Problem with external Hard disks (in W10 2004 and 20H2)

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by Ricard0, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    I have several external hard disks that give me a warning when I connect them to my PC or laptop.
    Both are recently updated to Windows 10 (version 20H2).

    The warning message tells me that I have to scan my disk using chkdsk.
    When I do so, no errors are found and the disk seems to function like normal.
    However, when I later connect the same disk to another machine (which is still running on W10 version 1909) I get the same warning: I need to scan the disk.
    Again, no error is found, same story...
    After that, when I connect the disk back to the PC with the latest upfate (20H2), same warning etc. etc.
    When I use the disk on only one machine, there are no further warnings, but as soon as I connect it to a machine with the other version of Windows 10, the warning show up again.
    This happened to me earlier when I tried version 2004 (april update) and that was one of the reasons that I decided to skip that one.

    So far, there has not been any major damage done, but this can't be a good thing.
    I've read some stories about problems with "Windows Storage Spaces" where Microsoft specifically warned about using chkdsk in case of an error occuring. So I guess this can be related to that problem, but I'm not sure.

    Did anyone encounter the same problem using an external USB drive?
    Since it happened on 2 machines, I do not think that I'm the only one.
     
  2. spedia

    spedia MDL Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2009
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    I don't have that issue. 20H2. Various machines
     
  3. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

    Dec 21, 2012
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    Are they safely removed (using the Safely remove and eject feature)?
     
  4. jeff69dini

    jeff69dini MDL Addicted

    Nov 22, 2008
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    same thing here, could not find out why
     
  5. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    Yes, tried that as well!
    I even tried shutting down the whole PC before disconnecting.
    The problem is clearly caused at the moment of connecting, not by disconnecting.
     
  6. ch100

    ch100 MDL Senior Member

    Sep 11, 2016
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    The issue is most of the times legit. There is an uncommon flag in the partitioning of the disk which is set differently than what is "normal".
    Unfortunately I cannot remember the whole thing now, but the easy way out is to backup the contents and completely destroy the disk - a hex editor would do by zeroing the first few sectors, reinitialise and partition and format from Windows.
     
  7. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    So that would mean that any hard drive that has been partitioned in an earlier sytem (W10 1909, or even Windows 7) would have to be set up completely from scratch? And all data on it has to be copied twice (once to back up, and once to put it back) to do so?
    Given the fact that I've got about 30TB in total I would hardly call that "the easy way out" :)
    I've got the same problem by the way, with a newly bought WD disk that I did not partition myself.
     
  8. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    What external disk are you using, that gives you this problem?
     
  9. BAU

    BAU MDL Addicted

    Feb 10, 2009
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    AV: added to exception rules
    Storage Sense: OFF
    Backup: OFF
    System Restore: OFF
    $Recycle.Bin: OFF, folder deleted
    Permissions: Everyone=FullControl, no other entries
    Boost: OFF
    NTFS Compression: OFF
    Indexing: OFF
    No uncommon partitions and partition flags - easily and non-destructively check and toggle with a partition manager software
    (the advice with 0-ing the drive was.. impractical to say the least)

    Do note that you might have a broken machine that fails to flush the write-cache for the drive / abruptly terminates power.
    Check device manager and make sure the drive is optimized for quick removal, and uncheck any write-caching policy.
    Also try to shutdown the system before disconnecting the drive and see if the problem persists.
    If it fixes it, then check with resource monitor what process is writing to the external disk.
     
  10. ch100

    ch100 MDL Senior Member

    Sep 11, 2016
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    No, it means that at some point something got changed, "corrupted" as considered by Windows.
    Most disks do not experience this issue.
    It may also be related to the firmware of the USB enclosure if this is seen consistently across multiple similar hardware.
    It is something specific to your particular configuration, not seen in a majority of situations.
    I understand that in some cases copying a large amount of files is not practical. I believe that this issue can be fixed using DiskPart but I don't remember exactly what flag is affected.
    However having 30 TB of data and not backed up, is a dangerous situation regardless.
     
  11. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    Thanks Beau and ch100!
    First let me explain: It's acually not 30TB without backup. It's more or less 15TB + Backup :)

    All the things Beau suggested were allready tried or switched off as he suggested.
    Most of it I have switched off anyway.
    A broken machine would not make sense, because it happens on more than one machine.
    The only thing I can think of, is that there are just not many people using a USB harddisk in between two machines running different versions of Windows. But "not too many" doesn't mean that there wouldn't still be a large number of people worldwide that should have come across this problem.

