Essential Reads but not Writes

I have an Essential with a 1TB WD10EAVS (although that is not what is in the enclosure right now). I started noticing something funny when I tried backing stuff up and it would just stop. The transfer would get a bit in and freeze. I can not cancel the transfer or eject the drive. It just hangs. So, the only thing I can do is unplug the USB cable so Windows will actually shut down (since trying to shut down while the drive has frozen on a transfer means Windows tries in vain to eject the disk…for hours). Luckily, I got all my data off the hard drive and onto a mule pc while I figure out what to do with it.

I had another 1TB drive lying around, so I popped open the enclosure and switched the drives. Hoping it would be different, I queued up my data for backup and the drive froze on transfer again. WD DataLifeguard’s Quick Test identified a read test error with both drives. The first drive also said it had a lot of bad sectors, which is why I tried to replace it in the enclosure.

Basically, I am thinking it is a problem with the circuit board that connects to the SATA since both drives had the problem. The strangest thing is that I can access data on the hard drive and it has no problems. I can stream movies from the hard drive and it never hiccups once, but when I try and transfer to the drive for backups, it just can’t do it. What would cause this and what is the solution?

I don’t want to but an entire new external unless I have to. Any ideas?

What message do you get when transferring files to the drive?

Did you try to backup and reformat the drive?

There are no messages when transferring the data, it will transfer a bit and then just stop. There are no error messages, the drive just stops all activity.  I can feel the drive spinning, but there is no clicking or any other indications of transfers. The Windows transfer dialog stays open, stuck on the file it was trying to transfer, while still saying that is is transferring at X MB/s. If I am lucky, the drive’s estimated completion time for the backup will climb to days and then weeks, but usually it doesn’t even get that far.

With the original drive, I got the data off and tried a reformat. Windows was unable to fully format it, so I did a quick format. I then took it over to the DataLifeguard and told it to write zeros to the drive so it could find all the bad sectors. That was due to take around 2 days total time for a 1 TB hard drive, which sounds super long to me, but I haven’t zeroed the drive when it wasn’t sick, so I don’t know. The drive zeroing didn’t work, as Windows was restarted for some reason when I got up the next day. It still didn’t work.

Then I put the other hard drive in the enclosure, and it is having the same issues, so I don’t believe it is the hard drive. I have heard that sometimes the circuit boards will go out, but none of my capacitors are swollen or have any other telltale signs.