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Old 06-05-2011, 08:54 AM
 
4,847 posts, read 4,638,349 times
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Question PC can't find external hard drive

I have a 1TB Western Digital about a year old. I'd say it's 80% full of movies.
I went to plug it in and for some reason my PC AND my lap top can't find it.
I have lots of home movies on there that I want. How can I get to it?
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 51,646,460 times
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Is it plugged in (powered up)?
Are there lights or sounds coming from it?
What operating system? Win XP or 7?
Try it on more computers?
Bad cable, try another data USB cable?

If still no joy, I have no idea.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:08 AM
 
4,847 posts, read 4,638,349 times
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Is it plugged in---yes--and the lights come on , but the one that shows 'activity' does not

What operating system? --win xp

Try it on more computers?--yes

Bad cable, try another data USB cable--yes
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 51,646,460 times
Reputation: 16192
Quote:
Originally Posted by StaggerLee22 View Post
Is it plugged in---yes--and the lights come on , but the one that shows 'activity' does not

What operating system? --win xp

Try it on more computers?--yes

Bad cable, try another data USB cable--yes



  1. Log on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.
  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Performance and Maintenance.

    Note If you do not see Performance and Maintenance, go to step 3. Performance and Maintenance appears in Control Panel only if you use Category view. If you use Classic view, Performance and Maintenance does not appear.
  3. Click Administrative Tools, double-click Computer Management, and then click Disk Management in the left pane.


You're looking for a screen like this:

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Old 06-05-2011, 09:26 AM
 
21,325 posts, read 14,662,448 times
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Just stopped working? Was it making any odd noises before it stopped working? Might be dead by your description especially since you tried it in two different computers.


There is only two home brew methods I'm aware of as a last resort to getting a drive to spin up that is physically malfunctioning. The first method involves placing the drive inside a plastic bag and then freeze it for about 12 hours. Prepare yourself ahead of time for what you're going to do becsue time is crucial. Take it out of the freezer and immediately connect it to the computer, it may spin up. If it does spin up recover what you can, if you don't get all the data repeat.

The second method requires an identical functioning drive, you would take the platters out of the dead one and put them into the functioning one. There are instructions that can be found for doing this. Never did it myself but came across a few articles describing it.

There is also companies that specialize in recovering data from dead drives even if they have been physically damaged like water or fire damage but they charge a lot of money. They will do something similar to the second method I described.




------edit------

You can avoid anything being caused by windows by downloading Knoppix and see if it shows up there.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,225 posts, read 9,667,683 times
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I had the same thing happen to me, and it turned out the ext hard drive was toast. They were not able to save any of the data.
That is when I decided to start using Carbonite as a back up. There are several "in the clouds" back up systems around. I just happened to use Carbonite.
External hard drives can fail at any time.
Flash drives can fail at any time.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:22 AM
 
2,187 posts, read 2,324,156 times
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I've yet to run across a failed flash drive......not to say it doesn't happen but they're obviously far more durable than a disk based hard drive.

(good luck finding a 1tb flash drive for cheap though hehe)
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:13 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
6,167 posts, read 4,695,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazyn View Post
I've yet to run across a failed flash drive......not to say it doesn't happen but they're obviously far more durable than a disk based hard drive.

(good luck finding a 1tb flash drive for cheap though hehe)
I've had 3 flash drives fail in the past 10 years. Basically, machinery breaks down. If your data is important, make a backup. Then make another, preferably a different kind. Take one of them somewhere else. Make another backup. Repeat.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Knoxville
3,225 posts, read 9,667,683 times
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I've had flash drives fail, a bunch of SD cards, some CF cards, and an external hard drive. I've also had c/d's fail (made a b/u, checked it, then put it away. When I went to get data from it, it was unreadable.)

I have learned to not trust any media as a "always will work, will never fail".
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