Southernboy 15:49 21 Nov 05

PCA Helpline recently said that it is a good idea to keep an external drive in the FAT32 format. I have one and find no problem moving my files from and to my NTFS C Drive.

However, I have been told (in this forum) that you cannot run ChkDsk on a FAT32 drive if you have an NTFS computer. I have queried this but no reply.

Is this really so? Does anyone know?

  wee eddie 16:50 21 Nov 05

I didn't say that you cannot do that.

I just said that mine wouldn't and had I remembered you saying that yours wouldn't.

I have Partitioned my Maxtor and have left a Fat32 Partition for my old W98se PC. The other partitions are NTFS and perform normally.

  stylehurst 16:54 21 Nov 05

In answer to your questions
ChkDsk will work OK on a Fat32 disk.
What is more important is that your old W98 PC would not see or read a NTFS partition, so if you stored your data on an external NTFS partition and wanted to access it from your W98 PC it would not be visible

  wee eddie 17:52 21 Nov 05

Southernboy's Maxtor is formatted as Fat32 and he is accessing it from an Evesham PC running XP and Formatted as NTFS.

He has been having problems Defragging it and particularly, has been unable to run ChkDsk.

My own experience on the Fat32 sector of my Maxtor (I tried this to see if what Southernboy had said was correct) was that you get a pop-up saying that will be run after you have closed down. Unfortunately, when you Start, your PC starts in the Local Drive, not the Fat32 Drive, so you cannot complete the task.

  ade.h 20:57 21 Nov 05

Hi Southernboy. If Wee Eddie's description of your Checkdisk problem is accurate, I think it may be worked around by un-ticking one or both of of the check boxes on the Checkdisk window. I know that if these are ticked, Checkdisk has to run at start-up and tells me that it cannot run in Windows. I suppose that if you can get Checkdisk to run right there and then, it should be able to work on the external drive. BTW - I've never heard of Checkdisk being unable to work on Fat32 partitions from an NTFS system partition. I think it would work fine, though I haven't tried it first-hand as I've used NTFS for a long time now. Hope that helps.

  ade.h 21:04 21 Nov 05

Regarding my last point - I think this only applies when Checkdisk is running from within Windows. As you have found, it's probably unable to work if it's running before Windows has loaded, as the external drive wouldn't be accessible at that point, I think.

The unfortunate downside is that un-ticking those boxes makes Checkdisk less thorough.

  Southernboy 15:43 23 Nov 05

Sorry, You are referring to a previous thread and do not appear to have checked it. I have already pointed out that I am NOT having problems defragging it. Defrag works perfectly.

My problem is running ChkDsk which cannot be run using the Tools option as external drives can only be checked from the CMD option. This does not work as it continually reports that the Maxtor is "in use" and I need to "force a dismount" first.

I am trying to establish why the drive is "in use" and what "force a dismount" actually means. I am always nervous of any action involving "force".

The suggestion that you cannot use ChkDsk on an NTFS computer to check a FAT32 drive was an added complication that I needed to resolve. It seems it has been resolved. Thank you, Stylehurst.

  Southernboy 15:50 23 Nov 05

ChkDsk is only of value of all the options can be used. That is to say, checking the file system for errors and the surface for bad sectors. My research and discussions with Evesham are clear on this - you cannot check an external drive from within Windows. You must go to >Start>Run>CMD.

Once you get this window up, there are a multiplicity of options that allow these functions to be carried out. However, the drive has to be free, so it can be locked prior to checking. My problem at the moment is working out why my drive is not free and I suspect this may be a software problem - something running in the background.

If anyone knows what this may be I would be glad to hear from them.

  ade.h 16:29 23 Nov 05

You're quite right to point out that Checkdisk is much less useful if its extra options are unticked, and since an external HDD cannot be checked without a command line interface, I think my suggestion can be scrapped altogether! I wasn't aware of the need to use CMD, so thanks for enlightening me - you learn a new thing every day!

With regard to why Windows thinks the drive is in use; the only thing that I can think of is the "connection" between Windows and the hardware that remains until you select the option to safely remove the hardware via the system tray. I'm probably way off beam here though!

Let us know what brand of external drive you have (I've got a hazy memory of you mentioning that it is a Maxtor?) and I'll have a look at the relevant utilities that can do a similar job. They may well be able to work on an external drive.

  stylehurst 16:55 23 Nov 05

Something like Norton Utilities will check external USB drives without problems.
I use it on a Freecom external HDD

  Southernboy 17:15 24 Nov 05

is a "One-Touch" Maxtor. In fact, apart from an 80Gb drive, ALL Maxtor drives appear to be "One-Touch" using Dantz Retrospect. My version is 6.0.

As I have explained in previous threads. I bought this drive in June of 2004 and it worked perfectly on my previous W98SE computer. When that finally failed (after 6 years trouble-free use), I bought the Evesham. As the Maxtor was suitable for XP (according to the manual), I installed it and used it for three months. I then noticed that, after using the backup facility, entries made earlier that day were missing. After a few days careful checking, I discovered that any new entry made would disappear after Retrospect was run. No such problem with copy/paste to the Maxtor, nor backing up with 3.5" floppies or CD-R discs. This would suggest a fault in the Retrospect software, so I have stopped using it.

However, as part if trying to get to the bottom of this problem, I want to check the Maxtor for bad sectors but have not been able to do so as yet.

Some of you may recall I also had problems with Iomega Automatic-Backup (alleged to be suitable for XP), which worked fine on the previous PC but kept crashing with this one. Perhaps it is SP2, as the "suitable for XP" statement was made before SP2 came along.

The saga continues....

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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