External HDD question (Windows OS)

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Satyaa Veteran Member • Posts: 5,184
External HDD question (Windows OS)


I use two 4TB external HDDs (probably 5 years old by now) on my Windows desktop (also 5+ years old) to back up my photos (among other things).

I use a free s/w called FreeFileSync to back up photos from my PC to HDD 1 every week. Then I use the same s/w to sync up HDD 1 to HDD 2 once a month.

The HDDs are formatted as NTFS drives. They're about 75% filled up at this point.


When I am sync'ing a large volume of files, usually over several GB, the target/destination HDD gets stuck at some point. I can't do much with it at that point. I have to stop the file sync program, log out, log back in, run error check and drive optimization (a.k.a. defrag) and then it moves along normally until next time.

This is always the case during monthly backups because the total files are usually over 20 GB. And the problem has existed for at least a couple of years, if not more.

Is that behavior normal with external drives? Is it because of their age and symptom of impending death? Is that because they're 75% filled up and beyond their optimum capacity? Or something else?

I have ruled out the s/w as a cause for this because I get the same problem even if I am copying the entire folder using Windows' normal copy/paste feature and the files are over several GB.


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