Questions about this have already been asked, however, none of them are specific enough to be answered.

I haven't experienced anything like this on my Toshiba, Samsung, and Hitachi. But in 1 of my WD and 3 of my Seagate external HDDs. I suspect it has something to do with the driver module of these drives.

Problem: External HDD keeps on being read (identified via LED activity). Windows keeps reading, Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc) keeps on reading virtual disk (stated on the status bar) until "broken" HDD is disconnected from PC. In Linux connecting the device seems to work as it should be, however, one of my WD HDDs seems to be getting hotter than the other ones I have. executing fdisk -l shows something similar to this.

Disk /dev/sdc: 931.5 GiB, 1000204885504 bytes, 1953525167 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 33553920 bytes Disklabel type: dos Disk identifier: 0x226d79f7

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type /dev/sdc1
2048 1953521663 1953519616 931.5G 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

Known working fix: The working fix seems to only temporarily fix the drives and revert back after a few days.

Switch to your favorite linux distro and backup your files. Switch back to Windows and reformat the drive(s) twice. Reboot twice, then copy the files back to the drives.


  • Drives were not read as RAWs in both OSes.
  • Drives were not unplugged without safe eject.
  • Drives were not dropped nor shaken while it was plugged in/turned on and/or while being read/written into

Will be reposting to any community-based Windows forums.

  • First thing is to check for errors: SMART values (smartctl) in Linux, read the whole disk and check if everything can be read (e.g. badblocks in Linux). If there's a read error in an important part of the NTFS metadata, that could be a reason while Windows keeps reading. The NTFS implementation on Linux is different (and incomplete), so Linux may ignore this bit. – dirkt Aug 2 '18 at 12:56

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