Maxtor external hard drive will not respond after if was knocked over on the floor

By cisw
Nov 26, 2010
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  1. I accidentally caught my foot on the usb cord that was plugged into both the external hard drive and the computer. the hard drive fell over on the wood floor. the unit was sitting on the floor. my computer shows that the drive is being recogonized by the computer, but it wil not show any contents of the hard drive. can anyone help?
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,409   +835

    OK, bad news. The likely scenario is that you have damaged the mechanics of the drive, but the electronics are still functioning, hence the detection, but no initialization.

    This is the point where it usually goes to a data recovery company, at considerable expense.

    Drives are rated at a couple hundred G's impact force, non-operating, much less if they're spinning. A drop from 3 feet up to a hard floor likely exceeds either of those limits, and collaterally voids the warrant.

    I know, I can be such a wet blanket.

    That said, I both advise and consent to you waiting for a second, or more, opinion(s).

    PS, If any of the trash talk about Maxtor has any credibility, (?), you should have been thankful it responded before it was dropped. Mine works OK, but then so does my Emachines.
  3. cisw

    cisw Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    damaged hard drive

    thanks for your reply. I may not have written clearly. the hard drive was sitting on the floor and only turned over when i tripped on the cable. it did not fall a long distance. it was not a hard fall. i wonder if when the usb cable was jerked out of the unit maybe it did some damage to the hard drive?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,409   +835

    Is it spinning up?
  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,391   +205

    It wouldn't hurt to try another USB cable. A jerk that hard could have damaged some of the wires inside of the cable particularly near the terminals. If that doesn't help, I'd say the drive is damaged. Even if it didn't fall very far it could still get damaged. The fact that it isn't working now is evidence of that.
  6. cisw

    cisw Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    damaged hard drive

    yes i tried other cables. i can hear the unit spinning like before the jolt and the light is blinking as usual, but i can't get the unit to acknowledge my request to view files.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 8,358   +167

    Unplugging the USB cable unexpectedly may corrupt the USB hard drive file system so Windows no longer sees a valid partition might be the problem (so the drive is detected but there's no longer a partition for Windows to mount)

    Try TestDisk for partition/ data recovery on the drive. Never used it myself but many have reported success using it

    /* edit */
    Is the same danger one runs when removing the USB cable without first using the Safely Remove Hardware icon to stop the USB drive first
  8. pgcharlie

    pgcharlie Newcomer, in training Posts: 45

    i could agree with "LookinAround" now but before you go formatting or low formatting ur drive.. try iCare Recovery software.. i have used it.. n i can say it works better than many other.. if u r able to recovery ur data.. there is no harm in trying a low level formatting.. well thats my guess..


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