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External hard drive I/O problems.


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#1
Lizar

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A few days ago, my Seagate 500gb external hard drive started giving me an I/O error when I tried to access some data on it. Most of the data was grand, so I just deleted the affected data. However, when I moved files from my C drive over to this external drive, I received another I/O error, and more of my data had been corrupted.

I was able to watch a movie off of the external drive, and when I looked at "My Computer" the external drive was being listed showing that it had 80gig free out of 500, (which was about right) I was able to access the drive, and could see all the data, but wasnt able to access everything on it.

Now, however, I am unable to access the hard drive at all. When I first turn on my laptop, it will be listed in the "My Computer" but its listed as "unspecified" along with my CD drive, and there is no indication of how much data is free or being used. Trying to access the drive results in the computer locking up. Occasionally it responds after a few minutes stating there was an I/O error and that F: is not available, sometimes it just doesn't do anything, or it gets to the point where I have to restart explorer.exe or unplug the drive.

Whenever I first turn on the laptop, and if i go to the safely remove hardware, the hard drive is listed as
USB mass storage device
-seagate desktop usb device
--generic volume - F

However, if i unplug the usb cable, and plug it back in, the safely remove hardware changes to
USB mass storage device
-seagate desktop usb device

I've no idea why unplugging the usb cable means the laptop doesn't identify it as a hard drive. Similarly, after unplugging the usb cable, the hard drive will not appear in My Computer anymore.

But, if after unplugging the USB cable, and plugging it back in, I pull out the power cable for the hard drive, and plug it back in, the laptop identifies the drive again, with it appearing in My Computer (albeit, it takes about 3 minutes of not responding before My Computer will identify it) and the safely remove hardware returns to normal.
USB mass storage device
-seagate desktop usb device
--generic volume - F


I was able to fix this problem the other day by plugging and unplugging the usb and power cable several times, but this no longer works.

I have looked online, but the solutions offered online havent helped. chkdsk doesn't run, as it states the drive is RAW, and I have checked the drives back for loose connections and found none. Have tried on a different laptop, no joy.

Am going to try to find another micro usb cable around, in the hope thats the problem.

I am installing Seatools at the moment, and will see what more it has to say for the drive.

Anyone any ideas on anything else I can do?

Thanks, Alex.
m
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#2
SpywareDr

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Had a similar problem with a friend's 500GB external a few months back. Ended up being something wrong with the external enclosure itself. As soon as I moved the Western Digital hard drive into another enclosure, all problems of accessing the drive, corrupted data etc. magically disappeared.

Had another one, roughly 9-month's old with a Seagate hard drive. Ended up being the hard drive itself ... failed all Seagate's tests. None of the data was recoverable (with available freeware tools). Newegg.com sent a replacement.


Edited by SpywareDr, 05 December 2010 - 04:11 PM.

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#3
Lizar

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Had taken it out of the casing (although didn't put it into another one) but it still hadn't worked.

I believe I bought this from Argos instore, and don't think I purchased warranty :/

Edited by Lizar, 05 December 2010 - 05:57 PM.

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#4
SpywareDr

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When you took the hard drive out of the casing did you try connecting it directly to a computer or via an adapter?

If it works okay that way, then you know something is wrong with the external enclosure itself, (broken wire/jack, flaky electronics, etc.).
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#5
Lizar

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Just realised i'd only taken the metal casing off, not the actual hard drive.
I'm connecting to a laptop, am I able to connet it up? or would i need to connect the hard drive on a desktop?
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#6
SpywareDr

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With an IDE/SATA to USB Adapter, you could attach it to a USB port on either a laptop or desktop:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&Description=sata%20ide%20usb%20adapter&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20


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