Win 10 disconnects external drives at random

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  1.    #11

    Seagate 8TB Drives Are Extremely Reliable, Says BackBlaze | Digital Trends

    Presumably you are cloning these in some manner/using them in a sort of worker/standby sequence.

    You might wish to look into using disk imaging instead. As these are (compressed?) images, you would not gain by compression when imaging, but what is updated on each run would be a smaller file (e.g. differential image).

    Thus you could avoid swapping the disks.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    #12

    I use GFI Backup, free version, which they no longer give away but which works nicely. It runs incremental backups nightly and differential backups once a week. The backup drives which are not connected, are kept in a safe place until they are rotated.

    Compression is not necessary because, as you noted, not much space is gained.

    Sorry, don’t know what “disk imaging” is and how different it is from what I do. Need to learn.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #13

    Disk imaging produces a compressed copy of the used part of the selected partitions or disks - an image file.
    The base (initial) image is larger and slower to produce- subsequent differential or incremental images are smaller and faster.

    Can be mounted and files extracted.
    Can be used to rebuild a Windows environment on a replacement disk.
    Can be used to restore a disk/partition/Windows to a previous working state as when image was created- potentially a series of available dates.

    It is quite different from backing up personal files. Think- how will you recover when your PC is unbootable, or you have an uncorrectable problem?

    Strongly recommended here: e.g. Macrium reflect (free)

    E.g.
    What is a Disk Image? - Definition from Techopedia
    What Exactly Is Imaging a Disk and How Does It Differ from Backing Up? | Toms Hardware Forum
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    #14

    Thanks, dalchina, for your suggestions. Will follow.

    While downloading-installing Hard Disk Sentinel an hour ago, I noticed that the N: drive vanished from Win Explorer. Again, I unplugged-reconnected the power supply and all was fine.

    I then ran a short HDS test on all drives. Its report was the same: “...status is PERFECT...”. Estimated lifetime for the N: drive was more that 350 days, which is fine since it was purchased in March 2014. All other drives are supposed to last for more than 1000 days. I wish our doctors had such a diagnostic tool.

    I also ran chkdsk n: which found no errors.

    What’s left is to plug the drive into a different USB post and observe it for a day or two.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #15

    Most likely explanation is hardware related.

    Mm, life prediction? Too many factors from lightning and buses to stress from errant PCs and related alcohol consumption . I've just had a DNA check- ancestry + assessed for predisposition to a variety of nasty medical conditions. But it depends what's assessed.

    The ends of chromosomes become shorter as we age and cells are replaced- we have a kind of built-in shut-down timer, counting down all the time...
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    #16

    A quick report.

    The N: drive was connected to a different USB port on Feb 13. The computer “loses” it [is there a proper term for the problem?] once a day, most often in the afternoon.

    Yesterday, I connected it to a different USB port. A new issue is observed, may or may not related. My backup program is set to perform differential backups. Normally, such a backup takes minutes to complete. Last night, I started backup manually and went to bed. Now, 11 hours later, it is still running, 75% complete. What gives?

    Two-three times I noticed that the computer sees only about half the files on the N: drive. Refreshing the view (F5), did nothing. Unplugging-reconnecting worked. This may be an indication that the drive’s chromosomes are getting shorter. I thought to reformat the drive after backing up and see what happens. After all, the HDS predicts about a year of life. But the backup is still running.

    As I was writing this, backup stopped because of the I/O error. Drive is lost again.

    Is it possible that the problems may be related to the USB controllers and/or the mother board itself?

    Re DNA check, I did it for genealogical purposes only, found a “cousin” with an exact match once. I am a Jew, he is Spaniard, which means we had a common ancestor around 1492, give or take 50 years. Very useful. As to “predisposition to a variety of nasty medical conditions” - who knows...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    #17

    Hi, did you buy the disk enclosures separately and put the drives in them, or were the drives and enclosures bought as one item?

    It's quite possible this is hardware-related - it would be interesting to boot to Safe Mode, and leave several drives connected and see if any disconnect. That uses MS default drivers, and no 3rd party progs. That could help to eliminate hardware issues if no disconnections.

