[ALUG] USB Backup Disk problems

steve-ALUG at hst.me.uk steve-ALUG at hst.me.uk
Mon May 8 11:34:08 BST 2017

On 08/05/17 10:57, Simon Ransome wrote:
> Hi Steve,
> I've had several identical-sounding issues with Seagate 2TB drives, but
> in my case they all seemed to be related to overheating, with the drive
> in question always seeming to be significantly hotter than the others
> when touched. I would quite often find that shutting down for 30 minutes
> or so "fixed" it, in that it would re-boot fine with only, as you are
> seeing, the occasional file corruption (which was usually trivially
> fsck-fixable).
> That said, these errors did seem to compound over time until the drive
> eventually became functionally useless.

I eventually managed to managed to get initiate a smart test on it, and 
it failed almost immediately.
I then found a windows machine and downloaded seagate windows test 
software onto it. It chugged and whirred away, and then told me it was a 
bad disk.  It offered me the option to fix it.  It chugged and whirred 
for a very very long time, then told me it could not be fixed with this 
software, and to download Seatools for Dos.  I downloaded and installed 
Seatools for Dos, burned it to a CD and booted, but of course, as a USB 
device, DOS can't detect it so Seatools for DOS was useless!

I have pretty much given up on it now as a viable disk.  I must admit, I 
was worried about the disk overheating too, so I now have a USB fan that 
is providing extra cooling for the machine, and where the USB drive used 
to be.

When I have the time, I will break apart the disk housing and plug it 
directly into a PC and do some more comprehensive tests on it directly.

In the meantime, I have switched my main daily backup to a Raspberry Pi 
with an encrypted external USB disk


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