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External Hard Drive issues

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I'm working on my aunts computer and her external hard drive isn't working. I've tried to trouble shoot it and it says it is not able to start up. I've tried connecting it to my own computer and i get the same error. This is connected through a USB port. I was told by a friend that i should try to run a surface scan on the external drive and see what i get. The only problem is that i don't know how to do that. Can someone give me a heads up as to that or any other suggestions?

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well unless you can get the drive up you won't be able to scan it. You said it is connected to usb does it also have an external power source or is it drawing power through the usb? It may not be getting enough power if through usb.... you could try a powered usb hub. Also you should try the software from the company that made the drive ( usually available on their website ), note there might be different software for internal and external drives.
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