Hello all, thank you for taking the time to read my post.
I have two external hard drives which are both exactly the same (4TB Western Digital). I've had them for less than a year, and I am having the exact same problem with both of them. Both the drives are filled with the exact same files. All of the files are either MKV or MP4.
The problem is, sometimes when I playback the files, I am finding that they just stop working at certain points in the file. Basically the files will appear fine and then just stop working. And the strange thing is, it is completely random. I mean, some files are completely fine, and others are not. And sometimes a particular file will work fine on one drive and not on the other, other times both drive will have a problem with the same file.
This is extremely frustrating, and I am so clueless as to why this is happening. Especially since BOTH drives are having the same problem. I mean, if it was just one of them, I could safely assume that I just was unlucky and bought a faulty drive, but surely I couldn't have bought two identical drives that are both faulty.
Also, I should add that the MKV files are the ones that stop playing at random points, whereas the MP4 files just have a small glitch in them at usually just one point in the file but continue to play. Although, I've only found this problem with about 3 of the 50 or so MP4 files that I have.
If anyone has any idea what's going on I would really appreciate some help.
Thanks in advance
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Have you tried them on different computers? Still same problem?
I would also try run a full disc check(Right click on the drive from the windows explorer/Computer, Properties, Tools, Error-checking, Check now and click scan for bad sectors).
No, I haven't tried them on a different computer, but my computer has never given me any problems when playing back these files directly from the internal hard drive.
I am running that full disc check right now, looks like it might take a while. Might have to let it run overnight as it's getting late here. I'll post again in the morning.
Thanks for your help.
How do you connect them? USB? Maybe some random connections problems.
Yeah, I connect them via USB. Not sure what could be wrong with the connection though?
This just seems like such a strange problem... For example, I am trying to copy a large file to both the drives at the moment, but no matter how many times i try, they always corrupt it. But, just last night, I copied a different large file (also 1080p MKV) to them, and there are no problems at all...
B4Ucontinue, please read (or read again) https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/367509-Files-corrupted-when-copying-to-external-usb3-hdd
I read through that thread. It's good to know that other people have had similar issues, but some of the posts in that thread were a bit too technical for me to understand. Basically, I picked out 2 main things that were causing the issues for other people. Windows 7 and Microsoft Security Essentials, I use both of these...
Think it would be worth a try to remove MSE and see what happens?
Also, I noticed that people were saying the problems were usually with larger files. All my MKV files are large, most between 4-7GB, whereas my MP4 files are all much smaller (300-600MB). As I said in my first post, most of the time I only have issues with the MKV files.
Do you have your computer(s) connected to UPS devices? Do you live in a place with regular power brown outs? I'm an IT guy so I should have known better, but I was also cheap. For years, I ran my Windows PCs without UPS devices. Unfortunately, although I live in a major US metropolitan suburb, the power where is live is completely unreliable. I probably average one brown out a month. I used to have weird disk problems like yours. I could rip DVDs but when I made a copy and checked it, sometimes the copy would have bad spots on the video. This was due to some kind of hard drive corruption. I used to cringe every time a PC I owned began to do CHKDSK and reported problems. Once the first problem was reported by CHKDSK, it was just a matter of time before the drive would become unbootable. I've got a box filled with half a dozen or so drives that won't boot, but I can completely access all the contents on them. I used to have to do a destructive reinstall of Windows every year or two because of booting problems.
Finally I stopped being cheap and I bought some UPS devices. It completely stopped my weird disk drive problems. I mention this because every now and then it helps someone who's in the same boat and a few others have admitted to having similar disk drive problems and living in places with regular brown outs. Brown outs are really hard on PCs and disk drives and I recommend everybody use a UPS to protect against them.
Yes, it is possible to buy 2 identical drives and have them both be faulty, particularly if they have the same manufacture location and date of manufacture. But your problem sounds suspiciously to me like a power related issue like mine was. If you think you might have a problem related to power damage, the only fix is to buy a UPS and get new disk drives. Your old drives are likely corrupted to the point that I wouldn't recommend using them for anything important.
Hi jman98, thank you for your reply.
I was really hoping I wouldn't have to end up buying new drives, especially so soon after purchasing the ones I have, but, I think I may have to now.
I know I was stupid for not setting it up already, but I do actually have a UPS device which has been sitting in its box for 6 months now (don't ask why I haven't got around to setting it up). I bought it because, you guessed it, I ALWAYS have power outages where I live... Well, actually more like once every 2-3 months, but it sometimes can happen multiple times in less than a week.
