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NTFS problems (file format, not this site)



I'm running Windows XP Pro with 3 hard drives. 1 is the main OS one with Win XP on it and is the Master on the primary IDE RAID channel. A 2nd is a Data drive for all my media. It is slave on the same channel. Both of these have been on my system since the installation of Win XP.
The 3rd I just got today. It's Master on the secondary IDE RAID channel.

All three are NTFS formatted.

I'm trying to make a backup of things from the 1st and 2nd drive onto the 3rd drive, just for safe-keeping. Most things copy over fine, but certain things (Favorites folder for instance) will not no matter what I do. In fact, they freeze the system when I try to access them from the new hard drive. I can't even select them to delete them, so the only way to get rid of the corrupt copies is to format the new drive. These files, however, copy to and from both original hard drives just fine, no problems whatsoever.

I went into Safe Mode and I can then access the files even on the new hard drive without crashing. This's what first led me to believe that it wasn't the new hard drive's fault, as I previously though. I made a copy of the Favorites folder onto the new drive, then made a copy of the one on the new one and pasted it back onto the old one. When I restarted in Normal mode, the one on the new drive still froze, but the new copy on the old drive worked just fine.

I've been able to figure out other things that slow the new drive down. New html docs or shortcuts to web sites slow it down really bad. They don't freeze it like the Favorites folder, just bog it down horribly when selected. If I close the window so they aren't visable, or delete them, the speed returns to normal. These files don't have any such ramifications on either of the old hard drives.

Now at this point I'm thinking it's software, specifically the NTFS file system protecting things. Protecting Favorites, a system folder, does make sense. But why it causes the window to freeze instead of giving some "these files are protected" message is beyond me. And why wouldn't they work? I mean the hard drive is now part of my system, why would it copy to one backup hard drive and not the other? The only explanation I can think up is that the first backup hard drive was part of the system from the start.

IS this some form of NTFS "protection?" Is there any way to get around it? I just want to backup all the files I want to... And it's actually a bit of an emergency. One of my old drives is failing (I can hear the grinding, clicking, etc). but I don't know which one. So that's why I bought a new one to back everything up, and then I planned on running diagnostics to determine which drive to RMA. But now the backup drive isn't working and I'm going a bit crazy...

I'm considering reinstalling Windows XP, hoping that the new copy of the OS obviously won't have records of any of the other files and therefore won't protect them and I'll be able to copy them fine. Of course it could go the other way and now not recognize even the files on the Data drive that currently work and then I'll have no copy of these files.

I know that's a lot of questions, but please help me. I really need as complete an understanding as possible about this situation so I can get my computer back up and running fine. The final goal is to have everything backed up, figure out which hard drive is dying so I can RMA it, then install a fresh copy of Win XP and have all my backup files work.


Ok, just did something really important.

Burned Favorites folder to a CD. It runs from the CD fine. Copy it to the new drive from the CD = freeze.

Ran the CD in a different computer. Runs fine from the CD, and on the hard drive.

Brought the new drive over to the other computer. Favorites folder copied from the other computer works fine on the new drive. AND MY Favorites folder copied from the CD to the new drive works fine on the other computer. Left it on there, brought the new drive back to my computer, and trying to access Favorites freezes it.

So it's NOT the drive. And it's not normal NTFS at least. It's gotta be a Windows error. Either that or incompatibility between the new drive and something in my system, but given the circumstances that seems doubtful. So I gotta format the OS one and reinstall XP. That just makes me nervous, what if it just screws things up worse. And I think it's the OS drive that's dying, so that'd be a gigantic waste of my time, reconfiguring XP again for a hard drive that's on its way out (the freaking HDD LED is constantly on, it never used to. Either I shorted something on the mobo or the hard drive is giving it a bad signal. Guess which one I hope it is...)

Ugh, this problem has so many facets...
Duplicate post deleted. In future, please do not make multiple posts in seperate sections of the forums - thanks.

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