Recovering from data corruption on Maxtor OneTouch external hard drivesThis article may help you if the following applies:
This article explains how I have recovered from data corruption on the Maxtor OneTouch external hard drives. About a year ago, I acquired four 300GB Maxtor OneTouch II external hard drives. I used them extensively in Linux, and one day I noticed what seemed to be like massive data corruption on the drive. All of a sudden, all the directory and file names were corrupted, and I could not read from any of the files. Power cycling the drive did not help, and I could not read it from Windows either. I thought I had lost all of the data, but I decided to see if I could recover it using disk recovery tools. Fortunately, I found a tool that recovered the drive without any (apparent) data loss. The problem appears to be corruption of the partition table, possibly due to a buggy USB/IDE interface inside the drive enclosure. I have never encountered a similar problem with the Maxtor (internal) hard drives themselves, but I have seen the same corruption on both Windows and Linux platforms. The problem occurs most often during heavy load on the disk, for example during backup and restore.
- You own a Maxtor OneTouch external hard drive.
- The drive was working correctly, but suddenly exhibited catastrophic data failure.
- Your Windows computer does not recognize the drive when you plug it in, or you can not mount the drive under Linux.
- The drive does NOT exhibit any physical drive failure symptoms.
The tool that I used is an open source program called TestDisk. It runs under both Linux and Windows, and I have successfully used it on both. The problem again is corruption of the partition table. The tool can automatically rebuild the partition table by looking at the file system. This is how I used TestDisk to rebuild it.
- Run testdisk as root in Linux
- Select "Create" a new log file
- Select the correct disk, for example "/dev/sde - 300GB / 279 GiB"
- Select "Intel" as the partition table type, assuming you have not reformatted the drive, which should be FAT32
- Select "Analyze" current partition structure and search for lost partitions
- It should display one partition that looks something like "FAT32 LBA"
- Select "Proceed".
- Press "Enter" again to continue
- Select "Write" to write the new partition table information
- Press "Y" to confirm
- Quit the program
- "sync" under Linux or "Safely Remove Hardware" in Windows
- Power cycle the drive
This should recover the drive, but I am not sure if data corruption occurs in any other part of the drive except for the partition table. My recommendation for preventing further data loss is to copy your data to another drive (non Maxtor) and not use the drive, or store your files in self-validating file systems or file formats on this drive.
DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for any further loss of data you may encounter by following the above instructions. I sincerely hope you do manage to recover your data.
Taking apart the Maxtor One Touch 4 500gb Drive:
Remove the sticky rubber feet and the Maxtor label. There is one screw under the label, remove it.
Looking at the back of the case (power and USB connectors) with case standing upright, start by squeezing down the right hand side of the plastic top and pulling the halves gently apart, proceed working your way all around the case.
Inside the plastic case is a metal shell. Remove all screws (including very small ones) and also the ones holding the small PCB with the push button. There are 3 large screws securing the USB interface PCB to the metal work - these do NOT need to be unscrewed (one of them is impossible to get to anyway). Once enough screws have been removed the hard drive + USB PCB will slide out from inside the main metal housing.
The drive pulls straight off the header on the USB PCB.