Archive for January, 2011


Technical failure

January 25, 2011


A nerdy computer related post. Just ignore this post if you don’t care.

Pictured above is a Western Digital Elements external hard drive. I have one just like it: 2TB and it’s plugged into my htpc in the living room. The little guy serves as a home for my Asian Dramas (Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, the whole bit) and works well because each series itself is averaging 20-40 GBs. Yesterday, I was transferring over a new series so that I could enjoy it on my living room TV later that night. I started a regular copy and let Windows take care of it. Weird because I usually make sure TeraCopy handles Copy/Move operations. Oh well, it should be fine. Worst comes to worst, it crashes and I have to restart the transfer. That’s still time lost, but I’ll be ok.

It’s now dead.

What happened totally baffles me still. An error pops up telling me that it can no longer read from the source, a portable 500GB drive I use for transferring on-the-go. I frantically check what happened with the 500GB drive, but it’s fine. So, I decide to restart the transfer. Well, now it can’t read my 2TB drive. I guess when it failed it locked up the drive and possibly killed the partition table. I freaked out a bit but I remember that you can rebuild partition tables, so I do some research and go about doing so. Instead of finishing and being greeted with a working drive, I’m now greeted with a drive that’s not initiated and that the info is corrupt. Great. Looks like I’ll have to reformat.

After several attempts to quick format, my drive still isn’t alive. Windows just gives me a cryptic error message that says it wasn’t able to complete a format. Lame. I try a full format. The bad part about doing so is that it’s incredibly slower. Couple that fact along with 2TB of space and you’re looking at hours before you see the finish. In this case, I estimated 10 hours. It was 8pm. That puts the ETA at 6AM. Uhhhhh. I let it run and eventually went to bed. When I awoke today, I get the same error message before. DARGH.

I ran some diagnostic tools from WD and they say my drive is essentially dead. I’m still under warranty, so they’re shipping me a new replacement drive and then I’ll send this one to them. Total suckage. I’ll be using TeraCopy for sure next time, that thing makes copy/moving files an almost guaranteed safe thing. You can also try SpinRite, but I just didn’t feel like wasting more time and warranty coverage allowed me to get an immediate shipment processed.

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