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Windows 7: Windows7 fried my portable hdd!

16 Jul 2009   #1

Windows7 fried my portable hdd!

I took my 3yo 250gb portable seagate barracuda to my cousin's place and plugged it into his Windows7 machine. It worked fine for a few minutes while I copied some files from his drive to mine. Meanwhile his kids had opened a few games and the computer became unstable. We decided to restart the computer once the files had finished copying.

When the computer had restarted, my hdd had lost it's volume label "antz-portable" and showed up as "E drive". The caddy led was on solid red and after a few minutes an alert popped up saying "the drive is not formatted, do you want to reformat now?". We decided not to, instead I brought it home in that condition.

Next day I decided to just reformat it, however I got errors saying "Could not complete the format" and I got this message when I tried using GParted, XP diskmgmt and Windows7. So I did a badblocks check on it and it found over 244,000,000 bad blocks!

The final step in diagnosis was to remove the hdd from the caddy and install into my tower to identify the failure being either hdd or caddy. fdisk -l does not list the hdd and my hdd activity led light is constantly red, indicating the hdd has certainly suffered the damage.

I think this means the hdd is dead. Just wondering if this is a known problem with Windows Operating Systems or if there is a known virus for Windows7 that would do this, as it is not the first time a Windows OS has fried my portable and I'm honestly quite hesitant to expose my devices to Windows again..

My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jul 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Well, I find it somewhat hard to believe that a virus or otherwise under Windows would damage a portable hard drive while leaving the actual operating system hard drive intact and functional.

I think the culprit is more likely a damaged USB port or your portable hard drive was just about ready to die on it's own. I had a computer where the little black plastic sleeve that holds the pins for the USB connections fell off. Thus, I just had pins exposed. So, when I plugged in my wife's iPOD, it could plug in either way. 1 way shorted it and the other way was right. Needless to say, it totalled the USB controller on the iPOD and I had to get it replaced.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2009   #3


Another possibilty is an improper power source, over or under amping the drive motor, thereby misaligning the armature/read head assembly. The drive motor itself is likely fine since the platter spins up. If the data is valuable enough to you, acquire a copy of SpinRite and attempt a scrape.

Also, three years is pretty good for a disk that is "ported" around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jul 2009   #4


Also, three years is pretty good for a disk that is "ported" around.

Heh, yeah that must be the problem eh.. I actually know it would not have died if I had left it plugged in at home
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows7 fried my portable hdd!

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