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files on mounted volume can't be opened or moved

Topics: Technical Issues
Jan 29 at 12:21 PM
A strange problem has start to occur with a Veracrypt volume I've been running for awhile. I thought I'd run it by some people here on a possible solution.

I am running the latest version of Veracrypt on Windows 7 and have been using it to encrypt a 2 TB volume that is stored on a WD external drive. It has been working flawlessly for about a year. Recently, however, I've started to have trouble working with files on the volume once it's mounted. The first problem I noticed was that some files simply wouldn't open. It tended to be larger files and when trying to open the application being used would simply "hang." I experienced the same things when trying to move files from the mounted volume to another drive. Some would move just fine, but once file manager got to a larger one, it would simply hang. Not sure if it does any good, but I ran Norton Diagnostics on the drive containing the encrypted volume, as well as the mounted volume, and no errors were found.

Next I connected my external drive to another computer I have running Windows 10. The volume mounted just fine and I can see all of my files there. When trying to open or move them, however, the same problems return.

If these are symptoms of an external HDD that is about to fail, I'm very worried if I'll be able to save anything. It seems I won't be able to move everything over to another drive with the problems I'm having. Any advice?
Jan 29 at 2:37 PM
I have experienced the same issues you are reporting when the external drive's controller is failing. The HD itself is fine, however the controller built onto the drive is failing,

You can check your Windows Event Viewer for messages like delayed read/write or access to the device as an indication.

In my opinion, get a new drive ASAP and get your data to the new drive.
Jan 29 at 7:21 PM
Edited Jan 29 at 7:26 PM
You can still move the data by copying the (unmounted) 2 TB VeraCrypt volume to another (new & working) drive.

Then use VeraCrypt to mount the copied volume & you should be OK.

BTW, these external HDDs are generally a bad place to put TB-sized volumes. Use RAID 1 (mirrored) drives instead. Nas4Free works really well (http://www.nas4free.org/).
Jan 29 at 11:39 PM
@commenter8,

What tools are you using in Windows to copy the raw device/partition to the new drive?
Jan 31 at 10:26 AM
Edited Jan 31 at 10:29 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone. I've also been thinking I need to try to move the unmounted volume over to a new drive ASAP. As far as what I've been using to try to move the files....just Windows File Manager. If there is something better to use for that purpose, I'm certainly willing to give it a shot.

I wonder if it might be worth it to see if WD can replace/repair the drive controller? It's not like they're going to be able to get in to my Veracrypt volume. But I suppose the danger of that is they could kill the drive completely trying to repair it. Maybe I'll save that option as last resort if copying the unmounted volume doesn't work.
Jan 31 at 2:57 PM
Are you using a file container or did you encrypt the drive/partition?

If the issue is the controller, attempting to copy the unmounted device would be using some sort of imaging tool since Windows see the device as RAW format.

The problem I see with this approach is that failure is higher since you are trying to copy 2 TB worth of "data" verses mounting the VeraCrypt volume and copying only the data within the volume in small batches.

At least, that is what I had to perform when my external drive's controller was failing.

If you send the drive in for warranty, WD will likely replace the drive with a similar device. Hence you will lose your data.

Good luck.