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External Hard Drive Stopped Showing Up In My Computer

Last response: in Storage
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March 20, 2012 6:09:54 PM

I've been trying to fix it for over 10 days now, and I tried lots of things but nothing seems to work :(  , so I hope that you can help me.

  • System Info (If Needed):-

  • - Operation System: Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-Bit).
    - Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth P67 (1 PCI, 3 PCI-E x1, 2 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR3 DIMM, Audio, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394).
    - CPU: QuadCore Intel Core i7-2600K, 3500 MHz (35 x 100).
    - Memory: 8168 MB (DDR3-1333 DDR3 SDRAM).
    - Disk Drive: WDC WD20EARS-00J99B0 (2000 GB, SATA-II).
    - GPU: ATI Radeon™ HD 5770
    - USB 2.0: 8 Ports.
    - USB 3.0: 2 Ports.

  • Problem:-

  • My external hard drive stopped showing up in My Computer, but it was working fine before.

  • Possible Causes:-

  • 1- I think "And I'm NOT Sure" this happened after I Unplugged it without using "Safely Remove Hardware", I'm Totally aware that unplugging it while it's in use could damage it, but when I tried to "Safely Remove It" it told me "Windows can't stop your device Because a program is still using it", and I was in a hurry, so I unplugged it without using "Safely Remove Hardware".

    2- Few Days before it stop working, it was getting slower and sometimes it hangs.

  • External Hard Drive Condition:-

  • - it's Samsung S2 Portable (640GB).

    - I think I bought it from about 1-1.5 years ago.
    - It's out of warranty.
    - I'm Not using it that much, maybe 1-2 hours per day and sometimes I don't use it at all for several days/weeks.
    - Content: all my family pictures & videos (NO backup anywhere else), I thought it would be safer here in case any damage happened to my desktop hard drive. but i Guess I was wrong.
    - No Physical Damage.
    - When I plug it, I hear it spinning and it's light is on.
    - I hear a weird intermittent constant "Sound" and it's NOT loud, MAYBE It's a "Clicking" sound, But I'm not sure.

  • Things I Tried:-

  • - I checked All USB Ports and it's all working fine with other devices.
    - It Doesn't show up in "Disk Management", So solutions related to "Disk Management" Won't work.
    - I Cleaned up and removed old USB storage drivers and replugged it, but it didn't work.
    - I connected it to another PC, it didn't work there too.
    - I tried Different "USB Cable"
    - I was always checking it with "BitDefender Total Security 2011" For Viruses or any kind of infections and it was clean.
    - I tried to check it for errors, but as it's not recognized I can't check it.
    - I was Defragmenting it with "DisKeeper 2011" from time to time.
    - I tried to use "Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) v5.1.1" to recover the data, and i used this Guide "How to Create an Image of a Crashed Hard Drive using the UBCD, dd-rescue and P2 eXplorer", and when I reached to "Step 3 - Identifying your Hard Drive" I couldn't Identify it and I couldn't know it "Path", because it wasn't showing up in "Mount Devices" window, because as I said It's not recognized.

  • So What I'm Asking For Is:-


  • 1- Is there a way to fix my External Hard Drive and make it work again?
    If Not...
    2- Is there a way to make it recognizable so i can recover the data using "DD-Rescue"?
    If Not...
    3- Is there any other way to recover the data from my External Hard Drive?
    and...
    4- I tried to open my External Hard Drive "case" but I couldn't, and I was afraid to go any farther So i Don't damage it. So is there any safe way to open it?

    Thanks
    March 21, 2012 12:51:45 AM

    I'm sorry, but my only suggestion after all this is if you are willing to pay the money you can get somebody with computer forensic skills to do what they can to recover the data from the drive. That will cost a lot and there is no guarantees that it will work.

    The noise you are describing I think might be the indicator to a hardware problem (if it is a new sound). I also doubt that you disconnecting the drive without 'safely removing hardware' was the cause. This is usually to ensure that the data that is meant to be written to the drive has been written and not left in any cache or that its not in the middle of a read or write operation. Simply having a Windows Explorer open is enough to bring up the disallow message box. Sometimes its another process that isn't obvious at first.
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    March 21, 2012 12:52:53 PM

    Clicking is bad, but I have seen external drives do that when they don't have enough power to work. Try taking it out of the case, and using it as a regular drive.
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