For the past few years I’ve successfully used xxcopy to backup data to portable hard drives. However, a few days ago, while I was copying the contents of one portable HD to another, with both HDs connected to the same computer via USB 2.0 connections, something happened in the middle of a backup and the source HD became corrupted. (The first symptom of a problem was that the backup stopped and a Windows message balloon appeared indicating that a particular source file could not be read and that I should run CHKDSK on the source HD.)
Subsequently it was impossible to read any files on the source HD, and the Windows disk-admin program showed the HD as healthy but as unpartitioned and unformatted. Diagnostics showed no mechanical problems with the HD, and I am able to recover its data using Seagate’s File Recovery utility. Apparently only the HD’s NTFS file-allocation data were corrupted.
Of course I want to know what happened so that I can prevent it from happening again. I don’t know if this was a hardware or software error. The computer is running WinXP Pro SP2 which I updated with the latest patches about a week ago. I used xxcopy software as I mentioned. Both portable HDs and the computer were plugged into battery-backup power supplies. The computer is a few years old and does not have native USB 2.0; it has a Belkin USB 2.0 card installed.
My first thought was that there is a problem with xxcopy. My second thought was that there may be a hardware issue related to a USB cable or to the Belkin USB 2.0 card. Another possibility is some kind of driver problem under high-throughput conditions, but this seems least likely.
Googling on “xxcopy data corruption” doesn’t yield any obvious problems, and xxcopy has been around for a long time. I’ll wait until after my current data-restoration project finishes and then will check the Belkin USB 2.0 card. I’m leaning toward that or a cable as the cause of the problem, since I noticed a short while ago that the computer fails to recognize a USB device plugged into a cable inserted into one of the unused USB receptacles on the Belkin card. (Unfortunately I did some computer maintenance after the HD debacle and did not make a record of which HD was plugged into which USB receptacle.)
Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions here? Thanks.