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Hard Drive Disappeared -- No Hardware ID

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September 25, 2009 3:19:47 AM

Hullo.
I bought a trekstor 500 gb about a year ago. I've been using it until now. About six-seven months, i had to break the seal to reconnect the sata-to-usb card.
Then, i didn't use the device for about a week. When i went to reconnect it, vista told me "the usb device plugged in cannot be recognized".
Thinking it was a connection froblem again, i opened it up and tried reconnecting. No success. So then i tried to simply connect it (the hdd... a WD5000AAVS 0ZTB6, i think) via sata to the mobo.
However, it still at first gave me the "cannot be recognized". After rebooting, i tried going into bios to check some info, and i see that in the place where there would normally be either "COMPANY MODEL #" or "NO DEVICE", there is simply a blank space.

Just wondering if there's any way to recover the data, or fix this on site.
Thanks in advance,
Pejman

EDIT// My comp's specs:
MOBO: Pegatron Corporation Narra3 3.02
CPU: Phenon X4 9650
Other Hard: Samsung
it's an HP Pavilion m9402f.
a b G Storage
September 25, 2009 4:00:09 AM

When connected the HDD via sata, I'm guessing you cabled it as a new drive next your OS drive. Did you go into the BIOS and turn on the SATA port you used? In most bios, those sata ports not in use are turned off, because the bios gives an error if it can't find a drive on them.
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September 25, 2009 4:34:58 AM

Hmm... i used the same i do for my seagate drive. Just connect the cables and it recognizes....
Where would the "turn on" "turn off" sata be? Advanced options?
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a b G Storage
September 29, 2009 3:32:34 AM

Depends on the BIOS, sometimes it's under Hard drives, sometimes there's a SATA section, or a devices section. You'll have to root around a bit, when you find it, you'll see SATA 0, SATA 1, etc. up to however many ports you have
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a b G Storage
September 29, 2009 3:53:01 AM

A few other questions: When you plugged the drive in to the computer did it spin up? Could you feel it vibrating? Did it make any clicking noises?

If you replaced a drive you already had in there, its should have worked, since that one was working...

If it was spinning, two possibilities remain in my mind. One is that the circuit board on the hard drive is damaged. It gives power to the drive, but can't communicate. If that's the case you may be out of luck. Only a data recovery company can swap the board.

The other possibility is that the drive uses a higher voltage than your computer can give it internally. the SATA spec allows for 3.3V, 5V, and 12V drives, and it's unlikely your power supply puts out more than 3.3V. But it's also unlikely your drive uses 5V or 12V. You can check the drive's label to make sure.

Something else you could drive is a SATA to USB interface. These kits come fairly cheap and give you a quick way to plug in a bare drive. that way you don't have to keep mucking the internals of your computer (always risky), and can get all five senses focused on the drive sitting on your desk.
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September 29, 2009 6:23:30 AM

Replace the SATA-to-USB card and see if brings the hard drive back to life....
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October 9, 2009 1:46:39 PM

Foxy_roxy, i took it out of the Sata-to-USB enclosure to try and get it to work :p 
But I'll see if I can.

Yes, the drive does spin up, but doesn't seem to connect. It's very similiar to when a cd is going over a bad sector. It just makes something like a "disk-jockey" scratching noise. It keeps on doing this until disconnected.

It shouldn't be too high a voltage. It's one of those "powergreen" drives. I'll try to get my hands on the drive. Thanks in advance.
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a b G Storage
October 9, 2009 3:05:45 PM

If it really sounds like a scratching noise, that's bad news. It may be that the bearings of the motor are shot and it can't spin up to full speed. If that's the case, the onboard firmware won't even start it's checksum of the drive let alone talk to the computer's BIOS.

If it doesn't sound like bearings, one very unlikely, but not impossible, scenario is that one of the drive's read/write heads has come loose or been damaged. If the head is literally scratching the surface, the drive is ├╝ber-toast. Like I said this is seriously unlikely. There's not allot of room for the head to move no matter how violent you are with the drive.

If it's a clicking sound, then the problem is that the drive's firmware can't read some critical data it stores on the drive. The click sound is the drive punching the head back to its rest position to start the checksum over again. That's not good either but if the data is important, a hard drive recovery company can usually salvage data on a drive in this condition.

If you ever do get the drive to mount, be prepared to get the data off immediately, because you may not get a second chance. :sweat: 
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a c 348 G Storage
October 9, 2009 3:43:28 PM

By obscure chance, is it possible the WD HDD unit you removed from the external case is a SATA II unit, but your mobo ports are only the older slower SATA type? That situation can result in poor communication between mobo controller and HDD, making the HDD unit appear faulty.
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October 20, 2009 2:22:59 AM

Mekugi,
Thank you very much with you (super) in-depth answer.
Fortunately, i was able to understand it all.
Most likely it's either the firmware issue or a powerboard issue (as was suggested by a friend).
I've decided to take it to a repair shop, and then send to a recovery comp.

Paperdoc, thank you for you comment, but I had already checked. My mobo has sata II and I, but the drive is I.
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