Errors trying to backup to external USB disk

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Spinny, Apr 28, 2008.

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  1. Spinny

    Spinny Registered Member

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    Computer is an HP zd7000A laptop running WinXP MCE. TI V8, last build (937 I think).

    For years I've been backing up to a full-size 120GB drive in a USB case with a power supply. No problems, had three perfect restores after various problems. I recently bought a 2.5" 250GB Western Digital drive and a USB case for it. It's powered through the USB port.

    It handled two full backups, then during the third (first two still on the disk) it failed with this message:

    E00070004: Failed to write data to the image archive file. A possible reason might be poor media quality.

    I ran a full disk scan, including a surface scan, using the Windows XP utility. No errors reported. I tried the backup again, same error.

    I deleted the partition, recreated it and re-formatted. First backup ran fine, then the second one had the above error.

    If the disk is really bad, why don't any bad sectors come up in the scans? Do I really have a bum drive (I need to decide soon, deadline to return it is May 4th) or is this some TI quirk?

    Thanks!
    Mark
     
  2. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    It sure sounds like a bad drive/ case combination. It could be the case that's the problem and not the new hard drive.

    Try booting from the TI Recovery CD and make the image that way. If it takes the same amount of time but there are no errors, then something recently installed in Windows may be causing the problem.

    Can you try using the full size 120GB again to see if it still works without errors.
     
  3. Spinny

    Spinny Registered Member

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    Thanks for the ideas. I just tried the full-size drive, backed up perfectly. I re-tried the new drive with compression off this time, same error.

    I guess I'll return both items and try a different case, but with so many out there I'm at a loss which to trust. I can't afford just to return the case, since the 30 days for the drive are nearly up. I only used it for weekly backups and it was on the third that things went haywire, so of course three weeks went by.

    If the case and/or drive were bad I'm still confused why the WinXP disk scan utility didn't report any problems. o_O
     
  4. Spinny

    Spinny Registered Member

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    Well, for whatever it's worth, my wife's copy of TI11 reported the same error for the drive. I got an RMA number and it's going back tomorrow. Hopefully that's the issue.
     
  5. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    TI is writing very large files as fast as possible. That's much more rigorous for data transfer than the CHKDSK which is excellent for bad sectors.
     
  6. Spinny

    Spinny Registered Member

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    So, then, the problem isn't bad sectors, it's "poor media quality" in that the media can't handle such heavy transfers? Aren't WD drives generally decent? I'm concerned now, because Tiger Direct tests stuff returned as defective, and it's quite possible they could reject the exchange and just send the drive back to me if it passes "normal" testing. If the problem's actually the case, are there brands/makes/models of USB-powered cases that are known to work well with TI?
     
  7. Spinny

    Spinny Registered Member

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    Bumping
     
  8. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If Tiger Direct tests the disk, I'd say the chances of them declaring it OK are probably good. They will transfer a bunch of files of varying size, run chkdsk or some other diagnostic utility and it will not likely show a problem because it is running in a different environment with smaller files.

    TI's error messages, and those from many different applications, should be taken with a grain of salt. The TI message means something indicated the data write was not as it should be and a possible reason is bad media. It could also be a bunch of other things as well from bad cable, marginal power supply, bad USB chipset (either from failure or bad design), etc.

    Problems with USB drives used to plug up this forum a couple of years ago but they are much fewer now. The main reason was that some of the chipsets couldn't handle very large files but your problem perhaps is a little more obscure since it does work, then it doesn't work.

    Some people don't rate WD drives at the top of the list but I use them all of the time with no problem. A common cause of premature failure of a HD is bad handling during shipping according to the manufacturers. I am always careful handling my drives to ensure they never get a shock which can cause the heads to come down on the platter and either mark it or chip of some microscopic pieces of head material. These pieces then cause damage later by colliding with the heads and ruining their "flying" ability.

