I have a Maxtor 500gb externally powered USB hard drive.

Overnight a lot of the files became corrupt on the drive, upon restart of the computer a ChkDsk was automatically started on the drive.

The ChkDsk found a lot of corrupted files and 'orphaned files' which in turn were automatically recovered, according to the ChkDsk.

Now when accessing the files it seems as if the data contained in the files has been mumbled. E.g. open a song in WMP and it plays 20 seconds of a movie which is located somewhere else on the drive.

It is as if all the files on the hard drive now point to incorrect data.

Can anyone explain what is happening?

Recovery software does not seem to pick up that the data is wrong.

Thankyou for any assistance


corrupt data means corrupt data. if the harddrive is not physically damaged (which we can not be sure of) the best thing you can do is to create a complete snapshot of that disk and do the analysis of the dump somewhere else.

do not try to do anything with the suspicious disk until you have analysed the dump. using the disk might get things worse.

depending on how valuable the data on that disk is: consider buying knowledge from specialists in the data recovery area.

again: make a dump if the disk seems physically ok (eg: no strange sounds from the disk; you do not want to make things worse by letting the pladders rotate at high speed near the head if 'something' is wrong) and analyse the dump.

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  • thanks for the reply, ill try taking a snapshot. the problem seems to be though that the hd thinks its fixed itself. it thinks there is nothing wrong with it. therefore why no data recovery tool has picked up corrupt data. it needs to be re-indexed or something, something that will reanalyse the data on it and fixed up the indexes. im no expert on the topic though. – djl Dec 10 '09 at 8:02

My experiences with Maxtor drives goes back into the 1990s. My first faled drive was a Maxtor and dealing with it taught me about the RMA process and having all your ducks in a row before you make the call. I still have 3 of them and last time I checked they all still worked. Considering the newest one is dates back about 10 years, I am happy. I have had Maxtor drive die within 30 days, fresh out of the anti-stat bag.

Seagate bought out Maxtor a number of years ago and the brand name was relegated to a secondary line. My much wider and very recent history of dealing with the Seagate RMA procedure suggests that you might look at this as a failing drive. Seatools will certainly find if there are problems and may or may not be able to help you. The Warranty check site is here:


Your drive may be covered and this is the least painful way to find out.

BTW corrupt data lumps that are improperly attributed will show these oddball things. I would run Recuva from Piriform( the CCleaner people) as it is free and will do a good deep scan with a Deep Scan. Good software that is freeware. If you are feeling wealthier and want something a bit beefier, I have purchased and use UFSexplorer. It is capable of finding files by reading the raw data and ignoring the format of the drive. I have used it to recover data from reformatted and partially over written drives successfully.

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