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Windows 7: Windows corrupted External Drive's data structure (inaccessible drive)

20 Dec 2017   #1
Acova

Windows 8.1 x64
 
 
Windows corrupted External Drive's data structure (inaccessible drive)

Hi,

I have an external drive (6-7 months of servicing, around 50-60 of total plugs in).
One day I connected it to laptop and Windows suggested me to repair it because it had found some unknown nature corruptions.

At the time of such notification, the external drive was accessible and working alright. There was one direct record of some file which it reported to have problems with, but I checked it myself, and I could view it or even edit if I wanted to. So it looked fine by me, and the rest of the files were pretty much operable no less.

Still, I ended up with a conclusion that if I don't get corruptions fixed I might build up serious problems with data structure and such, so I ended up letting Windows carry out a "RECOMMENDED" fix for it. Thing is, after it reported me that the problems were fixed and the drive is healthy, it became inaccessible.

As far as I've understood, Windows had rather corrupted my drive.


Event Viewer:
From Event Viewer Log I saw how it reported me around 8000-9000 times of an unknown data structure corruption on the drive within 2-3 minutes:

General: "A corruption was discovered in the file system structure on volume S:. The exact nature of the corruption is unknown. The file system structures need to be scanned online." (Event ID: 55)

The rest are of the same type, but containt different details each (e.g. callstacks or addresses of "corruptions" it had found).

After the repairs having been made, it reported around 8-14 records where it stated:
General: "The file system structure on volume S: has now been repaired." (Event ID: 130)

I am unsure if it relates to the same drive but this ended up occurring in my event viewer as well. For extra info I include it here:
General: "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\DR2." (Event ID: 11)

I think the record below is during/after the repairs for general info:
General:
"Skipped posting of 6 repair events. Repair event posting will now be resumed.
Here are the skipped posting repair events count by repair verbs:
BadFRS: 0
OrphanChildFRS: 0
BadClusters: 0
BadFreeClusters: 0
CrossLink: 0
SDEntry: 0
InvalidSecurityId: 0
IndexAttribute: 0
IndexSubtree: 0
IndexOffset: 0
IndexEntry: 0
IndexOrder: 0
Connect: 0
BreakCycle: 0
FRSAllocate: 6
Others: 0" (Event ID: 133)


I've also come across this thread:

Undo results from - Microsoft Community




Extra General Info:
I did try running manufacturer's tools in order to estimate drive's health condition - everything passed and no problems were found, not even a single of bad sectors.


Extra Observations:
There were some odd times when it would report me that the drive was in use upon its disconnection, whilst in truth, I was 100% sure I did nothing with it any more. Some time later, I learned that it was related to explorer browser and task manager. Apparently even when I had only task manager running, I could not disconnect the drive. Anyways, in order to keep it nice and safe, I always disconnect external devices via eject command as long as it is available. So I never unplug device from system until it reports it is safe to do so, or (an exception) unless I am forced to unplug with no other options left for me.


Cases of device's bad unplugs:
Also, upon plugging it to laptop, it would not always necessarily pop up in tray icon (e.g. USB icon), and would merely keep my drive running without me being able to do anything with it. If such happened, I would re-plug it, but in another port/nest for USB. Such happened around 6-7 times for its 7 months servicing to me.


Does anyone know of any tested/checked suggestions for me to safely try to at least make the drive accessible in order to retrieve data?

Thanks in advance.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
20 Dec 2017   #2
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Open Disk Management, expand the columns so we can read them and with the sniping tool take a snapshot of the hole screen.
Post it here as an attachment. Use the paper clip, browse to the file - upload.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2017   #3
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Create a Linux Live DVD, boot your computer to it, and then plug your drive into the computer. See if you can get your files off of it while in Linux.

You can go here to download one of the Linux Mint ISOs:

https://linuxmint.com/download.php

Create a DVD from the ISO you just downloaded, then boot to that DVD. Linux will run off of the DVD; no need to install anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

20 Dec 2017   #4
Acova

Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Open Disk Management, expand the columns so we can read them and with the sniping tool take a snapshot of the hole screen.
Post it here as an attachment. Use the paper clip, browse to the file - upload.
I forgot to add that when I accessed the drive via Disk Management, it would deny me in my attempt. However, it would ask me an interesting question about Recycle Bin:

~ "It appears Recycle Bin on this drive is corrupted. Would you like to clear it?"

