Backup to new external drive fails

Dell / Dimension e521
March 8, 2009 at 09:05:07
Specs: Windows Vista, 2 MB RAM
Use a software package called Backup My PC to back up to DVD - works fine but time consuming changing disks, so bought a Seagate Freeagent 750GB USB hard drive to backup to.
First two attempted backups have failed after several hours with same message:

An error occurred while writing the backup data. A seek error occurred while using this media (08-07-07-01-0083)

Does this mean the drive is faulty & I will always get this or is there a way to solve/prevent this?


See More: Backup to new external drive fails

Report •

March 8, 2009 at 09:28:28
That is hard to say. To me it sounds like the error is in trying to read the data off the internal hard drive. Might not hurt to run chkdsk and defrag on the computer.

That said, IMO the DVDR method is a more reliable method than using an external drive. There is less chance of data loss with optical media if you verify the backup. Also it is cheap and easy to make multiple copies.

You probably have all the data on the computer on ONE partition. Placing all the data on one partition presents the problem you have experienced. If you ever need to restore from the media, whichever method you use, it will be even more time consuming.

A better method is to use multiple partitions. Install the OS and core programs to the C: partition. Core programs would include programs that need constant updates. Things like AV programs, spyware removers, etc.

Then install your main programs to the D: partiton. These programs rarely change so the frequency of backups will be far less often.

Then install person files like your music collection and photos on a third partition. That partition rarely will get re-imaged and isn't keyed to the OS.

Now when you image the OS partition will probably be in the range of 6/12GB, which will easily image to 3 DVDR disks with normal compression. The program partition may take more disks but will not need to be imaged very often. The personal data doesn't really need to be imaged. Just COPY without any compression. Music and photos are already compressed so you won't save any space anyway.

Now for the interesting part. If the OS gets buggered up and you want to restore you can restore the C: partition without the need to restore any other partitions. All programs that were installed to the D: partition when you last imaged will work without restoring them or re-installing them.

There are variations on this theme to fit your person computer usage. Look at the link below for additional info on partitioning.

BTW, I forgot to commend you for backing up. That is the most important part. How and where is secondary. If you sort out the issue with the external drive and wish to try multiple partitions follow my suggestions and just image each partition separately to a folder on the external drive. Use folder labels that indicate what it is. Keep two versions for each partition.

Still burn your personal data to DVDR or CDR.

Report •

March 8, 2009 at 10:10:02
Thanks very much for the detailed response - however am I right in thinking that from where I am now with just one partition, there's little I can do to change it, presumably its the sort of thing you do when you first get a new computer?

Therefore a solution for me may be to do smaller, more selective backups of particular types of data as I could do if I had multiple partitions?


Report •

March 8, 2009 at 10:29:34
I doubt that you can do smaller selective backups. As far as what you can do with your present setup. You still have options. You can partition the drive further or add an additional drive.

How may GB of files are currently on your drive?

Report •

Related Solutions

March 8, 2009 at 11:27:44
There's 380Gb on there


Report •

March 8, 2009 at 11:35:25
I am not familiar with the original backup software you have. It should be able to backup to ANY media. Weather or not it can selectively backup is another question. Many can perform an incremental backup, which simply means backup the files that have changed since the previous backup. That is usually pretty fast.

Going back to your original question, which I never fully addressed, you can seek technical support at the Seagate site. Also may be a forum and/or FAQ.

Report •

March 8, 2009 at 11:37:54
Ok, will keep trying - thanks again for your help & advice


Report •

Ask Question