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Windows 7: USB Device not holding data?

24 Nov 2011   #11
DeEmanon

7 Ultimate x64 no sp. also using Ubuntu 10.10 and Mint 9 (GNOME)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Are you remembering to always "safely remove hardware" first, before you disconnect it from the PC?

Every USB device that is connected in MSC mode (and thus received a Windows driver letter dynamically when it connects) MUST be "safely removed" first, before pulling the cable out. This causes Windows to "flush out all memory buffers" to the device, thus ensuring integrity of data on the device.

Right-click on the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" object in the system tray, and select your device from the list shown. When you receive the "it is now safe to remove hardware" bubble message you can now pull the plug.

If you're already doing this... then I don't know what else it could be that could be causing your problem aside from pure hardware failure, as others have suggested.
Last time i ''Safty ejected'' a device was my phone two years ago, and boy did i loose 14GB of data...


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pebbly View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeEmanon View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Yeah, this thing is dead.
you sure there is no way of fixing it?
You could try using this free little program USB Flash Drive Tester - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com It will tell you for certain if the pendrive is faulty
I'll test it see how it goes


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by carwiz View Post
I was going to suggest getting up early for Black Friday but I noticed you're in Japan. Places all over town here will have 4GB for $5 and 8GB for $11.
I'm from Yorkshire, in UK, i just love japan :P

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
Must be a very old drive
be suprised, it's only 3/4 month old... and it's not like it has been abused in any way over this time


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Nov 2011   #12
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeEmanon View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Are you remembering to always "safely remove hardware" first, before you disconnect it from the PC?
Last time i ''Safty ejected'' a device was my phone two years ago, and boy did i loose 14GB of data...
You're blaming following the MANDATORY "safely remove hardware" procedure before disconnecting your phone for why you lost data, if I understand your comment correctly?

I suspect that there's far more to the story than the fact that you did what is REQUIRED PROCEDURE. For example... what type of phone was this? An Apple iPhone, connected to a Windows PC?

The purpose of "Safely Remove Hardware" is simple: it's how you tell Windows that you're about to remove a device so that Windows can finish whatever it needs to do with it. In the case of disks, for example, Windows flushes all disk buffers, avoiding things like potential corruption.


And that's the fear - if you remove something like a USB thumb drive without first telling Windows, it's possible to corrupt the contents of the drive. In practice that doesn't happen often, but it's possible.

Why do you think all computer manufacturers (including Apple) provide the equivalent of a "safely remove hardware / eject" functionality for removable devices? Surely it wasn't invented to do harm.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2011   #13
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

It's not exactly a required procedure, although it's good practice in any case. Thing is, you can disable write caching in the device settings for your USB stick (Windows even explains that "performance may be reduced but the device can be disconnected without using the Safely Remove icon).

It may (or may not) also depend on which filesystem the device is formatted with, and whether you're in a hurry to unplug the device right after finishing a read/write operation or give it a few seconds to settle down first.

So, to be sure it either is required or not, check that setting first. Windows will save the setting through disconnection and reconnection of the device, so it's persistent.

That said, the OP already reformatted his USB stick and promptly had severe corruption issues again the next day. That doesn't sound like it's just a consequence of not safely ejecting it.
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25 Nov 2011   #14
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
It's not exactly a required procedure, although it's good practice in any case. Thing is, you can disable write caching in the device settings for your USB stick (Windows even explains that "performance may be reduced but the device can be disconnected without using the Safely Remove icon).

It may (or may not) also depend on which filesystem the device is formatted with
All valid points. In fact I believe "write cache" for removable drives is DISABLED by default for FAT32, and ENABLED by default for NTFS. So this particular aspect of the discussion would depend on how he'd formatted his drive.

I did discover a very informative old article dealing with removable drives (looks like it was first written back in 1998 but updated as recently as 2010), which seems to discuss only WinXP. But I'm sure many/most of the principles talked about apply even to Win7.

Note in particular the section entitled "Safe Removal":
An USB drive should never be removed without logging it off, especially when the drive has a write cache. The official way is thru a symbol in the systray and some mouse clicks.

For 'removable' drives as internal card readers the media should be 'ejected': Right click the drive in the Windows Explorer, select 'Eject' here. Under XP this is not allowed for restricted users but this can be enabled by a policy.
Anyway, as you've pointed out... reformatting the drive and trying it again has resulted immediately in lost data and/or corruption. Presumably he DID at least this time use the "safely remove" approach, and it clearly still failed.

This strongly suggests that the flash media may actually be "worn out" (from lots of write-cycle use over time, de-frags, etc.) and now is simply and truly hardware defective.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #15
DeEmanon

7 Ultimate x64 no sp. also using Ubuntu 10.10 and Mint 9 (GNOME)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeEmanon View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Are you remembering to always "safely remove hardware" first, before you disconnect it from the PC?
Last time i ''Safty ejected'' a device was my phone two years ago, and boy did i loose 14GB of data...
You're blaming following the MANDATORY "safely remove hardware" procedure before disconnecting your phone for why you lost data, if I understand your comment correctly?