    Yesterday, I connected it to a different USB port. A new issue is observed, may or may not related. My backup program is set to perform differential backups. Normally, such a backup takes minutes to complete. Last night, I started backup manually and went to bed. Now, 11 hours later, it is still running, 75% complete. What gives?
    Quite often, a backup program expects the target backup drive to be allocated a particular drive letter. I don't know how you set it up in your case- maybe that's not a factor.

    Or perhaps more likely, transfer speeds are different- USB2 vs 3? Or different because there's a problem? You could check how fast you can copy files over each port to the same disk.

    Presumably you've tried different cables if that's an option.

    I have a small contribution from Ashkenazi genes from several hundred years ago - and larger from eastern Sweden. 1492 was a key date for a Jewish diaspora of course. No significant match with anyone on their database. They do assess contributions from Neanderthal genes...!
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    #18

    Hi dalchina,

    Please see my answers below.

    Dalchina: Hi, did you buy the disk enclosures separately and put the drives in them, or were the drives and enclosures bought as one item?
    Boris: Bought as one item;

    dalchina: It's quite possible this is hardware-related - it would be interesting to boot to Safe Mode, and leave several drives connected and see if any disconnect. That uses MS default drivers, and no 3rd party progs. That could help to eliminate hardware issues if no disconnections.
    Boris: Will do later; I have not tested the drive with a different USB cable yet; I also think to attach it to a different (Win 7) computer for a couple days;

    dalchina: Quite often, a backup program expects the target backup drive to be allocated a particular drive letter. I don't know how you set it up in your case- maybe that's not a factor.
    Boris: the drive letter has not change; still, I verify it every time before executing a backup;

    dalchina: Or perhaps more likely, transfer speeds are different- USB2 vs 3? Or different because there's a problem? You could check how fast you can copy files over each port to the same disk.
    Boris: The new ports are USB 3.1; the disk is most likely USB 2; in any case, the speed does not matter;
    Here is what happened in the last 24 hrs.

    After backing up the N: drive [to P:], I quick formatted the N: dive, then manually copied all files from P: to N:, then ran the backup program. I then connected the N: drive to a port where it always was. It was again “lost” in the last 2-3 hours.

    When I disconnected-reconnected power to the N: drive, all four external drives vanished from the Win explorer for about 20 sec, then re-appeared one by one. Never seen this before.

    I will now connect the N: drive to a Win 7 HP machine. See what happens.

    Re Neanderthal genes, I could never understand the purpose of a test which tells you something like 12% Ashkenazi, 52% Norwegian, 7% Polynesian etc. Matching markers between two people is more practical. Unfortunately, I do not know much about this subject.

    Thanks for everything.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #19

    The evidence seems to point to the Dell/Win 10 as the cause of the problem.

    As I wrote on the 19th, the N: drive was connected to the HP/Win 7 machine, to a random USB port. It stayed connected for three days, without being lost once.

    This morning, it was reconnected to the Dell machine.

    About two hours later it disappeared from Win explorer view.

    The question is What to analyze next, and how?

    I vaguely remember checking drivers a couple weeks ago. According to windows, they were up to date.

    When I talked to a technician at a large computer store where this machine had been purchased (it is still under warranty), he suggested it might be defective hardware [USB ports] or even the mother board. The problem is I do not know who these people are, whet their level of expertise is, and what will they “fix”. The concern is the cure will be worse than the disease and the computer will spend more time in the shop than on my desk, until the warranty runs out.

    Are there tools that allow me check functionality of the hardware components?

    Are there known compatibility issues between an 5 y.o. drive and newer (1 y.o.) hardware?

    Thanks!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    #20

    Hi, to separate the OS from the hardware, following the idea of a process of elimination, please boot your PC from a live boot disk (Kyhi's, iso available from near the top of the Software and Apps section here). That, as you will see from the screenshot there, gives you a familiar Win 10 environment. You will need to create a bootable DVD or external drive.

    Since we know the boot disk is good, and assume the external disks are ok, that leaves your PC hardware.

    You will then need to exercise your USB interface for 'long enough' having booted your PC from the boot disk.

    If you see no failures then, you can try booting normally and uninstalling your USB root hubs and restarting to have them reinstalled, and then see how you get on.

    Another option to try is to boot to Safe Mode.

    If all scenarios fail, I'd suggest you have a hardware issue.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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