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Frequently NTFS Partition Problem (..and disaster)  

Junior Member

this is my first post here, sorry for my english i'm italian 8)

Well, i've a simple notebook and 2 external usb hard disk:the first one is connected to pc only with usb cable and the second one is an 80 Gb Maxtor connected to pc with the "Super Slim External Storage System" (usb 2).
i've used the 80 Gb as my download partition but yesterday was the 5 time that it's NTFS partition "explode" and i can't access it..the last 4 time with chkdsk /f i've saved/fix the problems, the first time i've used BitMart's Restorer 2000 (VERY VERY POWERFUL) to recover lost file (before reformatting partition)..and that's ok..but this time it's very hard!

all start with this (i past from my eventlog):

Source: NTFS
Type: Error
ID: 55
The File System structure is damaged or no more usable. run chkdsk on the unit…

(chkdsk told me "…filesystem type is NTFS, impossible to determine version and volume status")

with restorer 2000 i've scanned all my 80 gb HD, detected a lot of fat partition i've never created, recovered only some files and folder, not all…

well, i'm really angry but are all things that i can find again, BUT
i wanna understand why this happen the 5th time in less than a month…

I've try a lot of tools, reboot with knoppix, helix…for example QTPARTED crash (ehm close itself) when i try to access to sda partition (well, they "see" disk, but can't access…), and from Windows i see the unit g: but when i try to access a MessageBox say me "Impossibile to access g: File or directory is damaged"

I'm start to thinking that could be a power problem…the other external usb HD never give me problems!

The external support has the power connector and the usb connector..but without it's power connector no power arrive to the HD…

(i've windows xp SP2)

Any comments/suggest? did u experienced something similar?
in your opinion how i can avoid another time this problem?


Posted : 28/03/2005 4:44 pm
Active Member

Your English is much better than my Italian I assure you. I think it's time to get a new drive. The partition entry is getting overwritten/erased somehow, or is just created in a bad cluster. You may try to set up a partition starting at another location, say about 100,000 sectors in and see how that works. I wouldn't trust it for anything very important.

Posted : 28/03/2005 5:22 pm
Community Legend

If you haven't found anything on Google, I'd suggest that you contact Maxtor directly.

It can be somewhat difficult to search for solutions via Google without a model number of the Maxtor drive.

Other areas to look would be to check the driver being used…maybe Maxtor has an update to the driver…

H. Carvey
"Windows Forensics and Incident Recovery"

Posted : 28/03/2005 5:27 pm
New Member

Although I'm not sure how you were transferring files from your hard drive to the external drive (dd or just drag & drop etc) my thought is that with all your various attempts to recover the files (especially given that you had crashes throughout) is that your partition entry was damaged as Greg mentioned earlier.

I would:-
Use Helix with the Grab program to use dd to completely overwite your external drive with zeros to clean it up and start afresh. (Source /dev/zero : Destination /dev/sda)

If you want to just clone your computer's hard drive to the external, then use Grab with the following selected, Source /dev/hda - Destination /dev/sda.

However If you want your external drive to be a standard backup media (its original state) where you just drag & drop files to you will need to write a partition entry (I would use fdisk) then create a sda1 partition.
When you reboot your computer in windows xp, it should now see the external and you can reformat the drive to create a new filesytem.

Obviously there may be other ways to achieve the same results but if these steps work at least you have a usable drive again. If they don't - especially the dd overwriting - I'd be looking at your drive's warranty 🙂

Hope these pointers assist.

Kind Regards
Brian A Crawford

Posted : 31/03/2005 2:05 pm
Junior Member

Really thanks to all,
i've already tried Partition table doctor without success..
i'm starting to study in DEPTH how hd works, however my opinion is something related the power i've got some problem with other devices physicall connect to that power line…however if i'll find something more i'll let u know.

Posted : 05/04/2005 3:13 pm
New Member

Have you used "Safely remove hardware"? I think you did, but that was my first thought.

I think the found fat partitions are false alarms: the app has found the binary fingerprint of a fat partition somewhere, maybe in a file. It has then only guessed, that this could be a fat partition.


Posted : 12/04/2005 9:22 am