External HDD Problem

By terrance.mckinnon ·

I am having a problem with Ext HDD.

First of all, it was working two days ago while I was doing my lab assignments for MS servers, Web Server, and Red Hats via MVmare.

Yesterday, it went dead... I spent 4 hours to figure out what it caused...

1. "Green Light" is full solid as HDE, but the red light is not on.

2. HDD is spinning while the power is on. Also, I feel that "needle" is moving like running some data every 5 seconds...

3. USB cord is not connected with my Laptop.. XP version does not pick up the HDD. I have switched with other USB cords and Desktop PC... same problem.

Is it possible USB firewire problem or corrupted data?

Sorry, HDD does not have the name of manufacture/company. I brought from second hand retail store like Computer Factory.

Thanks and heading to next class...

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by cmiller5400 In reply to External HDD Problem

Sounds like the heads may have crashed or are stuck. If you are feeling/hearing the heads move every 5 seconds without it being plugged into the computer, it is most likely history. Hope you had backups or lots of $$$ for a recovery house to maybe recover your data if you are lucky.

You may be able to freeze the drive in the freezer for a couple of hours in a zip top bag then immediately plug it in and copy off the data. That may work... MAY being the operative word. The drive will probably be toast after you freeze it (from condensation) so make sure that you have exhausted all other recovery options before you try that.

Maybe someone else will chime in with more suggestions...

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External means:

by 1bn0 In reply to External HDD Problem

It could be the drive or it could be the case/usb interface ( solid green light usally indicates a problem communicating with the drive).

You may have a corrupted drive. This is common on usb attached storage devices. It happens to usb flash drives as well.

Moving the heads every five seconds is not a good symptom. Genreally indicates the drive is having trouble reading sectors.

My first test would be to remove the drive from the usb case and connect it to a desktop internally as a secondary / non boot drive. If you are not familiar with that , take it to someone who is.
active partition recovery.

This is the best utility I have ever used for partition recovery. It was able to restore the files AND the directory structure of a corrupt USB key that half the other utilities I tried could not even find the files.

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by terrance.mckinnon In reply to External means:

I see... I have had some thoughts to this problem, but I am not sure...

Is anyway to repair the corrupted drive like reformat the disk?
Buy a new Ext HDD??

The data and softwares are related to NESA training class like Red Hats (Linux Admin), MS Server, and Web Server. All will be using the VMWare Server.

Thanks for your feedback...

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RE: Is anyway to repair the corrupted drive like reformat the disk?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Wonder...

Well this depends on if you can access the HDD itself. In any external Case there are 2 distinct components one is the HDD and the other is the USB to IDE/SATA interface.

Either or both could have failed. You'll need to remove the drive from the enclosure and fit it to a suitable computer that can both actually have it connected as a Slave Drive and be able to rad the partition type that is on that HDD. It may actually work perfectly like that and if it does you can buy a USB/Firewire Enclosure and fit to that and then you are up & running again no problems.

The Partition Information could be gone and a format may make the drive usable again but it will destroy your Data. Here everything depends on the actual HDD itself inside this Case. If the HDD is undamaged then it is possible to reuse the HDD if the HDD has died and gone to Silicon Heaven then there is nothing that can be done to make it work again and if you need the data off the drive you only have 1 choice and that is to take it to a Data Recovery House who can recover Data off a Dead HDD. If you absolutely need the data on the drive remove it from the case and fit it to a computer and attempt to read the drive. If it doesn't work send the drive to a Data Recovery House to be recovered Do Not do anything else.

You can always replace the External Drive but you need to remember that it is a External Drive and as such it will have a short life as being an external Drive it runs hotter than it would if fitted to a computer and it is far more likely to be subject to movement when it is running. Heat & Vibration are the biggest Drive killers on the face of the planet. Perhaps using a SSD Drive will cure the Vibration issues and maybe even go part way to solving Heat Issues but they are expensive and when you write to them it is considerable slower than a Mechanical Drive. So you need to consider what you want Speed and Cheap Data Storage or Reliability. Of course if you do not unmount the drive before unplugging it the Partition Information will disappear simply because you should always stop a drive before removing the power. So if it is used on a Nix Environment it should always be unmounted before unplugging. And if it is used in a Windows Environment you need to use the Safely Remove Option to prevent the drives getting their Partition Information being wiped.


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