    The only trouble I've had with my external drives on a machine was a "delayed write" failure which certainly is not specific to TI. It seemed to get resolved when I went into the USB drive properties and turned off write-caching.

    NEC and Cypress chipsets used to be deemed as ones that would work with large files but you wouldn't want to bet your life that the old ones are the same as the new ones. The other thing is your motherboard also has a chipset that has to work with the drive's.

    If you do get the drive back, create some large files on your HD and then calculate the checksum with any free checksum calculator. Then transfer it to the HD and re-calculate the checksum and make sure it compares. Then transfer the file back to the HD and re-calculate and compare again.
     
  9. Spinny

    Spinny Registered Member

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    All's well that ends well. TigerDirect refunded the purchase price, which tells me the drive failed their testing. New one ordered and on the way.

    Thanks for all the insight. :D
     
  10. SLR42

    SLR42 Registered Member

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    Don't count on Tiger sending you a new drive to have solved your problem. I have been having repeated problems backing up my zd7000a for months. Sometimes TI11 (build 8053) works and sometimes it doesn't. TI support has been trying to help, but nothing seems to cure the problem except totally uninstalling TI, including removing all registry entries, then reinstalling it. I then get one good backup, but the next one fails. This problem started when HP recalled my zd7000 for an overheating problem with the video chip set and installed a new motherboard making it a zd7000a. I have no problem making backups of my HP dv9500t with the same Maxtor Onetouch 4 mini USB drive. Both laptops are running WInXP SP3. So, the problem must be with the new HP motherboard and some conflict with TI11's USB drivers. Oh, one other "fix" that seems to work is to use my TI boot disk to do the backup. The "corruption" seems to be at random points in the image. Sometimes the image is completely useless, and other times it can be mounted and explored. The image really is corrupted, because I have tried to validate on my good computer, with the boot disk and after copying it to another drive.
     
  11. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    There has been some postings about this type problem (drive powered via usb port) being fixed by getting an enclosure which did not use computer supplied power.
     
  12. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Thinking about this some more, I think the problem is the power required by the case you chose and the drive and the power that your notebook can supply.

    Laptops are more likely to have limited USB port power than desktops. If you have more than one USB device plugged in, there may not be adequate power for both, the port may just be under powered, or your case/drive may need more than typical spec power.

    Low power would explain a bad media error since the drive doesn't respond as fast as it should.

    Seagate FreeAgent USB powered drives use a two headed USB cable that has to be plugged into two USB ports. That is supposed to provide more power.

    WD portable USB powered drives plug into only one USB port, but they may select special drives which use less power.

    What case will you use with the replacement drive?

    Let us know the results!
     
  13. SLR42

    SLR42 Registered Member

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    After reading about possible power problems with external USB drives, I remembered that my Maxtor OneTouch 4 came with a dual connector USB cable specifically for use with laptops that might not have enough power on their USB ports. I put it away, because both of my laptops seemed to have enough power. Since my problems began after HP replaced my motherboard, I decided to dig out the special cable and give it a try. I should add that I have both a USB mouse and a USB keyboard attached to my zd7000A laptop. This did not seem to be a problem before the MB change. Anyway, with the dual headed USB cable, I got a clean backup. I can't say for sure that my problem is cured, because I have gotten random good backups before. So, I'll reserve judgement until I have gotten several good backups in a row. Wish me luck.
     
  14. tuttle

    tuttle Registered Member

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    I had a similar experience with a Datastor Pocketec portable external USB drive. It contained a Fujitsu 2.5" drive. I could not successfully make backup images to it unless I attached the extra cable that drew additional power from the keyboard port or mouse port (I forget which).

    My current Western Digital Passport portable drive works fine both for imaging and restoring with just the single USB cable.
     
  15. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    The much more common availability of the "2-headed" USB cables seems to indicate a problem that has been identified by the external disk vendors.

    Since the type of integrated circuits used in most computers require more power the faster they go and the extended transfer times when making/restoring images, it is not surprising that the extra power is required when using a product like TI.
     
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