Measures to protect external hard drive?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by pajenn, Mar 16, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Posts:
    930
    If busy, skip directly to questions...

    Motivating story: I have a 1.5 TB external hard drive that I use mainly for backups and for virtual machines. Last night I was testing a program on a virtual workstation residing on said external drive. When I connected a USB flash drive to my VM it crashed, an $MFT error appeared regarding my external drive and ChkDsk said the problem was unrecoverable. :ouch:

    In the end all I had to do was turn the drive off and on, but I've had similar situations that required reformatting the drive.

    Situation: The contents of the drive are not crucial, but I would rather not reinstall and reconfigure my virtual machines, and losing old backups is never good. Obviously making backups of my backup drive makes no sense, and it would take too long and too much space anyway. Any recovery software that would need to first copy an image or contents of the 1.5 TB drive to another location would not be feasible.

    Questions:

    Other than making a backup of the drive's Mbr (with MbrFix), what else can I do?

    Is there software to backup MFT or or system files that sometimes become corrupted?

    Any other ideas or programs that can fix corrupted external hard drives?
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,059
    I've never seen anything like this and use my externals the same way. I alway's make sure the external drives have on off switches so I can turn them off when not in use.

    Also I get suspicious of them after about 2.5 years, and start looking to replace them. That's about when the ones I have that failed died.

    If I were you I'd be looking at replacement.

    Pete
     
  3. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    You need to back up to more than one physical location, otherwise it's not really a backup at all. If your one physical back up location fails, your other physical back up is there to bail you out.
     
  4. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Posts:
    930
    It's a fairly new drive, and I don't think the drive is at fault because I replicated the problem several times (don't ask)... More commonly this type of problem (with more serious consequences) occurs on occasion if you pull off an external hard drive without 'ejecting safely,' or the "pull off" occurs because the computer crashes or experiences a power outage. Point is it happens. Actually, that's not the point - the real point is whether there's anything you can do ahead of time to improve the chances of recovery if it does happen?
     
  5. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Posts:
    930
    Ideally yes and I think that's good advice, but even if I have backups at various other locations I still want to know if there's anything I can do in advance to prepare to fix any particular one of them in case of this type of error (short of reformatting)?
     
  6. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Posts:
    2,024
    For important jobs i have same files on 3 different ext. harddrives.
    So i never connect these drives at the same time to my computer,in case a power failure can destroy them all and you end up with nothing left.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.