Copying to external drives gives corrupted files

By Sthwind
May 27, 2011
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  1. When I copy music files from my PC to a USB external hard drive, some of the files get corrupted and can't be opened. First times this happened I thought it was a faulty hard drive so got another one - exactly same problem. Then I found that the same thing happened when I tried copying music or photo files to a USB flash drive and also to a music player. All the drives work fine when connected to a netbook. Could it be a problem with the USB ports? I've tried using different ports on the PC but always get the same problem. My PC is 5 years old, 2x2.8Ghz Pentium, runs XP and has 2 front and 6 rear USB ports. Anyone come across this and is there anything I can do to solve it short of buying a new PC?
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Is XP updated to Service Pack 3? How much memory do you have installed?
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    1) does your USB ext. drive have its own AC adapter? or does it rely on USB ports for power?

    2) Go to computer's mfr support site. Make sure you have the latest chipset drivers installed also
  4. Sthwind

    Sthwind TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Copying to external drives corrupts files

    Thanks for replies,

    Tmagic - I have Service pack 3 and 2GB RAM installed.

    LookinAround - yes the drive has its own AC adapter. Re your other suggestion I found I was missing a chipset driver and downloaded it from Dell. At first I hoped that had solved the problem as I got several files copied to the drive OK without problems but then as I tried copying more files some of them got corrupted as before.
    Weirdly when that happens some of the files that were previously OK on the drive became corrupted, ie it's not just the new ones I copy across that don't work.

    Anything else I can try?
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    The power supply might be failing slowly after 5 years
  6. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TS Evangelist Posts: 787   +58

    Unfortunately it sounds like a hardware problem. A co-worker had a similar problem. The Dell laptop he had would corrput files on whatever USB devices (flash drive & MP3 player) he plugs into the laptop. It didn't matter which USB port. Think he was able to open files but files get corrupted during write. Rendering them unreadable to everyone else. Good thing it was a work laptop & IT sent a tech to replace the mobo.
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I think this thread is about a Dell desktop, not a laptop
  8. Sthwind

    Sthwind TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah it's a Dell desktop but has just the same problems you describe Rabbit01. I guess I need to get a new PC. If it's a hardware problem it won't be solved by formatting and reinstalling everything.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  9. Rabbit01

    Rabbit01 TS Evangelist Posts: 787   +58

    Let's hope someone else has a software solution to your problem. The good thing is computers aren't as expensive as they used to be, well...depends on what you want that is. Anyway, good luck.
  10. Sthwind

    Sthwind TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes - one other thing I've tried just adds to the mystery. An old 250 Mb Iomega zip drive which takes its power from the USB port actually works OK, files copied with no corruption. Can't understand that.

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