Is it common Windows XP will hang or crash during file transfers

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Masterton, Jul 6, 2009.

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  1. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    Recently we have some serious crashes occurring when we are transferring files to or from our newly purchased USB hard drive.

    We would like to know if it's common problems of USB hard drive or there is something wrong about our computers. Would anyone answer the following questions:

    Placement: Where is the best way to place the USB drive? Currently when I plug in the USB drive, I simply place it at the top of the desktop computer case. Is it alright?
    Fan: Do I have to buy some external fans to cool down the USB drive? Is it necessary?
    Lockup: Is it normal that a system will hang or lock up if:
    (A) we are trying to cut/copy/paste many files at once?
    (B) there are many cut/copy/paste operations are active at one time?
    (C) copying/moving a large file (e.g. several GB large)
    (D) the USB drive is running too long?

    Legacy USB mode: Does "Legacy USB support" (in BIOS) has anything to do to affect the performance or stability of a USB drive? Should it be on or off?
    Formatting: Is it safe to use Windows to format USB drive to NTFS, or should I use third-party tools? Will formatting by Windows cause instability problems like this?
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  2. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

    Not a direct answer but you should download/install HDTune (the free version) and perform both Quick and normal check to be sure the surface is OK. Try also the benchmark test.

    For large file transfer, check TeraCopy 2.01 from CodeSector (freeware version), it really optimized copy speed (maybe also reliability).

    Try also changing the usb cable for a certified one, or at least one you trust.

    Regarding Legacy support : if your usb hdd and all other peripheral are correctly recognized at boot, don't change anything.

    Lastly : contact Buffalo support and tell them what happens, they should be able to help. If not, next time, buy a LaCie or WD HDD.
  3. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

    I'd start off by running chkdsk x: /f on both source and target drives.
  4. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    Thanks for your reply.
    We will use HD Tune to check drives soon.

    We did run chkdsk on both source and target drives after the hang happening during the transfer. We ran chkdsk in the recovery console and it completed the scan. It took longer to complete the run in the external HD. It said it found some errors and it fixed it upon completion. It didn't list what exactly was fixed.

    We have been considering returning the product as defective. But we want to backup the data first before return. But there is a small trouble. The file transfer is proved to be unreliable for unknown reasons. We need to find a better way to backup those data instead of the normal copy-and-paste operations. Does anyone share any thoughts about the safer way to back them up?
  5. axial

    axial Registered Member

    In case other folks go looking for the TeraCopy s/w as I just did, the two utilities I just downloaded directly from their website caused an Alert in NOD32, saying "probably a variant of Win32/Statik".

    I'm going to submit the files to the test engines and if things are ok then I'll post a False Positive report to ESET.

    Many of the CodeSector utils look incredibly useful, so I'm really REALLY hoping this is a FP.

    Edit 1: the TeraCopy download gets a 1/41 result from VirusTotal.
    The DirectFolders download is what caused the NOD alerts, and it continues to do so, and now the page is not loading at all, so maybe they're having some website issues. In any event I can't download the DirectFolders file at all, NOD seems to block it.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  6. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    The only time I had problem copying files to an external drive, either the files where corrupted or they where looking suspicious to the antivirus software. But I have run into one external drive that was always crashing explorer, so that is possible.

    Externals don't need a fan and you can place them on any lever surface. Just make sure that the USB cable is connected to the rear usb ports, not the ports found in the front of the computer. Formatting the external from within windows is reliable, that's how I format my externals.

    Two programs I use to copy large qty of files "beyond compare" and "second copy" both will skip problem files and keep transfering all the other files. Even a file locked by the antivirus won't stop the transfer of the rest of the files.
    I also use teracopy for small file transfer, but the program will stop if it runs into a problem. I don't use it for unattended copys.
    I transfer alot of video recording files from my mediapc to an external drive (sometimes 300gb of data) and secondcopy is the only program that I can rely on getting the job done.
  7. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

  8. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

  9. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    I've never had a crash with a file transfer, ever. I'd recommend you check if you have anti-virus software if it's not flagging or blocking certain files, that's for starters.
  10. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    The sysem crashes and hangs during the file transfer.
    Let's see if this program and the above mentioned help.

    Mrkvonic, antivirus shouldn't be the cause of the crashes. Different computers have been crashed and hung when we plug in the USB drive to do transfer.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  11. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

    Do you have by chance any backup imaging program installed, such as Macrium Reflect ? Or encryption utilities that create virtual protected disks ? Such programs may cause this, especially if more than one of each is installed.
  12. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    TrueCrypt. Create several MBs of encrypted data only. Does it matter?
    I think it shouldn't matter since imaging program / encryption program has nothing to do when we transfer files.
  13. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

    Yes and no : such software install drivers that are running and filtering, in some cases, all I/O operations. When these driver are ill-programmed, they can cause system errors very easily, like disconnecting a USB peripheral using the regular Windows procedure. But TrueCrypt has been rock-solid in the past and is around for some time, I don't think it comes from that. You may want to update TrueCrypt to the latest version, 6.x.

