Data Recovery

By mabakersmith
Dec 1, 2006
  1. I accidentally plugged my external HD to the wrong power supply. I have 2 very similar ones next to each other in my work area. Now the correct power cord won't power the HD. I realized there was a problem when I looked over at the HD and saw the red and green lights on steady and then they went out. After looking at Call For Help (G4/TechTV show) I see there are different types of HD failure, soft and hard. So I'm trying to determine which mine is. I have put it in another external case. The HD powers up and the HD gets hot, I can here it "running" but the drive is not being recognized in My Computer, nor is there any "activity" (light blinking showing something is going on). I can "add" it using Add Hardware and then "remove" using the Safely Remove Hardware function. When I go into Device Manager and click on the drive (which is showing up with an incorrect name) and go to the Volume tab and click on "Populate" it shows as Unreadable. Please tell me the data is still there and can somehow be accessed? :(

    Any ideas?
  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Professional data recovery is your only option and it wont be cheap!!!!
  3. mabakersmith

    mabakersmith TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So the HD will not be recognized by anything? I was considering buying SpinRite 6.0 but don't know if this is a "hard" crash or a "soft" crash and installing it in my PC and using this software will work. Do you know how I could tell?
  4. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    If it gets hot, then its a hardware problem!!!!
  5. mabakersmith

    mabakersmith TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am sick about now! It'll take months to get that kind of money!! :dead: Thanks so much for your replies.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    It's an external hard drive, right?

    I've seen this exact scenario a surprising number of times... It has always resulted in the enclosure electronics being burned out, but the drive itself works fine.

    You should disassemble your enclosure (at risk of voiding your warranty, if your data is important to you) and take out the hard drive. The drive inside is a regular ol' internal hard drive (probably IDE) that you can plug in directly inside of your computer or place inside another enclosure.

    I'm betting the actual drive inside still works fine - your enclosure is probably fried though.
  7. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    I would agree with Rick I have seen the same thing too. the enclosures built in controller gets fried but the drive itself is usually ok. just do as rick advised and if the drive is ok just buy another empty enclosure to house it in if you want to keep it as a usb connected drive.
  8. mabakersmith

    mabakersmith TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I had already put it in another case. That's how I determined it was still getting power but was getting hot. (I didn't put the case back together, just attached the HD to see what was going on.) I know HDs can run hot but I wasn't sure if that meant it was still "there" or was overheating because it was getting power without being able to do anything. I guess that's why I'm not sure whether to pursue purchasing SpinRite 6.0 or not. I don't know at what point I can be sure whether I have a "hard" crash problem (motor, actuator, etc.) or a "soft" crash (hardware's fine just can't get to data). I live in Middle Georgia (USA) and don't have a lot of options for basic diagnostics except for Geek Squad at the local Best Buy. :confused:
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Have you taken a look at Disk Manager? Start > Run > diskmgmt.msc
    It might provide some clues, so poke around.

    I would install the drive as an internal drive inside your computer. Use a manufacturer's diagnostic (What utility you use will be based on the brand of the drive). . This will give you some great clues as to what the problem is. The only thing you need to make sure you do is set the jumper to master (should be by default) and place the drive on its own IDE cable. If you need more assistance with this, let us know.

    Of course, if you find out your drive is physically bad, it will likely be due to electronics. The best way to recover from such an error is replacing the PCB on your drive. It's the (often exposed) green circuit board and it is very simple to remove and replace. The trick is finding an identical model drive ( is a great place) and of course, the drive will cost you some money and it may still not work.
  10. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    The simplest thing to do is power the hard drive up and check the ic's on it's board, if they get hot, it's dead!!!!
  11. mabakersmith

    mabakersmith TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If I already have a master drive, do I disable it (unplug) or do I make them both masters? I didn't think that could be done.

    I am enough of a novice that I am not sure I could replace the PCB with confidence. Samstoned has offered very affordable (eventually! :) ) data recovery. I am seriously considering this option. I am, however, going to install it in my Dell 8100 and see what happens first.
  12. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    What part of GA do you live? There is a pretty good shop in Douglasville that I have used before.
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Well just for testing, just pull the cable off your master and connect it to the drive in question, do the same for the power cable. The diagnostic tools boot off a CD so they don't need to load the OS on your current master.
  14. mabakersmith

    mabakersmith TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I live outside of Macon. What is the name of the shop in Douglasville?

  15. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Its Computer Part & Upgrades, their number is 770-942-0021. Ask for John.
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