External hard drive in trouble

By KP84
Jul 11, 2010
  1. My External hard drive is a Maxtor (now seagate) with a capacity of 1TB. Has 300GB of my information i.e my life!!!

    Since a couple of days I have been trying to get it to work. I connect the HD to the laptop, it lights up, makes the normal noises, but doesnt autoplay. I go into the my computer and click on the HD but it comes back with - F:/ Application not found - !!!!

    Is it my pc at fault?? I use Vista on my Hp laptop!

    Or is that the software for the HD at fault!

    The icon does show: 600GB left of 900GB for the HD so i am guessing that the information is still intact!!!
    Please help. . . !! I cant stress how valuable the info is on this HD.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    someone once told me, and no i tell others that the 1TB drives are very unreliable and shouldnt be used for storing anything of value...

    Time after time ive heard from friends and collegues who have come across this and feel sorry, after all companies make them as nothing more than a selling point, when in fact you could buy 2 lots of 500gb drives and be a lot safer.

    Its sad to say but your data has to all intents gone west...and may not be recoverable, that said, you could direct mount the drive into a tower pc and use a good quality file restorer to try and get them back..

    if you do, dont use a 1 TB drive again will you.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Maxstor is now owned by Seagate, but should not be considered their equal yet. They have a long wall to go to turn Maxtor around.

    We have had no trouble with any 1.0 Terrabyte or 1.5 Terrabyte drives used for storage in the past six months... But They all had trouble... Samsung, Seagate, Hitachi, Maxtor, and Western Digital up until March 1, 2010... in performance and reliability... Our last 300 drives from the variety of the above have not been trouble so far.

    But they are all too slow, in my opinion

    Rarely does anybody need more than 500 or 750 GB drives, and those are much better... Western Digital Black, and Samsung Spinpoint up to 750 GB seem to be as good as any if they have a build date after March, 2010
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    I've never used a drive bigger than 500GB, but even then I don't use it to store personal files.

    On to the actual problem... like mentioned, you should be able to remove the drive from it's case and mount it normally in a desktop computer. There may be just a problem with the drive's internal interface, because there are internal electronics other than the actual HDD. If the drive itself isn't making any unusual sounds like ticking or scraping, then it may be just fine.

    Hopefully you can retrieve the data but for future reference I would recommend making frequent backups. Having cloned data is the easiest and most reliable way to ensure that you don't ever lose anything. There are many different methods, like imaging software and even building your own home server for emergencies. I tell people all the time that HDD's fail and when they do it's too late. They are upset, but ultimately get the picture.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    Drives which won't mount along with what you described above is sometimes symptomatic of Windows getting confused by old, stale USB storage drivers still on your machine (so when you reconnect the drive, Windows can get confused and think its a different, previously installed drive (you also since removed / disconnected) so Windows ends up giving an odd message like "Application not found" upon reconnection)

    See How to Cleanup and Remove old USB Storage Drivers. No guarantee but is easy to do and worth a shot. Let us know
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    btw.. couple other things....

    I forget all the details in your thread to date.. So, I'll just ask: Have you also tried plugging your external drive into someone else's computer?? As in addition to removing old USB storage drivers (per above post) there are some other things to do if the problem turns out to be local to your machine

    (e.g. Turn off Autoplays entirely, then boot into Safemode and try accessing your external drive.)

    Sometimes, only partially removed pieces of a malware infection can also sometimes cause the problem you describe: Malware will sometimes add an autoplay instruction to start a malware application file when the drive gets connected. AntiVirus software might catch it but only remove PARTs of the infection: It deletes the malaware application file but fails to remove the autoplay instruction that trys to start it, which can then also result in an "Application not found" type message)

    So, in any case, good to first see if you can connect OK to a friend's machine
    > And (since malware maybe involved) have them first turn off autoplay for removable drives
    > And then use their A/V to scan the disk as well as see if you can access files/folders when using a different computer
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