But, the thing is, I never thought it was the power outages that were causing the problem because a lot of my files are still perfectly fine (I'd say about 70%). I would have thought if my drives had been affected then they just simply would not work at all?
Also, the computer itself seems perfectly fine too, and it has been on literally every time there has been a power outage since I have had it, which is about 2 years now. I would say you are right about the problems being caused by the power outages, but isn't it a bit strange that it only affects some files and hasn't had any affect on any of the files on my internal hard drive?
Sorry of my bad english...
The mkv files that you said is corrupt because of not complete copying process (problem when copying file)
Maybe the usb port that you used is broken.
maybe you can check the error mkv files using hex checker...
try to copy the big mkv files (more than 4 gigs) to another computer / laptop that haven't any problem in the usb port, then play it...
Last edited by anana; 10th Feb 2015 at 08:43.
It sounds like you're having issues with the throughput to and from the drives.
Are you drives connected to USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports? Have you tried switching ports? Are you running them directly from the port on the PC or though a hub? If through a hub, what else is connected and is the hub powered?
4TB externals are USB 3.0 and while they're fully backward compatible with USB 2.0, they perform best when connected to a USB 3.0 port or hub (if you're not sure, the plastic connector on USB 3.0 is blue rather than white).
If you want problem free connections you can't go wrong with buying internal drives and to hook them up with SATA.
Just ignore all this 'private cloud external drive' marketing baloney and use SATA!
The UPS sounds like a good idea, but I would more likely suspect USB itself. Are you using USB 2 or USB 3? 3 is a bit faster and seems a bit more stable.
USB is known to have issues with interruptions when several devices are being used simultaneously, especially if they are streaming data. I would unplug all but one active USB device and see if you have the same problems. By active, I mean drives. USB keyboards and mouse's aren't likely to cause problems.
The operating system is checking the USB system continually for activity and that can cause interruptions. These aren't really noticed for data transfer, but when you stream video, a bit more obvious.
I promise you that if you start using UPS devices, it WILL fix your problem just like it did mine. My current PC, which has only been run connected to a UPS, has been running for over 3 years now and I've never had a disk drive problem of any kind. On my previous PCs, a little over 2 years was the best I ever had a PC run before I started to have disk drive problems similar to yours. My power is so bad that I actually run my HDTV connected to a UPS device. I don't do it to actually provide power to the TV in case of an outage but to protect it against brown outs.
Either way, the drive probably has the green "IntelliPower" feature, which by default parks the heads after 7-8 seconds of inactivity. The WD40EZRX 4TB is such a drive, for example.
When I use the WD40EZRX 4TB with a set top media player like dune-hd or himedia, if the hard drive parks its heads (because the player has read enough of the file into its buffer), I'll have to reboot the media player to re-establish connection with the hard drive. But on a computer, the drive should just spin up again if the heads got parked.
The head parking frequency on "IntelliPower" drives can be changed or disabled with wdidle3.exe. This solved the problem with my set top media players. There is a lower chance that it is causing your problem, but worth checking out anyway.
Thanks everyone for your help.
Both drives have been connected to USB3 ports for the entire time I've had them. I've never copied a file to both drives at the same time, but I always do one after the other. Don't know if that makes any difference or not?
They both came in a WD Enclosure.
I also have a 2TB portable drive which is always connected as well. I always wondered whether it was a bad idea to have 3 external drives connected all at once. The portable drive seems to be ok. It only has music and a few photos on it, but I'm hoping it wouldn't have problems if I were to add video files to it. Do you think it's possible that it could have the same issues as the larger drives and I just haven't noticed it yet? Since this drive has also been connected every time there's been a power outage...
Anyway, I guess it looks like I will have to just throw at least 2 of the drives away and buy new ones. I think I've learnt my lesson now.
As Redwudz posted, try it with only one drive connected. While the inactive devices shouldn't have any effect, there seems to be something odd going on with your USB. No sense swapping out the drives if it's the port(s) that's the issue.
When you have multiple external drives connected, the throughput drops dramatically. I frequently transfer large video files to and from my externals and it's often quicker to use only one drive at a time (swapping when done) than two or more at once. I highly recommend TeraCopy for transfers. It's faster and will warn of any issues with the transfer.
Also, check the integrity of your file transfers, especially since you're having issues during copying. Recommend the free version of Viice Versa - http://www.tgrmn.com . You can set it to compare CRC (to verify the two files are exactly the same). Note that this will take a while.
Last edited by lingyi; 10th Feb 2015 at 17:53. Reason: Fix link