    Checking what processes are writing or accessing the disk is a good point! Will try to find that out.
    And I had DiskPart in the back of my mind as well. It saved me once before with something else.
    But not something you use on a daily basis, so some study is needed.
    I have thought about the firmware as well, because most of the disks are the same type of WD.
    WD Elements (small version) So not really an obscure brand either.
    So far I had no luck finding any new firmware.
    I do have some other disks somewhere else, so I will try one of those later.
    But I don't want to mess up anything and my head is not completely clear at the moment.
    I had some serious dental surgery done yesterday.
    BTW: It was nice to have some technical stuff to think about when they were "working" on me!
    Not joking, it took my mind away from the "battlefield"!

    I hope jeff69dini can tell me what is the disk that gives him the same problem.
     
  12. MrG

    MrG MDL Expert

    May 31, 2010
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    #12 MrG, Nov 25, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
    @ Ricard0 Just wondering how did you install Win10 on the external HDD,
    Windows To Go?

    Edit: I see the WD HDDs are not fast enough for W2G to be used.
    That's why they recommend fast USB drives for that.
     
  13. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    I didn't.
    I didn't. Win10 is just installed as normal on my PC. It's just than I'm having trouble with the external disks that I connect.
     
  14. E_B_M

    E_B_M MDL Member

    Jan 16, 2012
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    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    As always, it feels a little better if you're not the only one....

    In the meantime I've tried several other disks. Even some older ones, still in a USB 2.0 case.
    Basicly every disk gives me the same problem. Only the ones in FAT32 are accepted without protest.
     
  16. coleoptere2007

    coleoptere2007 MDL Guru

    Apr 8, 2008
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    Check health of HDD there are some tools on the net
     
  17. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

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    #17 Ricard0, Nov 26, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    (OP)
    It's about 20 of them. Some of them are a few month old, or even new.
    I test every disk before I start using it anyway, with various software.
    They all work without any problem, in any other version of Windows.
     
  18. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    It seems just to be the other way around: If I DO NOT use the "quick removal" option, but choose the "better performance" setting instead, I'm not bothered with the error when I change disks between different machines.
    Of course this means that I have to change this setting for every disk involved, and have to use the "safe remove" icon every time I disconnect. Will take some time to get used to that!

    Not to happy about it all, but at least I've found some clue to as where the problem lies.
     
  19. ch100

    ch100 MDL Senior Member

    Sep 11, 2016
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    It is weird that there are so many different disks experiencing the same issue, because it is not so common.
    Just saying that I had it randomly but last time I was able to fix it.
    It was long ago and I didn't document it but I found the guidance somewhere on the internet.
    I am not blindly applying what other people say, but if after assessing, testing and understanding the solution presented is validated, then I apply it with a high degree of confidence.
    Try running diskpart in a cmd window as Administrator with the problematic disk(s) connected and run detail disk, detail volume.
    This is only high level instruction as you would have to understand how diskpart works by selecting different objects.
    Try to compare with a known good disk/partition/volume and see if you can identify a difference which you would be able to modify with diskpart.
    I am wondering if you have a specific configuration or software that produces the issue given the large number of occurrences.
     
  20. Ricard0

    Ricard0 MDL Novice

    May 13, 2020
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    Thanks to everybody for helping me think....
    I cannot check or compare a "good" and a "bad" disk, because all disks give me the same problem.
    (At least the ones with NTFS partitions)
    I can no longer compare between the Windows 10 versions 1909 and 20H2. The laptop running 1909 has left the building....

    Maybe I was wrong in assuming that the problem also occurred between the 1909 machine and the 20H2 machine.
    Most harddisks where last used on Windows 7. So I do know for sure that there is a problem of incompatibility when sharing disks between Windows 7 and Windows 10 (version 2004 and 20H2). That would make (just a little) more sense.
    I know for a fact that this problem did never occurre between Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows 10.
    It started when I first tried version 2004 last summer.
    The Windows 7 machines are BTW all up to date with all the latest updates etc. Everything I use has the latest bios, and all available updates.

    I still think there may be a relation with the problems Microsoft has in the "Windows Storage Spaces".
    Microsoft then warned not to check and repair disks in case of a warning.
    Those problems where introduced in version 2004 of Windows 10, and that was the first version with which my problem started.

    I'm now thinking about disabling the whole warning, but although I found several descriptions on the web, I have not found a way to get rid of them.