TC sometimes mounts volume correctly (files readable), mostly not (volume shows as RAW)

Discussion in 'encryption problems' started by suddenlynofiles, Aug 4, 2014.

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  1. suddenlynofiles

    suddenlynofiles Registered Member

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    I encrypted my 3TB WD external drive a couple of years ago. I encrypted the whole volume, but am not sure about exact settings. Up until about a week ago, everything was fine. Then yesterday I tried to mount the drive and TC accepted my password, but Windows Explorer shows no files on the drive. Also the drive label seems to be gone. Win 7 Disk Management shows the drive as RAW.

    I'm using Win 7 64 bit, but the drive might have been encrypted when I was still using Win XP SP3.

    I spent hours reading the forums last night. Then this morning I tried again and everything worked again as it should. So I ran out to buy a new hard drive (to copy the files to). I shut down the computer to hookup the new (internal) drive and now I can't access my files anymore. I tried quite a few times, but the drive always shows as RAW.

    Also, this seems to happen every time after my 1st try:

    http://i57.tinypic.com/xncfex.png

    (The problem drive is in the last line and should have its own "Harddisk 6:" headline.)

    When I then select the volume (Device\Harddisk6\Partition1) and try to mount it, I get an error message saying that it can't find the file or volume.

    I'd really appreciate your help.
     
  2. suddenlynofiles

    suddenlynofiles Registered Member

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    Edit: I'm not sure how to edit my original post. I managed to mount the drive again with my files being there and I started copying them to the new drive. One thing that came to mind, might it be the external enclosure that is dying?
     
  3. Randcal

    Randcal Registered Member

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    Yeah that's pretty odd. My thought would be possible sector corruption. If the drive was ever unplugged without dismounting from TC and/or without ejecting it from the OS, it could lead to bad sectors that end up causing the drive to behave like that.

    When you say you encrypted the "whole volume", does that mean you encrypted the entire device, or was there just a single partition taking up the whole drive and you encrypted that partition?

    You're really good for transferring the files immediately while you have access (although, you should have a backup already.)

    I'd say you dodged a bullet and take it as a lesson learned. My suggestion now would be to do a clean wipe of that whole drive and only use it as a backup or for inconsequential data for now. And MAINTAIN A BACKUP of anything you don't want to lose from now on!

    P.S.
    There should be an edit button at the bottom of your post to the right of the timestamp.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  4. suddenlynofiles

    suddenlynofiles Registered Member

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    Thank you! I must have overlooked that button yesterday. :oops:

    Unfortunately not all is well: I was able to copy about a third of the disc, but this morning robocopy was frozen and would not let me shut it down. I checked the time stamps and it seemed it had not done anything for 3 hours. Only a complete system shut down solved the problem. After rebooting I was able to mount the volume again immediately (with access to my files), but the copying would freeze again within about 30 seconds. Now in Windows Explorer the drive changed from its proper volume label to no label and it appears as RAW again. It could be that it froze at the same spot (I'm not entirely sure from the time stamps & log). So if possible I will try to start the copying a third time and skip that folder.

    By "whole volume" I meant a single partition taking up the whole drive. Sorry about that!
     
  5. Randcal

    Randcal Registered Member

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  6. suddenlynofiles

    suddenlynofiles Registered Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, but the problem does not seem to lie with Robocopy. It's just that the disc seems to "lose" its partitions again after a short while. Usually only a few minutes. I don't really understand it. I'm thinking about taking the disc out of its enclosure and connecting it directly to my mainboard. Maybe the enclosure is failing...
     
  7. Randcal

    Randcal Registered Member

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    If that's really the case then it may be a logical failure. If not, it would be something in the mechanics.

    When you say "take the disc out of the enclosure", do you mean simply taking the hard drive out of the external casing, or do you mean actually breaking the seal and exposing the platters?

    Disc = optical media and phonograph records/albums, and usually other flat circular objects
    Disk = magnetic storage media, such as a floppy disk or hard disk drive

    The behavior you're describing does not sound like an external casing failure. So I doubt that would help you, but you can certainly try. If you're talking about exposing the platters, I'm still not sure what the plan there would be, as it does not sound like you have the expertise or the tools to deal with an opened drive.

    If you're positive that Robocopy is only stopping because the drive all of a sudden forgets the partitions, then you can really only just keep trying to copy as much as you can. But honestly it would not hurt to try using something else to copy the files over (as, you can't be certain the stoppage doesn't have anything to do with Robocopy specifically unless you try other things anyway.) Even if it's initiated by a problem with the drive, other applications may be able to handle the error and continue with the operation.

    If the data is really important, you might consider having a sector-by-sector backup of the drive made before attempting to copy any more. You can bring it to a computer shop and have them do it, or get a hard drive cloning dock yourself for probably close to what they would charge you to duplicate the drive. (Of course you'll also need a spare drive.)
     
  8. suddenlynofiles

    suddenlynofiles Registered Member

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    Sorry, English is not my native tongue. Of course I meant taking the hard drive out of its external casing. I wouldn't dare taking a drive apart exposing the platters.

    After the last time Robocopy froze on me, I did try another copying method (Copy Handler) and it's working beautifully so far. Already have another TB copied over, so only 1 more to go. The speeds are excellent as well, 70-90 MB/s. I have no idea why it works all of a sudden. Maybe Robocopy's multi-threaded copying was too much for the drive?

    Luckily it seems to be working well and the data is not too important. I would have had a lot of work restoring it, but it would not have been impossible.

    So I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get out of this with nothing more than a scare.

    Just out of curiosity, what does my drive's behavior sound like to you? What do you mean by a logical failure?
     
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