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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought an external hard drive, which I wanted to use to store, music, and programs I use for my 'personal' PC use. I cut and pasted files from my existing hard drive onto my new external hard drive; which I had connected as per instructions via USB.

Now when I try and open the files, or move them into a different location - other hard drive, different folder etc; I get messages to the effect of "Cannot copy 'blah' Cannot find the specified file" or when I try and open a document in Word I get "The document name or path is not valid.".

However if I open up and view the drive in Windows Explorer, I can see the file names, types, sizes all correct.

What is happened?

Someone told me that copying data onto the hard drive 'wasn't supported'; but that would then make the idea of having the drive seem almost redundant.

As an aside, what's all this talk of 'enclosures' in relation to external HD's?
Any help you can offer would be much appreciated.
 

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Aycee said:
I recently bought an external hard drive, which I wanted to use to store, music, and programs I use for my 'personal' PC use. I cut and pasted files from my existing hard drive onto my new external hard drive; which I had connected as per instructions via USB.

Now when I try and open the files, or move them into a different location - other hard drive, different folder etc; I get messages to the effect of "Cannot copy 'blah' Cannot find the specified file" or when I try and open a document in Word I get "The document name or path is not valid.".

However if I open up and view the drive in Windows Explorer, I can see the file names, types, sizes all correct.

What is happened?

Someone told me that copying data onto the hard drive 'wasn't supported'; but that would then make the idea of having the drive seem almost redundant.

As an aside, what's all this talk of 'enclosures' in relation to external HD's?
Any help you can offer would be much appreciated.
Are you sure you didn't just make shortcuts by mistake?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, very sure.

That's why there's 20GB worth of data on the new HD.

I cut and pasted the files.

Thanks for the suggestion though, worth checking the basic before anything else.
 

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I've seen this kind of problem before. I'm assuming the external Hard Drive is using a USB 2.0 port, but what about the computer. Sounds like it might be using a USB 1.x port. If so are there any 2.0 ports on the PC you can use?
 

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Aycee, what OS? XP? I've been digging around on my XP machine and there's things in there that could be set to cause problems like you've got. This will get your post back to the top if nothing else.
As far as USB 1 or 2, I mix usb 1 to 2 and 2 to1 on external drives and have never had problems either way.
 

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What file system does the external use and how was it formatted? What designation is given to the drive by Disk Management? What are the properties and attributes of one of the files and of the drive in My Computer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Craig321 said:
Do you still have the files on your main drive?
Also, sometimes Windows shows ghosts of files and takes up imaginary space - press refresh a couple of times when your in the External Hard Drive.
Files are not still on the previous drive, that can be seen by both searching and looking at changes in drive space. There is no change after refreshing.

Maritime Guy said:
I've seen this kind of problem before. I'm assuming the external Hard Drive is using a USB 2.0 port, but what about the computer. Sounds like it might be using a USB 1.x port. If so are there any 2.0 ports on the PC you can use?
Correct, the drive is using a USB 2.0 port. Plugged in to a USB 2.0 port as well though.

junker39 said:
Aycee, what OS? XP? I've been digging around on my XP machine and there's things in there that could be set to cause problems like you've got. This will get your post back to the top if nothing else.
As far as USB 1 or 2, I mix usb 1 to 2 and 2 to1 on external drives and have never had problems either way.
Yea, i'm using XP.

Elavndil said:
What file system does the external use and how was it formatted? What designation is given to the drive by Disk Management? What are the properties and attributes of one of the files and of the drive in My Computer?
Type: Local Disk ( F: )
File System: RAW

Coming up also called: HDS82808 0PLAT 20 USB Device

Device Status: Working Properly.

How would I find the designation given to the drive by disk management, and what do you mean by how was it formatted?

It seems every other time it shows files as described above which can't be accessed, the rest of the time it shows an empty drive, which no data on it - but with:

Used Space: 0 bytes
Free Space: 0 bytes

Which makes no sense what so ever.

Thanks for the replies.

Where now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Restart PC:

We now have:

Classic HD ( F: )
File System: FAT32
Free Space 54.6GB
Total Size 76.6 GB

But when trying to open, firstly; I get:
F:
Only part of a ReadProcessMemory or WriteProcessMemory request was completed.

Right-click and open worked - revealed all files which should be there.

Now properties of drive from MyComp are

Classic HD
Type: Local Disk
File System: FAT32

Properties of a file:
Name/Type/Opens With: As Normal
Location: F:\
Attributes: Archive
 

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Since I've used USB and Firewire disk for years on everything from W98 to Linux with no issues, I'd look for a specific cause. From your description, I'd say a good start would be to go into Disk Management on the XP system and start that disk from scratch. Delete all the partitions, reboot, and then use Disk Management to recreate and format them in the layout you desire. A USB/Firewire hard disk should function exactly as an internal hard disk, and have always done so for me.
 

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I'd suggest the same thing as johnwill. If you don't know how the drive was formatted, then you didn't do it yourself and it may need a good format and partitioning.

The RAW designation that you saw is what a totally blank disk drive looks like and so your machine is not always seeing the file system and partitions on that drive.

Use Disk Management to remove all partitions, recreate it or them, and repartition. A new drive should always be prepred before being used.

Do you need to recover data from that drive or do you have copies?
 

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Well, at last we know it's a FAT32 drive now.
Try running chkdsk on it. Go to Start >Run, and type:
cmd <Enter>

At the command prompt, type:
chkdsk F: /f <Enter>

It will scan your drive and hopefully make repairs. What message appears after the scan?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Run the scan.

Confirms that file system is FAT32.

But then says "Cannot read boot sector."

Upon trying to run the scan again, I get "Cannot open volume for direct access"

What should I try now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In an almost worrying turn of events; the hard drive seems to be working now.

Files accessible.

Should I still move everything, and then recreate the partitions anyway?
 

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YES!

Why take a chance, something was obviously amiss there. I'd suggest you don't store your only copy of the files on that drive until you develop some confidence in it's reliability.
 

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Definitely. While you have the chance. You never know if there was a partition error that may come back to haunt you.

I'd definitely remove everything, remove the partitions, and create nice, new, error-free ones.
 
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