Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19
  1. #1
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Question Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Hi,
    Iím terrified to defrag any of my USB drives because of things I donít want to lose, but I know they need it bad.
    If I were to get a Delayed write error /drop during a defag process using something like Perfect Disk, will there be corrupted files from Perfect disk not finishing? These are large zip files on the hard drive, Iím afraid if something like this happens Iíll loose the entire file. I'm also hearing that some USB drives donít support defragmending: Would something like a Segate FreeAgent ddrive support that, or any of these recent drives?

    Btw, would anyone happen to know what port a USB 1394 connection uses? Iím thinking I should forward that port number in my Netgear firewall, as an extra measure. I have the XP firewall off. Iíve heard that firewalls can case these delay write errors along with packet size issues. can these drives be defragmented safely?

  2. #2
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    2,701

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    If you're talking about external hard drives connected to your PC via a USB cable (and it's been a while since you've done this), then I'd recommend pulling all the files you want to save off of one drive, run CHKDSK on it (via right-click on My Computer, then select Manage, then Storage, then Disk Management, right-click on your external drive and select Properties, click on the Tools tab, click on the Check Now button, make sure both the Automatically fix... and Scan for... options are selected, then click on Start.
    I've found it's best to run a CHKDSK prior to defragmenting.
    To the best of my knowledge, firewall software is oriented towards ethernet connections, not local network connections such as USB or Firewire (1394). Port numbering in the ethernet world is oriented towards a particular service or application (such as port number 80 being used by HTTP, 53 by DNS, etc.) and does not correlate with USB or Firewire implementations.

  3. #3
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Hi Robert,
    This drive is only 3 weeks old, and I did a long format when I bought it using the Disk Management from the WinXP control panel. I’m hearing other people in this forum, and other forums experiencing these Delayed Write Failure error messages. I don’t recommend anyone buyihng this drive.
    Just to clarify something. I use to get these Delayed Write errors when I was using the ports on the back of my computer, or a hub I sometimes used.
    However a few months back I purchased a PCI host card with 4 USB ports, All my Delayed Write messages went away.
    All my other external USB drives are fine. It’s this damn Agent Drive I just picked up. There is another post from someone else with this drive here.
    http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=446337

    btw, Write caching is turned off in the device manager by default, so it’s not that.
    I’m going to try stopping the other USB hard dive I have plugged in to see if there is some kind of conflict going on. I’m so sick of this crap. It’s almost 2008 and we still don’t have it right.

    I guess I should email them.
    Last edited by Starstreams; 11-01-2007 at 12:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Up, I'll update this.

    -I stopped, unpluged, the other USB hard drive
    -I stopped, unpluged, my M-Audio Midisport 2x2 USB
    -I stopped, unpluged, M-Audio 88-Keystation keyboard.
    -(Restarted PC)

    Still getting the error on the FreeAgent drive. I'll try what you said, but this is crazy because I just formated the drive thee weeks ago when I bought it.

    Last edited by Starstreams; 11-01-2007 at 12:23 AM.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    2,533

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    There's no greater risk to defragging an external drive than an internal one. Virtually all modern defrag tools (including Windows defrag) COPY data before moving it. So if the process is interrupted, you only get a few stray sectors and don't lose anything. And with NTFS, any file system errors can be repaired. So I really wouldn't sweat it.

    That said, unless an external drive, (presumably being used for storage only), is really horrifically fragmented, there's no compelling reason to defrag it in the first place.

  6. #6
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    This is Interesting. I knew about turning the write cashing off, but what’s funny is, in the Device Manager, the window says that write cashing is off. But when you go to the policies window from the MyComputer drive icons, it has it checked. What the …? Why are there two of the same setting in different places? I'll have to put a screen shot up tomorrow.
    Last edited by Starstreams; 11-01-2007 at 04:10 AM.

  7. #7
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Sorry rdgrimes, my reply last night was retarted, it was very late here, and I was not thinking clear
    Anyway, I called Seagate and they didn’t have a straight answer. But I think your right, there really is no need to defrag the drive since the data is just going to sit there.
    As far as the Delayed Write error, I’m running a scan disk (at the moment) just to see what it says for curiosity more than anything. Then I’ll run the Seagate utilities to see if it says anything. Last I’m probably most definitely delete the partition, and do a long-high level format.
    Last edited by Starstreams; 11-01-2007 at 10:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Joined
    Dec 2004
    Location
    quebec, canada
    Posts
    810

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    If you are using the sometime unshielded front USB port on some case, then you may have problem with read and write with USB 2.0 devices.

    Make sure you have good usb interface cable and plug it in the motherboard instead of the front(or anywhere else on the case..) port.

  9. #9
    Joined
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    2,533

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starstreams View Post
    Sorry rdgrimes, my reply last night was restarted, it was very late here, and I was not thinking clear
    Anyway, I called Seagate and they didnít have a straight answer. But I think your right, there really is no need to defrag the drive since the data is just going to sit there.
    As far as the Delayed Write error, Iím running a scan disk (at the moment) just to see what it says for curiosity more than anything. Then Iíll run the Seagate utilities to see if it says anything. Last Iím probably most definitely delete the partition, and do a long-high level format.
    My experiences with the DRF error on external drives were that nothing was ever actually lost, it was just Windoz whining about something. I'd put it at the chipset in the case, not the drive, and the data may well be OK.

