Need help recovering files from old external HDD

By Dawn1113
May 6, 2012
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  1. I need to get access to some files I saved in an old Maxtor One Touch Plus external HDD some years back. I tried plugging the drive into my desktop. The power indicator on the drive lit up but I could not see it in the list of drives under the "My Computer" menu.

    I checked under "Device Manager" and saw it was listed there. A friend advised me to assign a letter to the drive. I attempted to do this but I got a return from Windows saying that the drive is write protected so I could not complete the process.

    Is there any other way I can recover my files from the drive?
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,749   +1,421

    There is always the idea of taking the drive out of the external and directly connecting the drive to your motherboard.

    I wish I understood how the drive could be locked. Do you not have any options to unlock the drive?
  3. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 375   +64

    Hi there, Clifford. Thanks for taking time to look into my problem.

    I have no clue as to how I can check for any options to unlock the drive. There appear to be none at first glance. Looks like I might have might try taking the drive out of the external, as you suggested.

    It's one of those old Maxtor drives which has two USB connectors: one for power, the other for data. I'm not sure how it was locked, but my friend tells me it may have been caused by a power interruption while the drive was in use. I don't recall that ever happening, though.

    Again, thanks for your reply.
  4. ComputerGuy55

    ComputerGuy55 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 529

    Cliff has the right idea, you have two ways of getting data on the drive:

    Attempt to open up the external bay, take the drive out and connect it to your computer directly, although some external drives use a converter and you may not be able to do this.

    The reason you can not access the data is because these drives have Encryption, my western digital is the same. When connecting your device to your computer, do this:

    Start Menu, Right click My Computer and select Manage.

    In here go to Disk Management on the left hand side. In here you should see what your Maxtor drive is being listed as, it may be connected as a disk drive, like your CD or DVD drive. Inside there, there should be some type of program you can run on it that will allow you to enter the password for the drive.. If however you do not have the password, you may be out of luck in retrieving the data and your only option would be left to connecting it directly to your computer and hoping this bypasses the requirement for credentials.

    These external drives are very handy for keeping personal data protected but can be frustrating if they refuse to function properly or you forget the password. Reply back with things you have attempted/if you have any success.


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