Windows 10: Was moving files to external drive, drive not recognized and lost all

Discus and support Was moving files to external drive, drive not recognized and lost all in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware to solve the problem; Dear Sir/Madame, I was moving video files (AVI) from an external backup drive (WD Element) to another external backup drive (Seagate expansion) after... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware' started by tzxlyd, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. tzxlyd Win User

    Was moving files to external drive, drive not recognized and lost all

    Dear Sir/Madame,
    I was moving video files (AVI) from an external backup drive (WD Element) to another external backup drive (Seagate expansion) after having moved another video file from my laptop (Acer) to that Seagate external drive. The night before I had moved some video files from the WD to the Seagate with no problem but using a different laptop (Sony). These video files are all rather large and I can tell that the space is still being allocated on the Seagate because while the folder cannot be seen the space that was there is still being used by the Seagate because I am missing over 100GB which would be about the size of that now missing folder.

    What happened was there was a message that the Seagate drive could not be recognized while the files were in the process of being moved to that drive from the WD. This is after I had already moved a video file of about 26GB with no problem into that now missing folder. When I saw the message I attempted several times to move files to that Seagate drive but I could not so I unplugged the Seagate drive from that laptop (Acer) then reinserted it into the usb port. I got a repair message that said it needed to be repaired because some files were corrupted and that no data would be lost but the drive would be unavailable during the repairs so I checked ok. It took only about 30 seconds and it said the repairs were completed and the drive was available but I noticed that the folder that I was moving the video files to was not gone.

    As I stated there are more than 100GB of files in that folder some are video and others are audio recordings that were created by using the myrecording (audio and video) features of the Acer laptop and they are very important so I need to figure out if they can be retrieved from that Seagate drive. I have not copied anything else onto that Seagate drive but I have plugged it into the Acer computer to ensure it is being recognized. Both the external drives WD and Seagate are plug and play that are powered from the usb -- they have no power adapters.

    tzxlyd, Feb 27, 2016
  2. inovator Win User

    File History Does not see a USB drive

    I have multiple external drives. Most are 3 1/2 inches and they are all recognized by file history; whereas, attached an old 5" external drive and while it is recognized by windows it is not recognized by file history. I tried a couple of things that are
    on the website but to no avail. I do not understand how file history is more choosy than other applications in recognizing drives
    inovator, Feb 27, 2016
  3. Transferring programs and files


    I would suggest doing both, transfer first all the program and files to an external hard drive to assure that you will have a backup and not lost program and files then transfer it to new. If you only need to transfer or move the program files and not
    the program itself, you can locate the folder file that contains all of the program information and copies it to an external drive. If the program will not operate from the external hard drive, it is tied into the computer registry of the initial computer
    and cannot be circumvented. If that is the case, only the data files for the program can be used from the external drive.

    If you have further question feel free to post.
    Renaldo cru, Feb 27, 2016
  4. tzxlyd Win User

    Was moving files to external drive, drive not recognized and lost all

    Dear Sir/Madame,
    Update to the problem with the missing folder, I use the Acer to record audio and video files to it -- I saw a message that it was low on memory so I decided to connect the WD elements external drive to free up some storage. When I attached the WD Elements drive as the drive booted up to be recognized the missing folder appeared as an option to be opened but the folder never resided on that drive it was on the Seagate drive (the folder is entitled documentary footage moved from WD Elements). I clicked on it just to see what would happen and received this message "E:\Documentary footage from WD Elements is unavailable. If the location is on this PC, make sure the device is connected or the disc is inserted, and then try again. If the location is on a network, make sure you're connected to the network or Internet, and then try again. If the l."

    So I thought let me connect the Seagate to see if Windows will find it there but when I connected the Seagate I still could not access the folder. It appears that for some reason Windows 10 confused that the folder was resident on the wrong drive (WD Elements) during the transfer of files to the original folder at the time it stated it could not access the Seagate drive so perhaps that is the reason the folder became missing.

    I do not know what to believe as I still suspect that this is a windows 10 problem and not an external drive problem but I do not know how to fix it. My initial thought is to connect both of the drives and restart the Acer laptop but I am fearful that I will lose all the data from that folder so I have not done anything. I am certain that there will be an update from windows that will force a restart but I did not want to change any of the settings that were in place at the time of this problem.

    I still need help with this problem and I need to move files off of the Acer too so that I can free up storage space.
    tzxlyd, Feb 29, 2016
  5. NavyLCDR New Member
    Hi! Sorry your post got overlooked for so long. Here's what I would suggest to do to start:

    Click on the start icon, the power icon, then hold shift key when you click Shutdown. That will bypass the Windows 10 fast startup procedure and make sure your computer shuts down completely. Do not have any external drives connected. Turn the computer back on an let it start up fully. Go to settings, updates and security, check for updates and make sure Windows 10 is fully updated. After all updates are installed and Windows 10 is up to date, go back to power icon, click restart (do not hold down shift key). This will do a complete restart, again bypassing Windows 10 fast startup.

