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External 1TB hard drive not being recognized...

Last response: in Storage
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May 20, 2010 9:42:20 PM

Hello,
As the title says, my hard drive is not working. It's recognized in the Device Manager, but nowhere else. Also, in disk management, I can't allocate my drive or even initialize it.I tried nearly everything, such as changing the controller type to Compatibility mode, and also trying to get disk management to do its job. It didn't work, and I took it to a IT specialist hoping to get it fixed. He told me that my hard drive is burned. Please help me, I have a lot of important and/or cool stuff on there I don't want to lose.
a c 124 G Storage
May 20, 2010 11:12:07 PM

I know how important this kind of situation is. Usually, hard disk failures come with quite a bit of advance warning, especially if it has worked well for a while. The warning signs are a "clicking" noise, or an alert from monitoring programs such as "Smart disk". In this event, the user has adequate time to replace the disk after cloning it.

If this is not the case, it could be a matter of some setting, and/or a SATA cable; but, you say that Device Manager recognizes the disk. That is definitely a good sign. Also, try a different SATA port on the motherboard.

Since you have valuable data on this disk, do not format it in any way.

Can you possible check this disk by trying to connect it as an external disk? Check whether it will work as an external disk on a different computer.

Good luck!

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May 21, 2010 6:48:42 AM

Well, the external hard drive was kicked by accident about a week ago. A few tries after that, it sputtered, and now, it's at this point. Before then, it was working fine. Also, Im using a Toshiba Laptop that has Windows 7, if that is any help. No, I don't plan to format it unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. I did try it as a internal hard drive, but the guy said it was of no help.

Is there a program that can recognize it and give it a new MBR? I think the boot sector is just damaged, but the disk itself is still good.
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May 21, 2010 6:53:47 AM

Oh and when I meant "sputter" it worked a few times, although it was slower in being recognized.
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a c 124 G Storage
May 21, 2010 11:59:52 AM

Get all the data off the disk that "sputtered" before it becomes totally dead.

Yes you can connect the disk that is giving you trouble to the Toshiba laptop via a SATA connector. Here is the link for doing this: http://www.apricorn.com/product_detail.php?type=family&...

I have this product, have used it, and it works very well - easy to use too.

Moving, dropping, shocks, etc to a hard disk while it is spinning (heads not parked) may damage the read/write heads. The clearance between the head and the disk magnetic media is extremely small in order to increase the data density and relies on the air-gap created during spinning.

Your situation is starting to look like a mechanical head crash issue. If this is the case, maybe a computer store might be the solution, after you have exhausted suggestions from co-workers, friends, forums, etc..
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May 21, 2010 1:31:44 PM

Thank you for your help. I will have to look into that. What I may do is go to Best Buy/Geek Squad and ask them what can they do. Do you know how much they will charge to get data off busted hard drives? Until then, is there a temporary solution to get the data off? I could get a slave drive soon to get my data off until I get an official one.

Funny thing is, the hard drive acts like it's gonna work, with the blue lights coming on and the device appearing in Device manager, but nowhere else.
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a c 124 G Storage
May 21, 2010 9:35:00 PM

Yes - it is sensing the presence of a device, but does not know that it is not fully functional. Good luck with the repair and data recovery.
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a c 124 G Storage
May 22, 2010 2:13:39 AM

One more thing - try MicroCenter's free tech help and support for walk-ins
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May 22, 2010 7:09:44 PM

Thank you so much. Hopefully I can get it fixed soon.
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a c 124 G Storage
May 22, 2010 10:24:03 PM

I found this right here on Tom's Hardware - http://www.drivecrash.com/ (Google ads) while reading an article on 2-platter and 3-platter laptop drives.

Might be worth looking into.
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May 27, 2010 12:59:43 AM

Um, yes, hello again after a long hiatus. Quick question: do you know a link where I can get the correct drivers for the Hard Drive?
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a c 124 G Storage
May 27, 2010 2:06:46 AM

The best site to download drivers is the device manufacturer's website. Whatever you do, DO NOT go to 3rd. party sites that promise drivers for everything.

The device manufacturer's site is usually the best site to download the latest drivers.
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June 2, 2010 8:40:29 PM

Thank you for the suggestion. The reason I asked is because I heard Hard Drives need drivers in order to be recognized as such. Does this hold true for internal drives as well?
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a c 124 G Storage
June 2, 2010 10:13:11 PM

All peripherals (internal as well as external) need drivers. And the best site for the drivers is the manufacturer's site. Try and avoid 3rd party sites that promise to deliver drivers for anything and everything.

In some instances, when a new device is installed (using the CD that came with it), it automatically installs the drivers too. However, it is a good idea to periodically check the manufacturer's site for new and updated drivers for your existing hardware. The new drivers usually take care of bugs and glitches in the older versions of the drivers. When you update drivers, it is usually a good idea to backup your system so that you can go back to the previous version of driver in case you need to. Added flexibility. Make sure that "System Restore" is enabled in Control Panel.

Good luck!
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June 3, 2010 1:08:11 AM

Thank you, and hopefully I will get something done to this hard drive. Sorry if I am bothering you like crazy, but I have precious videos and programs I want to keep. The reason I asked is because I think the drivers are not being found on the computer. It only recognizes it as a WD in the hard drive section in device manager. I want to change it to something else, but I don't know where to begin and I am currently searching everywhere, including WD's homesite. Also, when I try to initialize it in Disk Management, it says incorrect function. So yeah, this is the point I am at right now.
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a c 124 G Storage
June 3, 2010 2:16:12 AM

We are all here to help each other. No problem. Try and get the data transferred to another disk by some means. The MicroCenter guys can help.
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!