Possibly bad hard drive?

By Muirios ยท 5 replies
Jun 24, 2008
  1. hi again, i have a problem with my external hard drive, when i turn it on the light just flicks on and off for a few minutes and then the computer makes the beeping noises as if the external hard drive is being turned on and off really quickly. after a few seconds of this i get a BSOD saying




    i think there might not be enough power going to the hard drive or perhaps a wire has come loose inside the case but i cant open it just yet because i have to wait for my brother to come home from work because hes locked away all the tools!!
    anyway this is really upsetting me because i have a lot of stuff on my external hard drive, if anyone can give any suggestions or any hope to give then it is most welcome.

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    If you can remove the drive from the enclosure, you can install it in the computer bay jumpered as slave with the main drive jumpered as master.... or similar in a SATA machine to that this drive is not the bootable drive.
    Then you can perhaps see the contents on the drive using Windows Explorer.
    Usually only some of the first 8 sectors are damaged, and you can drag and drop the other data... or use a recover program.
    Most external USB enclosures have received damage to the drive through lateral impact while running. Some of those are harder to recover data.
  3. Muirios

    Muirios TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hi, thanks for the reply so soon.
    im not a computer expert in any way what so ever when it comes down to the workings etc.
    would u perhaps be able to explain to me in simple terms how i would do what you have suggested ??
    thanks again
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Have you ever used a digital camera and migrated the images from the camera to the computer. It is a lot like that.
    Go to your favorite online computer - technology store, or go to www.outpost.com, www.newegg.com, www.directron.com, www.zipzoomfly.com, www.cdw.com and so on.
    Search for USB enclosures. That will give you an idea of what they are.
    They are essentially a box that holds a hard drive, and connects to the computer via a USB cable. You need to be sure the enclosure will work with the drive you have, as some are SATA, PATA, or EIDE, etc.
    Then if you have a computer with Windows XP installed, or Windows 2000, or VISTA, you can view the contents of the drive you have put into the enclosure, once you plug the enclosure cable into a USB slot on the computer you plan to use.
    This is not easy for a first time person, because you need to know where files are located. But it is do-able, and almost fun as you learn something new.
    For email files, it is often easier to use recovery software for that type of email provider. But you can find all your Documents, your QuickBooks in Quickbooks, your Palm in PalmOne, and so on and save them to another computer's drive
    It is very much like looking for photos on a photo flash drive or chip then moving them from the chip to a photo album on the hard drive.
    The enclosure has cables inside. The end or a side comes off. You plug the appropriate cable into or onto the correct socket location on the hard drive. Then you put the enclosure back together with two infuriatingly small screws... be sure you have the correct screw driver, but some enclosures arrive with one.
    If you keep the old drive in the enclosure, and buy a new hard drive to do a new install, then you have the old drive available to find the files you have lost.... and can save it for when you are not rushed.
    You can also use search tools to find files and data. Or you can use recovery software that usually costs about 30 bucks.
    It that is not simple enough, please feel free to ask the questions to which you need answerss. Don't be shy. We were all new to such tasks once. We all know what you are going through.
    We think of this as fun. We hope you do. If you are slow and careful, you will preserve your data, and fix your computer.
    Hard drives are cheap now days. You can get a 40 GB for $40, an 80 GB for $60, or a 500 GB for $125.
    The old drive later becomes handy for a number of things... security, backups, etc.
  5. Muirios

    Muirios TS Rookie Topic Starter

    are you saying it could be the enclosure ?
    when i get it open ill put in a differant hard drive to see if this works, perhaps it is just a loose wire which i dearly hope it is.

    i would transfer the information on it very easily but when i have the external drive plugged in it sits at loading and doesnt get recognised so i cant access it.

    i can t afford to lose the information i have on the hard drive so is there a way of transferring the data some other way ? any software you would suggest ?
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I may have confused yours with another post.
    Basically, I think you can rescue the data, but beyond that, hard to say.
    USB enclosed hard drives are very, very easily damaged. Some aren't worth a darn in the first place... LaCie, no-name brands.
    But just a tad of lateral impact while the USB drive is reading or writing data can damage it... The leading edge of the three platters... basically the eight sectors... become damaged then nothing works right.
    I am saying, save the data to somewhere else, then try to format the drive. If it will not format in the enclosure, put it in the computer jumpered as a slave with the main as Master, then again attempt a format of the non-working drive.
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