    Now look at the USB ports on your computer. Do you have blue and black USB ports? Blue USB ports are 3.0 and black USB ports are 2.0. The 3.0 ports are faster - but on some computers they prove to be less reliable. For troubleshooting purposes, until we get everything straightened out, I would suggest using only the black USB 2.0 ports. With the computer up and running stable, now connect one of the hard drives. Let everything settle down after connecting it.

    Post a screenshot of disk management here with that one hard drive connected - and be sure to tell us which hard drive it is:
    Disk Management - How to Post a Screenshot of - Windows 10 Forums

    Now, go back to the power icon. Hold down shift key and click shutdown. When the computer is shutdown, disconnect all removable hard drives and start it up again. Let it get all started up and stable and connect your other removable hard drive only. Let it all stabilize out and post a disk management screenshot with that hard drive connected. Then we can start figuring this out.

    After all this, what we will do next is clean out your unused USB devices when nothing is connected to the computer externally, and then assign separate reserved drive letters to each external hard drive.
    NavyLCDR, Mar 7, 2016
  6. NavyLCDR New Member
    Here's how to delete all the unused USB devices when they are not connected, it is about the same for Windows 10:
    How To Easily Remove Old Drivers from Windows

    To get an elevated (administrator) command prompt, right click on the start icon and click on Command Prompt (Admin). That's the part that is different for Windows 10, it's easier to get into an elevated command prompt.
    When you get into device manager, the devices that you will really want to delete are all the greyed out drives under Disk Drive in device manager. Yes - even delete the devices you know you will reconnect, including the external hard drives. We don't want any inactive devices left under there. They will reinstall themselves when you plug them back in. Also, go into portable devices in device manager and uninstall the greyed out items there.
    NavyLCDR, Mar 7, 2016
  7. NavyLCDR New Member
    The next step we will do is do a complete shutdown (shift + click shutdown) or restart computer. When computer comes back up and stable, plug first hard drive in. Let it stabilize out. Go back to disk management, change the drive letter of that hard to something far up in the list, like S:. When that is done and it is showing up as S: drive we will complete shutdown again. Disconnect hard drive. Start up. Connect second hard drive. Go back to disk management. Assign it T:. After that is complete, each time you plug in either the first or second external hard drive they should get those same drive letters assigned to them and hopefully neither you nor Windows 10 will get confused about which hard drive is which.
    NavyLCDR, Mar 7, 2016
  8. RolandJS Win User

    Was moving files to external drive, drive not recognized and lost all

    After getting all back in working order, may I offer a safer-way suggestion? Instead of moving folders/files; copy them from source to target one group at a time, or one huge file at a time. If no error, do the next copy on your list. Test one or more AVI or MP4 files to ensure the probability that all is well. Then, delete the now-duplicated folders/files from the source hard-drive. I too have been "burned" now and then by a Move operation that went sour somewhere; the Biggies got copied now, "smallies" can be moved.
    RolandJS, Mar 7, 2016
  9. NavyLCDR New Member
    Also for moving large files/folders, I like to use a file syncing program like FreeFileSync, even if I am just got to move the files once and not keep them synced.
    NavyLCDR, Mar 7, 2016
  10. Winuser Win User
    I usually copy the files to the new drive. Then when I know everything copied OK I'll delete the original files.
    Winuser, Mar 8, 2016
  11. tzxlyd Win User
    Here is the first of the screenshots for the Seagate drive where the folder was located and where the files were being moved to before that folder disappeared. The folder I believe was called "documentary footage moved from WD Elements."
    tzxlyd, Mar 9, 2016
  12. tzxlyd Win User
    Navy LCDR,
    Here is the other external drive disk management screenshot -- this is the WD Element drive that was the drive the files were being moved from when the problem presented itself. I noticed that when I connected the drives the Seagate did not open to display the files contained on it -- I do not know if that is important but usually the file explorer opens up when it is connected. Also, I noticed that I did not expand all of the fields on the Seagate capture so I will send an updated attachment.
    tzxlyd, Mar 9, 2016
  13. NavyLCDR New Member

    Was moving files to external drive, drive not recognized and lost all

    So the Seagate is being assigned E: and the WD is being assigned G:.

    With the Seagate attached you will want to open a command prompt and run

    chkdsk E: /F /X

    With the WD attached you will want to run

    chkdsk G: /F /X

    then I would say that's about it. Whatever data is on them is on them at this point.
    NavyLCDR, Mar 9, 2016
  14. tzxlyd Win User
    Here is the screenshot of the Seagate with all of the columns expanded. Again, this drive did not show the files on it when it was attached to the computer like it usually does and as the WD Elements did when it was attached.
    tzxlyd, Mar 9, 2016
  15. NavyLCDR New Member
    Showing the files attached is a function of what you selected in the past regarding what to do with the drive when connected. You probably skipped selecting Show files in explorer.
    NavyLCDR, Mar 9, 2016

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