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External HDD not recognized by my computer

By doughdoughbrain ยท 7 replies
Jan 15, 2012
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  1. I have done some research and have not found a solution to my problem.

    I plug in my HDD (Fantom Drive, Green Drive) and I hear the 2tone sound when I plug it into my USB2.0 port.
    My computer then searches for a driver. It decides a suitable driver for what I plugged in is called "Initio Default Controller". I got this information from the Device Manager.
    I have looked in my "computer and right clicked "manage". The HDD is not listed. I have used more than one USB cord, ports, and 2 different computers with the same problem.
    Both the computers are running windows 7 64bit. One is a laptop (ASUS) and a desktop(HP).

    Can someone please help me with this problem.

  2. doughdoughbrain

    doughdoughbrain TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So I said the facts but I never mentioned exactly what the issue is. sorry.

    When I open my computer when the external HDD is plugged in, it's not there. I can't save files in it, open anything, it's just not there.

    Also the icon that pops up that lets you "remove hardware safley" in the bottom right is not there. Also the external hard drive does not show up on any programs like "Defraggler" or "Speccy"

  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    The Fantom has a fairly high failure rate. How old is it, and how many miles does it have on it ?
  4. doughdoughbrain

    doughdoughbrain TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am in the military. I used it for about 6months in Iraq. I made sure to constantly keep it out of reach of all the sand there. I haven't used it for about 6months. So it is about a year old. I have pictures of my daughter on there and since I don't have custody, I hardly get to see her with an ex who isn't cooperating.

    Is there any way to recover any files off of it if it is due to a "failed" hdd?

  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    Yes, the chances are good... but not perfect. You might need the help of a computer-knowledgeable person...
    More than 60 percent of the time, when a hard drive will not boot, it will still turn, and the drive can be accessed. You have to be careful because a failing drive can be damaged further by doing this... so think of it as your last shot.
    Buy or borrow a hard drive enclosure... SATA enclosure or IDE enclosure, depending on what you have. There are many available for $20 to $45 at www.directron.com, newegg, frys, TechDepot, CDW.com, and other sites. I get mine at Directon. You want the type of enclosure that has a power adapter to help get the drive turning.
    The enclosure allows a USB cable or a firewire cable to connect between the hard drive in the enclosure, and a computer that is working perfectly.
    You can then often "see" the bad hard drive, and drag and drop the files on it to your working computer's hard drive.
    If you have not strolled around inside a computer hard drive, then you need to learn where the files and image files are kept. Once you know where they probably are, you can use your mouse to click on the files you need to save and "pull" them onto an empty folder on the good drive.... they will drag across one at a time. Works perfectly most of the time unless the old hard drive has damaged platters or failed hard drive bearings... or whatever.

    If you are not fully comfortable doing this, hire a computer savvy student or tech and let them do it while you watch, and tell him which files are the ones you want.

    It can take as little asf \45 minutes or as long as three hours, depending on how many files and images there are, and how damaged they might be.
    Do not erase the files on the old drive... just drag a copy.... This can enable you to go back to try again if there is damage.

    If the hard drive is too badly damaged, and the files are valuable, you can contact your hard drive manufacturer to discover techs and companies that will recover files from damaged drives. An evaluation costs $55, or so, but the actual rescue can cost as much as $400 to $600... The evaluation phase will let you know if the rescue is worth the cost.

    We have done this for over 200 clients in the past 15 years... and have been successful nearly 90 percent of the time.

    The secret is in finding somebody who knows what they are doing... and many techs on TechSpot do know... then you can start searching for experienced techs where you live or work..
    Then you
  6. Wayne_Simpson

    Wayne_Simpson TS Rookie

    I had the same problem, what worked for me was really simple, I had my external hard drive plugged into a surge protector, this apparently deflects some of the power, as soon as I plugged it into the mains directly my computer immediately detected it again. Hope this helps someone!
  7. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,020   +56

    Hi, One thing I would suggest, is to try the external HDD on a completely different pc to your own, as Windows is very easily confused by plugging in various different USB devices into the same port.
    The worst situation is where a pc, is used with say, a couple of flash drives and an external HDD, using the same port every time.
    If the external HDD is 'seen' by a different pc, then the problem can be sorted out on the 'problem' pc with the correct software.
    Of course it is totally possible that the drive has some type of disc surface failure or electronic failure, but the data can still be recovered by specialists, if it's of value.
  8. This was exactly what I needed to do today. Thanks for the info. I was SO worried that I had lost the hard drive, and the photos on it. Great info, thanks for sharing, saved me!

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