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External Hard Drive Issues


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I'm having problems with my Toshiba Ext HDD, namely it seems that there is random data loss. There's no other way I know how to describe it except to provide an audio example, which I'll get to shortly. Some files, namely media files, are usable in software terms of being able to load in a player, but unusable from a consumer standpoint.

Earlier today the drive was working like normal, and then it would begin corrupting data that was being written to the drive. I have had this happen before with another Toshiba Ext HDD, but I had attributed the failure to possibly dropping the drive (the earlier drive was a portable hard drive with 1TB), but I had only dropped that drive once, and it worked just fine immediately after. However, the newer one is a 3TB desktop hard drive. Apparently I just fried the newer drive by attempting a file system error scan as I can no longer access the drive, even though it shows up on my computer as an available device.

I pulled out my older drive to see if it was still broken as well, which it was. So I decided to copy an audio file from my internal HD to the drive to have the file corrupted, then uploaded to soundcloud. Here's what audio files written to either drive sound like (I'm sure you know the original).

Of course this means that other types of files such as archives aren't usable.

Does anyone know what could have happened to the drives, as they both have this problem? I'm assuming it's not damage on my part, as I've treated my newer drive with the utmost care to hopefully prevent exactly what happened to it.

Another question, is there anything I could possibly do to fix it on my end? Obviously scanning for file system errors isn't it, it just ended up frying one of the drives.

I would say something about applying for a warranty claim (Toshiba has a 3yr warranty on external drives) but it was a Christmas gift from my parents and they say they're very doubtful that they can find the receipt at this point.

EDIT: I feel like I should point out that any data left unmodified before a certain point in time is still usable and completely untouched. It's only new data that's corrupted, which may explain why the second drive committed seppuku when I tried to scan it for errors.

For those who would ask, my system is Win7 x64 on a Acer Aspire 5250-BZ669. AMD Dual-Core Processor E-350, 4GB DDR3 memory

Edited by Anorax
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As long as you've got a serial number, you can get the warranty process going. That's the short answer. :<

Toshiba requires "written" proof of purchase - without it, they "cannot process your claim"

What really pisses me off is that I relied on the 3TB for all my music stuff. There goes all that.

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Toshiba requires "written" proof of purchase - without it, they "cannot process your claim"

What really pisses me off is that I relied on the 3TB for all my music stuff. There goes all that.

Bullcrap. They know when they manufactured that drive. I mean, I'm not trying to discount that you're having difficulty, but that's utter crap on their part. As a guy who's spoken with many different warranty service folks, that's incredibly poor service from them (and possibly an outright lie), and they say "three-year warranty," then they need to honor that warranty. Just because they don't know where it was purchased doesn't mean that they don't know when it was made. The whole proof-of-purchase-needed bit is 100% unacceptable.

On the more practical side of things, I'd make sure that everything important is backed up to SOMEWHERE. Sounds like you may be up a creek without a paddle very shortly here. Hard drives are probably the single most failure-prone computer component out there. One thing you COULD do--and this would DEFINITELY void the warranty, so this would be my last resort recommendation--is get a SATA-to-USB adapter of some sort and rip the drive out of its enclosure to see if it's the drive itself, or just the enclosure.

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straight from Toshiba's claim page:

  • In all cases, you are required to return the defective item, along with proof of retail purchase to Toshiba at your expense, within 30 days of the claim date. If Toshiba, at its sole discretion, determines product has been damaged or abused, the claim will be rejected.
  • If you are unwilling or unable to return the defective product, or cannot provide written proof of retail purchase, Toshiba will be unable to process your claim.

I agree, it is bullcrap.

And I don't plan on ripping open the disk anytime soon. I'm pretty sure the drive itself is damaged as I can no longer get read access ever since I tried scanning it.

Edited by Anorax
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