I suspect that there's far more to the story than the fact that you did what is REQUIRED PROCEDURE. For example... what type of phone was this? An Apple iPhone, connected to a Windows PC?

The purpose of "Safely Remove Hardware" is simple: it's how you tell Windows that you're about to remove a device so that Windows can finish whatever it needs to do with it. In the case of disks, for example, Windows flushes all disk buffers, avoiding things like potential corruption.


And that's the fear - if you remove something like a USB thumb drive without first telling Windows, it's possible to corrupt the contents of the drive. In practice that doesn't happen often, but it's possible.

Why do you think all computer manufacturers (including Apple) provide the equivalent of a "safely remove hardware / eject" functionality for removable devices? Surely it wasn't invented to do harm.
It was a sony ericsson w995... All i did was copy my music over, and pulled the wire out... The phone was set to phone mode, not mass storage So the phone was 'safe to remove at any point' as the phones manual says... And the system was xp pro sp3
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #16
pincushion

Windows 7 x64 SP1
 
 

If you look in the System Event Log you will probably find lots of errors - perhaps from some time back if you haven't deleted any of the logs. I have had errors occurring and the drive still functions but it is time to retire it if it can't be relied on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #17
DeEmanon

7 Ultimate x64 no sp. also using Ubuntu 10.10 and Mint 9 (GNOME)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pincushion View Post
If you look in the System Event Log you will probably find lots of errors - perhaps from some time back if you haven't deleted any of the logs. I have had errors occurring and the drive still functions but it is time to retire it if it can't be relied on.
yeah, i would, but my OS decided to fail on me, and had to be reinstalled,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #18
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeEmanon View Post
It was a sony ericsson w995... All i did was copy my music over, and pulled the wire out... The phone was set to phone mode, not mass storage So the phone was 'safe to remove at any point' as the phones manual says... And the system was xp pro sp3
I see.

So you were actually connected in "MTP mode", not "MSC mode", if I understand what "phone mode" vs. "mass storage" mode implies.

So you actually never got a Windows drive letter assigned to the phone's storage when you plugged in the phone to the PC, because that only happens with MSC connections, not MTP connections.

That also means you did not see a "safely remove hardware" object appear in the System Tray, because that is only relevant for MSC connections (when Windows assigns a drive letter to the removable device) not MTP connections.

And theoretically you're correct... you should have simply been able to pull the plug whenever you were finished with the current operation (assuming it was finished, and you didn't just pull the plug right in the middle of whatever you were doing). There is no associated "safely remove hardware" action involved with MTP connections.

So, it couldn't have been "safely remove hardware" that was responsible for your loss of 14GB of data, because you didn't invoke that function... because you didn't have to since your phone was connected in MTP mode, not MSC mode.

I guess the explanation for your data loss remains a mystery.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2011   #19
DeEmanon

7 Ultimate x64 no sp. also using Ubuntu 10.10 and Mint 9 (GNOME)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeEmanon View Post
It was a sony ericsson w995... All i did was copy my music over, and pulled the wire out... The phone was set to phone mode, not mass storage So the phone was 'safe to remove at any point' as the phones manual says... And the system was xp pro sp3
I see.

So you were actually connected in "MTP mode", not "MSC mode", if I understand what "phone mode" vs. "mass storage" mode implies.

So you actually never got a Windows drive letter assigned to the phone's storage when you plugged in the phone to the PC, because that only happens with MSC connections, not MTP connections.

That also means you did not see a "safely remove hardware" object appear in the System Tray, because that is only relevant for MSC connections (when Windows assigns a drive letter to the removable device) not MTP connections.

And theoretically you're correct... you should have simply been able to pull the plug whenever you were finished with the current operation (assuming it was finished, and you didn't just pull the plug right in the middle of whatever you were doing). There is no associated "safely remove hardware" action involved with MTP connections.

So, it couldn't have been "safely remove hardware" that was responsible for your loss of 14GB of data, because you didn't invoke that function... because you didn't have to since your phone was connected in MTP mode, not MSC mode.

I guess the explanation for your data loss remains a mystery.
It will remain history... the software provided above by ''pebbly'' works great, but it doesn't fix the issue, the test says that my usb key is 98% good to write on (with 2% recoverable) and 79% readable, rest also recoverable, after i ran the test, windows kindly offered to ''fix my issue'', formatted into NTFS and seems to work fine, held my pictures overnight, and still seems to be at it... only problem is, it is no longer visable to my linux OS, but i guess i can always take those files to my 2GB and 1GB separate keys... But i think this topic should remain open, in case someone digs it up in some time, and finds a better solution.
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 USB Device not holding data?




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