    But before that, you may want to try with another USB HDD and see if the problem happens again. If you had crashes (BSOD ?) repeatedly, your system may also be corrupt. Try restore the most recent backup, if you have one.

    Also, did you get any support from Buffalo ?
  14. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    This is the first time we use a USB external drive (what a bad experience!), so no extra. :(

    We contacted the agent which is responsible for the warranty. I believe the person who received the phone call is not technical professional so it doesn't help. We are just told to send the product to them to have a check. Well, we can't now. Most data have been transferred so we have to back them up first. Please tell me if you have any idea how to backup the data on the possibly unstable USB drive without risking crashing the system/HDD again.

    For people who are interested, this is the problem (explained in depth) that we are currently facing. The post is very long (you have been warned ;)).

    Autorun was off before plugging in the USB drive.
    File transfers to and from that USB drive caused HDD crashes and BSOD.

    This is the only two causes that we could think of:
    (1) USB drive
    But does a faulty USB drive cause such a huge damage?

    (2) Malware
    What we did was plugged in and copy/move files. How come we could get infected?)
  15. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    What programs do you have installed? The only times that I have seen such a behaviour is when there are faulty drivers (from antivirus, hips and imaging software).

    Have you tried to transfer from safe mode?

    Another program to check is the freeware Shadow Copy; it works when everything else fails. ;)

  16. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    Different computers have different programs installed.
    Only Windows is installed to do the file transfer for the third computer that I tried. I then installed more programs after the hang/crash (no BSOD or memory dump for that computer). Security programs: Avira, Sandboxie.

    I haven't tried to transfer from safe mode. I think if the malware is the culprit, safe mode probably doesn't help.

    I believe it should completely rule out the "malware" problem if I booted from a non-Windows operating system and tried file transfer again.

    I burned a UBCD disc and tried to boot from Linux. It didn't work. Loading ~30-40 lines of messages and then stopped loading.

    I'm still looking for a safer way to backup data from USB drive. Doing it when Windows is on seems to be unstable.

    Is there any easy-to-do Linux distro to perform the file transfer test again? It has to be able to read FAT32 and NTFS partitions. Thanks.
  17. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

    There is a nice working Linux live CD which could help you transfer files using a non windows environment, it's called knoppix and is feature-filled. I am almost sure it contains NTFS R/W capability.

    Or you could use a more Windows compatible solution : get hold on either a
    UBCD4Win or BartCD CD, boot from it and try from that environment. You may need a XP SP2 installation CD to master an UBCD4win or BartCD.

    I'll try with Knoppix first, since you just have to dl the .iso, burn and reboot.

    Best of luck !
  18. Wildest

    Wildest Registered Member

    Aside from sending to this clearly faulty hardware to a data recovery company, your best bet would be to try using something like knoppix.

    Does the hardware manufacturer provide any diagnostic utilities for their product?
  19. Hiker

    Hiker Registered Member

    Off topic I guess but, why is that?
  20. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    Just to inform everybody.
    I have used UBCD to boot from Linux but failed.
    Tried 3 Linux distro provided. All failed.
    I am always stuck at "ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14" :'(

    Tried Damn Small Linux. Failed too. The error message: "xinit no such process (errno 3) server error"

    I'm going to try others soon but I have a feeling Linux doesn't like my computer. :'(
  21. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    No disc is present in the box. All tools are pre-stored in the faulty(?) USB drive so we couldn't access it, if any exists.

    If you go to the website it provides a CD image for you to download. It requires submitting a serial number beofre download. It isn't a big deal but typing the serial number gave me such a php error:
    Warning: in_array() []: Wrong datatype for second argument in /home/sites/site13/web/support_validate.php on line 109
    Very funny. The site is just broken. :thumbd: :thumbd: :thumbd:
    Stupid design which requires broken verification before download. Buffalo :thumbd: :thumbd: :thumbd:
  22. Wildest

    Wildest Registered Member

    Buffalo does not manufacture "drives".

    The clean room technology required to make a hard drive is so expensive that only a handful of companies in the world can afford to do this.
    Buffalo takes a basic drive from one of these companies and packages it in a nice external box with a USB interface.

    If you can find out the true manufacturer of the drive in your Buffalo product, there is a possibility that you can go to the manufacturer's site and find a diagnostic tool.

    Hope this helps,
  23. Wildest

    Wildest Registered Member

    The USB ports on the rear of your computer are soldered directly to your computer's motherboard.
    The USB ports on the front of your computer is connected via a cable to connectors on your motherboard.
    I do not know why manufacturers do not put as much priority with regards to compatibility to USB interfaces connected via cable compared to interfaces connected via direct soldering, but this is a fact of life.
  24. Hiker

    Hiker Registered Member

    OK, good to know,thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  25. Masterton

    Masterton Registered Member

    I successfully booted from Ubuntu (I'm typing in Ubuntu right now)
    It seems to be the easiest Linux distro to use so far.
    At least I can boot successfully. All other Linux distro that I tried failed to boot at all.
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