I just bought another external hard drive to use as a backup. This one had the same problem that a lot of them have had and I don’t know what causes it or why this fixes it.
I have a lot of video files and other data to back up and I prefer doing a simple file copy so that I know the data is completely readable no matter what kind of computer I plug it into in the future without having to use some kind of backup software. The copy is just being done by drag and drop through Windows Explorer so I can make sure I get what I want.
Usually what will happen is that the file copy will abort after about 20 or 30 minutes because the drive suddenly disappears. Sometimes it will show back up after a minute, but occasionally the volume name will be something like “Local drive” instead of what I named it.
However, if I delete the partition that was put on the factory, create a new one and let it do a full format, the drive stays active after that. That tells me the hardware interface in the drive and the USB port on my computer are good. In each of the cases where these drives have disappeared while in use, this always fixes it. The OS is Win 7 Pro 64 bit right now, but I think I remember this happening on drives plugged into the older Win XP 32bit with SP3.
Any idea why a factory-created NTFS partition would behave like this and why deleting it/creating it/formatting it would make enough of a different to fix it?