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USB external hard drive not recognized after accidental unplug...

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April 5, 2014 12:13:03 PM

Hello guys!

I recently was attempting to do some error-checking on a 3TB seagate backup (usb external hard drive). For what ever reason I think it was taking forever and I just decided to cancel it. It may or may not have cancelled and after I unplugged it I realized it may have messed up!

So for the past week I have been trying to figure this out: I plug it in, it is not recognized. The usb port in device manager states unknown device, and the disk management program does NOT recognize that anything is there besides my actual hard drive. I tried using Easeus and recuva, but those programs also don't show up with anything buy my normal hard drive to work with.

So I believe I lost the partition to around 1.5 GB of backup data and other priceless pictures and videos.

How can I recover anything? I have another 939 GB usb hard drive to work with and a usb disc drive with a few spare dvds to write to...

Thank you for any replies!
a b G Storage
April 5, 2014 1:15:26 PM

Try this:
Go into "device manager"
Find your unknown device
Right click on it and select "Update driver software"
Now select "Browse my computer for driver software"
Then select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer"
Search for the "Disk drive" drivers (name may vary from os to os) and then select it and click next and allow it to update the drivers for the device.
Hopefully it works.
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April 5, 2014 1:51:21 PM

Hmmm... I am not sure what to choose for the drivers. I don't believe I actually installed any software for the backup - just have been using it as a usb storage device?

Should I try using mass usb mass storage device under manufacturer "compatible usb storage device"?
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a b G Storage
April 5, 2014 2:03:56 PM

Try that, it should set it as a usable drive then.
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April 5, 2014 2:26:17 PM

I would open that USB drive and put the 3 TB as internal HD in a PC. From there I will check with all the available utilities that sometimes do not work correctly with external USB devices. If it's not possible, try to plug the USB HDD to another ports or PC: sometimes the ports are managed by different controllers with different drivers.
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April 5, 2014 2:47:07 PM

Now it says that the device cannot start (error code 10)! Hmm. I must have really messed it up from the unplugging...
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Best solution

a b G Storage
April 6, 2014 5:20:52 AM

Right, you have three options.
1: If your main aim is too "recover" data from the drive then there are professionals that do "Data recovery" they take the disk out of the device and read the data and just from the disk itself inside the hard drive and upload the data to another hard drive.

2: The usb wire has got bent or damaged and is not sending data correctly; check the wire for any loose areas and/or bent and nibbed of ends.

3: The hard drive has gone internally wrong such as the platters are broken e.t.c
Just out of fascination do you hear a clicking sound coming from it?
If you do then I would get the data recovered by a professional immediately as that's the platters hitting the limit or bumper and can also scratch the disk along the way.

So its your choice really; but if there are precious pictures on there, then I would get a recovered by a professional.
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April 6, 2014 7:25:32 AM

Hmm clicking noises? I think I may have before this all happened, but I am not sure. Right now I don't hear any - when I plug the usb in it just gives that many whirring noise and a little bit of digital sound associated with hard disks.

I'll look into doing some data recovery by myself I think... It bothers me though that one unplug at the wrong time should put $100 down the drain + more for professional data recovery!

Thank you all for the answers!
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April 6, 2014 7:27:13 AM

AND SUDDENLY THIS TIME I PLUG IT IN AND IT WORKS!

Comes up with the usual autoplay and everything is here...

So strange: I will immediately copy all the data I can before something else happens and update this.

Update: Main folders showed up - clicked one and I get windows explorere not responding...
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a b G Storage
April 6, 2014 7:41:19 AM

Since it just randomly popped up it does seem to me like it could actually be a faulty USB cable...
Try bending it around and see if it pops up and responds...
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April 6, 2014 7:52:37 AM

Good idea, however this is what just happened (its just plain interesting!): my windows explorer stops responding, I close it down. I then try starting task manager to get it back up again, and my computer just starts being semi responsive. I can make a new tab on google chrome, but I can't click any links and the page dies after a minute. Task manager never showed up and then my screen went black with my mouse still visible. Then it went plain black and all the keyboard shortcuts in the world didn't save it. However pressing esc did bring up a ding for ever other shift tab I tried....

Restart and here I am again. Now this is also interesting. My computer stays at the Sager startup screen if the bad backup is plugged in. IT PREVENTS my computer from booting properly!?

I am going to install recuva again and try to be more prepared for plugging it back in this time... Also going to check the cables over again.
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!