Help with external hard drive problem.

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posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 11:57 AM
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Having problems with a WD external hard drive. when i plug it in the light comes on and you can feel the hard drive spinning inside but the computer doesn't pick it up. I have tried it on various pc's but none seem to pick it up, so it does seem to be a problem with the hard drive.

Does anyone have any advice on this, either how i can get it working? or even just retrieve the data from it.?

I have alot of important data stored on it and after losing the other back up copies I desperately need to retrieve it.

If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.




posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 

If you value the data on it, do not write to the drive anymore. Only use it to read from and preferably just to make a copy of it.

I had a problem like yours once. I used the tool ddrescue to make a complete image of my broken drive on a newer and larger USB drive. I didn't lose any data, even on a drive that was unusable anymore but it did take 2 weeks of running that tool continuously.

Just remember, no disk changes now or you run the danger of losing more information off the disk.

This might help.
Howto recover hard disk



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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Take it apart, remove the hard drive and install it in your computer.

If you're not willing to tackle that, about all you can do is check your cables, and replace them if you have a spare. Maybe check the power output if you have a voltmeter, but that should be good if it's lighting up.

If none of this works, or if the drive is bad, there are some tricks you can do to revive it long enough to copy your data, like putting it into the freezer, etc. Google "200 ways to revive a hard drive".



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:16 PM
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Did you try accessing it through disk management?


try




or

edit on 1-1-2012 by yourboycal2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:21 PM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
reply to post by Misterlondon
 

If you value the data on it, do not write to the drive anymore. Only use it to read from and preferably just to make a copy of it.

I had a problem like yours once. I used the tool ddrescue to make a complete image of my broken drive on a newer and larger USB drive. I didn't lose any data, even on a drive that was unusable anymore but it did take 2 weeks of running that tool continuously.

Just remember, no disk changes now or you run the danger of losing more information off the disk.

This might help.
Howto recover hard disk


Thanks for the advice..
i'll check the link now and also the ddrescue.

The problem is i cant read or write anything on it. when i plug it into the computer nothing happens.. it doesnt show up in my computer and I cant seem to access it at all?



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by SuperManny
Take it apart, remove the hard drive and install it in your computer.

If you're not willing to tackle that, about all you can do is check your cables, and replace them if you have a spare. Maybe check the power output if you have a voltmeter, but that should be good if it's lighting up.

If none of this works, or if the drive is bad, there are some tricks you can do to revive it long enough to copy your data, like putting it into the freezer, etc. Google "200 ways to revive a hard drive".


To be honest seems a bit daunting, Never done anything like that before and would be scared in case i screw it up completely. I have also tried different cables and there is definitely power going through as it lights up and you can feel it spinning inside.

ill google that now.. thanks..
The freezer you say? I'm willing to give anything a try...



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 

Does it make a ticking or clicking noise at all? (A sign heads have crashed into the platters). Mine got to the point of not being recognised. ddrescue can get around that but it does take a long time for a 500GB drive and you will need a newer and larger disk to dump the old one on to.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by yourboycal2
Did you try accessing it through disk management?



Just tried that now and it does show up under disk drives.. and also states the device is working properly.. but why does it not show in my computer? and do you know how i can i access the hard drive?

thanks for your reply, im feeling more optimistic about this now..



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 


right click your drive "mark partition as active" in disk management

see if that works ,

if not follow the first video , if not then take it into computer guy to see if he can get access to drive without a format.

Always back up your hard drives for future reference :p



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:40 PM
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If you hear a clicking noise, the hard drive is shot, if you hear it spin without clicking you can try using another USB cord, or it could be the actual USB controller on the external hard drive. If that's the case you can purchase a new external hard drive enclosure (minus hard drive) off ebay for example, but you will have to take out that hard drive first and determine whether it is IDE or SATA (Serial ATA) first. That will determine which enclosure to purchase.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
reply to post by Misterlondon
 

Does it make a ticking or clicking noise at all? (A sign heads have crashed into the platters). Mine got to the point of not being recognised. ddrescue can get around that but it does take a long time for a 500GB drive and you will need a newer and larger disk to dump the old one on to.


