a lot of intense discussion with people on the other side of the Earth), we found a way to access the Linux file formatted drive on a Windows box and copy the files. If I had run this box in RAID 0 (which you would only do as a file server, not a backup drive), all of my data would have been lost. Be very careful when using this drive. Your data is not as safe as D-Link would like you to think.

wraith808

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2010, 11:24:26 AM »
--- you can set up a RAID 1 array for not much expense.

-sounds interesting. However, I don't *need* a server (but may of course buy one all the same! haha), so if I am to think of it as solely a backup unit, I would say it is too fragile for the purpose. I might be paranoid, but I found this mini review of D-Link DNS-323:

Quote from: Reviewer PC-PRO on Mar 11, 2010
This drive is labeled as a backup drive or basically as a simple file server. All in all, it works well, until the unit fails. I used this as a file server running RAID 1 so that I had two copies of all of my files in case a drive failed. Only when the box failed and D-Link sent me a warranty replacement, did I learn there was no way to set up the new box without reformatting the drive and wiping out all of the data. After hours (and a lot of intense discussion with people on the other side of the Earth), we found a way to access the Linux file formatted drive on a Windows box and copy the files. If I had run this box in RAID 0 (which you would only do as a file server, not a backup drive), all of my data would have been lost. Be very careful when using this drive. Your data is not as safe as D-Link would like you to think.

Hmmm... that shouldn't be the case, and in fact the Firmware supports adding a new drive (if not hot-swapping).  Here's an in-depth review here:
http://www.smallnetb...t/view/30521/75/1/2/

It might be the firmware, but I couldn't say since he doesn't say what firmware he's using.  The older firmware and builds were a problem (something in the kernel level drivers or some such), but this unit has been on the market for a while and I thought all the kinks were finally worked out...

Here's the relevant page from the DLink support:
http://www.support.d...1/103/help_tools.htm

I've been looking at getting one myself (my wife homeschools the kids and is going to a computer based system so she wants her data secure, and has just started college so we want her work secure), and this seemed like the best 'budget' NAS.  As I side note, this is also the reason I'm looking at cloud services so intently.

And as another aside, his bit about his data being gone if he'd had it formatted as RAID 0- that's one of the downsides of RAID 0 no matter what.  If one drive is gone, your data is going to be toast.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 11:26:01 AM by wraith808 »

Innuendo

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2010, 10:32:07 PM »
Curt, first thing I'd do is replace that cable. The cable may be starting to fail. It might not be, but it's cheap insurance.

As for the DNS-323, I have one & I love it. I don't use the RAID capabilities as some of the earlier firmware versions had bugs so I have each drive set up as a separate drive letter & just run an automated script on the unit (google dns-323 and funplug) to copy what I want backed up from one drive to the other internal to the device.

At least when I bought it, the DNS-323 had the fastest transfer rates of any NAS in its price range.

MrCrispy

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2010, 01:27:16 AM »
Since its a backup drive, you already have a backup of the backup - the original! Besides the hardware suggestions given, you can also try checking the disk for errors (using the gui or chkdsk) with a full scan, this will find any bad sectors. Also run a S.M.A.R.T diagnostic - none of this is definitive but if the drive is going bad, usually you'll see signs.


Curt

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Re: an entire drive suddenly missing!
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2010, 02:23:54 AM »
at least, your sweet-talks are making me reconsider ;-)

My two fixed harddrives are 500 GB each. Any new drives ≥ (500+15%=)575 GB?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 09:31:32 AM by Curt »