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External hard drive troubles


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#1
salsashark

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Hey there, Iím an unfortunate owner of a Western Digital 250GB My Book external hard drive (The one with the green lighting as opposed to the blue), and it has very recently stopped working.

It began with an accidental fall yesterday while it was still connected to the computer. The fall wasnít much by comparison (About three and a half feet), and it did keep working while it was still plugged in (I was in the middle of a video clip that continued). However, when I restarted it, my practically brand new (Only a month or so old) laptop began to hang up and move very slowly. When I finally returned to my main Windows XP interface, it wouldnít detect the drive. Iíve disconnected and reconnected, and even tried on another computer, but nothing doing.

What happens is that you hear the driveís functions moving normally if you listen in, but then you connect it to the computer and it doesnít detect it, and only when I am about to turn it off it says ďLocal DiskĒ (when it was actually a named drive and everything).

The thing is that itís fallen a few times (maybe four, including one from a much greater height) in the past in similarly awkward situations and survived each time.

Here are a couple of things I plan on attempting when I get home (Iím at work right now):
1) Running Western-Digitalís Data Lifeguard Diagnostic to see if it detects it.
2) Perhaps using SpinRite if I can find a version in order to see if itíll detect it.

I would do anything to get my data back -- itís quite precious to me and the cost of the hard drive is a moot point (I donít care about warranties). If there is anything you could advise me for repair, Iíd be very grateful!
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#2
vally

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The thing is that itís fallen a few times (maybe four, including one from a much greater height) in the past in similarly awkward situations and survived each time.

These hard drives are designed to sustain shocks but not falls.

Does the hard drive have a ticking sound?

When you connect the hard drive does the device manager detect it. [go to start-> run -> type - devmgmt.msc ]
does the usb device recognize anything?

If it does then go to start-> run -> type - compmgmt.msc . Press disk management and see if it is recognized.

Keep us posted.
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#3
salsashark

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I will attempt the solution you gave me when I get back home today.

However, last night I tried it on a couple of other, new computers, and it took forever to recognize the drive. It also has a tendency to make my computer hang up.

So basically, now the problem is getting the drive recognized. I tried to listen to the sounds it made when I last attempted using it, and it sounded normal to me, except for the soft "vhroom" it makes before XP prompts with what to do with the new HD.

Do you think there's a chance that the data can be retrieved, even if the casing has to be thrown out? At this point, I'm considering finding a friend to crack open the WD3200 case with me and remove the hard drive's contents to manually install it in my desktop's insides. Would that be a feasible solution?

Thanks for the help!
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#4
vally

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I was going to suggest that as a last resort.
There must b a way to open the case without ruining it.
When U manage it and put it in the computer correctly and goog luck.
For the future "DON'T forget to BACK UP"
Keep us posted.
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#5
salsashark

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Alright, my problems are far, far from over.

So now what happened is that we took it to a store, tried the Device Manager, etc. and still no luck.

The guy at the store opened it, took out the hard drive itself, and went to test it on a desktop computer. BIOS (I think that's what it was) detected it, and even Windows did at one point (However, it didn't have the name I gave it attached to it), but when we tried to access it through the XP interface it hung up again. It hangs up every computer we put it on.

My only remaining solution is to give it to this specialist who transfers data from the hard drive to the disk to see if it can be recovered, but I feel quite uncomfortable letting anyone but myself watch over its workings for a little while for the double fear of both him screwing something up and the fact that my data is very personal to me and I don't want anyone prying through it/copying it/looking at it.

My heart is full of worry as I write this. If you can think of any suggestions or comments, please contribute them! I feel so miserable. Technology shouldn't affect me so much, but I had so much stored on that drive that I didn't have elsewhere. sigh

Is there some kind of DIY kit that I could learn how to operate to recover all the data for myself? Anything I could buy and try?

I'd always appreciate an honest reply on whether you think my data can still be saved or not.
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#6
vally

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There are a few options to try.
1 - There is a freezing option. put the hard drive in 2 plastic bags each one seald well so disk does not get wet or damp. Now put it in the freezer for a few hours take it out and connect it to the computer while still "frozen". This helps read data with bad disks at times. If it works you may need to stop and freeze it after a while.

2 - Try to boot with unix there are some boot-able versions of it and it may have more luck to access it than useing windows. I have not done it before but maybe someone who has done this before can guide you.

Good luck

If you need it any thing else just ask.
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#7
lutzman

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Unbelievable, but freezing works. I had a laptop that had liquid spilt on it. Wouldn't even power up. Took the hard drive out and plugged it into a caddy and could access it for a couple of minutes, then it died. All I got was clicking noises coming from it. Placed hard drive in a sealable plastic bag, into the freezer for two hours and lo and behold, when I tried it again it worked! I was able to see the drive and copy all data from it. In fact it was still going strong an hour later.

Don't know how it works, but it does
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