External HDD showing 0MD size due to delayed write failed errors

By Motivationalist ยท 14 replies
Feb 18, 2013
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  1. Hi Fellows,

    I have TOSHIBA 200GB HDD. I made it external HDD through a drive case and using it since few months for storing the data. it has 4 partitions.
    Now I have a problem with it. A week before the drive started giving following errors when I was plugging it in to the system
    There might be a problem with some files on this device or disc, this can happen if you remove the device or disc before all files have been written to it
    Delayed Write Failed
    I/O Device Error
    Initially it was only reading two partitions, after 2-3 days it only showed one partition (not all data), then now it is showing 4 partition with zero data with zero 0mb total disk space. It is asking to format each partition I am trying to open. I tried to access the HDD from multiple systems (XP, VISTA, SEVEN) but same 0MB size showing up now every time.

    How can I get the external HDD back to normal state without losing the data already there? please help.

  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

  3. Motivationalist

    Motivationalist TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi 9122,

    Thanks for your feedback.
    I tried this "check drive for errors" more then few times and waited always to completed the error checking. It never completed even once I keep this thing running for more then 15 hours. It always showed up as the disk checking never started (like 0%).

    I also ran check disk (chkdsk /f /r) in XP but it also didn't solve the problem. CHKDSK run fine and it completed every time, showed some bad sectors but wasn't able to repair anything.

    Any other solution which might help? I dont know if my drive is physically damaged but if so it should not be giving the "delayed write errors" on the start of problem.
    Any idea on what happened to it?

    Many Thanks
  4. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Did you select: "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors"?
  5. Motivationalist

    Motivationalist TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes I tried with selecting "AUTOMATICALLY FIX FILE SYSTEM ERROR" and "SCAN FOR & ATTEMPT RECOVERY OF BAD SECTORS" together and also selected one time each separately but this AUTOMATIC RECOVERY never completed and freeze the system until I shut this thing down. :( :'(
  6. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    The drive must be defective. You may not be able to recover you data. I am out of ideas, maybe someone else here can come to your rescue :). Good luck. jobeard SNGX1275 Any ideas?
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,130   +982

    Yes; enter BIOS and configure WITHOUT delay write (if I recall properly)

    MS KB on the issue

    To resolve this issue, first check whether the "Enable write caching on the disk" feature is turned on. If it is turned on, turn it off. To do this, follow these steps.

    Note If you turn off the "Enable write caching on the disk" feature, your hard disk may perform more slowly and may affect the overall system performance of your computer. Because of this, you may want to monitor system performance after you follow the steps in this section.

    To turn off Enable write caching on the disk, follow these steps:​
    1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.​
    2. Right-click the hard disk, and then click Properties.​
    3. Click the Hardware tab.​
    4. Click to select the hard disk, and then click Properties.​
    5. Click the Policies tab.​
    6. Click to clear the Enable write caching on the disk check box, and then click OK.​
    7. Click OK to close the Local Disk (C:) Properties dialog box.​
    8. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each hard disk that is installed in your computer.​
    If these steps resolve the error message, you are finished.​

    here's a possibility - - a virus?
  8. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    +1 @ the "C:)" lol
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I agree with UNKNOWN9122 and think the drive is dying.

    I would get Hirens Boot CD, there are tools on that that will tell you if your drive is dying (although they don't include Windows version of SeaTools, which is my favorite but I have had it say a drive is good when it clearly wasn't..). Also included are various tools to try and help you find and recover data from the partitions.

    A lot of those tools can actually be ran from booting off that Boot CD into Mini XP mode, I have successfully recovered data off a dying drive that would not show up in Windows that way.

    As I was typing this out, it occurred to me that perhaps we are all overlooking something simple. Maybe the drive isn't seated properly in its enclosure anymore, or maybe the USB cable is bad, or the enclosure is dying. If you still have a desktop computer (or access to one) connect that drive internally and see if it works. I would try this first if you have access to a desktop. With dying drives, you never really know when they are going to hit the point where they never work again, you might be at that point, so before I spent a lot of time doing a bunch of diagnostics and potentially very slow recovery I would try to get it to a desktop.
  10. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    This is what I began to think after I posted, but thought it was ridiculous to mention. (y)
  11. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +242

    I was browsing the net when I came across this info:
    giveaway is still valid for less than 24 hours.
    try it if you trust it. :)
  12. Motivationalist

    Motivationalist TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Fellows,

    Thanks for your feedback, following is the current update.

    I already tried disabling "Enable write caching on the disk" earlier but it didn't make the difference.

    Then I selected the check box "QUICK REMOVAL" so it deselected "BETTER PERFORMANCE" (SAFELY REMOVE HARDWARE) box automatically.

    I followed this step at the start of the issue, attached is the screenshot of how DISK1 showing its partition in MANAGE window right now.

    I used Hirens Boot CD and its Mini XP feature before, I will try to run this tool to access the external HDD and will let you know if it does the trick.
    and your second point about cable and the drive case.... well yes I replaced the USB cable also, opened the drive case and reseated the disk in the case properly. Looks like cables and drive case part is FINE.
    This is laptop 2.5" HDD, is it safe to hook this up into desktop PC? I mean with desktop power supply will it be safe?

    Many Thanks,

    Attached Files:

    • HDD.png
      File size:
      180.7 KB
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Never really trust that stuff... you never know what files they are really distributing...
  14. Motivationalist

    Motivationalist TS Rookie Topic Starter

  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Yeah, you can hook it up in your desktop just fine, no power supply concerns.

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