Killed HDD with USB Dock. Please share advice/wisdom

Yesterday I killed a HDD with a USB cloning dock. The particular dock is WavLink WL-ST334U-BL.

Several things could have gone wrong.

1. The unit was dusty and I didn't appreciate this because when I blew into it after the reboot before using it again when I replugged the HDD back into it, thinking maybe there was a bad connection, there was a surprising amount of dust from that. The HDD read just fine for a few hours when I had first plugged it in before rebooting, however.

2. After coming back from letting it copy during one time (I repeated the copy a few times), I started to lift it from the contacts without thinking because the indicator was showing red (it does that after it idles, but also after you unmount it and the drive is ready to remove) but am skeptical I'd lifted it enough. The OS didn't complain of anything when this happened.

3. Each time I started the copies (I repeated copying the DCIM directory from a phone four times), about 2000~ files, about half or more than that were coming out corrupted. I thought the phone was the problem, so I repeated the copy a few times. Each time I created a new directory and the copy completed but many files were corrupt. On the fourth try, I created a new folder quickly, called "New Folder" and copied into that, but then accidentally hit "Undo" in the right click menu while in the parent directory and to my shock, Windows happily removed the directory while the copy was going.

4. It was at this point that I became concerned about the drive so I made to unmount it but it would not unmount. The copy dialog was stuck doing its thing but not with any files. I logged out. Logged back in, and the drive was now no longer conventional, it had no filesystem. I restarted the PC, same thing.

5. After the reboot, chkdsk had a fit when run on the drive and now the drive is half destroyed or more than that judging by what I can see in OS Forensics.

Assuming the dust didn't do it (the drive was operating fine other than the corrupted files in the copies), and I didn't disconnect it from the contacts while it was running (the OS didn't complain), I specifically want advice about the inability to unmount and what to do in the future when that happens. To my knowledge, restarting is the conventional wisdom in this case. I did do this. Was Logging Out the issue?

__Should I have shut it off by the button instead of logging out or restarting?__

Anyone that has experience with these docks kindly sharing some would be greatly appreciated. Are these docks just bad news? Is this one just bad news? Should I use the button? Is the phone the issue? The also has trouble copying the files to a memory card on a different PC.


Posts: 1,922   +311
It's likely down to you rather than the cloning dock. Mine's pretty old - an Integral hard drive copy station usb 2. I keep it in the box with the instructions because it isn't used much. However, ii is brilliant when needed. I replace hard drives before they die and have also used the device as an external hard drive connected to PC to move selected files and folders. Before actually starting the copy process I double check everything and make sure that there is plenty of time to let the copy station complete the task. Interfering in any way with jobs like this is a big no no. When hardware was slow many folks messed up their systems after becoming impatient with Windows update. Similar situation here. I can't say exactly how long a full cloning takes but I have moved to 1Tb SSDs and would guess maybe an hour. I leave well alone, go out and check much later. In fact you don't need with my unit to connect it to PC. You just put in the two hard disks and then check and double check that they are the right way round and that you are going to copy to the correct one. Once done you just need to adjust the partitions on the new disk because it is almost certain to have a larger capacity than the original. Easily done with freeware like Mini Tool Partition Magic. Patience and attention to detail are your friends here. Flashing lights show the copy progress on the Integral.
Hey I just wanted to update in the name of accuracy.

It seems a problem has appeared with the same port I was using at the time.

So it seems that the issue is the USB port.


Posts: 1,922   +311
Thanks for the update. Most usb copy stations have SATA bays for the hard drives but my recent two PCs have the new type nvme (or maybe M.2 type) connectors. Anyway, copy stations are great so long as you keep things sinple and are not in any rush. It's likely there will be some new models out with greater flexiblity with the bays to accomodate the newer SSD connectors. Ihave worries about cloning software after a disaster with an early version of Norton Ghost.