Extracting data from an external hard drive that does not work properly

By jgabble ·
Have a Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus 750 GB external hard drive. Suddenly does not function properly as my laptop does not recognize the hard drive (usually labelled drive "E", "F", or "G"). When the USB cable is plugged in, the hard drive makes a buzzing sound, followed by a series of "blip" sounds. I am searching for a method to extract this data (approx. 560 GB) from my hard drive without losing the data. Is there a home remedy for this as I am skeptical to send this to the third party manufacturer and pay $275-$500 or more for so called "experts" to attempt to extract the data? Any insight on this would be much appreciated.

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Well it all depends on how Important this Data actually is

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Extracting data from an e ...

If it is Vital then you should send it to what you call the Experts as they can dismantle the drive replace any faulty parts and read directly off the Platters to recover your Data. The more that you do now the more expensive the Recovery Will be and the less likely you will be to get all of the Data Back.

Seagate has it's own Data Recovery Service for customers to use here


But if it's only a Nice Idea to get the data back you need to dismantle the enclosure and remove the HDD then fit it to a computer and attempt to use a Data Recovery Program from there. You should first use the Makers Testing Utility to confirm that the drive is actually working though. Maxtor are sold by Seagate and you use Seatools to perform the Diagnostic on the HDD it is available here


If the HDD is working OK you can use one of the many Data Recovery Applications to recover any Data Stored on the HDD.

Here is a short list of the better ones but it is by no means a complete list of all the available software.














While the last 2 are from the same company they are very different products. Win Hex should only be considered for use by someone who knows Hex Inside Out while Davory is a great cheap General Purpose Application.

Personally I prefer the On Track Option but it's anything but cheap. However because I use this type of software a lot it's paid for itself many times over by now, for a cheaper option Spin Rite from Gibson Research or Stella have both very good reputations by other TR members.

If the drive fails to pass the HDD Test you can stuff fit in a plastic seal able Bag and place in the freezer for several days and then try it again in a computer. Freezing it may allow you to read Data Off the Drive but it will most likely also destroy the drive in the process.


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Maxtor 750 GB Ext HD

by jgabble In reply to Well it all depends on ho ...

Thanks for the post. Now the Maxtor status icon recognizes the external hard drive as "UNKNOWN". I also get a Maxtor pop-up box prompting me to reformat the hard drive (not recognizing a partition in the drive). This leads me to believe that it would function properly with the reformatting (yes/no?). The negative side to this is that the reformatting would wipe out all the data (mostly media files). How would I "fit" the HDD (hard drive disk?) to my laptop? Again any insight would be appreciated.

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You'll need to use a desktop

by seanferd In reply to Maxtor 750 GB Ext HD

You'll need to borrow bay space and processing time from someone who has a desktop system that has room for another drive.

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RE: How would I "fit" the HDD (hard drive disk?) to my laptop?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Maxtor 750 GB Ext HD

You can not you need a real computer here with expansion room NB do not have this capability.

You need a Suitable Desktop Computer and either a Very Big Drive already in it or you will need to fit a Drive at least 3 times the size of the 750 GIG HDD that you are recovering Data From.

This can be a slow and CPU Intensive process depending on what is used here and it is possible to save the same file many times depending on how it was stored on the Original HDD. Some or all of these files may be damaged and incomplete but if you get one complete copy that's good enough to recover from. It all depends on what is used here as to how things go.

You could try a Type of Recovery Application that attempts to rebuild the Partition Information on the Drive initially but if this doesn't work it will make it harder to recover anything off the drive unless of course this is part of the Applications way of working.

Products like On Track's offering can do this and I believe Gibson Research's Spin Rite is capable but I have no first hand experience with it. The On Track Offering works quite well and I have used this previously but for that type of recovery it's the only one I have actually used and can recommend.

Here NB's are not suitable for heavy work like this. Some Applications can take several Hundred Hours to finish one run and there can be multiple runs involved in recovering all of the Different File Formats so you need something with lots of available CPU Cycles and no possibility of Overheating being involved. Unfortunately NB's Do Not fit the bill here you need a real computer that can be left running 24/7/365 to perform this type of work.


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