My Western Digital Elements 1TB External Hard Drive is no longer recognised

By mattdanw ·
I've recently bought a Western Digital Elements 1TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive prior to a reinstall of windows XP. unfortunately after backing up my data on the external drive I had yet to transfer it all back to my PC and now the external drive is no longer being recognized by either my laptop or my desk top (both on XP operating systems).

Here are the facts, it was working on my systems with out any problems, then it was accidentally knocked of my desk whilst it was streaming video to my lap top. It continued to work for 30 seconds (the video) but then it froze and the HD started to make some very strange noises as it tried to read data. I've not been able to get it to work since

However, when I plug and unplug it, it is greeted by the usual bleep that XP makes when its had a USB device connected to it. It also still shows up in my device manager' on both my laptop and desk top (it will even let me uninstall it, reinstall it, search for updates, etc from the 'device manager' screen).

The hard drive also still shows up when right clicking in the C drive and selecting 'properties', and then the 'hardware tab', when highlighted it shows it to be located at 'location 0' and that 'the device is working properly'.

However when right clicking on 'my computer' and selecting 'manage', it is NOT displayed with my internal hard drive on the 'disk management tab', under the 'storage' heading.

The only difference in the external drives behavior other than it being no longer recognized by either of my computers, is now the odd beeping sound it makes when it is connected to the computer, which I can only presume is the hard drive trying to read data, as it sounds more mechanical than a warning beep; the beep stops after about 20 seconds or so.

If any one can suggest a way of salvaging data from this drive by any means I would be eternally grateful, all the information from the drive is my primary concern, I don?t really care either way about getting it to work in a normal fashion, beyond transferring its current contents on to my PC

Many, many thanks in advance; I hope there is enough information to go on.

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Hard drives are fragile and life expectancy is low

by TobiF In reply to My Western Digital Elemen ...

<i>accidentally knocked of my desk</i>
A hard drive is (despite it's name) a very fragile construction with lots of thin layers of platters that may even be made of glass.
Between the platters, you have the drive heads, which are floating just above the surface. If such a head ever touches the surface, then that will be the last thing that head does in its life. And it will plow up traces in the platter like a heavy player of American football making touchdown in full speed on a swamp.

<i>It continued to work for 30 seconds (the video) but then it froze and the HD started to make some very strange noises</i>
Translation: The video player cache had 30 seconds of video already stored in internal mamory. But as soon as the computer tried to read ahead another portion of the video and the drive head went in among the crashed platters, the catastrophy was a fact.

<i>"it is greeted by the usual bleep"</i>
Translation: The controlling electronics of the external drive are still intact. But the drive itself is as dead as that parrot in the "Monty Python" sketch.

Conclusion: You can consider the contents of this drive lost (together with the hard drive itself), unless it's so important that you're prepared to pay big money to a data recovery company.

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The reason why you are seeing that

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to My Western Digital Elemen ...

This Device is working properly is because the Interface Card is what is being spoken about here.

That is the Circuit Board between the USB Lead and the actual HDD itself. The Hard Drive is not working and is very unlikely to ever work again.

As far as recovering Data off the Drive this may still be possible though i's going to be expensive and the more that you leave the drive running now the less likely you are to have any joy at least on the Data Recovery. Loosing weight out of your Hip Pocket going to be the same regardless of how long you leave it running though.

The Read Write Heads float less than 2 microns off the Platters which is what holds the data and if the Read Write Heads touch the Platters they get mashed up and start to remove the Magnetic Covering off the Platter and hence your Data.

On Track managed to recover data off 1 drive that was on board Colombia when it disintegrated on reentry but they failed to recover any data off another 2 drives. All of these drives had been exposed to severe heat and horrendous Impact Damage when they hit the swamp that they where found in several months after the failure of the space craft.

So while it may be possible though expensive to recover data off a damaged Platter it's a real gamble that may or may not be of any use to you. The full story of the Data Recovery off that HDD on-board Colombia can be found here



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