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  1. #1
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    failing/failed drive (winXP SP2)

    I have a slave drive that is either very flakey or failing/failed. I can see the drive (E, directories, and files using windows explorer. If I try to copy a file I get an I/O device error message. I also get a popup box saying the a "delayed write failed", windows unable to save all the data for E:$Mft. I have backups for everything but a few files, so it's not critical that I save the drive.
    Questions:
    1) is the drive "savable" and if so how?
    2) do the error messages point to any particular symptom?
    3) is it possible to just reformat the drive and get on with life?
    4) or am I waiting for the Sunday paper and the CompUSA ad?

    Thanks for the help

    John

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: failing/failed drive (winXP SP2)

    John,
    My first thought would be, if there isn't much worth salvaging on the drive, then deep six it and get a new one. Drive costs have really come down these days and it might not be worth the time and effort to try and rescue it.
    If you want to try to save it just for the challenge of doing it, well, first do a "chkdsk /f" on it and see just how many errors come up and if they can be recovered. Too many and it wouldn't be very reliable to use for any critical data and will probably get worse as time goes on. You can spend money on recovery programs but again, WHY?
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: failing/failed drive (winXP SP2)

    I concur with Bob. Option #4 from your list is the best bet; anything else you do would essentially amount to buying time before it comes to a complete, screeching halt. Often recurring drive errors are the prelude to a failure.

    For your edification, the error 'unable to save all the data for E:$Mft' indicates that the system cannot write to the master file table on the drive, and since that is where NTFS file systems store the majority of their information (other than the actual bits themselves), it's fairly useless without it.
    -Mark

  4. #4
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    Re: failing/failed drive (winXP SP2)

    And just to fill in the last remaining piece of information.

    When you write to a disk drive, Windows stores the data in a memory buffer and immediately tells the program that the write succeeded. This lets the program run faster because it doesn't have to wait for the disk to spin, the heads to move etc. If there is an error actually writing that data to disk then windows can't return an error to the program (which may have exited already), so it generates a "delayed write failed" message - it cannot tell you exactly which program failed, or what file it was writing, because all that information is no longer available.

    StuartR

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