How to link your Toppy to a PC or Mac; networking your Toppy, Web-based EPG systems, DVD burning and file transfers

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YorkshireJumbo
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Recovery of data on an external Toppy backup drive

Post by YorkshireJumbo »

Only loosely Toppy-related, but I've been backing up almost everything (using Antares in a CMD file) off my Toppy onto a Buffalo 2Tb external drive for several years. I also used it as a repository for old series and films so that I could move them back onto the Toppy when wanted, but it was getting very full. I took it to my desktop to move the films onto a separate external drive, as the desktop has a bit more horsepower than a 10-year-old Vista laptop.

I set it off yesterday evening using Teracopy, and it said it would take 6 hours. This morning it was hung with an error. When I tried to look at the 2Tb disk, the desktop hung for several minutes and the disk made "unusual" sounds while trying to start. I eventually rebooted the desktop, but the error persisted, and the drive even beeped at me for the first time ever.

I've ordered a new drive and I did get some of the films off the drive during the copy, but everything else is currently inaccessible - maybe I should have backed up my backup :roll: Does anyone know of any tools to access "dodgy" external drives? Or would I be better to extract the disk from the container and try to access it directly using SATA cables?

Any help or thoughts gratefully accepted.
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Geoff Bacon
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Post by Geoff Bacon »

Try loading the manufacturer's diagnostic and see what it says.

Try loading GSmartControl and see if it can access the drive (if it can, you will be able to see the SMART attributes giving you an idea of the health of the disk.

From your description, it sounds as though the disk has had it - but I could be wrong.

Should you manage to get it working, try backing it up in small chunks e.g. everything starting with the letter A. Repeat for letter B etc. While this will involve many operations, you might be able to retrieve some of the recordings.

Good luck

Geoff
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YorkshireJumbo
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Post by YorkshireJumbo »

Thanks for that.

The Buffalo website isn't particularly forthcoming with support, but I'll look for some diagnostics. And I'll have a look at GSmartControl. If all else fails, I'll take it apart and try connecting it with the same cables I use with the Toppy disk.

Good point about small chucks.
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Geoff Bacon
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Post by Geoff Bacon »

I doubt that Buffolo are making their own disks so you can just use diagnostics by the disk manufacturer (the label on the disk should show you which one)

GSmartControl will also tell you the make of the disk

There are free tools (google) for recovering data from a windows disk but I suspect these won't be much use (it sounds like yours has a hardware issue rather than just corruption)

Geoff
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Darucla
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Post by Darucla »

My experience with external hard drives in their own cases has been that the case electronics (power supply and USB/SATA bridge) will expire first in 90% of situations. Taking the bare drive out is then likely to be successful.

My other observation has been that moving the cased drive around at all is not a good idea. So I tend to get bare drives and install them into PCs or NAS devices which are fixed in place.
YorkshireJumbo
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Post by YorkshireJumbo »

When I connect the USB cable to th drive, I can hear it spin up as normal, and then it "chuinters" a few times, repeating a whirr, click, buzz sequence a few times before it stops. Occasionally when I try, it makes slightly different sounds before the casing beeps. I didn't know they put speakers in these! I can't run any diagnostics on it, as it won't mount. I guess my next job is to take it apart, but not today, I'm afraid.

The drive has been sitting next to the TV for over a year. It initially worked fine when I moved it next to the desktop, but it might have been one move too far... :cry:
YJ - You may have speed, but I have momentum
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MikB
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Post by MikB »

YorkshireJumbo wrote:When I connect the USB cable to th drive, I can hear it spin up as normal, and then it "chuinters" a few times, repeating a whirr, click, buzz sequence a few times before it stops. Occasionally when I try, it makes slightly different sounds before the casing beeps. I didn't know they put speakers in these!
At a guess: They don't put speakers in. The beep is the drive mechanics. Some hard drives make a beeping noise by shaking the heads at audio frequencies to signal problems. I had trouble with a brand new (knackered) IBM drive like this, trying to return it "because it keeps beeping" was met with "BIOS blah blah how many beeps?". No. The DRIVE is beeping. Not the PC :)

I would also caution that the power supply may be crapping out on you, so first thing is to plug the drive (bare drive) into a free power socket on a PC and listen to it spin up. If it spins up and whirs and clacks and beeps, the drive is in trouble.

I've had two separate external USB drives go wonky (one seriously corrupting and bad-sectoring the drive) - both due to failing power supplies. I've had a third go a bit uncommunicative (network based) for the same reason -- but the PSU was repairable and no damage evident as it was caught early.
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YorkshireJumbo
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Post by YorkshireJumbo »

Just catching up after getting back from holiday.

Thanks for the warning - I'll have a play with it next week once I've worked out how to open the case. I guess it must clip together as there aren't any screws visible. Time to start wiggling a screwdriver into the various openings to see if I can pry it apart...
YJ - You may have speed, but I have momentum
Black Panther since Sep '05, Caps replaced July '10
WD10EZRX and Turbosat adaptor added May '16
New Noiseblocker XR1 fan added Mar '21
F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -Sy+U+Uu
TAPs: MS 6.6 Suite, UK OZ Surfer
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