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Repeatedly Corrupted Partition
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vertigociel
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Dec 12, 2007, 05:54 PM
 
I've been having a problem with my Western Digital MyBook Pro external drive recently, and I don't know if it's a partitioning problem that a clean wipe might solve, or a hard-drive problem.

The external's divided into three partitions - a 60 GB partition where I keep all my movies and TV Shows that I have on DVD (it's nice to have them there, but they're not irreplaceable). Then, there's an 8 GB partition with the Leopard Install Disk image that I can boot off of. Finally, the rest of the drive (~160 GB) is my Time Machine backup partition.

Ever since I've installed Leopard, the Time Machine partition keeps getting corrupted whenever a significant amount of data is written to it. It'll check out fine in Disk Utility when I reformat it (even if I do a seven-pass write zeros run). Then I'll run a Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backup, and Disk Utility will fail verify/repair, and suggest I wipe it again. I tried to repair it with a friend's copy of TechTool Pro a couple of times, and while that would fix it for a bit, it would inevitably be corrupted again later - and now the version of TechTool Pro he has doesn't work on Leopard (it wasn't officially supported to begin with - it used to run anyways, now it throws errors).

There are two things I think could be causing the problem: first off, back in September, I brought the external drive over to a friend's dorm, and it got knocked off of the desk (3-4 foot fall) it was sitting on while running. It worked when I plugged it back in, and it continued to work fine until I got Leopard, so I don't know if that's the problem. Unfortunately, I don't have any diagnostics tools to run on it (Western Digital only has a diagnostics tool for Windows).

The second candidate is that I live-resized the backup partition to create the Leopard Install Disk boot partition when I got Leopard (since I won't have the disk when I'm here at college, because my family and I got a household license). I remember that Disk Utility froze and beach-balled a couple of times when it was splitting, so might it be possible that it's a partitioning problem? The 60 GB movie partition doesn't corrupt, so it doesn't really seem like a drive problem to me.

Would a reformatting of the entire drive help at all? Does anyone know of any free OS X diagnostics tools I could run to help determine if it's a hardware problem or partitioning problem?
15" MacBook Pro C2D, 2.16 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Matte Display.
     
steve626
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Dec 13, 2007, 06:35 PM
 
It's pretty obvious that you've got some hardware damage. You dropped it 3 feet to the floor while it was running? This seems like a no brainer, that history plus the repeated disk problems, even after a 7-pass disk re-format, the hardware is clearly no longer reliable. This is only a 250-GB disk, you can get a new one for $100 or so. Get a new one! Stop hoping this one will fix itself, it won't!
     
rehoot
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Dec 16, 2007, 03:10 PM
 
I'm also guessing that it is a hardware problem. If you want to attempt to keep part of the drive useful, maybe you could split the big partition again and see if one part is good and the other part is bad. you can then use only the good partitions. Maybe split it into three partitions and see if at least one is good.
Mac Pro Quad: 2.66GHz; 4 GB Ram; 4x500GB drives; Radeon X1900, 23" Cinema Screen, APC UPS
PowerBook G4: 1.33GHz; 768MB Ram; 60GB drive
     
jmiddel
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Dec 16, 2007, 04:38 PM
 
Given that this is your vital backup disk, I'd strongly recommend you follow Steve's suggestion, once a HD starts failing, it's not long before it's adios for ever. Just my personal view: Western Digital is not as reliable as Seagate, first and Hitachi, second. And the price difference is minimal.
     
   
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