Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cannot move large files into portable / external hard-drive

Yesterday, I found that my friend-at-work (Mr.Danan) who confused because he couldn't move some large files (>8GB) to his new 500Gib external hard drive.

He asked  for my help to solve this problem. And here's the following troubleshooting steps that I did.

If you face same problems, you can try from first step. Once it solved, so there's no need to continue the next step.


1. Make sure that the hard drive is not damaged:

Do a check from Disk Management, make sure the hard drive in a healthy state. Also, you can use the CHKDSK /F command for fix some errors. Considering the hard drive was newly purchased, I believe that hardware damage isn't the issue here. So I go to the step-2

2. Make sure that its file system is not FAT32:

FAT32 has a problem in dealing with file sizes > 4GB. We must use the NTFS file system to enabling store large files. Furthermore about FAT file system and it's disadvantages, you can read from this link. You must format the drive into NTFS file system, of course after you've done data backup processfirst .

Format a drive with NTFS file system

But, in my case, I encountered that the file system drive had actually been with the NTFS format. So I'll go to the step-3

3. Make sure you have installed the necessary drivers:

Several type of external hard drive includes a special driver to run properly (usually a driver CD was included in the package). Also, it should be ascertained whether all the existing drivers on your computer (such as the chipset drivers, BIOS controller) is already installed and up to date. Please check the manufacturer's website and enter the type of equipment you have to get their driver. Updating the BIOS is also a suggested workaround.

But still, in case I face, my friend does not have a problem in the drivers and all drivers are in a state up to date. So I'll go to the step-4

4. Make sure the write-caching is enabled on the drive

Go to the Device Manager, select the Disk Drives, right click on the external hard disk drive, select Properties. On the Policies tab, we can see if the write caching option (Better Performance) was in the can right on the drive.

Enabling write caching

And that solved the problem! Now my friend can copy-paste his huge data into the portable hard-drive.
So what the hell is write-caching ?
Write caching in a connected storage device refers to the use of high-speed volatile memory to collect write commands sent to data storage devices and cache them until the slower storage media (either physical hard disks or low cost flash memory) can accommodate them. Most devices that use write caching require that power be supplied continuously. (source link)
 Got the same problem? result may vary, share your tricks here...

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