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Toshiba external drive is initially recognized then drops.

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I have a Toshiba 500 GB external drive that contains all the files i backed up from my dead laptop. I noticed it was not working initially when my Wii would not recognize it. When i connect it to my laptop MS Explorer initially recognizes the drive but then it disappears. For the few seconds that the drive is recognize i can explore the drive and view all the files and their size. However, within a few seconds the drive drops and then it comes back up; cycling bringing up multiple MS Explorer windows to only close them back down. I booted up to an Ubuntu CD to see if it might be workaround to extract my files, but no luck it also brings the drive up momentarily only to drop it a few seconds later. I also took the HDD out of the Toshiba casing and tried loading it through a SATA to USB connection but still no luck same fluctuating cycles. Has anyone else experienced this issue? Or does any one have any alternative work-around to this issue?
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