The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable.
Recently I copied the contents of an external drive I suspect is corrupted, to another external drive. I erased the suspicious drive, reformatted, and transferred my files back to the drive. It worked for a short while, but at some point, after moving new files from my desktop machine to this same external drive, this same suspicious drive became unstable again. The drive was listed among the drives connected to my machine, but there was no available space displayed.
I used the Acronis Drive Monitor, and I got at least a half-dozen warnings with the following message:
The transaction resource manager on volume K: encountered an error during recovery. The resource manager will continue recovery.
K is the letter I assigned to the suspicious drive. Along with this error, I got dozens of errors with this message:
The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume.
I ran a disk check, and during that disk check, several of my files in at least 3 folders were erased. One by one, the files were deleted as the disk check attempted to fix my drive, and the files that were deleted were listed. When I went to look in the folders in which the suspected deletions occurred, the folders were empty.
This is a 500-gigabyte PATA drive inside an Acomdata Samba enclosure. I've had the drive for more than 2 years, but the enclosure I've had for about a month. I started experiencing problems trying to transfer files from my machine to the drive itself before I changed enclosures. Could it be that the hard drive itself is on its way to dying? Or is it my machine that's the problem? This is the second time I've run a disk check operation with major problems before and after the disk check.
It could be either.
If possible put the suspect drive in an external case or attach to another PC and see if problems occur with it. You can also download a drive check utility from the manufacturers website.
As far as your PC is concerned, you could have either a power supply that is dying or the capacitors on your motherboard are not filtering as they should. Check the MB for capacitors that have bulging tops, or brown goo leaking out of the top. The capacitors will be round, tall and have an X mark on the metal top. They will have either a black vertical or dotted line on one side running top to bottom.
If you have the equipment or know someone who does, then these can be replaced ensuring that you buy low ESR types and operating temperature of either 105 or 115 deg C, they will be considerably dearer than ordinary electrolytic caps. Do not replace them with ordinary ones!
I'm starting to suspect something else might be wrong with my desktop system; most likely, a virus or a bot that my system had not caught. Because 2 weeks ago, I used True Image 11's DriveCleanser to wipe and verify my external drive, and throughout the verification phase, I kept getting the following message:
"Failed to verify data on the hard disk X in the sector Y."
X is my external drive (drive #3, which I labeled K) and Y is the sector in question. Each time I pressed "Retry", the error would appear to be corrected, and the verification would stop at the next sector that was in error.
I stopped the process when it went past the 50,000,000th sector (there are 976,773,168 in a 500GB drive), after more than 1,500 error stops.
After my drive had gone bonkers again, where at least 3 folders were inexplicably erased after a disk check (which I performed after a bottleneck occurred as I was moving files from my machine to the external drive), I used DriveCleanser to once again wipe the drive clean and verify it. This time, there were no errors. The drive wipe and verification process went the whole 9 hours without a glitch.
Next month I will have a new machine, and I will be able to test this hard drive thoroughly, to see if it's safe to keep.