Finally with new hard drive and external enclosure

I finally bought a new hard drive for my computer. It’s a Seagate 120GB 7200RPM hard drive, and that replaced the Western Digital 60GB 5400RPM that’s about 5-6 years old. I installed the HD, partitioned it, moved my data onto the larger partition, removed the older HD, then did a clean Windows XP install onto the new one.

The good news is that the new HD seems to be working just fine. I don’t know when things are supposed to be snappier, because I have a 8MB cache instead of 2MB.

The bad news is that after receiving the Bytecc ME-740U2F External Enclosure I was going to use for the older HD, I’ve had two corruptions or something. (I hope it’s not the external enclosure – Alex uses the same one.)

Before the clean install, and the old HD was still in the case, I used Ultimate Boot CD to run Ranish Partition Manager to nuke the old HD and format it into one large partition. So, the first corruption happened maybe 20-30 minutes after Karen’s Replicator copied synchronized all my personal data onto it. I haven’t accessed the drive for awhile, but when I tried to open it in Windows Explorer, and it said the file system was corrupt. (I didn’t get the error message.) In Computer Management, I ran a quick format into NTFS, as opposed to the FAT32 it was formerly in.

So the second corruption was a bit weirder. I let Karen’s Replicator run as I fell asleep. I woke up, and tried to eject my external drive, but it was corrupt again. This time, I did a full format into NTFS, as opposed to a quick format.

As a side note, I saw a firmware update for the Prolific PL-3507 chipset, which is what my drive runs with. But when I tried to update the firmware, it says it couldn’t find or connect to the device. I don’t know.

So now, after it’s been thoroughly formatted, I’ve synchronized my torrent downloads only (about 5GB). I’ve ejected the device, and turned it off and on about three times. After synchronizing everything else, it seems to be okay. I’ve ejected and reconnected it two more times successfully.

Maybe it was the way I’ve formatted it, but I don’t get why it’d corrupt with FAT32, where I did run a full format. Time will tell.

Update: I’ve been running a defrag for the external HD, and I got the following error maybe 30 minutes into it.

Windows – Delayed Write Failed

Windows was unable to save all the data for the file X:\$BitMap. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.

Any thoughts? I couldn’t access the drive, so I powered it down, then back on. It seems fine right now. Am I not supposed to defrag it?

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan is a Community Guardian at Automattic. He's also a photographer, card magician, and cat whisperer. (Thanks to my friend and colleague Steve Blythe for the sweet photo!)

4 thoughts on “Finally with new hard drive and external enclosure”

  1. you sound like you’re using firewire. the prolific is an awful chipset and if you could ditch it for a newer version oxford 911, all would go well. but i’m still hanging onto my prolific as well since i paid a fair amount of money for it and can’t see myself throwing it away like that. you can only flash the firmware when using a usb cable. firewire doesn’t work. also, there are three revisions of the chipset, A, B, and C. the later two allow end user flashing whereas the first one doesn’t. it is said that there is some .204 firmware that fixes the delayed write errors but that they’re back in the later ones. i’m unable to get ahold of the .204 one but only the newer two versions available from prolific’s website and while it does help with the delayed write errors a lot, it doesn’t fix it altogether and a problem like the delayed write error is very, very serious as it can and will eventually kill all the data. in the meantime, i’ve resorted to the much slower and choppy usb (i have too many devices on usb all using a lot of the bandwidth) or using a beater 5.25″ enclosure that has the oxford chipset (which by the way i’ve seen record firewire speeds out of). i guess i wish you the best of luck. i’m sorry i don’t really have a solution for you, except maybe if you could find the .204 version, which by word of mouth fixes it, but i haven’t tried to see so myself.

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  2. Well I think I finally found the answer to my proble, i did suspect the firewire been the problem but now im sure. I have a 250gig hard drive, i backed up all my 2005 files into it, and used on the later months of 2005 via usb with no problem but than i thought, well let’s upgrade the cable to firewire since the external enclosure was firewire ready, so i go the local store and buy my self a firewire cable, the next day i turn on the hard drive, boom! my hard drive is corrupt and there are no files on my system, since im not a computer person, i thought my drive was dead, so I threw it in a box and about 2 weeks ago, i was about to dump it, but i said, let me see if i can format it, and i could so i did, cleaned it all out, and put a few non important files to test it out, mess with it a few minutes and boom! corrupt message again. so i went to my cable’s box and pulled out my old usb cable, attached it to the drive, formated the hard drive and i have not had a problem ever since. but, i lost all the data files from 2005, i do entertainment news, so i lost videos photos and a lot of audio interviews. but at least the darn thing is working fine now.

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  3. I sporadically run Replicator, but when I do, it backs up just fine. I never learned if you’re not supposed to defrag an external hard drive.

    Sorry to hear you lost all your files from last year. What’s even worse is that an older USB cable did the trick. It’s kind of cynical, isn’t it?

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