This corruption removal I did approve back then.

"The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\DR(3,2)." (Event ID: 11)"
This type of error occurred only two times before Windows fixed anything, after, there was nothing like it showing up any more.


Attached Thumbnails
Windows corrupted External Drive's data structure (inaccessible drive)-11.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2017   #5
Acova

Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
Create a Linux Live DVD, boot your computer to it, and then plug your drive into the computer. See if you can get your files off of it while in Linux.

You can go here to download one of the Linux Mint ISOs:

https://linuxmint.com/download.php

Create a DVD from the ISO you just downloaded, then boot to that DVD. Linux will run off of the DVD; no need to install anything.
I was in fact preparing USB stick with ddrescue. ( Some time ago I had to make a data retrieval, it's where I used ddrescue. Source: Best method/tool for cloning a failing HDD for Data Recovery? Solved - Page 9 - Windows 7 Help Forums )

If I don't mistake I can boot in ddrescue and check it there as well, and it will be as useful/helpful as Linux Mint, is this correct? Though I will as well try it with Linux Mint as you suggested for a 2nd attempt anyways.

One more question: in case if it asks me to correct some errors, should I let Linux do that for me?
I remember, once I was done retrieving data from failing device (I made an iso / image of it), upon trying to open the resulting output, it asked ( or not ) me if I wanted to fix errors. Well, after it did fix them, I could open the image I retrieved and it worked for me. But just in case, it is safe to let Linux fix problems on drive, isn't it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2017   #6
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

The only reason I am suggesting that you boot to Linux is that this will give you a non-Windows way to try to get the data off of your drive. In other words, if the problem is with Windows, then you should be able to get your data from within Linux.

Not sure about correcting the errors in Linux. I don't have any experience with that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Dec 2017   #7
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Use the WD diagnostic tool to test the drive:
Software and Firmware Downloads | WD Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2017   #8
Acova

Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
The only reason I am suggesting that you boot to Linux is that this will give you a non-Windows way to try to get the data off of your drive. In other words, if the problem is with Windows, then you should be able to get your data from within Linux.

Not sure about correcting the errors in Linux. I don't have any experience with that.
Yep, with the differences how Windows and Linux treat or rather welcome external drives to their systems, I thought to give a try for Linux way. Later today I will be attempting it, and once I am past it, I will share my findings, with both, ddrescue (as planned) and the suggested LinuxMint (if ddrescue didn't help).

Note: I've downloaded Cinnamon edition.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Use the WD diagnostic tool to test the drive:
Software and Firmware Downloads | WD Support
Yes, I did try them. 0 problems, smart check was passed in all senses and there were found no bad sectors.
It's probably about dirty bit somehow getting to some place and from what I understood, Windows left a flag on my drive that it is not clean or whatsoever.

Based on wrong results it had from scan/reading, it went for repairs, but how on Earth it forces the drive become inaccessible in Windows - is unclear, e.g. how can it report back to the user that the drive is healthy when it is unreadable by Windows component itself? Illogical. This rather points on the fact that this "check-up" algorithm (same as repair one) lacks of some improvements, else it would not cause more problems than necessary - or I can say so only because I am ignorant of all the details about how their such component works. Relevant suggestions for reading would be welcomed here though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2017   #9
Windoog

Windows 7 Professional x86 SP1
 
 

Hi, new here. In my experience, sometimes changing the interface cable helps, even the usb port for another.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2017   #10
Acova

Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Windoog View Post
Hi, new here. In my experience, sometimes changing the interface cable helps, even the usb port for another.
Hi and thanks for this bit of information. I do take into account a possibility of the cause to be exactly in how the devices carry out the communication - feeling that there might be something wrong with USB jacks or the parts that take care of communication reliability.

In fact, sometimes I get USB connection between the mob phone and laptop - reset, though I always suspected it to be phone's cause due to problems on local storage device or something that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows corrupted External Drive's data structure (inaccessible drive)




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