Another update: I did a clean install by booting from my current installation disk 1511 and I will do another one with the new version 1607 a little later.
Unfortunately, the clean install did not correct the situation and both external hard drive's are still unaccessible.
So, my options at this point and if you guys can concur or offer other ideas, but from what I've learned is either get brand-new hard drives or reformat these. Not sure what I'm going to do yet.
If you guys know of any other options to try please let me know.
Thank you very much.
For sure buy a large hard drive to use as a backup drive. Use image backups to allow saving multiple backups to the backup drive. Then if a hard drive problem happens, you can just restore the last backup of it to a new drive and be back to normal.
You could also use your two current drives as backup drives if you are strapped for cash. In that case, alternate backups to the two drives. For example, you would format the two drives. Then do a backup of external drive-1 to both drives (two backups). Say a month later you want to do another backup of drive-1. Do it on backup drive-A. Then a month later do the backup to backup drive-B and so on. This way the most you can lose is the last backup and you will still have the previous backup to fall back on. This is how I do my backups, with two drives in case a backup drive goes bad.
I buy post-its with the entire back sticky and stick them on the backup drives. When I do a backup, I log the drive name and date of the backup. When I do a backup, I can just look at the post-it to see which backup drive had the last backup without having to mount both drives and examining the directories. I never leave my backup drives attached to the PC. I store them in a safe that's bolted to the floor. No power applied means less chance of going bad and in the safe protects them from burglaries.
From your current experience you know the importance of having backups of all of your data.
All the best,
I have learned my lesson. I thought my backup method alone was fine, but I was wrong. I will definitely need to add to the mix image backups now.
What type of drives do you do your backups on? WD Passport, portable drives, WD my book etc etc?
Thank you again!
I like 5400 rpm hard drives to do my backups on since they run cooler than 7200 rpm drives. No need for speed for backup drives. I've been buying WD Green drives but if there's a sale on a 5400 rpm Seagate drive I'll but it. My backup drives are the 1" thick hard drives so they fit in the docking station nicely. (The thin hard drives will also fit but I prefer the 1" thick ones.) I use USB docking stations and just plug the bare drive into them. I have one ThermalTake BlacX USB2/eSATA docking station that I bought a long time ago when USB3 was not the norm. I also have a USB3 docking station that I bought later.
I have two internal drives in my tower PC. One 120GB SSD for C: that hold Windows and installed programs only, and a 1.5 TB hard drive for D: that holds data only. Say I want to backup the system drive (SSD):
- I look at the two backup drives in my safe and leave the one with the most recent backup of the C drive in the safe.
- I take the other backup drive and plug it into the USB3 docking station that's connected to my tower PC.
- I do an image backup of the C drive to the backup drive and name it as: "161107 Entire SSD Win10.tbi". (YYMMDD Entire SSD Win10, the tbi is the suffix appended by the backup program I use - Image for Windows).
- I only backup the C: system drive when I install sufficient new programs that I don't want to do the installs again. This means less frequent backups of the C drive (SSD).
- I backup the D: data drive much more frequently since my data is precious and unique only to me.
I used to buy Seagate enclosed USB drives (the kind that have a USB connector and a power connector) but when I had a problem, I removed the bare drive from the enclosure and connected it directly to my motherboard with a SATA and power cable. Windows could not read it. I put that bare drive in a different Seagate enclosure and it worked fine so that proved that the original enclosure for that drive was defective. After that, I never buy external drives in USB enclosures anymore. I've taken bare drives written in my docking stations and they work fine connected to the motherboard and in other docking stations.
In your case, you could use your two current drives as backup drives even though they may be 7200 rpm or 5400 rpm. I've run 7200 rpm drives in my docking stations before and they haven't failed. They do get pretty warm though. Having two backup drives and alternating backups is not as extravagant as it may appear. Backing up a system drive and data drive in a desktop PC and maybe another drive in a laptop eats up the space on one backup drive rapidly. So if a second backup drive is needed anyway, why not alternate backups to two drives.
Finally, there are two different types of external docking stations. One type remembers the power button's last position. So if you turn off the power strip, when you turn the power strip back on the next day, the docking station powers on automatically. ----- The other type doesn't remember. So when you turn the power strip on the next day, you have to push the power button on the docking station again to power it on. If you like to turn off your power strip every night, then the docking station that remembers is more convenient.
My UtechSmart USB3 docking station is the type that doesn't remember. I didn't know about the two different types when I bought it but I wish it was the type that remembers. My BlacX docking station remembers. I've helped a friend buy a docking station and the Inateck one remembers.
When buying a USB3 docking station, recommend that you insure that it is UASP compatible. UASP allows 70% faster read speeds and 40% faster write speeds than non UASP docking stations. But the USB controller in the computer also has to support UASP and must run Windows 8 or higher. UASP compatible docking stations are backward compatible so it will work on older PCs running Win7 too.
This Inateck USB3 docking station at amazon looks good. I can't confirm whether it remembers the state of the power button since it's a later model than the one my friend bought.
Amazon.com: Inateck USB 3.0 Hard Drives Docking Station for 2.5 Inch and 3.5 Inch HDD SSD SATA (SATA I / II / III), Support UASP and 10TB Drives, Optimized for SSD: Computers Accessories
You only need one docking station if you only backup drives internal to your PC. You would need two docking stations if you want to backup an external drive. (It would be possible to have only one docking station and backup an external drive to an internal drive and then copy that backup to a different external backup drive, but for $26 per docking station, just buying a second docking station is worth it.)
Thank you so much for this great information. I never knew about these stations and this type of backing up. I am going to do this. You gave me a lot of great info and I need more time to digest so I am sure I will have more questions. So, I will get back to you with more info in a bit.
You are awesome mck thank you again. Talk in a bit.
@mrje1, catching up here but I may have missed something... has the harddrive been checked with a utility like crystaldiskinfo or the like...?
Assume your files are recoverable to a new drive either way and they are intact.
Thank you so much for your time and assistance. Thank you for checking in. I am grateful.
No, I did not use crystaldiskinfo, but when I made the Kyhi drive it had a diagnostic tool that I checked and it did not show any bad clusters or sectors, but I sure could do another test just to make sure. Also, I did your recommendation on chkdsk /r e: and those results came back saying the same thing so far. Should I also do a chkdsk /f e:? I didn't do the chkdsk /r /f e:has the harddrive been checked with a utility like crystaldiskinfo or the like...?
Also, by looking at Disk MGMT the partitions are coming up healthy. So it is very wierd that I can't access it because both drives look like they are fine.
I used easeUS Data Recovery and I was able to recover my files to an older drive that I had. Now, did it recover all, that I am not sure, but it looks like most of it.Assume your files are recoverable to a new drive either way and they are intact.
I'm glad you got at least some data back...
The recommeded command is chkdsk /f /r E:
Data inaccessibility has more to do with it's structure than how it's arranged (if that makes sense) - particularly the MFT (Master File Table)
Running the above command will do no harm and may fix errors it could not during it's initial attempt.
Thank you! Even though I did the chkdsk /r E: Do you think I should still do your recommended command of chkdsk /f /r E:?
Yes, makes sense. Thank you for explaining! Are there any other methods that I might of missed or wasn't mentioned here that I can try or that you recommend I do before I perform the next step, which is to format those drives? Any methods that could make it accessible again?