Question about Hitachi Hard Disk Travelstar E5k160 120gb 2.5in Sata 1.5 Gb/s 5400 Rpm 8mb 120 GB SATA Hard Drive

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USB external hard drive directory corrupted unreadable.  Partitions visible but does not open files.  Pl. help.

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There's potentially a wide range of tasks which will need to be accomplished. I say "potentially" because, given the limited amount of info in your question, coupled with not yet knowing the answers to a series of standard necessary troubleshooting questions, the fix could be almost anything.

But for now, first things first (in order of precedence/importance).

1. It's ALL about the DATA. NOTHING is more supremely important as DATA. EVERYTHING else pales in comparison. Therefore, is there unique, can't lose, non-backed up anywhere else, data on the problem drive? If so, you need to immediately copy it's contents to another location (another hard drive, network share, etc.).

Proceed to step 2 once either ...
a. Step 1 is accomplished.
b. Step 1 is not applicable (i.e., all contents can be sacrificed without regret).
c. Step 1 cannot successfully be accomplished.

2. If the drive has S.M.A.R.T. capababily http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Monitoring,_Analysis,_and_Reporting_Technology check its status via either:

a. Within the system BIOS (usually accessible by depressing the 'F8' or 'Del' key at startup).
b. The drive's accompanied software disk that may/will contain utilities/analysis tools.

If no-go on 2a. and 2b. above, post back with the drive's specifications/nomenclature (i.e., name, manufacturer and especially part/model#) and I can provide a link for you to download the applicable software utilities package.

3. You may also perform a 'chkdsk' on the drive (assuming you're running a Windows OS). This will fix any recognized errors on the disk.

a. Start > Run... > type "cmd" (without quotes), then hit 'Enter'.
b. Type "chkdsk DRIVE_LETTER: /F /X" (without quotes), then hit 'Enter'.

You can subsequently perform a followup chkdsk, but replace the /F switch with the /R switch. EXAMPLE: chkdsk E: /R /X
This will not only fix any recognized errors on the disk, but also painstakingly scour the surface for failed portions, then relocate any data in that discovered "pothole" somewhere else. It then marks that pothole with a pylon so no other data will be ever written to it in the future.

Report back with results and/or next-step, clarification questions according to the results.

"Today's the best day of my life...and NOW you're part of it!"

Posted on Dec 12, 2008

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