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Repair faulty Master File Table on external drive.

 
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Philocalist



Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 291

Location: Sunny Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:20 am    Post subject: Repair faulty Master File Table on external drive.

Oops Crying or Very sad I managed to remove the usb cable from my PC while it was transferring data to an external drive, and it has left me with what appears to be a big problem.
I can no longer access the drive ... when I try, it simply tells me that I need to format the drive first.
I'm on Vista, and have tried the drive with other cables, in other USB sockets and on other PCs with the same result.
CHKDSK comes back and tells me I have a faulty MFT ... how do I fix that?

So far, mooching around the net has left me very disheartened: general concensus seems to be that I have little option but to reformat and start from scratch, but I'm finding it really hard to believe that the accidental removal of a USB cable can cause such irrevocable problems.

I'm running Vista ... can ANYONE out there please offer me a simple fix / repair / solution?
Thanks!
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goretsky



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 9840

Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:15 am    Post subject:

Hello,

Perhaps one of the programs mentioned in this earlier message thread will be of use to you.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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Philocalist



Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 291

Location: Sunny Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, will wade through that lot for inspiration! Smile

Meanwhile, I spoke to Seagate (the drive manufacturer) customer support just a few minutes ago, and am way less than happy Evil or Very Mad

Apparently, the problem caused by me accidentally unplugging the usb cable is ONLY fixable (according to them!) by a full data recovery followed by a complete format of the drive!

Sheesh! (Well ... that's the polite expletitive!) Laughing
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zlim



Joined: Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 2747



PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject:

That's why you always use the "safely remove" option. It might appear that a device is finished when in fact things are still being written.
I've had 4GB sticks tell me is was not safe to remove, even though the activity light was not blinking. So I waited and tried a few minutes later and got the safe to remove confirmation.

People post that they have never had a problem just pulling the USB drive out but, as you discovered, it becomes a major problem.
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Philocalist



Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 291

Location: Sunny Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:29 am    Post subject:

Thats what is so bleedin' ironic ... I DO use the 'safely remove' option ... religiously! I even installed software to make this procudure safer still, but nothing like that is going to stop you knocking the cable out as you get out of a chair:-(
Well, at the risk of tempting fate, data recovery is going well, though tedious .. I'm guessing that some time Saturday I'll be in a position to reformat the drive then start loading nearly 500GB of data via USB.
Can't wait Rolling Eyes

Next drive I need externally is going to be eSATA, cobbled together with my own hands if neccesary! Laughing
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goretsky



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 9840

Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:32 am    Post subject:

Hello,

Not something I planned, but when working with removable hard disk drivesI always seem to end up with the power and data cables behind the computer or on the opposite I am working on, so I have never had an accidental unplugging before.

I am unsure of how reliable the eSATA connector is, long-term. The Serial ATA Organization states a minimum of 5,000 insertions and removals here on their web site, compared with up to 10,000 for MicroUSB, according to Wikipedia. I would be more worried about the stiffer cables putting more pressure on the device's connector and accidentally damaging it or slipping out.

Although I cannot seem to find it right now, I so seem to recall seeing somewhere an external 2.5" USB 2.0/eSATA hard disk drive enclosure that came with a 5.25" drive mounting frame so that the enclosure could be installed like a removable cartridge drive. Something like this would be ideal, I think, as it would allow you to have an external hard disk drive seated snugly in the computer without having to worry about cable disconnection problems.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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zlim



Joined: Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 2747



PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject:

A "toaster" is what AG is referring to because the hd sits up like a piece of bread in a toaster.
It looks like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817388021

Interesting link, AG. I had no idea the number of insertion and removals was limited.
For my USB stick, I attach by a 6" extension cable, simply because I don't want to put undue pressure on the USB stick itself. I guess when the extension has reached its limit, I'll replace it rather than have a useless USB stick on my hands.

Quote:
The external connector and cable are designed for over five thousand insertions and removals while the internal connector is only specified to withstand fifty.
Internal versus external SATA cables. 50 is not alot. I know people who are always tweaking the computer. I guess you need a bunch of internal SATA cables handy. Razz
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PhotoCarp



Joined: Sep 06, 2007
Posts: 207

Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

goretsky wrote:
I am unsure of how reliable the eSATA connector is, long-term. The Serial ATA Organization states a minimum of 5,000 insertions and removals here on their web site, compared with up to 10,000 for MicroUSB, according to Wikipedia. I would be more worried about the stiffer cables putting more pressure on the device's connector and accidentally damaging it or slipping out.


Only 5,000 insertions for eSATA? One can do two insertions a day for the next 6.8+ years! By then most people would have lost the cable or fried the device. And we might even be using USB4* or SATA6 devices by time 2017 rolls around!

*USB3 devices are already showing up in the marketplace and the speeds are comparable to eSATA speeds.
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goretsky



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 9840

Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:07 am    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Hello,

What I saw was more like this caddy from Antec, except that instead of accepting a bare 3.5" SATA hard disk drive it accepted a 2.5" SATA hard disk drive in an enclosure.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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Philocalist



Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 291

Location: Sunny Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:54 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Thanks for the links to the caddy, particularly the Antec ... think this may be the way I will go next time .. local dealer is selling them at just over 15! Very Happy

To round this off for anyone who takes a future interest in the topic:

I was unable to find a way to repair the problem, ie a corrupted MFT, without data loss.
Data recovery followed by a full format was the route I ultimately took, which though tedious was fairly painless ... actually recovering the data (maybe 450GB off a 500GB Seagate external drive) took approx 36 - 48 hours ACTUAL RUNNING TIME on a reasonable spec PC. It was VERY noticable that a single large file (say 750MB) was recovered VERY much more quickly than a folder containing 750MB of much smaller (image) files. My file count WAS high ... approacing the million mark Shocked
I used Seagate File Recovery for Windows (which would work with any HD, not just Seagate flavour). It worked flawlessly, was very simple to set up and use, and very flexible. Actual data recovery was apparently 100% successful!

3 'observations'(!)

1/ Backing up stuff to an external hard drive is NOT foolproof. They can and do go wrong ... a few months ago I had another one (not a Seagate) crash terminally after less than 6 months use. Data recovery in that case ran at MUCH less than 100%!

2/ If you DO ever get into a situation where you need to do a BIG data recovery, consider where you will put the recovered data whilst you try to sort the drive. How many of us actually have perhaps a terabyte os spare disc space that could be used?

3/ ALL USB PLUGS ARE NOW FIRMLY SUPERGLUED INTO PLACE!!!

Only kidding, but I'm sure you get my drift? Laughing
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drwho07



Joined: Nov 29, 2007
Posts: 2296

Location: Central FL, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Super Glue, may be a bit drastic, but I regularly secure my SATAII cables to my drives with HOT GLUE. It holds the connectors firmly but is easy to break away when you want to change a drive, etc.

Just a thought Rolling Eyes
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Philocalist



Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 291

Location: Sunny Newcastle, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Hmmm Very Happy Been thinking along those lines myself for both SATA and USB plugs ... really cannot for the life of me understand why both were not designed with some type of small catch to keep them firmly in place? It's not exactly rocket science .. telephone wires have had this type of thing for years!
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