Toshiba external hard drive unknown device

By 30071712 ยท 4 replies
Apr 16, 2011
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  1. hi my friend asked me to have a look at a there external hard drive after she split coke on it, and it stop working, the power is still getting to it the hard drive is still spining but the driver appears to be missing.

    there is no vissable water marks (no sign of damage within the casing) (also there is no arking, burn marks)

    there is power to the board and driver (light on the front and the driver spinning)

    mine and there laptop both recognise that there is something there (as a 'unknown device') but it doesn't recognise it as a storage device.

    when it did work it installed drivers from the windows drivers. i manually tryed choosing these drivers without success. it came back error code 10.

    so i am unsure what the problem to be except the driver is missing,

    much abilaged if anyone can help

    just to in form i am running on vista
  2. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    I think it likely that the usb interface in your external enclosure may be damaged.
    The drive may still be undamaged, and transferring it to a new enclosure may be your best best.
    Such enclosures are relatively cheap and easily available.
    I would not suggest continuing to use the existing enclosure.
    Depending on the damage done to the usb interface, that damaged device could cause damage to the usb port of your computer.
    Hope this helps.
  3. 30071712

    30071712 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    cheers it just completely baffled me that no direct damage has been caused such as arching or anything. reacted how it did but isntthe device recognition held with the pc which its running from not the device its self???
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    i agree with B00kWyrm :approve:

    and, fyi, about your question... The whole device recognition process is an incremental, "2-way street" between PC/Windows <===> the hardware device. A combination of Windows hardware detection (you hear that device connect sounds) and the device sending Windows some basic info to help identify itself.

    /* edit */
    At minimum, sounds like the enclosure is shot. The disk itself may or may not still be working
  5. B00kWyrm

    B00kWyrm TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,436   +37

    To expand further...

    The foreign substance that was spilled likely created an electrical pathway (circuit!) allowing a voltage to be applied where it should not. You do not need much voltage, or current, (in an incorrect location) to destroy an electronic device, such as integrated circuits. The damage likely will be internal to the IC. The burnt pathway will not, in such cases, be visible to external inspection. (eg, signs of Arcing).

    Yes, Windows knew how to recognize it, but...
    Once the device is inoperative, then windows will no longer recognize it.

    As LookingAround said...
    the drive itself may or may not be undamaged.
    It depends on several factors...

    But transferring to another enclosure remains the only way I can think of for either
    1. confirming its health
    2. restoring it to use.

    By the way... this whole issue is why it is recommended NOT to have food or drink at your workstation. Getting a short in a (wired) keyboard for example, could ruin a mainboard.
    If your keyboard is wireless, then that danger is eliminated, but... there are other items on the desk that remain objects that should be protected.... (such as the drive you have).

    Does this clarify matters?

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