Win 10 disconnects external drives at random

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  1.    #1

    Win 10 disconnects external drives at random


    Hello all,

    This is my first post, hopefully to the right forum.

    Please help me understand what’s happening.

    I recently bought a new machine - Dell with Win 10 Pro.

    All data is stored on two external USB drives, which I will name here as N: and T:.

    Each drive is backed nightly on two other external drives.

    From day one, drive N: would disconnect (or would be disconnected) from the system for no reason, at random times. It has never once happened while it was connected to the old machine, a Gateway with Vista.

    When that happened, I Would disconnect-reconnect the power supply to the drive and the computer would recognize it instantly. Today, however, “instantly” stretched into several minutes.

    Yesterday, drive T: went into coma during a backup to a new drive, at about 65%. I killed the backup process, restarted the machine. The drive was not visible, I thought it died. This morning it was plugged in, became visible, the backup resumed (!) but then stalled at 81%.

    Both drives are Seagate. N: is 4.5 years old, T is almost 3. I Know they will die one day, but so far suspect the OS.

    Any ideas or explanation are greatly appreciated.

    Boris
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    Check the disks with Hard Disk Sentinel.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Thank you, Anibor,

    I will look into it a bit later. A few minutes ago, the T: drive was plugged in again and the system saw it, so I resumed backup. Will see what happens.

    Maybe it is a coincidence that both dives worked fine with the old machine and are failing now with the new machine. Generally speaking, I do not believe in coincidences.

    Somebody reminded me of the old chkdsk command. Would that be sufficient?

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    Chkdsk can be very slow with USB drives. It´s better to try first with Hard Disk Sentinel Free, you get immediate results.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    I’ve been reading reviews of the Hard Disk Sentinel. It seems like a good program, but review stated it consumes significant amount of RAM and CPU, even when running on the background. Is it a real impediment to the performance?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    HDS gives the best analysis I've seen by way of text comment on the GUI. As a trial version, I believe the scan feature is not available. But there are free programs that can be used for that e.g. HD Tune.

    You need to distinguish a one -off check, and what you may wish to run long term.

    Whilst you can leave it monitoring drives that's if you have a license; meanwhile you can use it for a one-off check- provided you've not had the trial installed before.

    Periodically given away free on various sites.

    Example: one user found it commented on the drive cable. It was correct.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    chkdsk and tools such as HDS are complementary and perform quite different tasks.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    #7

    Thank you, dalchina,

    I will run the trial version of the HDS on all external drives.

    Somehow the conversation shifted to hard drives (maybe it should have) while the original question remains unanswered.

    Maybe it is a coincidence that both dives worked fine with the old machine to its last day and are failing now with the new machine since day one, but I read too many spy novels to believe in coincidences blindly.

    As of this writing, the computer was unattended for some 2 hours. I just came back and do not see the N: drive.

    Is it not possible at all that the culprit is the OS and not the drives?

    Thanks!

    Boris
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8

    Somehow the conversation shifted to hard drives (maybe it should have) while the original question remains unanswered.
    Point is to check that there's nothing intermittent. One might suggest cabling, connections, power... HDS despite its name also reports on SSDs for what it's worth. It's relatively unlikely that HDS will help in this scenario, but a quick thing to try.

    I merely responded to the current point as a HDS user, having no special experience of intermittent USB connections.

    Is the same observed on all available USB ports?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    Maybe it is a coincidence that both dives worked fine with the old machine to its last day and are failing now with the new machine since day one, but I read too many spy novels to believe in coincidences blindly.
    Either poor power supply over usb or bad communication between usb controller and external device (insufficient signal quality/strength). The only way is to experiment (cables, external power supply if possible, different usb controller board).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    #10

    Thank you, dalchina and muchomurka,

    I think I am beginning to see the light. The N: drive, which is “lost”, strangely, only in the afternoons, was plugged only in one port since day one. I will test it with other ports and see what happens. Then, the same has to be repeated with the T: drive. This will take me a couple-few days and then I WILL share the findings. In hindsight, this seems obvious. Appreciate your time and help.

    A related question, please. I have two main drives to store pictures (2TB and 3TB), and two backup drives for each, which are alternated. When any of these six drives die and must be replaced, would it be better to go with something like 8TB and deal with three pieces of hardware instead of six? I am asking the question because I do not know how reliable these large drives are today compared to, say 4TB.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Boris12; 12 Feb 2019 at 21:00.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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