External HDD needs to be repaired

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Labhras, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Labhras macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2014
    Hi all,
    I had some problems with my external 1TB Seagate HDD - slow to load files, to transfer, etc. - I run DU to verify it and it popped up a message saying the disk needed to be repaired. I tried to do so but I got the message that "DU can't repair the disk, backup files and format".
    Does that mean that if I format the disk it's gonna work without problems?
  2. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    If it were me I'd pull whatever data I could from the external, and check with Seagate to see if there's a possible replacement under warranty.
  3. Labhras thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2014
    I'm trying to copy all the files I can to another disk - good thing I had a new 2tb one laying around.
    The warranty's expired - I bought the disk 3-4 years ago, I wanted to know if with a Journaled formatting the disk would function without problems, since it's what DU is suggesting I do
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Journaling means that if something is being written to the disk and it gets interrupted (software crashes, computer loses power, etc.) then the entire write doesn't go through and the disk is left in a good state.

    It doesn't have much to do with disk reliability.

    Once you get your data off the drive, then go ahead and format it and keep using it (if you can). No harm in that. But anticipate that it might stop working at any minute.
  5. Labhras thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2014
    Ok - problem is I just had to transfer all the files on my partitioned HDD which I use both for TM backups and general storage, and I didn't meant to use this drive this much and to wear it down.
    Is there a free disk repair utility that can fix my problematic HDD?
    I don't want to put files in a drive that can fail at any given time, with way more probability than other drives.
  6. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    The problem might be with the drive, in which case it wouldn't be very trustworthy regardless of you reformatting it or what format you chose.

    Or the problem might be that some buggy software corrupted things in a way that Disk Utility doesn't know how to fix, in which case you can reformat the drive and it will work like new.

    So far I don't think you have posted enough information about the problem for us to know one way or the other which it is.

    I don't know how to determine that, either.

    For a disk where you're unsure about the reliability, you could use that as a secondary backup disk. Chances are you'll never need it, but if you do, it might work.
  7. Labhras thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2014
    I have posted the information I have.
    The disk was slow to load folders and transfer files.
    Running a "verify" with DU prompted me to repair it, and then I got the message that DU wasn't able to repair the disk, and I should backup all the files on the drive.

    Just to clarify - if it's a disk/hardware issue DU will still need to repair it even after formatting, while if it's a software problem or corrupted file, once formatted the drive should run fine, right?
  8. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Not quite--Disk Utility's "repair" process is to do with files (software). It can't repair anything to do with hardware failing. Once you reformat the drive, you won't need to use Disk Utility's repair function. Who knows if it will work reliably though. May be best to find a program that will test the hardware, if you can find one for cheap (shareware?) and that's worth it to you?

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