Backup drive dropped, won't power on

By Tig2 ·
I have a backup drive that receives Time Machine backups for a MacBook Pro. The drive was dropped down a flight of stairs after being suddenly disconnected. Don't ask, cats were involved.

I have replaced the backup drive and the laptop is happily Time Machining as it should with the new drive. The problem is that there is critical data on the most recent backup still lodged on the dropped drive. Okay, maybe it isn't "critical" but it is darned important to me. The drive won't power up at all but I can't find physical evidence that the platters have been damaged. I'm hoping that y'all have some suggestions for how I might get to that most recent update and salvage my video files. Of the SO. On vacation. If you know me at all, you know why this is so important.

Let me know if you need more info.

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All Answers

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If it doesn't work out

by santeewelding In reply to Backup drive dropped, won ...

They are no more important than a graven image of God; talisman, at best.

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Taken apart, or black box exam?

by seanferd In reply to Backup drive dropped, won ...

Because, if you already took it apart, there isn't much stopping your from slipping those platters into the new device. I'm just not sure if you're game for that.

Is it a regular HDD in a housing you can open, or is it more the type that you aren't supposed to open? (And where's Col, now that I think of it ). I'm just wondering along the lines of: is this the kind of thing where you can put the HDD into a different case and maybe it works, or is this more of a swapping platters or drive electronics type of thing.

I mostly suppose I'd like to know what exact make/model/version/revision drive this is.

And you have my full sympathetic attention right now. I'm very sorry to hear about your potential data loss here.

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Cracked/broken outer case

by Tig2 In reply to Taken apart, or black box ...

I doubt highly that the case was ever intended to be opened. I know that it cracked and pieces of plastic broke off the outer housing. I have NOT exposed the platters but there is a distinct sound if the platters have broken. I have not heard that sound.

What I did was try to power the unit up. No go.

It is a Hitachchi half terrabyte external HDD. About the size of two or three paperbacks or so (depending on the size of the paperback. Call it 6x4x2.

It has been the backup target for a MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, the files were deleted after they were *thought* to be backed up. Very fortunately, I was able to recover my picture files.

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Ah, the black box test then.

by seanferd In reply to Cracked/broken outer case

It's always good if you don't hear broken platters or an arm freely swinging around. :)

It may be a good thing that the unit is the type of drive it is. It would be really nice if there were a standard drive inside, and you could just remove it and plug it in a computer (even if you just have to lay it on a book or something). Maybe you know someone who is one of those folks who likes to hack "non-user-serviceable" items.

Maybe you could ring Hitachi and find out.

...While I have been poking around and not hitting the submit button, I see that at least some Hitachi hard drives are just a regular drive in a case. I don't suppose your Mac has bay space? Maybe another external enclosure. I hope it is all you need.

Good to hear you got pictures recovered already.

edit: Maybe a cable just came loose inside the enclosure, and it could be reconnected. Better than smashed capacitors.

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This is beginning to sound like

by santeewelding In reply to Ah, the black box test th ...

The guy in the news who had to amputate his own left arm.

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Then you may enjoy this.

by seanferd In reply to This is beginning to soun ...

"2/8/10 - UPDATE - HITACHI, YOU NEED TO REPLACE THESE DRIVES. After this unit failed, like 99.9% of them do, I decided to see if I could fix the problem. I opened up the case by cracking off the side panels and prying the top from the bottom after removing the case screws and then the screws securing the drive to the plastic enclosure. What you have inside is a HACK JOB of USB cable splicing onto a HD-2523 v1.2 USB header (wafer) board...and the cable is hanging on literally by a THREAD. You have 2 black cables, one of which is twisted into the sheathing filament wire and is literally hanging by a thread...then the other green, white, and red wires are very badly crimped near the connection to the USB board...almost to the point where they are severed). THAT is why when this unit fails, you have to angle it at 45 degrees up or down, or flip it over and plug it upside down into say a USB 2.0 hub - but eventually the delicate wiring will snap in half internally. You basically have 5$ worth of cheap plastic, rubber, and electronic parts, attached to a Hitachi 500GB 5400RPM drive (model# HTS545050B9A300 / part# A57**5)..."


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OH I like the coffee table

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Or better yet,

Reminds me of the Old Days when HDD really where a Hard Disc.

Not to mention large. Now if I had of not thrown away all of those old 9 Meg Platters from those old IBM Mainframes I could make one for myself.


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It does look bigger than any I've seen.

by seanferd In reply to Or better yet,

I've only had the pleasure of meeting those washing machine sized Winchesters.

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Those Washing Machine Winchesters

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Or better yet,

Where the ones with the Removable Platters?

We used to have a heap of those that you removed the Platters from by opening the box unscrewing the securing ring on the top and lifting out the Platter Array.

I still remember one of the Apprentices dropping one and the complaints that ensued for that incident. Would have been better if they had not of just written to that disc Platter and not had any other backup of the data I'll admit but the system was still running and when a new Platter was inserted they backed up again.

I suppose the cost of the Platters may have played a small part in the complaints though. :^0

I still remember the Foam insides of the boxes that you stored the Platters in and the size of them. You piratically had to have a Library of the Platter Boxes so you knew which one to use.

Anyway that table is only 26 Inch Diameter it just looks much bigger in the photo.


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