  10. #10
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Hi guys,
    The drive is bad. I was on the phone with Seagate support today, and he had me run their long test using their Sea Utilities, it failed the test in less than 5 min’s

    I couldn’t even format the drive using the windows disk management. The drive is showing in the Device manager, but something is damaged. It will not format at all.
    Here is the part that sucks. Even though Seagate advertises (on the box) that this drive comes with a 5 year warrantiee, the support guy from RMA dept said that they will send me a refurbished drive.
    I said to him, "are you kidding me? I bought a new drive and it's bad, now I get a refurbished replacement?"

    All he said was, I know how you feel.
    Last edited by Starstreams; 11-01-2007 at 10:34 PM.

  11. #11
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    2,701

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Yeah....
    I've stayed away from pre-packaged solutions for external drives from drive manufacturers. I've also had a couple of single drive enclosures that, despite good reviews, have turned out to be less than adequately engineered. My current favorite are the InfoSafe series from Startech.
    Problems I've seen with some enclosures are:
    1. The use of cables to connect the controller to the drive in the enclosure. These cables are non-standard and often hacked, i.e., one end cut and soldered to the controller board. Some I've seen are so flaky that changing the drive only a few times leads to a failure.
    2. Inadequate airflow. This leads to premature failure of either the drive or some component. The heat transfer can be inadequate even with an aluminium case.
    3. Shoddy physical engineering. Cases shouldn't be subjected to physical stresses but it's still good to have a case that can survive at least some abuse. The case should have a fan that's commercially available.
    What I like about the InfoSafe series is the case is rugged, the drives are mounted on individual trays that slide into the case and lock into place, the case is connectorized, and it's fairly quiet (I can detect when it's powered up but the noise level is about the same as my laptop). The only thing I found peculiar was the insertion of the package of screws in the fan cavity. The back cover is taken off to get to the package of screws and the fan won't turn until the package is removed.
    I've left the drives powered up for several hours at a time and the case was only slightly warm to the touch. I've also changed out the drives several times without incurring any failures. So, overall, I'm quite pleased with the case and it's the only keeper I've found thus far. They're pricey but, given the rate that I was paying for replacing drives and cases before that, I'm thinking I'm saving money, and effort, in the long run.

  12. #12
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Question Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Robert3
    Cases shouldn't be subjected to physical stresses but it's still good to have a case that can survive at least some abuse.
    That’s funny you say that, the drive actually slipped out of my hand and fell on the soft carpet. But I think the sudden jolt caused the read head to crash into the platter while it was spinning. You think that is possible? I’ve never dropped a drive before, but the drive spins so fast, when you pick it up it feels like it has a webalwabble movement. for example: If your holding the drive, and turn your arm while the drive is on, it feels like your holding a huge magnet which is being pulled by something. You know what I mean?

    Btw
    I actually own this
    http://www.pyramid-of-wisdom.com/compusaen.html

    I have not been using it lately because of the size, but it’s never let me down. I think I might start again.

    Got a question: If you delete the pri-partition on the drive, is there any software to recover the data? I had a folder with passwords to my bank account, on that drive which I didn’t have time to lock. I know that Seagate runs tests on the damaged drives, and rebuild them, can someone there get my passwords now that I've deleated the partition. I know a format dosn't kill the files, but what about when you delete your partition?
    Last edited by Starstreams; 11-02-2007 at 04:42 PM.

  13. #13
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    2,701

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    I cannot rule out the possibility. I have seen stats from drive manufacturers indicating that drives are more susceptible to damage from shock when operational.
    There are programs one can find via search engines which purport to provide the capability to recover data, even when the data has been "deleted". I have no experience with commercial programs so I can't speak to their efficacy. So far as formatting a partition is concerned, I can't speak to what specifically occurs during a format but I'd hate to think that a long format isn't completely overwriting, and verifying, the partition. It may be that a short format would simply overwrite pointers to the data. I suppose you could contact the people selling these programs, give them your particulars, and see if they can help you. Also, BWM has also had extensive experience in storage and might have something to contribute.

  14. #14
    Joined
    Mar 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    656

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    I'd like to try to do a low level format on this USB drive, even if the drive is bad, I'd like to at least be able to creat a partition and wipe the drive once before sending this back, I've even got some song I wroote on the guitar, that are not copywriten. I remember doing a low level format on one of my drives, I can't remember if it was an internal drive for a USB, but I have done it. it was done during the windows log in, it might have been one of my SCSI drives, but again I don't remember which type of drive it was.
    What can I use to do a low level format on this USB drive, any idea?
    I didin't see anything at the Segate's site for doing this on this drive?
    Last edited by Starstreams; 11-02-2007 at 11:16 PM.

  15. #15
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    2,701

    Re: Defrag a USB drive, how can I do this safely?

    Well, provided the drive is still accessible, there are programs available to destroy data on drives. You can view some of them over at download.com.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •