Author Topic: Half my Tivo files are missing on External Hard Drive- Corrupt? Dying? Saveable?  (Read 24612 times)

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Offline lynnalexandra

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I did a google search on this issue and saw some with similar problems, but could not figure out the solution.  Even taking some suggested steps seemed foolish without guidance.  I'm worried that I'll do further damage to my drive.

My desktop is a Dell Inspiron 530, running Windows XP.  I have an external hard drive connected via USB.  It's a Cavalry 2TB.  I use it to back up various files (word documents, tax files) and video files I transfer from my Tivo.  I'm not sure when this problem occurred (some time in the last 3 months, probably).  When I click properties for the drive, it shows 1.62TB used and 200GB free space.  That is what I expected it to be.

When I click on the folder "My Tivo Recordings", it only displays half of them.  The first half of the alphabet - showing shows beginning with A and it stops displaying them in the middle of the "m"s- the last one shown is an episode of Mad About You.  So none of the Mad Men, Modern Family, and many others are there.  The seasons of So You Think You Can Dance is the particularly upsetting one because I don't think there's any replacing them.

When I view this folder from the pc's Tivo Desktop program - or from the Tivo's themselves, they all show the same result.  Just the first half of the files seem to be there.  When I search the drive for Modern Family, or The Big Bang Theory, it turns up no results.  Now interestingly, when I right click on My Tivo Recordings' folder itself, it shows only 800 GB used.  So something is wrong in this folder.  Most of the 1.62TB of used space is for Tivo recordings.

I have no idea what happened.  My daughter said she noticed only half would display on the Tivos a while back- but that could be a couple of weeks of a couple of months.  I have not had occasion to look at these shows/drive for a couple of months.  I came now to start organizing (and ironically, backing up to my NAS), when I see half are missing.

One google search turned up the suggestion to back up the rest of the files.  But I'm worried that even that might cause a problem.  I run anti-spyware and anti-virus often, but I'm not sure I usually have it scan that external hard drive.  That would seem to me to be the first place to start.  But again, I'm scared to do any harm before knowing what to do.

The only factors I'm aware of that might matter:
one month ago we switched from Comcast broadband internet to RCN.  We have our own modem and router - that did not change.  (I did notice that some of the various browsers in the house seemed to have changed setting to using proxy server.  Once I discovered that, I changed those browser settings back.  That happened right after switching to RCN - and happened on XP and Windows 7 laptops - maybe my pc too.)

Some time in the past month or so, I noticed that that hard drive had gotten turned off.  Could have been the cleaning woman dusting - I don't know.  But I turned it back on - and don't think I noticed any problems then, but I don't recall what I was looking for that got me to notice the drive was off in the first place.  I leave it on because we want to be able to access our stored shows on the various tivos in the house.

I have a NAS and could back up to that.  But I don't even know if I should just copy files over, use my 2010 Acronis (which I have no sense of how to use, although I've made a couple of back ups with help. I don't think it's set up to automatically back up this external drive), or use another program.  Copy files or clone?

Help?

Thank you.
Lynn. :sos:

Offline lynnalexandra

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New Information (and hopes and worries)
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 02:02:47 AM »
Since I posted, I've continued searching online for answers.  I see that sometimes external hard drives get corrupted (and maybe lose files) when they are shut off abruptly.  So maybe that was the cause.  Don't know.

But I realized that when I opened up my Tivo Desktop software the other day and initiated a bunch of transfers (pulling shows off my Tivo and to my external hard drive), I think I saw all the files at that time.  I say that because I was trying to transfer episodes to my hard drive that I didn't already have there.  In order to determine what I did already have, I was looking at those tivo files.  What I am not certain about is whether I might have stopped well before the M's.  (When you open up the Tivo desktop software, it displays the shows that are already on the external hard drive (or wherever you've pointed the transferred shows to go).  It displays in alphabetical order and I was scrolling down.  I know I didn't transfer from all my shows.  I know I updated/transferred all the Glees, 2 Broke girls and some movies.  I think I got further than the m's but can't be sure.  Especially since all that appears now is through the "m"s.  I'd say I"m 60% certain I saw more of those files when I set up my transfers.  Last night I noticed that the Tivo server had shut down so that any transfers that hadn't finished would have been interrupted.  The server does shut down or freeze sometimes, so that in and of itself did not concern me.  All of this is to say that there may have been more files appearing two days ago - which was much later than the hard drive's accidental shut down - but perhaps the first time I'd used the drive since then.

And just now I discovered something else which gives me hope.  I noticed a few duplicates in the Glee shows.  When I deleted them, it made room for a few more episodes of Mad About You to appear.  So now I have hope that those files are still there, but somehow both windows explorer and Tivo desktop are only displaying a certain number of file names (actually I think it's only displaying file names based on a certain total size - because deleting a one hour show causes more than one 1/2 hour sitcom to reappear.  I have no idea what caused this and whether there's a fix.  I did just order another external hard drive.

Until I hear what other steps I should take, the only thing I feel safe in doing is trying to move some of the tivo shows to my NAS.  If that causes other shows to appear, then I can keep moving shows over in small batches.  I really would like to understand what the problem is - because I don't know what actions might aggravate it further - and what is safe to proceed with.

Thank you.
Lynn.

Offline lynnalexandra

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Next turn of events - not so good
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2014, 01:56:37 PM »
Overnight, I transferred about 250GB of American Idol videos to my NAS.  Unfortunately, this time, creating more space in the external hard drive's Tivo folder did not result in any additional files being displayed.  So no more visible recovery.  I'm not sure why 16 episodes of Mad About You reappeared after the first few shows I deleted.  But actually moving the files off this hard drive to the NAS does not seem to result in more files appearing.  Deleting the files did at first did.  But even now I just deleted a 3GB show I don't need.  No new files appeared.

Is it possible I could do anything with clearing cache - or something - to show those files?

While I wait to get some guidance, I'm trying to choose between moving more files off the drive - or running malwarebytes.  I think I'll run malwarebytes first.  Then if I haven't gotten replies, go ahead and move some other files to the NAS.

Thanks.
Lynn.

Offline Corrine

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Sorry, Lynn, I don't have any experience with Tivo so don't have any suggestions.


Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.

Offline LilBambi

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Me either. I don't own a TiVo.

So sorry for your loss though. That's hard to deal with.

It's amazing how much can be lost by loss of power while viewing or saving files of any kind. Whether it is like in your case, or normal weird power outages, storms with power outages, brownouts, etc.
Bambi
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Offline lynnalexandra

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Corinne and LilBambi -

Thank you for your sympathy.

I actually don't think this is a Tivo issue.  I think it's an issue with the hard drive - and why half the files in this folder (which happens to be of Tivo recordings) won't display.  My google searching turned up other people with similar problems - but none of those threads went far enough to indicate solutions.  Sometimes somebody offered a suggestion - but there was no follow up.  All the more reason why it's so important in forums like this for the people who asked for help to report back about the suggestions they've tried - and whether the problem was solved.

One report I saw was somebody with an identical loss (not video files) - where all the files with names from A-L displayed, and all the ones from M-Z did not.  Unfortunately that thread didn't show me what to do.  Here's that thread on Tom's Hardware forum - which was not followed through on:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/268370-32-external-hard-drive-missing-half-files-help

My video files are still taking up space on the hard drive (about 800 GB's worth).  It shows up in properties for the drive - but it does not show up in properties for that folder.  The only two reasons I can imagine that folder in particular being effected is that it's the one I tend to work on - either transferring shows to it, pulling shows from it, or editing the video that's there.  The other folders on the disk don't tend to get opened much (extra copies of tax returns, word documents, etc - just stored but not worked on).  The second reason might be that it's the folder with large sized files (400MB to 4-8GB).  One of the many postings I saw online was somebody who somehow retrieved some files - but only up to a certain size.  Anything above that relatively small size seemed to be gone or not retrievable.

A couple of other facts in case they are important:

1) when I'm in properties for the Tivo folder, the box for Attributes:  read only is selected.  the box for Hidden is not selected.  Should I try selecting hidden files to see if they appear?  and if they do, does that mean I can access them (i.e., transfer them to my NAS)?

2)  for the drive itself, when I go to properties, it has the default setting selected to "allow indexing services to index this disk for fast file searching."  I don't know if that's relevant to what files are being displayed.

3)  Having moved all the American Idol shows over to the NAS, it freed up space.  Now the drive has 471GB free space and 1.35TB used.  The Tivo folder itself is showing a reduction from 800 to 545GB.  But I know that folder had another 800 GB of video before.  For some reason, it isn't showing up in that folder, but the drive shows that that space is used.

Here are some of the other threads I found that either did not come to a solution - or made suggestions that were Greek to me and I would have no idea how to proceed.  I"m listing these here in case they are relevant and make more sense to somebody else than they do to me.  Somehow I think some of these threads are grappling with the same issue I have.  I just don't have enough to go on in these threads to know what to do.

- http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/283425-32-lost-folder-external-hard-drive
(this one suggests using recuva - but I am not sure what I would be using it to do - and the original poster never posted back about what happened)
- http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2040911/find-files-external.html   
(another one where a suggestions was made - in this case for a seagate utility in particular - and no report back)
- http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/270619-32-missing-files-removing-hard-drive-discs-full-files-appe
(here's one where the person is missing tv episodes although the folders appear, there are video files missing.  Two suggestions were made - no follow up or conclusions.  Also those two suggestions were so scant in suggesting how these utilities or procedures should be used, it doesn't help me know how to proceed
- http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/281196-32-missing-data-external-hard-drive
(this one suggests the "file table has gone corrupt, but data recovery software should still find file's. so im not sure. need more info tbh."   This idea of something getting corrupt - and maybe being recoverable - is why I"m here - and why I don't think this is a Tivo issue.


This seems more like a drive/explorer issue.  Whether files/folders are corrupt - are accessible - are registering the correct amount of data and files.  I don't think this is a Tivo issue.  (Perhaps I should not have mentioned trying to view these files from the tivo's or Tivo desktop.  I did that just to show that trying to see the files in that folder did not work -whether viewed through Windows Explorer or Tivo software.

With all the things I've mentioned in this thread, if this forum isn't the right place to ask, please let me know.  If anybody knows a more appropriate place, I'll try that too.  My hope is that somehow if I explain the problem well enough, it will help steer any help.

Thanks for reading through all of this.

Lynn.

Offline LilBambi

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Whether it's a TiVo or hard drive issue, computers turning off abruptly during saves and/or reads from hard drives can and often does lead to corruption on the drive.

It's particularly noticeable when you have huge video files because you will have huge chunks missing.

Sometimes it will lead to eventually not being able to enumerate or list files in a folder/directory. Which sounds very much like what you may be experiencing since you can no longer see what's left in that folder (800GB).

Have you tried allowing your Windows XP computer to run checkdisk to see if it corrects anything so you can see the files again?

Checkdisk to fix file system errors and attempt recovery of bad sectors:

1. Open My Computer
2. Right click on the drive where these video files are stored
3. Select Properties from the bottom of the list on the dropdown menu
4. Click the Tools tab
5. Under Error Checking section, click the Check Now box
6. Tick both boxes to Automatically fix file system errors and scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
7. Click Start (If the drive where these files are stored is your C: drive (your system drive where Windows is installed), then it will prompt you to schedule the task for the next boot.
Bambi
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Jim-Fran.com

Offline lynnalexandra

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Thanks, ,Bambi.

I'm running chkdsk now.  Even though it's an external drive, I did have to restart. I think it will take a while.  In the meantime, I had run Avast scan on it overnight.  The results showed no viruses, but it did say that two files (Mad about You episodes that had not appeared in the file list - probably the next two alphabetically after the ones that did show up) could not be read.  I gather that means those files were corrupted.

I also have some dread that those video files might have been recoverable at first - but I didn't notice there was a problem.  So it wasn't until I set up a transfer of a lot of videos to that drive (overnight) - and came to check the next day that I saw that files after "M" were not displaying.  But the new files I transferred with file names before M - like Glee - had transferred.  I'm afraid that the shows I transferred probably overwrote a lot of those hidden/missing video files.  Seems like a one-two punch.  Power got turned off and did some damage to the directory?  Since I didn't know that anything had happened, I added more files to the drive.  That probably put the nail in the coffin for those missing files.  I'm definitely a novice, but seem to recall that when files are written (especially large ones), they search across the whole disk for space. So those files I transferred (I don't remember how many bc. not all are displaying - but maybe as much as 50+ GB worth) probably overwrote portions of a lot, if not all, of the videos from M-Z.

I'll know more when the chkdsk finishes.

Meantime, I was supposed to work on taxes today.  Is there any problem using my computer to work on taxes (not involving the external drive at all) while the chkdsk runs on the E: drive?

Thank you.
Lynn.

Offline LilBambi

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Has the computer also lost power and shut down abruptly, or have you had to shut it down abruptly due to locking up, etc.?

If so, and/or if it has been a long time since you have run checkdisk on your c: drive, you should run it on the c: drive after the d: drive is done.

So, I would say, you might want to work on the paperwork side of taxes today and let these things finish first, if at all possible.
Bambi
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Offline lynnalexandra

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Well - I set up chkdsk to run on the E: drive after restart.  Then I went out to do a couple of hours of errands.  I'm back.  The computer is restarted - but there's no indication of whether chkdsk ran and what the results might have been.  If nothing is displaying on the computer, does that mean it did not run?

With no other programs opened, I opened explorer and right clicked the E: drive to see if I could initiate another chkdsk.  It again told me that windows needed access to files not normally accessible (or something like that) and I could select to have the dskchk run on boot up/start up.  Before doing this again - since I just did that two hours ago - I thought I'd ask whether there's a way to know if it ran. 

If no results displayed means it didn't run, I'll try again.

As for whether the C drive needs a chkdsk, I'm not sure it's that compelling.  It probably has been a while since I've run chkdsk on the C drive.  I don't know if we've lost power.  Not while I've been home (I was away a storm week in March - so maybe).  I have had to do one or two hard shut downs in the past 6 months - but I didn't have a lot of open programs.  I think firefox might have refused to close - even from task manager.  So I do think a chkdsk is in order - but maybe not during the day today.  Maybe overnight.  There's been no behavior in the C drive that makes me concerned.  All my files are displaying normally in that drive.

I've done much of the paperwork I can for taxes.  (One rush is that my Quicken 2011 is going to stop allowing downloads on April 15.  The new version of Quicken seem even worse - and I"m already nervous and unsure about how to set up downloaded transactions since I switched my retirement and personal investment accounts from Ameritrade to Fidelity in October.  Nothing in Quicken is easy - and I need to see what I can accomplish - with enough time to seek help if I need it.  It's another topic entirely, but I wish I knew where to go for Quicken help.  Clearly not Intuit.  And their forums haven't answered these questions in particular.)

I also just did a windows update and am going to restart the computer.  Maybe I'll just set up the chkdsk to run on the E drive.

Thanks.
Lynn.

Offline LilBambi

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Running checkdisk overnight on the c: drive should be OK.

You do backup your Quicken to a USB drive every time you makes changes, right? Just in case. You know Murphy's Law.

You may be able to just check to see if anything shows up in the Winlogon about the checkdisk:

Go to Start menu
Click on Run
Type in: eventvwr.msc /s
Hit Enter key
The Event Viewer opens
Click on Application
scroll down to Winlogon
It should be the most recent entry under Winlogon.
Bambi
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Offline lynnalexandra

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Oh boy. I went into event viewer - but there is no Winlogon entry.  I searched up and down the entire list.  There's lots that say information, a few warnings (about microsoft fax), and Errors (from source Bonjour).  Bonjour is one of two services that can be used to access Tivo files.  I actually have my Tivo desktop software configured to run with Beacon service.  So it seems those errors were from trying to access at first with a service that isn't the one I"m using.  Those errors occur throughout the past 5-6 months that are listed.  With a lot on March 3 - which was when I was away and a snow day for my daughter.  She spudded all day and tried to search the desktop (via tv/tivo) for shows she could watch.  I don't think this is related to the problems I"m having now -but mention it because "what do I know?"

I also set up chkdsk again to run on the E: drive after restart.  So that's twice and it didn't run either time.

I"m not sure what to do if it won't run.  It doesn't look like it's even trying.  Just a regular start up = which I watched this second time.

As for quicken, I do back up the data in at least two places - usually three (internal drive, external hard drive and NAS).  I haven't backed up to flash drive.  (I'm also not sure I"d know how to retrieve this data if there was a crash - but as long as I"m backing up, I guess I'll cross that bridge if it happens.)

Shouldn't I see the fact that there was a restart?

I decided for the heck of it to look at the Event Viewer for system.  Ther are see a few Error messages that say the source was disk.  One from this morning (when I was looking at the E drive) and some from the middle of the night when I was doing a complete Avast scan of the E: drive.  It says This device, \Device\Harddisk3\D, has a bad block.   I am guessing that Harddisk 3 is this external drive.  My computer has two internal drives (c: and s:). 