No clicking or ticking noises.. but you can clearly hear it spinning..

I have another drive ready to transfer it to.. it is only 320GB with about 290GB of data... I will definitely try ddrescue should nothing else work..

It is showing in disk management though but not in my computer.. and i cant access it??

thanks for the reply..



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 


Will disk management let you assign it to a drive letter? Right click and assign a drive letter. If you cannot then its possible that the master boot record MBR may need to be repaired.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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Go to the WD website and see if there are any drivers out for the HD. That fixed my problem.



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:51 PM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 

Good to hear it's not clicking, that usually only slows recovery down. You say you have tried it on various PC's with no luck. I think we can safely assume it is dead or dying then. I would not attempt to rewrite boot sectors or anything of that nature. The drive is showing up in windows but not explorer so there is a problem. I think if you look in Windows Event Viewer you will see lots of red entries mentioning a failed disk in some state.

I personally would do nothing more with it except attempt recovery. Even reading from it can make it worse so you need to minimise the data being changed. Just mounting a drive can cause disk writes as FAT's, disk journals and indexes are read, and updated.

Good luck!



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by yourboycal2
reply to post by Misterlondon
 


right click your drive "mark partition as active" in disk management

see if that works ,

if not follow the first video , if not then take it into computer guy to see if he can get access to drive without a format.

Always back up your hard drives for future reference :p



Tried the right click and the only options i get are update driver software, disable, uninstall, scan for hardware changes and properties..

I asked the computer guys at pc world (uk pc store) they want £100 (approx $150) and there is no guarantee they will retrieve it... I thought i would see if there are any other options available before i go down that route.

worst thing is this was my back up.. lost the original data and now this is not working!!



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 


find local computer repair guys they will do it much cheaper . If it picks up but does not allow you to partition it , it means it can still be saved. You just need third party software to retrieve it. craiglist or kijiji many repair dudes good luck



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by Starwise
If you hear a clicking noise, the hard drive is shot, if you hear it spin without clicking you can try using another USB cord, or it could be the actual USB controller on the external hard drive. If that's the case you can purchase a new external hard drive enclosure (minus hard drive) off ebay for example, but you will have to take out that hard drive first and determine whether it is IDE or SATA (Serial ATA) first. That will determine which enclosure to purchase.


already tried another cord which definitely works.. To be honest im not too savy when it comes to the technical side of these sort of things.. Not even sure what IDE and SATA are?




Will disk management let you assign it to a drive letter? Right click and assign a drive letter. If you cannot then its possible that the master boot record MBR may need to be repaired.


The only options i get when i right click are.. update driver software, disable, uninstall, scan for hardware changes and properties..?



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by buster2010
Go to the WD website and see if there are any drivers out for the HD. That fixed my problem.


Thanks buster2010 im on that now..



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
reply to post by Misterlondon
 

Good to hear it's not clicking, that usually only slows recovery down. You say you have tried it on various PC's with no luck. I think we can safely assume it is dead or dying then. I would not attempt to rewrite boot sectors or anything of that nature. The drive is showing up in windows but not explorer so there is a problem. I think if you look in Windows Event Viewer you will see lots of red entries mentioning a failed disk in some state.

I personally would do nothing more with it except attempt recovery. Even reading from it can make it worse so you need to minimise the data being changed. Just mounting a drive can cause disk writes as FAT's, disk journals and indexes are read, and updated.

Good luck!


So basically its screwed then..


thanks for taking the time to reply and the advice.. ill check the wd website now if not ill just take it into a computer guys to do it, although there is some private data i would rather no one else saw but looks like i dont have any other option... hopefully i havent lost any data either..



posted on Jan, 1 2012 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by yourboycal2
reply to post by Misterlondon
 


find local computer repair guys they will do it much cheaper . If it picks up but does not allow you to partition it , it means it can still be saved. You just need third party software to retrieve it. craiglist or kijiji many repair dudes good luck



I just checked the wd website.. it is suggesting that there is a damaged partition.. says retrieve the data and reformat the drive. ill try that now...





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