The event viewer for system only scrolls back as far as March 14.  Interestingly, the errors under the category of disk only started occuring on March 26 - which is when I had set up the tivo desktop software to start transferring shows to the external hard drive.  No disk errors from March 14-26.  Of course, from March 14-26, I did nothing to try to access this disk's contents.

Any other way to run a chkdsk?

Thanks.
Lynn.

Offline LilBambi

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Under the Event Viewer:
Here's an image that shows an example of a Winlogon entry -- As you can see in the navigation on the left, Application is highlighted.
Then under Application in the right window, as shown in this image under the 4th column over which is called Source, look down at the 12th entry that says Winlogon and then view the details:



Actually, Checkdisk did run the first time you tried to run it on the e: drive. You said it was going and go so it did run. You even went out while it was still going you mentioned earlier.

Check the entries again in Event Viewer and please post any details from it.

As far as Quicken goes, sounds like you have it covered. Just be sure to back it up to those locations when you work on it since there are some oddities going on with your computer right now.
Bambi
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Jim-Fran.com

Offline lynnalexandra

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Hi Bambi,

Oh Boy squared.  Thank for the illustration.  I was looking in the wrong column.  But even now when I look at the Source column, there is no entry that says Winlogon.  I looked through everything for today and yesterday.  I know I restarted it twice today - and had to log in both times.  But there is no Winlogon entry.  I do have some entries that say ESENT - and it's possible those correspond to the time I restarted the computer. 

As for dskchk running, I did not actually see it run.  I saw the computer shut down successfully this morning - but had to leave the house and did so before I saw what happened at startup.  I was just assuming that chkdsk was in fact running while I was out of the house.  The second restart, I watched.  Definitely no chkdsk ran. 

The last source items include the following:
skype update
intuit update service
roxsniffer9
gupdate
bonjour service
Msinstaller (I just did the microsoft updates at that time)
gupdate
skype update
Windows search service
ESENT
Microsoft fax
security center
intuit update service
LoadPerf (that is from 6pm last night - before any attempt to run chkdsk)
Userenv (type was a warning - also around 6pm last night)
Application Error (type was Error - 3:48pm yesterday) category 100.  This was the first event listed in late yesterday afternoon when I first got on the computer after being away for the first half of the afternoon.  I'm sure I was looking at this external hard drive.  And probably composing one of my posts for here.

Puzzling - there is no Winlogon entry in the source column.  (This is an XP computer if I did not mention that before)

Thanks.
Lynn.
etc.


Offline lynnalexandra

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A bit more information from event viewer
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2014, 09:54:50 PM »
So I scrutinized the Event Viewer more carefully.  It dates back to Sept 23, 2013.  I see only two instances were Winlogon is listed under sources.  Once on Jan 14, 2014 and once on October 12, 2013.  Since I know I've shut down and restarted the computer more often than that, does that mean it's only listing the logons where there was an event worth noting? 

I clicked on those two winlogon events and this is what it said for both:

" the shell stopped unexpectedly and explorer.exe was restarted."  Perhaps those were the two hard shut downs I had to do (pushing the computer's power button until it powered down because it was freezing and not shutting off?).  I'm not sure but those were the only two Winlogons I saw for the past 6 months.

I am moving over small batches of video to my NAS.  And at some point today, a few of my recently reappearing episodes of Mad About You disappeared again.  Probably half a dozen.  So maybe the process of moving the files uses up some hard disk space - and writes over those files?  But those files had been displaying earlier (I'm not sure about the timing.  it may have been that after one of the restarts today, those files were not appearing.  It may have nothing to do with the small batches of video files I"m moving to the NAS.  In the time I've moved some video over since the last restart a few hours ago, no more video files have disappeared.

I had more than one copy of my other folders (word documents, quicken and turbo tax files, etc) - but I copied them to the NAS as well.  Note - I copied those folders and left them on this external hard drive.  The video files I"m moving over because that folder is having issues - and at first, freeing up space in that folder allowed other video files to reappear).

As I move video files, does it matter if I do small batches or big batches?  I'm doing smaller ones for now in my uninformed sense that this would be less taxing on the drive.

I'm not doing any quicken or taxes on this pc for today.  I'm distressed and distracted enough by this issue.  I don't have the concentration for the Quicken troubleshooting that was on my to do list for today.

Lynn.